BA International Politics / Film and Television Studies

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

The Aberystwyth Joint Honours Film and Television Studies schemes provide a rigorous and challenging programme of study, combining practical and theoretical approaches to the examination of film and television histories, productions, institutions and audiences.

Overview

Why study Film and Television Studies and International Politics at Aberystwyth?

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

90% of our 2014 Theatre, Film and Television graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 7 percentage point increase on the previous year (DLHE 2014). This increase reflects our investment in innovative and strategic student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic Institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

The recent 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction amongst Politics students, with 92% reporting satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received, above average for the subject nationally.

The Department is one of the largest and most highly regarded in Britain in terms of staff reputation and the quality of the student experience. We can offer you an unrivalled range of student choice, staff expertise, and state-of-the-art facilities for practical work, including industry standard HD and digital cameras, editing suites, viewing areas and practical work spaces, so that you can utilise your creative skills to the full. Further facilities are available to you through our strategic partnerships with Boom Pictures Cymru, Wales’s largest independent television production company; Theatr Arad Goch, an Aberystwyth-based community theatre; and BBC Wales, whose local offices and studios are housed within the Department. The National Sound and Screen Archive of Wales is also situated next to the campus in the National Library of Wales, so that you can benefit from an unrivalled source of material.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest campus arts centres in the UK, is situated on the main university campus, and is a popular venue where you can stage your work and enjoy performances and screenings of all kinds.

Founded in 1919 after the end of World War I, the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth is the world’s first university department of International Politics. The Department has over 30 academic and research staff, all of whom are research active and contribute to the undergraduate teaching programme. The Department's vibrant and cosmopolitan learning environment welcomes students from all over the world, and provides a lively venue for contemporary and international political debate.

The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment, the Department of International Politics was rated best in Wales with 76% of publications coming out of the department rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.

Our lecturers are committed to excellence in both teaching and research, providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment. Research excellence feeds directly into undergraduate teaching, so that you are exposed to the very latest and most innovative ideas in the field even before they have become generally available through publication. We firmly believe that the synergy between research and teaching makes for a thought-provoking education.

The Department operates a prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer. During this time you will write reports and speeches, undertake research projects, and respond to constituency issues. There may be further opportunities for you to get involved in elections and various international issues.

The Department also has links with carefully selected universities in Europe, Australia or Canada, offering you an excellent opportunity to expand your academic and social horizons by spending a part of your university experience abroad.

The Department is also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops - even the opportunity to take part in UN peacekeeping courses - alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.

Last, but not least, number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the Department.

Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Studying Film FM10120

Semester 2

Studying Television FM10220

Introduction To Media Production (semester 2) FM10520

Year 1 Options All students MUST take the Department's core module Exploring the International 1 and 2 (40 credits over both semesters)

Semester 1

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 1 GW12420

Exploring The International 1 IP12420

Semester 2

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 2 GW12520

Exploring The International 2 IP12520

Year 1 Options Part One students may take the following optional modules

Semester 1

Behind The Headlines IP12620

The Making Of The Modern World: International History Since 1789 IP12820

Understanding The Social World SA10120

Semester 2

War, Strategy And Intelligence IP10320

Approaching The Political IP10820

Year 1 Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students, may subject to the demands of their other scheme, take one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Studying Media FM10620

Hollywood Cinema: 1917-1960 FM10920

British Cinema FM11020

Semester 2

Studying Communication FM10720

Year 1 Options Student wishing to study modules through the medium of Welsh can take the following:

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

Y Tu ôl I'r Penawdau GW12620

Creu'r Byd Modern: Hanes Ryngwladol Ers 1789 GW12820

Concwest, Uno A Hunaniaeth Yng Nghymru 1250-1800 HC11120

Cymru A'r Byd: Cysylltiadau A Dylanwadau 1860 - 2000 HC11520

Semester 2

Pobl A Lle DA10110

Newid Hinsawdd DA10810

Rhyfel Strategaeth A Chuddwybodaeth GW10320

Defnyddio Syniadau Gwleidyddol GW11220

Argyfwng, Gwrthryfel A Ffydd Yn Ewrop C.1000-1540 HA10820

Year 2 Options Student must take the following Degree Scheme Core Module (IP30120 or GW30120) in International Politics before being eligible for graduation.

