BA Politics with Law

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 Politics with Law Degree you'll explore the fundamental political concepts which shape our daily life: justice, freedom, power, and citizenship. You will consider how factors such as ethnicity, gender, and ecology reflect and produce changes in political thought and how all these ideas are translated into practice. This Politics with Law degree is therefore not only about politicians and governments, but about all the groups and organisations which influence politics and their fundamental legal constructs - national and multinational companies, trade unions, and civil society groups so that you will emerge from your degree in Politics equipped for political engagement in many contexts. You'll be studying in the oldest established Politics department in the UK, taught by high quality, enthusiastic staff, and upon successful graduation you'll possess the essential skills and capabilities demanded for employability. Expand the links below to discover more...

Overview

The Politics with Law degree will equip you with a critical understanding of politics, with the additional advantage of superb legal training. This course has a major/minor structure, meaning you will spend two-thirds of your time on the key debates and theories of domestic and international politics, and one-third of your time studying Law.

The course begins by providing a comprehensive introduction to politics and law, after which you will be able to tailor your study through the selection of optional modules. These may include Law of Contract, Power and Equality in the Third World, Criminal Law and Politics in Europe. In your final year you may tackle modules such as The Cold War and Intelligence and International Security.

Why study Politics and Law at Aberystwyth?

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, 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 76% of publications submitted rated as world leading and internationally excellent.

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.

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.

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 American 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. The Department also offers 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

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

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).

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 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

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 Single and Major Honours students must take the following module

Semester 1

Y Tu ôl I'r Penawdau GW12620

Behind The Headlines IP12620

Year 1 Options Core modules in Part I - Students must choose 40 credits of the following LA or GF modules dependant on language preference.

Semester 1

Foundations Of Law LA15710

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 Students must take a further 40 Credits of LA/GF modules from the list of modules offered by the Department of Law and Criminology.

Available both years Options Students must take 160 credits of the 240 credits (including the core module) at Part Two (year 2 & Final year) in the Department of International Politics and 80 credits in their minor 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

Final Year Options Students in their Final Year MUST take the core Dissertation module GW/IP30040 which runs over Semesters One and Two.

Semester 1

Dulliau Ymchwil + Traethawd Estynedig GW30000

Dissertation IP30000

Semester 2

Dulliau Ymchwil + Traethawd Estynedig GW30040

Dissertation IP30040

Final Year Options Students must take a further 40 Credits of LA/GF modules from the list of modules offered by the Department of Law and Criminology.

Available both years Options Students must take 160 credits of the 240 credits (including the core module) at Part Two (year 2 & Final year) in the Department of International Politics and 80 credits in their minor 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

Employability

Career Prospects

Your major/minor honours degree will make you a strong candidate for opportunities in Politics, Law and wherever these two disciplines meet. Your training will make you suitable for work as a public affairs consultant (lobbyist), politician's assistant, government social research officer, social researcher or civil service fast streamer. Your skills would also be useful in the Diplomatic Service, local government, the charitable sector or in journalism as a political or legal specialist.

With further study, you would be able to work as a barrister, barrister's clerk, chartered legal executive (England and Wales), licensed conveyancer or solicitor.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Politics with Law will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
• research skills

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Personal Development Plan

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.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This course will be delivered through lectures, seminars and lively tutorials. You will also be encouraged to attend as many conferences that the Department of International Politics (and its affiliates) puts on.

As you gain political knowledge, 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. 

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.

Your personal tutor

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.

Student Views

This is a course that is different from any other. It examines elements of power, order and security more than any other discipline. In essence, it focuses on the way in which societies and governments react to certain events. It entails the study of knowledge in so deep and complex a way that, in the end, nobody can ever possess it completely. Passion is one thing and reason is something else, but the two things combined make Politics. A story of love and death -incline and decline - so charming that you can only love it once, meaning for ever... Antel Ompeintat

What I love about my course is the variation in module choices, the depth of discussion and the freedom to take a unique perspective on an issue whilst still remaining in a structured environment. Alex John Haden

What's great about political studies is the variety of choice you have in exactly what you want to study. Politics is such a broad subject and therefore needs a wide variety of modules to study. Furthermore as a subject it encourages interaction and participation, there is no other course that has quite the same level of interaction between students. Emma Rammell

Key Information Set

Key Facts

UCAS Code: L2MC

Tariff Required: 300

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

Course Length: 3 Years