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BA Hons English & Politics and International Relations

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: QL32
  • Study abroad: study in Germany, France, North America, Australia or Hong Kong

  • Part-time study: available

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Our BA (Hons) Humanities & Social Sciences degree, explained.

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Why this course?

As an English student at Strathclyde, you'll enjoy the best of old and new: a grounding in the classics as well as an insight into new fields of literature.

We'll show you how exciting and wide-ranging our subject can be. Employers like the skills developed in an English degree: written and verbal communication, analysis and discussion of ideas and broad, creative thinking.

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).

Lecturer facing students

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

English

Year 1

Shakespearean drama and modern, cutting-edge fiction.

Year 2

You'll study some of the most momentous events in literary history, with classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing.

Year 3

Choose from options including children’s literature, America in the 1920s, the First World War and the Glasgow novel.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation and choose from options including Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, travel writing, oral narratives and fairy tales. Student numbers for optional classes may be limited in Years 3 and 4.

Dissertation

In Honours year, you'll write and research a 6,000-word dissertation with guidance from a personal supervisor. This is an opportunity to investigate a topic of your own choice. Previous dissertations have focussed on music and film as well as literary topics.

Postgraduate study

We offer these taught masters degrees:

Masters degrees can be the first step to a PhD or help with career and personal development. We welcome overseas students, including visiting students.

We also offer various research degrees, including an innovative MRes in Creative Writing.

Socrates exchange

You'll have the opportunity to take part in the Socrates exchange programme, in which you can spend your third year (two semesters) abroad and obtain credits that qualify you to enter the Honours year in one or both of your principal subjects on your return.

Socrates has partner institutions in Germany and France, as well as programmes in North America and elsewhere. While priority on Socrates is given to students who have proficiency in the relevant language, many classes (at least in the host English departments) are conducted in English and there is no language requirement for countries like the USA.

Politics & International Relations

Year 1

You'll focus on key skills, concepts and knowledge necessary to develop an advanced understanding of the fields of politics and international relations. In your initial studies of comparative and international politics, you'll receive close guidance in developing writing and analytical capabilities via enhanced contact time with a diverse set of instructors, study-skills leaders and tutors.

Year 2

You'll focus on improving writing and argumentative skills via small group discussions and peer and instructor led formative feedback. Substantive topics include International Relations & Global Politics, and Political Philosophy. You’ll take your first class in research design, a critical step in acquiring the skills needed to produce rather than merely consume knowledge

Year 3

Opportunities to study abroad in Europe or North America, or continue your studies in Glasgow. You can choose among three main themes:

  1. Elections, Parties and Public Opinion
  2. Public Policy
  3. International Relations and Security

Optional classes in:

  • Data Science for Politics and Policymaking,
  • Classic and Critical Topics in the Fields of Public Policy,
  • Comparative Politics and International Relations,
  • War and Terrorism,
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods,
  • British, European, Chinese and US politics.

An advanced research seminar allows you to develop the research question that forms the basis of your honours dissertation in Year 4.

Year 4

Complete an honours dissertation with flexibility over proposed topic. Placement opportunities with local employers available as well as numerous small-sized class options in:

  • International Development
  • International Security
  • Green Politics
  • Feminism
  • Political Parties
  • International Relations Theory
  • Religion and Politics
  • Regulatory Politics
  • Governance and Development
  • US Foreign Policy
  • Democratisation
  • Territorial Politics
  • Data Science for Policymaking

Single & joint Honours information

English, English and Creative Writing, History, Politics and International Relations and Psychology may be studied to Single or Joint Honours level.

Education, French, Spanish, Law, Journalism, Media and Communication and Social Policy are available only as Joint Honours Programmes. Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Mathematics and Tourism can also be studied alongside a Humanities and Social Sciences subject.

The available subject combinations may change each year. Once accepted on the programme you will be allocated an advisor of studies who will be able to let you know which subjects can be combined, in first year, and beyond.

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Course content

English

English 1A & 1B

This first semester module offers an introduction to the study of English at university level. It offers a foundation for students who are interested in the historical and critical analysis of literary texts and for those who want to write creatively for themselves. It's the first module in the English degree and the English and Creative Writing degree.