Semester 2

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies Students must take a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum of 40 credits from the following critical theory modules:

Semester 1

Television Genre FM20620

Documentary Screens FM20720

Film Genre FM20920

Fairy Tales FM26120

Semester 2

Hollywood Cinema (1967-now) FM21020

Contemporary Television Drama FM21220

Case Studies In Contemporary Art Cinema FM24420

Digital Culture FM25520

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students must take a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Writing For Film And Television FM21620

Creative Documentary FM26520

Semester 2

Creative Studio FM25420

Available both years Options Students must take 120 of their 240 credits in Part Two (year 2 & final year) in International Politics dept; and should also take 120 credits in their `home' department (usually 60 credits from each per year) -including core module credits

Semester 1

Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol GQ30920

Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed GQ33420

Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer GQ33720

Cymru A Datganoli GW35020

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol GW35620

The Vietnam War IP31920

Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances IP33320

European Politics IP33820

The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice IP34320

Wales And Devolution IP35020

Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918 IP35320

Intelligence And International Security IP35620

The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence IP36020

Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy IP36520

Contemporary Latin America IP38720

The League Of Nations IQ32420

Capitalism And International Politics IQ32820

Total War, Total Peace IQ33420

Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice IQ33720

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol GW39220

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

War, Politics And Strategy IP30320

Special Forces: Theory And Practice IP31520

The Cold War IP32020

Political Theory IP32220

Eu Simulation IP34020

Ideas And Practice In American Politics IP34420

The Cuban Missile Crisis IP35520

America At War: A Military History Of The United States IP36920

Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800 IP38820

International Politics And Non-western Worlds IP39220

Global Economic Governance IQ30820

Espionage Studies IQ31320

Global Health And International Politics IQ32020

Gender And Sexuality In Latin America IQ32320

The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001 IQ32620

Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics IQ33620

Final Year Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies Students must take at least 20 credits from the following critical theory modules (including the Independent Research Project NB: this is worth 40 credits: 20 in each semester):

Semester 1

Cinema And Stardom FM31320

Experimental Cinema FM34520

Moving Image Technologies: How Pictures Became Animated FM35820

Independent Research Project FM36000

Semester 2

The Surveillance Society FM32420

Film Authorship FM32920

Independent Research Project FM36040

Television And Society In Britain In The 20th Century FM36220

Final Year Options Joint Honours Film and TV Studies students may take up to 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Experimental Media Production FM33500

Documentary Production FM33700

Fiction Film Production FM34200

Scriptwriting 1 FM37020

Semester 2

Experimental Media Production FM33540

Documentary Production FM33740

Fiction Film Production FM34240

Scriptwriting 2 FM37120

Available both years Options Students must take 120 of their 240 credits in Part Two (year 2 & final year) in International Politics dept; and should also take 120 credits in their `home' department (usually 60 credits from each per year) -including core module credits

Semester 1

Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol GQ30920

Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed GQ33420

Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer GQ33720

Cymru A Datganoli GW35020

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol GW35620

The Vietnam War IP31920

Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances IP33320

European Politics IP33820

The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice IP34320

Wales And Devolution IP35020

Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918 IP35320

Intelligence And International Security IP35620

The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence IP36020

Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy IP36520

Contemporary Latin America IP38720

The League Of Nations IQ32420

Capitalism And International Politics IQ32820

Total War, Total Peace IQ33420

Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice IQ33720

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol GW39220

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

War, Politics And Strategy IP30320

Special Forces: Theory And Practice IP31520

The Cold War IP32020

Political Theory IP32220

Eu Simulation IP34020

Ideas And Practice In American Politics IP34420

The Cuban Missile Crisis IP35520

America At War: A Military History Of The United States IP36920

Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800 IP38820

International Politics And Non-western Worlds IP39220

Global Economic Governance IQ30820

Espionage Studies IQ31320

Global Health And International Politics IQ32020

Gender And Sexuality In Latin America IQ32320

The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001 IQ32620

Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics IQ33620

Employability

The degree schemes provide a balance between critical approaches and creative practical experience to develop the skills needed for career opportunities within the creative industries and beyond. Students are supported through every year of study to enhance their employability skills and are encouraged to develop their reflective practice and self-motivation. 

Students learn how to become effective communicators and how to work as part of a team when collaborating in production groups. You will have access to some of the most up-to-date facilities such as a multi-camera high definition digital television studio, high-definition digital video cameras and digital and video projection facilities to develop your practical production work skills. Special master classes are arranged with specialists including: pitching competitions, sound design workshops, production design for film, hair and make-up design and special effects and presenting yourself professionally. Students can also develop their experience and knowledge of working in a bilingual environment and students can perform through the medium of Welsh and English.

