A ballot box

BAPolitics & International Relations & Psychology

Why this course?

As a politics student, you'll look at the work of governments and their policies and study the behaviour of those who govern - and who they are governing - both at home and abroad. You'll also gain knowledge of domestic and international institutions and issues relating to conflict and cooperation.

We cover diverse and relevant issues, such as international terrorism to the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.

Politics graduates can go on to work in a number of areas, with many pursuing academic research careers in the UK, Europe and North America.

Our main focus in psychology is the study of human behaviour.

Studying with us, you'll look at conditions of behaviour – how we learn, remember, coordinate our actions and interact with others – and the reasons for differences between individuals, such as personality or intelligence.

Due to the popularity of the course and performance criteria for entry into Honours (Year 4) the numbers admitted to Years 2 and 3 of the course are limited.

Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).

Politics

What you’ll study

Year 1

We introduce you to the key themes of politics and investigate the behaviour of politicians and citizens through the study of institutions and concepts.

Year 2

Second-year is organised around three core classes:

  • Modern Political Thought
  • International Relations & Global Politics
  • Comparative Politics
Year 3

If you wish to continue to Honours Year, you're required to take our Research Methods for Political Scientists class. You can choose your other classes from a wide range of options, including:

  • American Politics
  • European Politics
  • Scottish Politics
  • War, Terrorism and Conflict
  • Contemporary British Governance
Year 4

In Honours Year, you'll have a wide selection of classes to choose from, covering Britain, the EU and the International arena. Many of our classes focus on highly topical issues, such as Difference and Democracy, in which you'll debate questions of identity and multiculturalism.

Study abroad

We have a wide range of partner universities abroad.

You can study for up to one full year in Europe, North America, Australia and Hong Kong.

This exchange is undertaken in the third year of study and you must successfully complete second year study to participate.

Psychology

What you'll study

Year 1

The first year covers the basic principles of learning:

  • biological bases of behaviour
  • thinking
  • memory
  • personality
  • social influences on behaviour
  • changes in behaviour through the lifespan
  • research methods
Years 2 & 3

The range of classes provides a greater understanding of human development and interaction, cognitive processes, individual differences and biological influences on behaviour.

Year 4

We offer a variety of classes that allow you to study an area of psychology in greater depth. You'll study conceptual and historical issues in psychology and write a dissertation based on your research project.

International placement

There's an opportunity for you to take an optional international research placement through Erasmus.

The School of Psychological Sciences and Health has Erasmus exchange agreements with several European universities. We currently have active exchanges with:

  • Humboldt University zu Berlin, Germany
  • Universidad de A Coruna, Spain
  • University of Twente, Netherlands
  • University Tubingen, Germany
  • Radbout University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

For general queries about exchanges to and from the School of Psychological Sciences and Health, please contact Dr Kellyanne Findlay.

Major projects

You can undertake an optional summer research project working with a member of staff. In addition, there are opportunities to apply for funding to complete summer internships between year 3 and 4.

Facilities

Our high-quality facilities include six purpose-built experimental research laboratories:

  • driving simulator lab
  • memory lab
  • perception and action lab
  • psychophysiology lab
  • psycholinguistics lab
  • oculomotor lab

Postgraduate study 

Psychology graduates can progress into postgraduate training to become professional psychologists. We currently run a number of post-graduate courses which provide additional research training:

Student competitions

We currently award two prizes to exceptional psychology students.

The Gustav Jahoda Prize founded in 1997 in honour of Emeritus Professor Gustav Jahoda, the first Head of the Department of Psychology, is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners to a psychology Honours student for outstanding academic performance in their final year.

The British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award is also awarded annually for outstanding academic performance in the final year. 

Course content

Year 1

Politics

Politics 1A: Concepts

This class provides an introduction to the study of politics. In order to study politics fully, we devote attention to domestic and international politics and how they interact.

We cover a series of key concepts, the meaning of power, democracy and authoritarianism, structures and institutions – including elections, referendums and international organisations - that are essential to understanding how modern politics works.

