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BAEnglish & Creative Writing & Politics & International Relations

Why this course?

English & Creative Writing

Our approach to the English & Creative writing course is innovative, modern and friendly, giving you a comprehensive understanding of English literature as a core basis for your creative work.

The emphasis is on helping you develop a range of skills to grow your future career, including textual analysis and interpretation. With us, you can study everything from poetry, the novel and drama (stage, screen, and radio) as you would expect on an English and Creative Writing degree, but in addition, at Strathclyde, we offer the opportunity to use creative writing skills as part of your approach to literary criticism.

As part of your experience, you’ll get the chance to work with award-winning scholars and creative writers. We have a reputation for getting to know students as individuals. We also offer a wide range of options, many of them unique in the UK, reflecting our staff interests and expertise.

What you’ll study

All students take one English & Creative Writing class in each semester of the first year. These classes introduce the advanced study of literature and include a focus on research methods and techniques for writing essays – with the option of using a creative as well as critical approach.

Texts studied currently include Shakespeare, Othello; Bronte, Jane Eyre; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Woolf, Flush; Kay, Trumpet; Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, and a range of poetry from the Renaissance to contemporary slam and rap.

In the second year students take two core classes:

  • Writing Through Time 1 (semester one) 
  • Writing Through Time 2 (semester two)

You then have a choice of one or two interdisciplinary electives:

  • The Construction of Scotland: Text and Context (semester one)
  • Making the Modern Human (semester two)

Writing Through Time 1 and 2, our core classes, give you the confidence to discuss the historical range of English literature, which will include poetry, drama, the novel, and a screenplay. The interdisciplinary elective classes will open out a variety of different ways of thinking about literary Studies in a broader context.

In the third year, you choose (single honours) six option classes (a minimum of two, of which must be in creative writing), or (joint honours) three option classes (one of which must be a creative writing class). Current options offered by staff include:

  • From Greek Theatre to the National Theatre of Scotland
  • Sin in Renaissance Drama
  • The Glasgow Novel
  • Language in Business
  • International Influences
  • Writing War
  • Detective Fiction
  • Directing in the Theatre
  • Scottish Literature: 1770-1914
  • Children’s Literature
  • Reading Poetry
  • Writing Short Fiction and Poetry
  • Dramatic Writing

In Honours year, Single Honours students take five options and the dissertation in either English or Creative Writing (three classes must be from each of English and Creative Writing). Joint Honours students either take two options and the dissertation in either English or Creative Writing or write their dissertation in their other subject and take three English and Creative Writing options (one class must be from English). Current examples of our Honours options include:

  • Dramatic Work in Performance
  • Sixties Britain: Literature, Culture, Counterculture
  • Literature, Mind, and Brain
  • Creative Economies and the Culture Industry
  • Songs: Music and Literature
  • The 1930s: Literature and Culture
  • Victorian Gothic
  • Wild in the Renaissance
  • New Narratives
  • Creative Writing Portfolio

Politics & International Relations

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.

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

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

What you'll study

Year 1

In Year 1, we’ll 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

In Year 2, you’ll study three core classes: Modern Political Thought, International Relations and Global Politics.

Year 3

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

Year 4

In your Honours year, you can choose from classes 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.

Major projects

In your final year, you’ll build on your project work from previous years and write a dissertation. 

Year abroad

This is a central highlight of the course and a major formative experience for students not just in terms of language but on many different levels, personal as well as professional.

Outreach

We're committed to working with people from other disciplines and walks of life. Each year, we welcome distinguished creative writers and academics to speak about their work and encourage students to come and meet them. The Faculty has hosted numerous international conferences on topics ranging from texts and architecture to cyberculture. We currently host internationally recognised networks on Animal Studies and Stories in Scotland which involve other universities and organisations.

Work placement

A third-year option class on which a student can set up and fulfill a placement as part of their degree is currently in development.  This will allow you to take the skills you have gained from your study at Strathclyde out into the wider world.

Research-based teaching

You will be taught by researchers with international reputations. All of our staff not only teach but write books, articles, drama and poetry and appear in the media and on radio programmes. This keeps our students in touch with the latest ideas in the subject.

