Sociology and Politics

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The Sociology and Politics degree at Aberystwyth University will enable you to develop a critical awareness of the social world through a solid grounding in the conceptual and theoretical approaches employed by sociologists to study the world around us. At the same time, your exploration of the political world will provide you with insights into the political influences on social norms and social formations, which will furnish you with new ways of approaching key sociological concepts including identity, integration and conflict, in addition to effective ways of contextualising the study of political formations, processes and behaviours. The distinctive field-based approach to sociology at Aberystwyth will equip you with first-hand experience of a variety of sociological research methods in addition to training you in the techniques of archival research.

Course Overview

Why study Sociology and Politics at Aberystwyth University?

  • Our distinctive field-based approach to sociology will help to highlight the significance of space and place for the study of political behaviour.
  • We draw on our research strengths to ensure that you are exposed to cutting-edge theoretical and empirical understandings of the social and political world, and to enable your learning experience to reap positive benefits from the latest developments in both disciplines.
  • You will learn how to critically evaluate ideas, concepts and approaches within both fields of sociology and politics.
  • You will be taught and mentored by enthusiastic lecturers who are committed to providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment.
  • You will become part of the world's first ever Department of International Politics, founded in 1919.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in our prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or a Member of the Senedd (Senedd Cymru [Welsh Parliament], Cardiff).
  • You will be able to participate in our Crisis Games - an exciting and dramatic twice-yearly residential course away from Aberystwyth in which you will play a role in a political scenario - enabling you to learn about international politics from a unique first-person perspective.
  • You will have the opportunity to develop your political journalist skills by contributing to the oldest student–run international Politics journal in the UK, Interstate, which is based within the Department of International Politics, and which will be a worthwhile and fulfilling extra-curricular activity.
Our Staff

Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.

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

Modules September start - 2024

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.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
People and Power: Understanding Comparative Politics Today IQ23920 20
Introduction to Social Theory GS25020 20
Sociological Research in the 'Field' GS21620 20
Understanding (in)equality and (in)justice GS24220 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Britain and Ireland in War and Peace since 1800 IP28820 20
Britain and World Politics from Global Empire to Brexit: The Diplomacy of Decline IQ22620 20
China From the Opium War to the Present IP29820 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP20720 20
Economic Diplomacy and Leadership IQ24320 20
European Security in 21st Century IP23620 20
Gender, Conflict and Security IP26720 20
Global Politics and the Refugee Regime IQ25520 20
International Politics and Global Development IP29220 20
International Politics and the Nuclear Age IP20420 20
International Relations: Perspectives and Debates IP20120 20
Knowing about Violent Conflict in International Politics IQ24420 20
Middle Powers in the Global Political Economy IQ27120 20
Nationalism in Theory and Practice IP29920 20
Race in Global Politics IQ20020 20
Refugee Simulation IQ25620 20
Russian Security in the 21st Century IP21820 20
Strategy, Intelligence and Security in International Politics IQ25120 20
The Arab-Israeli Wars IP21320 20
The British Army's Image in Battle, from the Crimean to the Present IQ20920 20
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module IP22320 20
The Long Shadow of the Second World War IP22720 20
The Past and Present US Intelligence IP26020 20
The Politics and Paradoxes of International Organisations IQ26020 20
UK Politics Today: A Union Under Strain? IQ23820 20
Warfare after Waterloo: Military History 1815-1918 IP25320 20
Women and Global Development IP29620 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

About this course

What will I learn?

In the first year, you will be introduced to:

  • key concepts and theoretical approaches in Sociology
  • political theory and key political ideas
  • the relationships between individuals, groups and social structures
  • social diversity and inequalities
  • processes underpinning social change
  • the relationship between the analysis of evidence and sociological arguments
  • the different methodologies used to analyse topical issues in international and domestic politics
  • contemporary political problems and how they are portrayed.

In the second year and final year, you will build on the theories learned in your first year and consider:

  • the big ideas that have inspired the social sciences
  • qualitative research methods
  • key debates about different political forces and relationships in different parts of the world
  • how socio-political differences lead to inequalities and injustices
  • UK and European politics and international relations
  • nationalism and multiculturalism.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes and fieldwork.

You will be assessed through essays, reports, practical classes, fieldwork, book reviews, learning logs, presentations and examinations. Your final year dissertation will involve sociological research on a topic of your own choosing.


Employability is embedded within all our courses and our degrees provide a solid foundation for a vast array of careers across a wide range of sectors. As a graduate of the BA Sociology and Politics, you will be well-placed to enter roles in the development sector, local and national politics, the Civil Service, Government and social research, social work and social policy (including public housing, local government administration and the voluntary sector), roles in the third sector such as with NGOs and charities, work with international organisations, public relations and journalism, teaching and management.

In a rapidly shifting global economy, you will be adaptable and will be able to draw on a range of transferable skills, ensuring that you are always in demand.

The skill sets include:

  • effective problem-solving, analytical and creative thinking skills
  • information technology skills
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • time-management and organisational skills
  • communication skills, both written and oral
  • self-motivation and self-reliance.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh and Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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