In taking this module you'll 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.  You'll also study in detail the ways in which literary texts are constructed. In understanding the mechanisms that make literary texts work – the choices made by an author about genre, form, and language – you'll become a subtler, more-attentive reader and a better-informed and better-equipped writer.  

Reading lists:

Politics

Politics 1A: Concepts & Processes

This class provides an introduction to the study of politics from a scientific perspective. The course covers how modern states around the world function and interact through from a social science perspective. The course will cover the basic concepts that characterise the essence of political life within and across countries and use these concepts to explore arguments and theories on the functioning of human behaviour. We'll cover key concepts, ranging from the meaning of democracy and authoritarianism, to structures and institutions – including elections and governments – essential to understanding modern politics.

You'll leave the class with the basic tools, concepts and approaches to interpret the political events as a political scientist and the background information to succeed in your journey through political science topics at the University of Strathclyde.

Politics 1B: Decision making & Outcomes

This class investigates the role of actors and political institutions in policymaking processes within states and across political regimes. The class builds on Politics 1A in which the main focus was on concepts and key institutions. This previous knowledge is used to develop a deeper understanding of political actors’ behaviour and the processes through which they influence outcomes. It covers a range of political processes that take place within democratic and non-democratic states and beyond. The class examines a range of outcomes that influence the lives of citizens, including the policies associated with modern welfare states.

You'll leave the class with the ability to read and critically discuss research in political science and the broader social sciences. This class will equip you to evaluate academic findings and debates in the field of comparative politics, to interpret the political events as a political scientist and to build foundational knowledge for undertaking research in political science topics.

English

Writing Through Time 1&2

These will situate texts in context, from genre to historical period and theory. The texts include poetry, drama, novels,  short stories, life writing, and screenplays and you'll have the chance to choose between critical and creative writing responses for one assessment on each class.

Elective

You then have a choice of one or two interdisciplinary electives, one in each semester:

The Construction of Scotland

This class looks at a range of literary texts and how they interpret and create the idea of ‘human’ at different points in history.

Making the Modern Human

This class explores how Scottish fiction and drama of the 20th and 21st centuries creates the idea of Scotland.

Politics

International Relations & Global Politics

The objective of this class is to introduce you to the academic study of International Relations (IR). The class begins by examining the basic concepts and historical contexts in order to give you a firm grounding in IR. The next part of the course delves into the major theories of IR, which will provide you with conceptual underpinnings into world affairs. The course then examines the structures and processes within IR, covering topics such as the changing nature of war, international security and international institutions.

Political Philosophy

This class covers the key normative concepts used in political philosophy. This includes justice, equality, democracy, the state, collective action and rights.

You'll study different approaches to these concepts, analysing political practices and applying the concepts to political institutions. The class will reference your knowledge of empirical political science (political institutions, political behaviour), learnt in other politics classes. You'll also consider the application of political philosophy to practical policy making problems.

Research Design for Political Science

Social science students are expected to develop core research skills, learn to work in groups, planning and conducting independent research projects. This course ensures that you understand the ideas of applied social research, and thus it prepares you for an employment market that seeks out graduates with research skills beyond narrow subject-specific knowledge.

Can Democracy Deliver?

This course is part of the university’s new initiative in Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development (VIP4SD). VIPs are designed to provide students from second-year through to postgraduate with an opportunity to work with teams of other students on projects related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Undergraduate students may participate in a project for up to three years.

In this VIP we'll examine the linkages between the quality of democratic governance, citizenship, service delivery, and quality of life in developing countries, with a focus on Africa. You'll have the opportunity to investigate important policy-relevant questions using various forms of survey, administrative, national accounts, and spatial data to track progress toward the sustainable development goals and investigate factors that facilitate or hinder sustainable development. The complexity of the research project will differ according to the level of the student.

English

You'll select from this range of Year 3 electives, and have the chance to take one English & Creative Writing class too.