International connections

Every year, some of our students study abroad at universities overseas, including in Europe and the USA. We also welcome students from all over the world to study with us. We encourage international contact which enables staff and students to remain open to new ideas.

Facilities

Our location in the Lord Hope building provides a social hub and access to student services such as the library, cafés, meeting areas and exhibition spaces.

The Andersonian Library, directly opposite in the Curran Building, has around a million print volumes as well as access to one million electronic books and over 105,000 e-journals. The library covers all subjects taught at Strathclyde and offers over 550 networked computers with access to the internet, email, a wide range of software and databases and extensive Wi-Fi zones for laptops/tablets.

Course content

Year 1

English & Creative Writing

English 1A & 1B

These first-year classes offer an introduction to the study of English at university level.

In the course of these classes you will study a range of texts in the three main genres of creative literature - poetry, prose, and drama – and will learn to engage with the critical materials that analyse them, and have the option in assessment to respond creatively to some of these work as well.

Across this year you will also have an opportunity to understand how particular historical and social contexts shape literature, and to discuss ways in which historical literature continues to live and have relevance to the contemporary reader. Current texts studied in this class include Othello, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and some contemporary song lyrics and Renaissance poetry.

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.

Year 2

Compulsory

English & Creative Writing

Writing Through Time 1&2

These classes develop your understanding of literary criticism from our first-year classes by engaging with the question of the historical situatedness of literary production, offering an overview of key ideas, debates and literary texts from the Renaissance to the present. Once again our focus is on different genres of writing: this time, poetry, drama, and long and short prose fiction. Through these texts, you will engage with distinct modes of analysis, with literary critical approaches sitting alongside more innovative creative approaches.

Elective

The Construction of Scotland

This class offers a wide variety of ways of thinking about 'Scottishness' and Scottish national identity. The main aim of the class it to challenge assumptions of national identity as something that is coherent and fixed by exploring the many complexities, subtleties, and contradictions in Scottish identity. Focusing on issues of language, gender, and place, the class will encourage students to deepen their understanding of 'Scottishness' and the constructed nature of national identity through a literary and cultural lens.

Making the Modern Human

The class aims to introduce you to changing ideas about the human in relation to two key moments in history: the concept of the idea of the beast within from the age of Shakespeare, and the emergence of Darwin's theory of evolution in the mid-nineteenth century. The class will look at shifts in understanding the boundary between humans and animals and at what that meant for how people understood themselves at two very different moments in the past. Core to the class will be how scientific, philosophical and literary materials contemplate the same ideas.

TextLab

Textlab is one of several Vertically Integrated Projects (ViPs) running across the University. Each ViP brings together a team of undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff to work on a research-based project.

TextLab brings together students and staff from English/Humanities and Computer and Information Science. We work on research projects in the field of Digital Humanities (the application of computer-based technologies to the study of texts) – specifically using computers to analyse Shakespeare’s language, and building a website aimed at schools.

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

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.

Year 3

Compulsory

English & Creative Writing

Writing Short Fiction & Poetry

This core class will introduce creative writing students to two key genres: short fiction and poetry. Taught in workshop sessions by practising creative writers this will be a practice led class. On it, students will develop good practice related to the professional presentation of creative work, and will be introduced to the skills involved in reflecting critically on creative products and processes.

The class will build on the basic writing techniques that students have developed in their first and second year of study such as: point of view, characterisation, setting, dialogue and narrative structure. The class will also encourage and expect a more advanced and discerning set of reading skills. Looking at a wide range of material such as novels, short stories and poems the class will examine a range of different narrative strategies, contexts and approaches and use these as stimuli for creative work.

Dramatic Writing

This class will be based around a selection of screen and radio scripts that have formed the basis for dramatic works such as: The Graduate, Mad Men, Bladerunner, The True Story of Bonnie Parker and When Harry Met Sally and will introduce key concepts in the theory and practice of creative writing as these emerge in the context of writing for radio and screen.

Students will write dramatic scripts that demonstrate a good awareness of skills and techniques relevant to the genre, develop good practice related to the professional presentation of creative work, and be introduced to the skills involved in reflecting critically on creative products and processes. The class will be taught by practising creative writers.

