BA Law with Politics

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

In choosing to study this Law with Politics Degree, you'll discover a challenging and stimulating degree; elements of this degree are recognised by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, providing you with a direct route to the legal profession. This twenty-first century Law with Politics Degree encompasses a range of traditional and contemporary legal subjects and will deliver the skills and competences demanded in the many career options available to you upon its successful completion. Additionally you combine your legal training by following the core elements of a Politics degree. You'll emerge with real world capabilities, enabling you to shape your future and develop the career you deserve.


This BA in Law with Politics course is designed to give you the formal knowledge required for a successful law career in the twenty-first century, whilst also giving you the additional advantage of superb training in politics. This course has a major/minor structure, meaning you will spend two-thirds of your time in the Department of Law and Criminology examining the fundamental principles of law, legal reasoning and the legal institution, and one-third of your time in the Department of International Politics studying political thought and history.

Why study Law with Politics at Aberystwyth?

The Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth is the oldest Law School in Wales, founded in 1901, and has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the expertise of its staff. Your learning is closely linked to the vigorous research activity carried out in the department, providing you with an outstanding, dynamic and up-to-date learning environment. You will benefit from a mature and well-stocked Law library, supplemented by generous electronic resources.

As well as being active in research and publication, our lecturers also participate in national and international debate and policy-making in legal, criminological and related fields. Recently, for example, our staff have been involved in the work of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA); the Countryside Commission for Wales; the Youth Justice Board; the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee; the Welsh Assembly Standing Orders Commission; and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Our degrees are qualifying Law degrees for entry to the legal profession. If you wish to qualify as a solicitor you will be eligible to continue vocational training on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) upon graduation, or the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) if you wish to train as a barrister. Aberystwyth has its own Legal Practice Centre within the Department of Law and Criminology, so we can offer you the opportunity to complete your solicitor training with us. Successful completion of particular modules will enable you to gain exemption from certain professional examinations.

The Department offers a programme of valuable social and professional opportunities, such as trips to law fairs and to the Inns of Court in London. The Mooting Society provides you with the opportunity to develop and test your key advocacy and litigation skills in a fun and competitive environment, by taking part in mock trials. Aberystwyth University regularly competes in national and international mooting competitions, and there is also a Welsh National Mooting Competition for students who wish to moot through the medium of Welsh.

There is a strong international staff and student profile in the Department of Law and Criminology and there are frequent visits by academics and experts from other countries. There are also opportunities for you to study abroad at one of our partner institutions in Utrecht (Netherlands) Katowice and Wroclaw (Poland), Brno (Czech Republic) and Helsinki (Finland), all of which offer legal courses in English. 

The Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth is the world’s first university department of International Politics, and it remains one of the largest departments of politics and international relations in Europe with over 30 academic staff. Its 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), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales with 69% of publications submitted rated as world leading.

93% of our 2014 graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, equal to the overall UK sector average (DLHE 2014). This 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 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction with the subject, with 83% of students reporting high levels of satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received and our staff receiving above UK average satisfaction responses for their communication with students.

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.

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 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.

The Department also has links with carefully selected universities in Europe, Asia, North America and Canada, offering you an excellent opportunity to expand your academic and social horizons by spending a part of your university experience abroad. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops.

Both departments offer a 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

Department of Law and Criminology lecturers are mostly either qualified to PHD level or have professional experience and qualifications as practicing lawyers. Many staff also have a PGCE (Higher Education).

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

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 Options Core Modules Part I: Students must choose 80 credits of the following LA or GF modules dependant on language preference.

Semester 1

Sgiliau Cyfreithiol GF13110

Y Gyfundrefn Gyfreithiol GF13410

Cyfraith Ymrwymiadau GF13520

Legal Skills LA13110

Legal System LA13410

The Law Of Obligations LA13520

Semester 2

Cyfraith Camwedd GF11120

Cyfraith Cytundebau GF13820

Tort LA11120

Law Of Contract LA13820

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 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

Amgylchedd Cymru DA10810

Rhyfel Strategaeth A Chuddwybodaeth GW10320

Defnyddio Syniadau Gwleidyddol GW11220

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

Year 2 Options Students must take the following Degree Scheme Core Module (IP32220 or GW32220) in International Politics in order to be eligible to graduate.