The American Novel

This class aims to introduce you to some of the major forms and themes in the 20th century American novel with some more contemporary content. The module investigates how major social and historical issues have shaped some of the most important American novels and how the novel, as a form, has developed and adapted to describe new and different realities. Some of the historical and social issues covered in the class include:

  • the suburbs and the city
  • the legacy of slavery
  • queer life in the US
  • stories of migration and travel

This module is designed to equip students who wish to pursue studies in American literature or culture in more depth with an overview of the period. It's also designed to expand the knowledge of students with a general interest in the novel.

Victorian Literature

This class will study the literature of the Victorian period (1837-1901) and will focus on fiction, poetry, drama and non-fictional prose. It aims to situate this writing both in its contemporary political, social and cultural contexts and in the light of recent critical and theoretical debates. Themes to be covered will include:

  • the 'crisis of faith'
  • science and evolutionary theory
  • realism and the Victorian novel
  • medievalism and Victorianism
  • literature and the visual arts
  • key peotic genres, including elegy and dramatic monologue
  • popular fiction
  • the 'Woman Question'
  • Empire and travel writing
  • the new journalism and Victorian reading publics
  • representations of the city and technology
  • issues of canon and periodisation
Twentieth Century Literature

This class explores twentieth-century English literature with a focus on fiction, poetry, and drama. The survey examines major literary figures from the first half of the century, such as Woolf and Stein, along with their contemporaries and successors. Particular attention will be paid to the literary culture of Modernism before exploring the texts, culture and politics of the later 20th century through writers such as Spark, McGrath and Smith. Emphasis will be placed on understanding a diverse range of literature in historical, critical and theoretical contexts as a means of engaging with the rich literary heritage of the twentieth century, and what the twenty-first century might bring.

Sex, Revenge & Corruption in Renaissance Drama

This module 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, we'll engage with a form that addressed a highly literate audience as well as a popular one, 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'll read tragedies and comedies; alongside these, you'll also be asked to think about the moral and theological debates that were taking place at the time these works were produced and consumed. Thus, for example, we'll read plays by Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton alongside writing by Robert Burton, Sir Francis Bacon and Niccolo Machiavelli. This will enable us to explore how ideas about sex, revenge and corruption in the period are developed and contested between the stage and the work of some of the most influential thinkers at the time; it will also allow us to consider how some of these early modern limit cases still ask questions of us today.

Lectures will provide context for tutorials, which will be organised around worksheets that will be circulated in advance, and so will give you the chance to prepare for each class, and will allow everyone the chance to contribute to discussions.

Language in Business & Organisations

This class explores the ways in which language is used in businesses and other organisations. The class assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics, and teaches technical skills in discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and the analysis of other types of verbal interaction, in speech, writing and electronic communications. The analytical skills learned in this class, and the theoretical ideas, will be useful also in the analysis of literature or any other aspect of language in use. Seminars give you practice in the analytical skills. The class assumes that you have no prior knowledge or experience in discourse analysis, conversation analysis, pragmatics, etc.

The Body: Theories & Representations

What does it mean to ‘write the body’? How has the world of sensory experience been rendered in theory, literature, and film? What metaphors do we summon to understand physical experiences of joy, sickness, health, desire, exhaustion, and intoxication?

This class will approach these questions (and more) by studying literary, visual, and theoretical engagements with the body in late 20th and 21st -century culture. Over the course of the semester, you'll encounter some key debates about the body and its representation in literature and film. You'll engage with the fields of gender theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and disability theory. You'll also learn some strategies for analysing contemporary culture through the ‘lens’ of theory, developing skills you can take into other areas of your study.

English & Creative Writing Work Placement

This placement module offers you the opportunity to gain practical, work-based experience (minimum 60 hours) in an area that is professionally related to or relevant to your BA. For your degree this might be working with a publisher, or literary agency, or in an office environment where you are using your skills in reading, interpretation and writing. Or you might use this as an opportunity to look towards a future career: so, if you plan to go into teaching, for example, you could look to get a placement working in a subject-related environment with young people.

You can also take one of the following English & Creative Writing classes as part of your English degree in Year 3.