Elective

Detective Fiction

This course will trace the development of crime fiction from the mid C19th until the present day. Beginning with some of the earliest depictions, we will examine short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle, before going on to look at C20th representations of the literary sleuth in Britain and the USA. We will consider well-known examples from popular culture (eg Hercule Poirot and his 'little grey cells', the stereotype of the American private-eye) as well as more experimental, postmodern examples (Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Paul Auster's New York Trilogy).

Throughout the course we will be concerned with connections between crime and the emergence of the modern city, questioning the extent to which detective fiction aims to impose a sense of rationality and closure on an otherwise uncertain and alienating world. In its concern with the social and cultural role of crime fiction, this course will also reflect on the importance of deconstructive, feminist, post-structuralist and psychoanalytic readings of the genre.

Greek Theatre to National Theatre

This class is designed to introduce students to theatre practice starting with Greek theatre through to the work of the National Theatre for Scotland. The sessions are designed to be both theoretical and practical with students engaging with activities that illuminate the textual material studied. Drama was intended to be performed and to this end, study will also include that of set design and how that has evolved over the centuries taking into account the changes in style and expectations of an audience as well as the harnessing of technological advances.

Students will study in two-hour sessions to allow the theoretical underpinning to be embedded into the workshop activities and should be considered as a foundation for future study in theatre practice. The intention is to study a selection of plays, not as isolated written works, but in relation to their production and performance.

The class will give students insights into evolving theatre practices, predominately in Europe, through examination and analysis of dramatic fiction and their theatrical constructs. The class will draw upon the work of playwrights that will include Euripides, Shakespeare, Moliere, Pirandello, Chekov, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, and Greig and examine the professional practice of contemporary theatre performers and directors. The class will work alongside practice-based research on the communication of dramatic fiction through theatrical performance.

International Influences

This class teaches you how various kinds of world literature have been influential on literature in English. Each week the lecture introduces a new literature, sometimes referring to one or two specific authors, and places the foreign literature linguistically, culturally and historically. We then look at specific influences on writers in English. Sometimes we will look at translations, sometimes adaptations, including into different media, and we will see that texts can lead to other texts through complex chains of influence.

Seminars often take a foreign text, and look at one or more English language variants of it.  One of the assessments is an essay involving analysis of adapted texts; the other is an essay on the more general issues which arise. Students are not expected to learn or know about any of the foreign languages involved.

Topics for 2019-20 are likely to be similar to those for the current year, which includes Sappho and Homer (Greek), Catullus (Latin), Dante and Petrarch (Italian), the Hebrew Bible, Borges (and other Latin Americans), Chinese and Japanese poetry, Scottish Gaelic, Indian and other South Asian literature, and Scandinavian (including Old English) literature.

 

Language in Business

This class explores the ways in which language is used in businesses and other organisations (including charities, government, education, etc.). The class also functions as an introduction to the theory of communication more generally; we explore how meaning is communicated, how texts are made coherent, why speaking is a way of acting, how conversations are structured, and how politeness is managed.

We consider gender as an aspect of organisations, and how language maintains and constructs gender. We look at the use and invention of words (eg brand names), including organisational metaphors and the use of storytelling in an organisation. We consider how language and communication differ across cultures, and how this can lead to cross-cultural misunderstanding, and we ask whether different languages shape different ways of thinking; as part of this, we consider the discourses of banal nationalism.

The materials we study may include websites, values statements, marketing brochures and posters, public apologies, political speeches, transcripts of e-mail interactions, and of meetings. One of the assessments is an essay involving analysis of one of these kinds of organisational discourse; the other is an essay on the more general issues which arise. Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge of linguistics or the analysis of language.

 

Reading Poetry

This class will examine the tools of poetry, including voice, rhyme, meter, schemes, and tropes, in a variety of genres and periods. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the conventions of poetry and the ways in which these conventions have been subverted or modified over time, allowing for innovation and introducing new voices, such as those of women, minorities and the working classes.

We will consider a number of poetic forms, such as the sonnet, the lyric, the epic, and the ode, with examples taken from the early modern to the present day. The principal aim of the class is to give students the tools required to read poetry with confidence.

The course will cover the sonnet, sonnet sequences, lyric poetry, dramatic monologues, narrative poetry, epic, satire, ekphrasis, and odes and elegies, and a wide range of authors including Donne, Pope, Byron, Christina Rossetti, Tennyson, Dickinson, Poe, Siddal, Rilke, Plath, Angelou, and Atwood.