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Political Theory IP32220

Year 2 Options Year 2 - Students have a free choice of 80 credits of LA/GF modules, however, those wishing to gain professional exemption in Law must study the following modules (LA/GF):

Semester 1

Ecwiti A Chyfraith Ymddiriedau GF32900

Cyfraith Gyhoeddus GF34500

Equity And The Law Of Trusts LA32900

Public Law LA34500

Semester 2

Cyfraith Camwedd GF31120

Ecwiti A Chyfraith Ymddiriedau GF32920

Cyfraith Gyhoeddus GF34530

Tort LA31120

Equity And The Law Of Trusts LA32920

Public Law LA34530

Available both years Options Students must take 160 credits of LA/GF modules from the Department of Law and Criminology and must take 80 credits in their minor department over Part II of the scheme.

Year 3 Options Year 3 - Students have a free choice of 80 credits of LA/GF modules, however, those wishing to gain professional exemption in Law must study the following modules (LA/GF):

Semester 1

Cyfraith Tir GF36100

Land Law LA36100

Semester 2

Cyfraith Camwedd GF31120

Cyfraith Tir GF36130

Tort LA31120

Land Law LA36130

Year 3 Options Optional Modules Year 3 - 30 credits of LA/GF modules from the Department of Law and Criminology.

Final Year Options Students must take 80 credits of the 240 credits at Part Two (year 2 & final year) in the Department of International Politics and 160 credits in their major department.

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

Available both years Options Students must take 160 credits of LA/GF modules from the Department of Law and Criminology and must take 80 credits in their minor department over Part II of the scheme.


Your major/minor honours degree will make you a strong candidate for opportunities in law, politics and wherever these two disciplines meet. You will be suited for work as a barrister, barrister's clerk, chartered legal executive (England and Wales), licensed conveyancer or solicitor. Your skills would also be useful in the Diplomatic Service, local government, the charitable sector or in journalism as a political or legal specialist.

You will also be a strong candidate for work as a public affairs consultant (lobbyist), politician's assistant, government social research officer, social researcher or civil service fast streamer.

Throughout your degree you will develop a wealth of core and other skills that can be easily transferred into almost any graduate or professional employment situation. For instance, you will learn to critically appraise historic political and legal decision-making in case studies and apply the lessons in scenarios and papers. This sort of analysis and application of learning will equip you for any job in political, legal or more generic spheres of employment.

You will have also proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines. A major feature of this course is the excellent written and oratory skills that you will develop.

To help you discover the most appropriate career pathway for you, you will be assigned a dedicated, subject-specific careers advisor who will assist you in constructing a Personal Development Plan. This process will encourage you to reflect on your learning and your career aspirations so that every academic option you choose will point you towards your future career.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This course will be delivered through lectures, seminars and lively tutorials. You will receive comprehensive training in the rules and complexities of law; and you will be able to explore and interrogate this learning in lively and interactive seminars with your peers. You will also be encouraged to attend conferences and special lectures put on by the departments.

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

You will be assessed through exams, written and oral presentations, group work and an extended dissertation. You will also be required to complete additional assignments throughout each term and to strict deadlines. In all these areas you will need self-discipline, academic rigour and an open mind to succeed. To help in this, you will have also access to a personal tutor throughout your degree scheme who will meet with you regularly and handle your queries.

The lectures, seminars and the Departments' supportive staff will only take you so far in your political and legal training. You must assume responsibility for your learning and engage fully with your major/minor degree. You must also take advantage of the many opportunities within the departments to develop your academic rigour and professionalism so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.

Student Views

Law is a challenging subject which stretches me each and every day and that is exactly why I enjoy it! Thanks to both the brilliant staff and the expansive resources available to students, the challenge remains one which I’ve never felt was out of my grasp. Aberystwyth itself is a great town, ideal for a variety of students; it has something to offer for everyone and I know of no better place to make close friends. The town is very relaxed and welcoming and when it is sunny there is no place in the UK I’d rather be. Andrew James Hall

The combination of a brilliant course with a beautiful town is perfect. I have loved studying Law at Aberystwyth over the past 3 years; although it has been hard work and exhausting it has been both thrilling and challenging. All the lecturers, tutors and staff are fantastically friendly and helpful and care about the department and the way modules are taught. The Law library houses everything you need for your degree so you don’t need to go far. Law attracts so many different personalities and students from different backgrounds and spending 3 years with them is great. The modules for Law offer great choice. William Pryce

Key Information Set