While these subjects primarily relate to domestic politics, considerable attention is given to the impact of how international processes between states and external events affect domestic outcomes in contemporary politics.

Politics 1B: Government & Governance

This class provides an introduction to the actors, processes and outcomes that are key to modern government and governance. It covers a range of political processes that take place within democratic and non-democratic states and beyond; including, for instance, the role of the media. Considerable attention is given to the impact of international processes on outcomes in contemporary politics. The class examines a range of outcomes that influence the lives of citizens and residents of states, including the policies associated with modern welfare states and international trade agreements.

Psychology

Psychology 1a

You'll take this class in semester 1 and are not expected to have any prior knowledge of psychology. It explores learning theory, developmental psychology, personality, biological psychology, and the scientific basis for psychology.

Psychology 1b

This class is taught in semester 2 and covers sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, and research methods.

Year 2

Politics

International Relations & Global Politics

This class introduces students to the academic study of International Relations (IR).

This class is taught from a "levels of analysis" approach that separates out the different actors in the international system. Each of the traditional "big" IR paradigms are presented in the relevant level. After examining how each level affects the perception of interstate politics, the course then examines topics such as the changing nature of war, international security and international institutions.

Modern Political Thought

This class provides an introduction to fundamental political concepts, such as justice, democracy, power, authority, liberty and equality. It considers the relationship between the normative evaluation of political systems and how we study them. Students also become familiar with the basic ideologies necessary to understand political debate.

Comparative Politics

This class focuses on the comparative study of institutions in democratic and authoritarian political systems and what influences their performance and stability. You'll learn what forms economic, social, cultural and political institutions take, and what their effects are on democratic and authoritarian political systems.

This class enhances that knowledge by outlining research questions about democracy in its various forms and ways they can to be addressed by empirical evidence.

Psychology

Cognition & Neuropsychology

This class reveals how our understanding of higher mental functions has been enhanced through:

  • theoretical and experimental studies of normal human cognition
  • neuropsychological studies of how cognitive functions may be damaged as a result of brain lesions
Topics covered include disorders of the perceptual system, memory and attention, and the role of the frontal lobes in planning, motivation, emotion, and personality.
Social & Health Psychology

This class introduces social psychological theories and research that provide insights into why people believe what they believe, and why they behave the way they do.

Topics covered include attribution theory, aggression, prosocial behaviour, group influence, norms, conformity, obedience, and attitudes.

It ends with an introduction to health psychology, demonstrating how social psychological principles covered earlier in the class are applied to pressing, real-world health issues such as dietary behaviour, smoking/alcohol-use, and suicide.

Introduction to Research Design & Analysis

You'll be introduced to the main features of measurement, research design, and statistical analysis in psychology.

Following a general introduction, the course presents fundamental concepts, issues, and debates in the field of research methods.

You'll also become familiarised with the conceptual basis for inferential statistical testing, and introduced to different inferential statistics. Finally, a brief introduction to qualitative research methods takes place.

Year 3

Politics

Quantitative Methods in Social Research

This class teaches students a range of quantitative research methods. It will help you better understand the high quantity of statistics published by governments and in the media. Additionally, learning quantitative methods improves your job prospects and equips you better for study in Honours and beyond.

Research Methods for Political Scientists

On the basis of the knowledge acquired in this course, students will be able to critically assess the validity and reliability of published research, to develop a research design, and to collect, analyse and present data.

You'll learn about different methods of:

  • social science research
  • distilling information from academic work
  • collecting and analysing data
  • the basic design of surveys conducive to quantitative analysis and conducting of qualitative interviews
  • • the use of SPSS as an analytical tool used by many businesses and organisation
  • the basics of uni-variate and bi-variate statistical analysis
European Politics

This class provides a comprehensive overview of European politics, identifying the common characteristics of politics and government across the continent, but also the distinguishing features that make countries different. The class combines thematic topics with studies of politics and government in particular countries - France, Germany, Italy, and the countries of eastern and central Europe.