Sex, Revenge & Corruption in Renaissance Drama

This class will focus on drama, a key genre in the period from the 1580s to the closure of the playhouses in 1642. Reading work by major dramatists such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton, we will engage with a form that addressed both a highly literate and a popular audience, and is thus a particularly interesting place to trace ways of thinking in the period.

The common thread that ties this selection of plays together is their interest in transgression: what happens when humans cross the limits set by tradition, religion and the state? In the process of this theatrical interrogation, the plays pose questions about violence, identity, gender, desire, citizenship and the role of the theatre itself. We will read tragedies and comedies, and wonder why tragedies in this period are so often comic, and why the comedies end badly.

TextLab

Textlab is one of several Vertically Integrated Projects (ViPs) running across the University. Each ViP brings together a team of undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff to work on a research-based project.

TextLab brings together students and staff from English/Humanities and Computer and Information Science. We work on research projects in the field of Digital Humanities (the application of computer-based technologies to the study of texts) – specifically using computers to analyse Shakespeare’s language, and building a website aimed at schools.

Theories of Literature & Wellbeing

The relationship between literature and wellbeing is of interest to the a number of employers and professions, including health and social care (evidenced by the journal Medical Humanities and the 'Get into Reading' programme run by The Reader, a charity). However investigations into the potential benefits of reading or hearing literature are hampered at the moment by the lack of a theoretical base from which to start. Academic work in English and literature is growing more interdisciplinary with sustained interest in the psychology of the reading experience for example.

This class combines recent academic research with the needs and interests of students to assess a number of theories which relate literature to wellbeing. It also encourages students to reflect on their own experiences as students, readers and critics of literature. Students with an interest in arts therapy may find the class a useful part of their degree, as well students considering teaching English or working in libraries, arts organisations or social care.

The class will also provide a new avenue for literary investigation for students who may be considering going on to do interdisciplinary research. The learning outcomes will differ from learning objectives insofar as they focus on broader cognitive abilities, non-subject specific skills or graduate attributes.

  • improved ability to understand what a theory is and how it can be evaluated
  • enhancement of skills taught in other English classes, such as textual analysis, argumentation, group discussion etc
Writing War

This class explores the literature of conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the First World War to the Iraq War. The class treats war as a complex cultural phenomenon rather than a simple military activity, and as such we explore not only the literature of combat but also a range of texts.

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
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.

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.

Year 4

The Dissertation is compulsory for single honours students and optional for joint-honours students.

English & Creative Writing

Dissertation

This individual project involves original academic research under one-on-one supervision with a member of staff. In addition, you will choose from a range of research and practice led options.

Elective

Creative Economies & Culture Industry

This Honours option will explore how 'creative economies' operate in the twenty-first century, using a focus on local industries to investigate global issues and challenges. It will enable students to understand how the concepts of 'creative economy', 'cultural industry' or 'creative industries' developed, and explore the controversies which have often surrounded these terms.

Literature, Mind & Brain

This class responds to developments in literary research which are drawing on findings in cognitive science. A number of PhDs and postdoctoral researchers, as well as more experienced literary scholars, are using these findings to ask questions about the nature of literary experience in general, and the nature of specific literary texts in particular. In addition, the class responds to the increasing demand for interdisciplinary skills for humanities students. This is likely to appeal to honours English students who wish to bridge the gap between the critical analysis of texts and the rapidly changing model of human cognition emerging from psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.

The class will combine a weekly reading of a scientific or philosophical article with a short literary text and consider the implications of and/or problems with the article in the light of the literary text. No class of this kind is currently on offer at Strathclyde.

New Narratives

The publishing world is changing rapidly with the advent of digital publishing and the ebook. This class will enable students to explore new possibilities and write for new markets and platforms. It will also look at skills that students need for a career in both traditional and digital publication such as editing, submitting work and performing/reading work in front of an audience.

This class aims to hone the skills students have acquired in previous years to produce new work for print, performance and for a range of digital platforms. It will also provide an up-to-date examination of the publishing world and will include reflective element.