Writing Short Fiction & Poetry

Writing Short Fiction and Poetry is an 11-week module studying contemporary short stories and lyric poetry. Generally speaking, the aim of this class is to get you writing as soon as possible – each week is aimed at teaching some of the basics of Creative Writing alongside a case study of a writer and their particular approach to elements of the craft.

Dramatic Writing

We'll be reading screenplays, talking about them, and writing our own. What is the difference between writing for the page and writing for the screen? Screenplays are, in practice, a series of instructions: for actors, for crew members, for potential financiers. A screenplay is a dual-purpose document. It exists as proof of concept (i.e., proof of narrative); and it is there to communicate the spirit and tone of the finished film. More than anything, our first job as writers for the screen is to make the reader hear and see. Primarily it is to make the reader see. There are many ways in to a life in writing for the screen. But, as with any good work of fiction, it begins with engaging characters. Do they appear to us fully formed? Or does it take development? How can we get them onto the page? What are the decisions we make at the start of a project? What is visible and the invisible writing? This class encourages you to consider the shape of your story in order to point yourself—and your narrative—in the right direction.

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?
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.

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 (for example, 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.

Philosophy of Economic Policy

Economics is not only about the technical allocation of scarce resources among competing needs. Economy policy choices inevitably involve political trade-offs, social concerns and value judgments. In this light, this class looks at the ideational and ethical underpinnings of public policymaking. The focus is on how the clash of economic ideas shapes policy decisions in key areas. It also examines the sources and implications of big shifts in policy paradigms. An effort will be made to make sense of the direction of economics and the rethinking of policy frameworks in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

This course familiarizes you with the historical debates over alternative economic paradigms and policies and their historical and philosophical foundations. Questions such as why some nations are richer than others and what should governments do to overcome economic crises are as pressing today as they were a century ago. Indeed, the question “what is the best economic policy” has been asked and debated over centuries, and, as it turns out, policymakers are still guided by ideas and paradigms that were articulated by men and women centuries ago.

At the end of this course, you'll have a better knowledge about how our economic and financial world was developed.

Can Democracy Deliver?

This course is part of the university’s new initiative in Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development (VIP4SD). VIPs are designed to provide students from second-year through to postgraduate with an opportunity to work with teams of other students on projects related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Undergraduate students may participate in a project for up to three years.

In this VIP we'll examine the linkages between the quality of democratic governance, citizenship, service delivery, and quality of life in developing countries, with a focus on Africa. You'll have the opportunity to investigate important policy-relevant questions using various forms of survey, administrative, national accounts, and spatial data to track progress toward the sustainable development goals and investigate factors that facilitate or hinder sustainable development. The complexity of the research project will differ according to the level of the student.

United States National Security

The primary purpose of this course is to develop your ability to understand and analyse the national security policies of the United States. First, we discuss the different government actors along with non-state actors. Second, we do an in depth examination of the tools and strategies necessary for enacting the policies of the United States. Lastly, we'll take into account post-9/11 U.S. national security and discuss current and potential real world events.

The class is taught over ten weeks, through a combination of twice-weekly lectures and fortnightly tutorials. After examining competing explanations regarding the causes of war, we'll survey the history and characteristics of war and conflict. We'll then discuss a range of strategies on how to prevent and how to manage conflict. Terrorism is examined both empirically and qualitatively in the second part of the class. The final part focuses on civil war.

English

Throughout your degree, analytical and writing skills are being developed, preparing you to tackle the final-year dissertation. The choice of subjects for your dissertation is wide open – we value and reward student initiative.

Year 4 is also your chance to take more electives as well as your dissertation in English – two electives for joint Honours and five for single Honours. Choose from:

Writing Gender in Contemporary Literature

This class examines how contemporary authors make sense of gendered experience. We'll investigate cultural practices of writing (and rewriting) gender in the twenty-first century, paying particular attention to the relationships between gender and literary genre, from transgender memoirs to autofictional masculinities, twenty-first-century romance novels, and the queer graphic novel. We'll also investigate the impact of feminist political activism on the publishing industry, from the indie press to the Women’s Prize for Fiction. The class will introduce you to key theories of gender and equip you with strategies for reading literature through the lens of feminist theory. Over the course of the semester, you'll encounter some of our most exciting contemporary writers and deepen your understanding of literary gender politics in the present day.