The first section of class examines the emergence and evolution of parties and party systems, focusing on the relationship between parties and society, ideological developments and modernisation processes. Particular attention is given to the emergence of ‘new politics’ and the rise of the far right.  This part of the class concludes with an examination of the different types of electoral system employed in Europe, and the effects they have on politics.

The second section focuses on government; the character of government at the centre, multilevel governance, and parliaments.

American Politics

This class introduces students to the basic concepts and theories relating to the study of political institutions, processes, behaviour, and policy in the United States. The first half of the class examines ‘American exceptionalism,’ and its political culture. The second half examines the institutions of the US political system, covering such topics as the constitution, federalism and the branches of the central government. The class will conclude with a survey of public policy in the United States, in several dimensions.

Class topics include:

  • the US party system
  • political participation and mobilisation
  • individual voting behaviour
  • public opinion
  • nominations and elections
  • media
  • interest groups
  • the question of where power lies
Chinese Politics

This class will provide a comprehensive overview of Chinese politics since 1949, contextualising it within the study of comparative politics, historical inheritance and contemporary Chinese society.

It will give you grounding in the dynamic evolution of the Chinese state and Chinese nationalism, China’s self-identified problems of weakness and underdevelopment, and the difficult political choices faced by political elites. It will also analyse how the country’s Communist legacy offers both opportunities and constraints for the present politics of China. The case of Taiwan is also included as a comparison.

Scottish Politics

The class seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of Scottish politics contextualising it within UK, European and world politics, historical inheritance and contemporary Scottish society. It examines the practice of Scotland’s governing institutions, the changing nature of democracy in Scotland, the impact of devolution on policy and broader governance as well as Scotland’s constitutional status.

Local Politics

This class looks at the issue of who holds power in local politics in the UK as well as examining changing managerial and democratic practice. It asks fundamental questions about local politics, such as:

  • how is local democracy justified?
  • who holds power?
  • what is the basis of that power?
  • what is the role of citizens in localities today?
  • what is the role of local governing institutions?
  • how are local public services delivered
  • how is policy made and delivered?
War, Terrorism & Conflict

This course looks at the multi-faceted and ever-changing nature of war, conflict and terrorism, in the context of the end of the Cold War and the September 11 terrorist attacks. It addresses debates within the sub-discipline of Strategic Studies (i.e. the study of the use of force) and International Relations more broadly, relevant to the causes of war, the conditions of peace and strategies for dealing with terrorism and conflict.

Parliamentary Studies

This class is co-taught with staff from the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament. It also involves deliberative sessions with parliamentarians.

Contemporary British Governance

The class focuses on how Britain is governed, focusing particularly on how its main institutions and processes – with their own influences, conflict and dynamics – have risen to the multiple challenges of the modern world, ranging from demands for sub-national autonomy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to the opportunities and constraints afforded by Britain’s membership of the European Union.

Psychology

Research Methods in Psychology

This class builds on year 2 and equips you with a broader, more advanced set of methodological and analytic skills. These skills are essential for carrying out the year 4 dissertation and for being able to read and understand articles published in academic journals.

Individual Differences

You're encouraged to think scientifically about conceptual and practical issues related to the study of individual differences, with specific reference to intelligence and personality. You'll gain the chance to put this knowledge into practice by designing your own measurement instrument.

Cognition

You'll be introduced to some of the core topics in cognitive psychology

  • Perception and action, particularly how we perceive time and recognise faces
  • Memory and learning, including models of episodic and working memory
  • Language, including word production, sentence comprehension, and discourse processing
  • Thinking, specifically problem solving, deductive reasoning and judgement and decision making.
Development

This class reviews the ways that children develop from infancy right through to the end of adolescence. Key theories are presented and used to explore the extent to which children’s development is continuous or stage-like and whether specific skills develop more quickly than others. Issues relating to infancy, ‘theory of mind’ (understanding others’ thoughts and beliefs), executive function (planning and monitoring abilities), language, and communication form the core themes in the class.