The 1930s: Literature & Culture

The 1930s is a period of cultural and political instability that is dominated by the inequalities between rich and poor, by problems with employment and housing, and by an insecure international situation in which the United Kingdom is increasingly isolated from developments in continental Europe. Into this conflict come authoritarian populist politicians intent on restoring strong leadership and the restoration of past national glories, and on the other side coalitions of the liberal left seeking a new politics to resist such authoritarian thinking. It is a period, in other words, strikingly like our own.

In taking the class you will gain an understanding of the distinctive concerns of the literature and wider culture of the 1930s. We will pay particular attention to formal questions that dominate the decade’s literature - those of documentary, realism, and the legacy of Modernism - as well as to thematic issues of class division and national identity, urbanisation, and domestic politics.  You will also gain an understanding of the relationship between literature and other forms of cultural production in the period, particularly journalism and documentary cinema.

By taking part in the class you will develop your abilities in close critical reading of literary texts and will gain further experience of independent learning and essay and examination writing.

The Power of Underlying Material: Adaptation, book to film & beyond

This class is an elective option in fourth year English that encourages students to look at the layering process involved in adapting a piece of underlying material either for literature or for the screen. We will examine a comprehensive range of source texts that inform many literary works and much of the screen drama available in the late 20th century and, in particular, in the current marketplace.

The class will complement the third year core class in Creative Writing, and will also be useful to those undertaking honours dissertations in Creative Writing. As well as exercises in close reading, and theoretical analysis, the class will emphasise the commercial realities of basing work on underlying material.

Sixties Britain: Literature, Culture, Counterculture

The 1960s are often thought of as the decade of hedonism, hippies, free love and The Beatles. Yet the sixties were also a time of deep political unrest and activism, during which political movements for civil rights, anti-war and women’s liberation gained momentum. In addition, the 1960s were a decade of important technological advancements (including the introduction of colour television and developments in space exploration) which would have a fundamental effect on culture in Britain and beyond. This aim of this class, therefore, is to explore the legacy of the 1960s, its representation through a variety of key literary, cultural and critical texts.

Beginning with an examination of British culture through a literary lens in the late 1950s, it goes on to explore the central tensions of the decade. In doing so, students will engage with a variety of classic texts of the period, examining the 1960s in terms of culture vs counterculture, class, race and gender, reflecting on just how controversial the decade actually was.

Songs: music & literature

This class looks at songs of different kinds. We ask what makes songs both similar to, and different from, poems. We explore how words are fitted to musical structures, including rhythms and tunes. We examine how poems are set to music, or otherwise accompanied by music; we consider the difference between poetic and musical metre, and the use of rhyme. We explore different kinds of singing style.  We examine why songs give us strong emotional experiences.

We consider the difference between high and low cultures in songs, and the borrowing of songs between genres. We consider the role of songs in constructing identity, including national identity. We consider popular and rock songs, folk songs, and classical songs; in addition we will look at some overseas song traditions (eg Chinese, Australian Aboriginal).

One of the assessments is an essay involving analysis of a song which you choose yourself; the other is an essay on the more general issues which arise.

Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge of music or linguistics, or musical ability.

Soviet Literature: 1917-1967

This class looks at three key moments in the history of the Soviet Union, and explores how political contexts radically different from those in western Europe affected the way literature was written and interpreted.

All texts are in English, translated from Russian. The Russian Revolution in 1917 happened at a moment of intense experimentation in literature across Europe. In the early revolutionary years, many Soviet writers of the avant garde explored the possibility of experimental writing which could both reach the masses and help to bring about social change. We will look at both the literary theory and some of the experimental texts from this period, including a film. In the 1930s, during Stalin's rule, this revolutionary approach was sidelined by a top down emphasis on 'Soviet socialist realism', fiction that is easily accessible and offers a vision of a brighter future for a population living through unprecedented change. We will look at three of these Socialist Realist novels and appraise how far they conformed with the ambitions of the state, as well as considering the nature of literary realism itself.

Finally, we will consider literature by dissidents, writers who increasingly challenged the Communist regime in the 'Thaw' that followed Stalin's death in 1953, looking at novels by two dissident writers, including Boris Pasternak's Dr Zhivago.

Victorian Gothic

This class will examine the development of the Gothic tradition in a diverse selection of Victorian texts which will include works by the Brontes, Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle.