The Department has excellent links with local, national and international production companies providing students opportunities to gain an insight into the industry and develop their networking skills. A guest speaker programme gives students access to industry experts to develop their knowledge of the creative industries and showcase their work and ideas. 

Work placements are actively encouraged to allow students to develop the transferable and professional skills which will enable them to succeed in the workplace. In recent years students have been able to take placement opportunities with the BBC, Fiction Factory and Boom Pictures.

The Department has a close working relationship with the Careers Service and a link careers adviser will work with you to support your career development at university and the transition into the workplace. Careers events are held in the department to make students aware of opportunities available to them such as the Year in Employment Scheme (YES). These schemes provide opportunities to gain valuable experience in the workplace and test out your career ideas. 

Many students find employment with film and television companies, working as researchers, editors, floor managers, camera operators, designers or directors. Equally many graduates find employment in a variety of different areas including teaching, administration, marketing public relations, and advertising. Your degree will provide you with excellent inter-personal skills and transferable skills including experience in group work, leadership, planning, budget management and personal motivation.

Whether you have clear plans for your graduate career or are open to the wide range of opportunities an Aberystwyth degree offers, we will enable you to develop the skills employers’ value so highly.

International Politics students in Aberystwyth are strong contenders for future careers in leading public sector roles within national and local government, the European Union, the United Nations and NGOs, such as Amnesty International. They also make successful candidates for alternative career routes within areas such as cyber security, political lobbying, risk consultancy and intelligence analysis.
From your first week in Aberystwyth we prioritise your career development. To ensure services are tailored an academic staff member works closely with our link careers adviser offering a range of careers education, employer exposure and individual based support.
Getting involved in the department’s annual crisis simulations will give you the opportunity to work in a collaborative team on a ‘true to life’ scenario, where there is an urgent need to respond in ‘real time’ to an unfolding international crisis based on current affairs.
Engaging in our ‘Parliamentary Placement Scheme’ offers first-hand insight and experience in to careers in politics and public policy. This long established scheme sees students in their second year working alongside MPs and AMs in the House of Commons or the Welsh Assembly.

The Department encourages students to seek internships and offers funding through the ‘Student Internship Support Award Bursary’alongside focused careers support to help you identify and source the right work experience opportunity to support your career goals. Each year the Department hosts the institute work experience competition where students are encouraged to share their internship experiences. International Politics students also have access to the University Alumni e-Mentoring Programme enabling direct contact with alumni who work in a range of careers.

For those looking towards a research focused career or who are simply curious as to what this might entail we offer the InterPol Scholars Programme. Open to high academic achievers, this programme provides a unique opportunity to work alongside world class academics and research groups; the perfect introduction to a professional research career.

Engaging more widely with the careers service provision can also improve your chances of success from employer events on campus, convenient access to careers advice and guidance, comprehensive resources on the web and schemes such as the Year in Employment Scheme YES. 

Each year International Politics students take up the Year in Employment Scheme. This University-wide scheme enables students to take a 12 month graduate internship between their second and third years. In 2013/14 these included graduate roles within the Welsh Government and government affairs with Airbus (government affairs department).

Transferable Skills

In addition to subject specific skills and knowledge, studying for a degree in Film and Television Studies and International Politics will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include the ability to:
• apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations
• research, evaluate and organise information
• structure and communicate ideas effectively in a variety of situations and using a variety of means
• work independently and with others
• effectively organise your time and deploy your skills
• listen to and make use of critical advice
• be self-motivated and self-disciplined
• use a range of information technology skills and resources
• be entrepreneurial in developing projects

You will be able to gather, assimilate and interpret intellectual and aesthetic material independently and critically, deploying creative and imaginative skills developed through the realisation of individual and group practical and research projects. You will also have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently and creatively through oral, written and visual means to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames with specific resources and to specific deadlines.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn?

The Film and Television Studies degree schemes have been carefully designed to ensure an integrated academic experience which will enrich and inform the development of your creative, critical and technical skills through innovative practical work and challenging scholarly enquiry. This innovative course is also designed to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of global politics. You will analyse key debates and theories regarding politics in the global age, and you will apply your learning to case studies that reflect the urgent nature of regional and global policy-making.

In the first year, you will be introduced to the study of film and television and will develop your practical skills in all stages of the media production process. You will also take an introductory module which explores the development and progress of international relations during the twentieth century, and will enable you to critically assess central approaches to the study of international relations and apply different methodologies to the analysis of topical issues in world politics. You will also have the option to investigate themes such as the making of the modern world, political theory, and wars, strategy and intelligence.