Psychobiology

The purpose of this class is to provide the opportunity for you to learn the basic principles of brain function, and to encourage you to address the implications of this understanding for their own view of how behaviour is generated. It includes coverage of electrophysiology and psychopharmacology, neuroanatomy, research methods in neuroscience. There are focused sections relating to the visual system and the motor system.

Social Psychology

This class allows you to consider current ideas and positions within social psychology. Four themes drive the class

  • Attitudes and attitude change, covering the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Health Belief Model
  • Identity, with a focus on social, personal and group identities
  • Prejudice, connecting both attitudes and identities, and covering a broad range of areas such as social representations, stereotyping, prejudice and conflict
  • Epistemology, where consideration is given to the theory of knowledge, how social psychological knowledge is produced, and to what effect

Year 4

Politics

Theories & Practices of Regulation & Governance

The aim of this class is to introduce students to the concepts, theories, institutions and processes of regulatory governance. The transnational and international dimension of regulatory governance is also taken into account.

Governance & Development

This class aims to investigate the political determinants of peace and prosperity, conflict and poverty. It also deals with the recent literature on conflict, inequality, and globalisation. A special emphasis will be placed on providing an understanding of the contemporary challenges facing developing countries.

Political Parties

This class adopts a comparative approach to the study of political parties and party systems, focusing on Europe and the United States. We discuss the main functions and organisational and ideological characteristics of the different types of parties found in these regions, and the way in which parties adapt to social change.

We look at the relationship between parties and voters from the alternative theoretical perspectives of class voting, partisan identification and rational choice. We also examine party systems and party government.

Comparative Politics

The class focuses on how we do comparative politics (methodology). We'll consider the comparative method, and how the scientific method can be applied to the study of politics. We consider the problem of only having a relatively small number of cases to compare, and how we select these, as well as the difference between case-study driven, small-n and large-n studies. We also consider the use of ideal types – the importance of finding a language to compare very complex systems.

Green Politics

This class is divided into four main blocks:

  • green political theory
  • environmental attitudes & behaviour
  • environmental movements
  • green parties
Political Behaviour

The focus of this class is the individual voter. Individual characteristics, such as education, socio-economic status, political attitudes and values, or involvement in social and political networks are looked at. However, contextual factors, such as the institutional framework, can also play a role for a wide range of political actions.

Feminism & Politics

This class provides a critical introduction to feminism and its implications for politics. Over the last few decades, feminists have systematically challenged the long-standing view that politics is gender-neutral by uncovering masculinist bias and drawing attention to the neglected experiences, values and arguments of women.

Feminists have also reconstructed key political concepts and practices and expanded the range of issues and ideas understood to be political.

International Relations Theory in a Global Age

This class explores debates about key concepts in International Relations theory, in the context of what is widely seen as a new era in the analysis and practice of global politics. The class investigates the 'cutting-edge' of IR theory and makes connections with social and political thought more generally.

International Security: Concepts & Issues

Students are introduced to the literature and research agendas related to security and conflict studies. Specifically, the course will explore various aspects of civil war, terrorism, international conflict, arms transfers and refugee security.

Analysing Religion & Politics

The impact of faith upon politics is evident in many ways, including:

  • the 1979 revolution in Iran
  • conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East
  • the Catholic Church's contribution to democratisation efforts in Latin America and Eastern Europe
  • the role of religious actors in current debates on Islam in the EU

The class introduces students to the systematic study of these phenomena based on a quantitative methods perspective. Qualitative approaches are also considered. As part of the class assessment, students will conduct an empirical case study.

Psychology

Dissertation in Psychology

The dissertation is an opportunity for you to undertake an original piece of research, closely supervised by a single member of staff. Planning for the dissertation begins in year 3, and dissertations can be of such high standards that they are subsequently published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Advanced Organisational Behaviour

This class is offered by the Strathclyde Business School, and draws on current themes in Human Resource Management understood from the perspective of micro-organisational behaviour theory and research. Although the theoretical underpinning of the material covered is primarily about work and organisational issues at the level of individual behaviour in organisations, a contextual understanding of these issues is also encouraged.