21st Century Science Fiction

This class introduces you to twenty-first-century science fiction from across the globe. Contemporary science fiction creates alternative technological bodies and worlds, allowing us to address questions around what it means to be human, what our relationship is to technology and how we might build worlds that are less destructive. With these major themes in mind, this class will focus on four key critical lenses:

  • race
  • colonialism
  • disability
  • sexuality and gender

Questions to be explored include:

  • how are worlds reconfigured through queer sexualities and genders
  • what futures are brought into being for previously marginalised peoples
  • what is science fiction’s relation to the past
  • how does contemporary science fiction challenge tropes of colonialism
  • what bodies emerge in these future worlds and why?

Each week you'll read, watch or listen to a contemporary, global science fiction text exploring how histories, worlds, bodies and relations are represented and reimagined.

Present Day Victorians

Neo-Victorian cultural products have been recognised as a crucial site for the critical rediscovery and reinterpretation of Victorian literature and culture (in particular the themes of class, race, gender and sexuality). Evoking the genres of crime and mystery fiction, themes of science, technology and alternative futures, the figure of the Victorian author and the voices of marginal characters from Mrs Rochester to the ghosts of the séance circle, neo-Victorian writing seeks to understand the continuing impact of the nineteenth century on the present day. This class will consider how and why these texts have problematised Victorian discourses (e.g. imperialism, madness, sexual deviance, technology, the cultural roles of reading and writing). We'll draw on a range of interpretative strategies from post-colonial, feminist, queer, adaptation, appropriation, heritage and film studies.

Songs: music & literature

This class looks at the relation between language and music in songs, treating songs as literature adapted to music. We'll look at the ways in which the forms and meanings of songs can be studied, in ways similar to the study of poetry, but also in ways specific to song. The class considers technical aspects, including technical aspects of music, but you're not expected to have prior knowledge of music. We look at ways in which songs relate to identity and how they produce emotion. We consider the ways in which songs tell stories, or relate to stories.

Victorian Gothic

This class traces the development of the Gothic across the nineteenth century, from its origins in the Romantic period to its heights in works like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The class is organized around key concepts of the Gothic genre, including the sublime, the unseen, textual hybridity, un narrative unreliability.

We'll also look at subgenres like the Female Gothic and Eco-Gothic, examining how the Gothic allows authors to explore cultural anxieties including women’s rights, deviant sexualities, urbanisation, migration, and environmental devastation. Iconic monsters like Frankenstein’s monster, Mr Hyde, and Dracula will thus be situated within their specific cultural milieu, helping us to understand both their origins and their continued popularity.

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

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.

Can Democracy Deliver?

This course is part of the university’s new initiative in Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development (VIP4SD). VIPs are designed to provide students from second-year through to postgraduate with an opportunity to work with teams of other students on projects related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Undergraduate students may participate in a project for up to three years.

In this VIP we'll examine the linkages between the quality of democratic governance, citizenship, service delivery, and quality of life in developing countries, with a focus on Africa. You'll have the opportunity to investigate important policy-relevant questions using various forms of survey, administrative, national accounts, and spatial data to track progress toward the sustainable development goals and investigate factors that facilitate or hinder sustainable development. The complexity of the research project will differ according to the level of the student.

Democratization

This course examines the worldwide movement away from authoritarian rule and toward democratic government that took place in the last 25 years of the 20th century, and the problem of democratic backsliding that confronts us in the first quarter of the 21st century.

We focus on the following questions:

  • what is democracy and how best can we measure it?
  • by what sequence and process have countries become democracies?
  • how can countries maintain democracy?
  • what are the consequences of democracy?
  • what is the most likely future of democracy across the globe?

Students who take this course will discover a political process that connects with the content of other Honours level classes on globalization and international relations, comparative politics, political parties, and political behaviour. This course should be of specific interest to students who wish to pursue careers in academia as well as national donor agencies and international organizations specializing in development and trade, development consultancies, or national and international civil society organizations.