In the second and third years you will continue to develop your production skills and build up expertise in key production techniques. You will also study the specific histories and traditions film and television. In your final year you will have the opportunity to focus on a specific area including experimental media, documentary, narrative fiction or scriptwriting. Alternatively, you may wish to produce an original piece of scholarship, the dissertation, you will have the opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest to you. You will also be able to tailor your programme of study by choosing from an extensive range of elective modules in International Politics. Subjects include globalisation, cyber warfare, espionage, the Cold War, the EU, and International Statebuilding, amongst many others. A compulsory dissertation in the final year will allow you to demonstrate your substantive knowledge in your chosen subject area, deploying critical research skills and independent enquiry.

You may also undertake work experience as part of your course, which will enhance your employability prospects and enable you to gain and reinforce transferable skills.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a complementary set of teaching and learning methods and approaches, ranging from formal lectures and seminars to screenings, technical demonstrations and group-based project work. This diversity of activity is an essential part of the Department’s philosophy, and creates a uniquely exciting and productive learning environment.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods including group-devised productions, individual film and video projects, research projects, practical analyses, production diaries and creative scriptwriting as well as formal essays and examinations. In addition, supplementary assessment methods such as storyboards, screenplays, pitches, treatments and films are designed to generate a working portfolio of material which you will be able to present to potential employers.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Crisis Games play a very important role in the life of the Department of International Politics, and form part of a twice-yearly residential course away from Aberystwyth. The Department of International Politics was the first university in the UK to use crisis simulations to connect classroom learning with the real-world complexities of international politics. In recent years the Crisis Games have been based on the humanitarian crises in the Congo and Darfur, nuclear testing in North Korea, Saudi Arabia and the politics of the Middle East, the Northern Ireland peace process, and war between Russia and Georgia. During the course of the simulation you will learn about aspects of international politics which cannot be taught in lectures and seminars, especially the constraints which political leaders face in responding to various crises. For many students, the Crisis Games are the highlight of the course.

As you gain subject-specific expertise, you will develop a valuable collection of study skills. In tackling each module, you will learn to assimilate demanding topics quickly and accurately, and how to analyse and respond to political strategy and debate persuasively in written and oral forms.

Most modules are assessed through a combination of examinations and essays, but projects, book reviews, and presentations may also be utilised.

The lectures, seminars and the Department’s supportive staff will greatly assist you in your political training. You will also benefit from the many opportunities within the department and the university to develop your academic rigour and professionalism so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.

Student Views

What I love most about Film and Television Studies is the teaching staff. They are experienced professionals who are dynamic, enthusiastic and most importantly, approachable; it makes learning fun and my confidence has improved as a result. I also enjoy the various modules on offer. The practicals are great as they allow me to experiment with my own ideas but at the same time they teach me valuable skills. My favourite modules so far are Scriptwriting; Imagining the Short; and Writing for Film and Television. I love to write creatively and these modules enable me to develop my imagination.
Angela Wendy Rumble

Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University is brilliant. The course has a great atmosphere which you can tell from how well-connected the students and lecturers are. The academic side of the course is illuminating, touching on a wide variety of topics and dealing with each of these in detail, which works well even for those students who want to focus more on the more practical modules. In addition the department provides plenty of opportunities for work experience as well as chances for students to hone their skills out of the classroom with departmental equipment. There is also a well-supported film society.
Joe Williams

What I love about Film and Television Studies is the variety of different areas I've had the opportunity to be a part of. Last year I would never have had the confidence or know-how to organise a production team, to make and market short films and to work in a 3 camera studio. What I wanted from Aberystwyth University were the skills to become a film-maker; what I got were practical skills, knowledge of academic debates, and contacts that have given me an insight into the film and television industry.
Peter Gosiewski

I love the International Politics course, because it's a subject that attracts a wide range of people from around the UK and internationally, meaning you encounter a wide range of people and opinions. The seminars allow for great discussion and learning, and the lectures themselves are interesting with just as interesting lecturers!
Roxy Taylor

The Department of International Politics has provided me with a new-found understanding of the world through modules on issues surrounding concepts of globalisation and the lives of women in the Third World. With experts in so many fields it is great having such an approachable set of tutors. My three years here at Aberystwyth have been educational as well as enjoyable and I would recommend studying here to anyone.
Hannah Mitchell

Great lecturers, great building, great people on the course!
Matthew David Bold

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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Key Facts

UCAS Code: LW26

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 300

Entry Requirements: Grade B in any A level subject required GCSE: Grade C in English or Welsh.

Course Length: 3 Years