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice I & II

If you take only one of these classes, you'll choose two of the following topics.

If you take both these classes, you're permitted to choose four:

  • Qualitative Methods
  • Social Development
  • Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology
  • Cognitive Impairment in Psychological Disorders
  • Practical Aspects of Memory
  • Artificial Intelligence

 

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice I & II topics
Qualitative Methods

This class will offer you the opportunity to develop a deeper theoretical and practical understanding of advanced qualitative research methodologies. It aims to support and develop your understanding of the epistemological and theoretical assumptions behind various qualitative methodologies, specifically:

  • discourse analysis
  • conversation analysis
  • grounded theory
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • narrative analysis. 
Social Development

Social development is a specialised, though broad, area of developmental psychology. It covers the development of all aspects of social behaviour, social influence and social reasoning. This class is intended for students who already have some grounding in developmental psychology and who wish to study advanced topics in depth.

Particular attention is paid to the interacting contributions of biological, cognitive and environmental factors. The lecture-based component of the course covers a range of core topics. These include:

  • Infant social behaviour and understanding
  • attachment
  • aggression
  • gender
  • ethnicity and ethnic attitudes
  • social cognitive development
  • social development in adolescence
Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology

This class will consider the historical and conceptual development of Psychoanalytic Personality Psychology, tracing its development from Freud’s work, through the work of the early Object Relations theorists, to modern approaches to Object Relations and Attachment theory.

It aims to critically assess the contribution that Psychoanalytic and Attachment theorists and practitioners can make to understanding personality. It promotes theoretical insight and reflective learning by engaging you with nomothetic studies of various aspects of psychoanalytic principles in practice such that links to discussions of theory are established.

In addition to lectures, you'll analyse personalities of two notable characters in history, critically assessing what unique insights into their nature's psychoanalytic theory can add to those of approaches rooted in cognitive-behavioural theories. You'll then be further encouraged to identify the links between background literature and the complexity of whole personalities. 

Cognitive Impairment in Psychological Disorders

This class will explore the theoretical underpinnings of the short and long term memory systems (working, episodic, semantic) and related cognitive functions (eg executive functions), the methodological issues relating to their assessment, and how aspects of cognitive function have been implicated in specific clinical disorders.

Lectures which explore theoretical models of these memory aspects will be followed up with more specific and applied lectures and class discussions about the role of working memory and other executive functions in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Williams syndrome, episodic memory in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and cognitive control, rumination and memory in depression. 

Practical Aspects of Memory

The focus of this class is to highlight the issue of generalisability of psychological theory with specific reference to memory. This approach encourages you to assess theories, developed in the laboratory, for their generalisability to real life applications, and, thereby, develops their critical analysis skills.

The two fields which are considered are forensic and clinical psychology. In the forensic domain the areas covered relate to the accuracy and completeness of eyewitness memory, and the assessment of line-up procedures and interview techniques used by the police, with practical recommendations made as to which situations and contexts certain procedures will be useful. In terms of clinical psychology, we will largely be focusing on the validity of repressed memories, with implications for ethically treating clients, and the important role of context in determining the veracity of a claim of recovered memories. 

Artificial Intelligence

This class will introduce you to some of the core topics in Artificial Intelligence, of both the traditional, symbol-manipulation and the more recent connectionist varieties. AI simulations in the areas of visual perception, language, memory and learning will be discussed to allow the exploration of key theoretical debates.

You'll develop an understanding of the relevance of artificial intelligence for psychology, and vice versa, and contrast the ‘analytic’ approach of experimental psychology with the ‘synthetic’ approach of AI. 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice III & IV

If you take only one of these classes, you'll choose two of the following topics.