The aims of the course are twofold. Firstly, we will consider the literary origins and devices of Gothic in the popular novels and short stories of the Romantic period (eg Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), and trace the ways in which major Victorian authors modified them, paying attention to questions such as genre and inter-textuality. However, these textual studies will continually be placed within a broader historical and social context: the principal aim of the class is to assess how an understanding of the fascination of the Gothic mode for Victorian authors can be used as a tool for exploring the complexities of nineteenth-century society.

We will use the texts to consider issues such as urbanisation, scientific progress, religious crisis, Empire, new forms of communications technology and print culture, the ‘New Woman’, deviant sexualities, degeneration, decadence and the fin-de-siècle.

Throughout, the texts will be read ‘against the grain’ by employing a range of critical terminology (such as Freud’s work on dreams or recent work on ‘female Gothic’).

Wild in the Renaissance

The concept of 'the wild' is one that emerges in many different ways in the writings of the Renaissance; in relation to self-cultivation (holding back the wildness within), the control of one's world (taming the ever-present wilderness); and in relations with fellow humans in a changing world (in savage domination). These ideas get played out in numerous ways in the period - from poetic use of the symbolic resonance of gardens and gardening; the religious underpinnings of the 'missionary endeavour' in the New World and what that says about the concept of human nature; to the anxious self-examination of humanity's inevitable sinfulness.

This class will thus introduce you to key canonical texts from the period – plays, poetry, and court masques – by writers including Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton, and will also engage with a critical and theoretical debates about the relationships between humans and the natural world from the new fields of animal studies and ecocriticism.

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

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.

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.

Assessment

English & Creative Writing

Most classes are assessed by a mixture of essays or other written work and by exams. For some classes, there are no exams and in some cases, oral work is assessed. The approximate coursework/exam split for the majority of classes is as follows: 75/25% (Year 1) 75/25% (Years 2 and 3) 50%/50% (Year 4)

Politics & International Relations

The School of Government & Public Policy encourages independent learning by reducing assessment through formal exams, instead using more flexible forms of class assessment.

In pre-Honours classes, you'll be examined at the end of the semester. Two-hour exams are held at the end of each semester. For most classes, a formal essay-based exam at the end of the class accounts for two-thirds of the class assessment.

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

Learning & teaching

English & Creative Writing

In Year 1 you'll have two lectures and one workshop per week. The rest of your teaching is in your other two subjects.

In Year 2, you will have three lectures and two workshops a week and in Years 3 and 4, you will have between two and four lectures and workshops a week, depending on whether you are undertaking joint or single Honours.

A large part of your week will be spent reading in preparation for classes.

Politics & International Relations

In Politics Years 1-3, 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 you'll also work on essays, book reviews and other class projects.

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

Entry requirements

Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.

Highers

Standard entry requirements
  • 1st sitting: AAAA (Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent, plus one subject from the list of Highers below)
  • 2nd sitting: AAAABB (Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent, plus one subject from the list of Highers below)
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
  • Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
  • Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Year 2
  • Typical entry requirement: AAA (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
  • Minimum entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

  • 36 (Maths SL5)

HNC

Year 1 entry
  • Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Higher Spanish B, Maths National 5 B or equivalent

HND

  • Social Sciences: AAB in Graded Units may enable second-year entry to Politics & International Relations with History or Psychology with six HNC/HND credits in each of the two subjects

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 academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

2019/20

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

Scotland/EU
  • £1,820
Rest of UK
  • £9,250

Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on Integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

International
  • £14,650

Dean’s International Undergraduate Scholarship

The Dean’s International Undergraduate Scholarship is open to new international students who will begin a full-time undergraduate course in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in September 2019. The award is a £3,500 scholarship per year for the duration of your degree. All offer holders are eligible to apply for this scholarship

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

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

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

Graduates from our English programmes have gone on to have success in a very wide range of careers including in publishing, the civil service, management, marketing, journalism, creative writing, administration and teaching. Employers value our graduates’ ability to express themselves well and think critically.

Our 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 this 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's also a tradition of Strathclyde Politics graduates entering academic research centres in the UK, Europe and North America.

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.

    Applications are still welcome from international students (non-EU) and those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  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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