If you take both these classes, you're permitted to choose four:

  • Perception & Action
  • Forensic 
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psychology of Language
  • Performance Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology of Ageing & Dementia

 

Advanced Psychological Theory & Practice III & IV topics
Perception & Action

Perception and action is one of the major fields in contemporary cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. This class provides an opportunity for you to explore the field at an advanced level and achieve in-depth understanding of three key areas:

  • Theoretical approaches to the problem of perception, paying particular attention to the contrasting perspectives and contemporary debate between ‘information processing’ versus ‘ecological’ theories of perception. 
  • The ways in which perceptual information is used in the planning and control of action both in laboratory studies and in ‘real world’ activities such as tennis, cricket, athletics, high-diving and driving. 
  • The role of cognitive maps and other representations of space in controlling perceptual activity. How cognitive representations of space are used to navigate around the external environment in children versus adults, and in blind versus sighted people. We also explore some of the spatial representations found in other species and explore how these can give rise to extraordinary spatial abilities.

 

Forensic

This class will consider the historical and conceptual development of forensic psychology.

It'll build on your earlier work, specifically on your knowledge of the psychology of individual differences and, more generally, on their skills in applying research methods in psychology. The class aims to critically assess the contribution that forensic psychology researchers and practitioners can make to the criminal justice system.

It'll promote theoretical insight and reflective learning by engaging you with both nomothetic and idiographic studies of various aspects of the work of forensic psychologists such that links to discussions of theory are established. In addition to lectures, you'll analyse real examples of the forensic psychologist’s work, specifically by reporting on the psychological dynamics of a police interview, and by applying psychological theory to the analysis of a criminal personality. 


Physiological Psychology

The main purpose of this class is to provide a selective overview of the physiological and neural substrates of motivational states. The two motivational states that are covered in this stream are hunger and sexual motivation. To help you understand these two motivational states, a number of other topics have to be covered to provide the required background knowledge:

  • evolution
  • the development of  the nervous system including the roles of genes and the environment in development
  • euro-anatomy
  • threats and incentives
  • self-regulation 
  • sexual differentiation
These topics will be new to you. You must learn new vocabulary and learn about basic physiological processes and neuro-anatomy. You'll also have to integrate this information to think about the psychological implications and consequences of these neural processes. 
Psychology of Language

The class will explore some of the key issues in psycholinguistic research such as pragmatic aspects of language use, language development, second language processing. You'll understand some of the key concepts in these areas (eg common ground theory, egocentricity in language processing, language transfer), and will be able to critically evaluate the key scientific findings relating to them. You'll also appreciate the main experimental paradigms/techniques that are used in the field. 

Performance Psychology

Psychological factors are recognised as having an essential role in the attainment of success in all aspect of performance, especially in sport. In this class, issues relating to the psychology of elite performance, individual and group processes and the acquisition of complex motor skills will be examined. The aim of the topic stream is to provide you with an in-depth understanding of:

  • Psychology of elite performance
  • The relationships between anxiety and performance will be evaluated, and the ways elite performers cope with the pressure will be assessed
  • Individual and group processes in sport: An evaluation of leadership styles and group and team dynamics will be undertaken
  • Motor skill acquisition and performance: current theoretical issues in the development of skilled motor behaviours will be analysed

 

Health Psychology

You'll be provided with a comprehensive grounding in the theories, methods and evidence base of health psychology. In addition, this class will provide opportunities for you to apply your knowledge to real world health problems. This combination of knowledge and practical application will enable you to make informed judgements about postgraduate study and training within the discipline. It'll also support any effort to gain employment within health related jobs, such as health promotion. 

Neuropsychology of Ageing and Dementia

This class will offer you the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of the theories and empirical data that are relevant within the field of neuropsychology of ageing and dementia.

It'll cover the differences between normal and pathological decline in old age and will provide information on the neuropsychological profiles and pathologies which characterise different forms of dementia.

You'll learn to identify the features which can aid early diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the dementias (eg for Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Lewy body dementia). You'll become familiar with how different aspects of cognition are distributed within the brain and will be aware of the consequences of impairment. Different methodologies that are used for the study of the dementias will be explored (eg neuropsychological assessment, functional and structural neuroimaging) and you'll learn to critically evaluate the benefits and pitfalls of each method.

 

Study abroad
Erasmus International Work Placement

This class is an option which is available to a restricted number of students who'll apply to take part. It involves a placement with a European University partner working in a research team during the summer between years 3 and 4. Additional assessment is the completed during semester 1 of year 4.

Assessment

Politics

The School of Government & Public Policy encourages independent learning by reducing reliance on assessment through formal exams and introducing more flexible forms of class assessment.

All classes are of single semester length. In pre-Honours classes, students are examined at the end of the appropriate semester; short exam diets with two-hour exams are held in January and May. For most classes, a formal essay-based exam at the end of the class provides for two-thirds of the class assessment.

In pre-Honours classes on research methods, assessment is entirely by class-work. In some other classes, essays are supplemented by or, in part, replaced by project work or book reviews. At Honours level, all single Honours students are required to complete a 10,000-word dissertation in Politics.

Psychology

We assess students using class tests, essays, practical reports, dissertations, individual presentations, group presentations and degree exams. Online and face-to-face group project work is also included in the course. Students take part in practical assignments from first-year onwards.

Learning & teaching

Politics

In Politics Years 1 to 3, lectures and tutorials are the main form of teaching. In methods classes, lab sessions and practical group work are used. At Honours level, all classes are taught in a small group seminar format.

Tutorials, seminars and student presentations form an essential part of your learning and development. In addition, work on essays, book reviews and other class projects are part of the teaching and learning environment.

At Honours level, students work on a specific project for their Honours dissertation under the personal supervision of a member of the teaching staff.

Psychology

Our methods include:

  • lectures
  • small-group tutorials
  • practical labs
  • online tutorials
  • online wikis
  • group work
  • problem-based learning
  • one-to-one supervision

These methods are used across all years of the degree and aim to provide you with opportunities to learn and work in different ways.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA

2nd sitting: AAAAB

Required subjects

  • Higher English B, plus one from the list below
  • Maths/Lifeskills Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Higher subjects

  • Classical Studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.

A Levels

Year 1 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language B or English Literature B, GCSE Maths C)

Year 2 entry:

Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB)

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry:

HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 C or equivalent

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers.

Additional information

Personal statement

It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than ABB at the first sitting of Highers.

Second-year entry

Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.

Admission to Honours

All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • 2017/18 - £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £9,250

Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.

International

  • 2017/18 - £13,500

Additional fees 

Politics 

Placement & field trips 

You'll incur travel costs for visits as part of the course. You'll be informed of this at your first lecture. Eg, if you're registered for Parliamentary Studies (L2313), you'll visit the Scottish Parliament and an off-peak travel return ticket for this costs approximately £12.60.  

Psychology 

Course materials & costs

All recommended texts and computer software packages are available from the University Library and Pegasus.

Other costs

Students should purchase a standard calculator. It's required for the duration of the course.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Careers

Politics

Politics graduates are employed in the media, management, teaching, sales and advertising, local government, further and higher education and social work. 

Knowledge of the political process is also useful in a business career and the degree provides the normal route of entry into business traineeships. Employers are particularly interested in the high-level written and verbal skills of Politics graduates and their ability to research and analyse information.

Courses in Politics are recognised in the training of Modern Studies teachers, and a Politics degree is also particularly appropriate for entry to the civil service. 

Students who specialise in research methods acquire social science research skills and expertise in the analysis of data, while the study of institutions is an extremely good background for those entering government service or communications, eg journalism, television and advertising. There is also a tradition of Strathclyde Politics graduates entering academic research centres in the UK, Europe and North America.

Psychology

As a Psychology graduate, continuing your studies will help you become a professional psychologist, which can lead to working in areas such as clinical, educational or occupational psychology. Many graduates also work in research.

Other possible careers are teaching, human resource management, social work, counselling and management and professional positions throughout the private and public sectors.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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