Territorial Politics in the UK

This class provides a critical introduction to territorial politics in the UK. Over recent decades the territorial dimension in UK politics has come to the forefront with asymmetrical devolved arrangements in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; the re-shaping of the UK’s relationship with the EU; the recurrence of ‘The English Question; as well as rising nationalism across the UK raising questions about the purpose and meaning of Britain in contemporary politics. These developments have all challenged and raised new questions about long-standing ideas about ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ and the ‘unitary state’ in the United Kingdom.

In essence, new developments in territorial politics have reconstructed long-standing analysis and political concepts and practices associated with the UK. The class is taught in ten seminars and seeks to examine key developments in UK territorial politics associated with the governance of the UK and its component parts – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Transforming Democracies: Participation & Representation

This class aims to give an overview of the various theoretical approaches to try and explain political behaviour and to test their validity with reference to empirical studies of a broad range of forms of political action.

The main analytical focus of the class will be on the individual level. What determines whether an individual citizen takes part in the political process in one way or another? Explanations will focus on a range of individual characteristics, such as education, socio-economic status, political attitudes and values, involvement in social and political networks. Contextual factors, however, can also play a part, such as the political opportunity structure for a range of political actions.

Political participation is conceived in terms of a broad range of actions. While we will briefly look at determinants of election turnout, the main focus of the class is on non-electoral forms of political behaviour, such as taking part in demonstrations, joining campaigning groups and political parties. We will also look at violent forms of action, such as riots and terrorism.

In terms of empirical sources, we'll focus centrally on survey data. In a few cases, also qualitative studies may be relevant but most of the work testing various theories of why people become involved in politics will rely on quantitative approaches.

Learning & teaching

English

You'll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops and take part in small group work, individual and group presentations, debates and writing exercises. Some classes also take place in computer labs and include analysis of texts using software tools.

We offer a research task in which staff, undergraduates and postgraduates work together (Vertically Integrated Project).

Politics

In Politics Years 1-3, lectures and tutorials are the main forms 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 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.

Assessment

English

In addition to traditional exams, many classes are assessed partly or solely by essays. In later years, students you the opportunity to set the topics and titles of these essays themselves.

All our classes use Myplace, Strathclyde's virtual learning environment, which can be used for online quizzes and keeping a reading diary.

Politics

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.

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Entry requirements

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements*:

  • 1st sitting: AAAA
  • 2nd sitting: AAAAB

(Higher English, Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 B-C, or equivalent)

Minimum entry requirements**:

  • 1st sitting: AABB
  • 2nd sitting: AABBB

(Higher English B and Maths/ Applications of Mathematics National 5 C)

A Levels

ABB-BBB

(GCSE English Language 6/B or Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

36

(Maths SL5)

HNC

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

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

not normally accepted

Additional Information

Students are required to register with the Scottish Government’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme. Please note that Year 2 entry to this subject is not offered.

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

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

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.

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'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

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Scotland

£1,820

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2022-23, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), 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

£16,400

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.

Additional costs

Politics & International Relations

You'll incur travel costs for visits as part of the course. You'll be informed of this at your first lecture. For example, 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 £13.50. This course also includes a trip to Westminster - travel costs will vary upon booking (this will be reviewed with reference to post covid-19 travel/social distancing precautions).

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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?

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Students from Scotland

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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.

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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.

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International Students

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

Elspeth Jajdelska, English subject leader

Expertise in English at Strathclyde covers both the traditional literary curriculum and  exciting new developments in the field, from animal studies, to reclaiming working class literary experience, from cognitive accounts of literary experience to queer accounts of travel writing. In our teaching, we aim to be inclusive, respectful, caring, and ambitious, helping every student to achieve their potential.

Elspeth Jajdelska, subject leader for English

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat to a student ambassador
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Careers

English

English graduates from Strathclyde include TV journalists, councillors, the Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan and former head of the Scottish Arts Council James Boyle. An English degree helps graduates find work in areas such as publishing, the civil service, administration and creative writing.

Politics

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.

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Apply

Please note that you only need to apply once for our BA degree programme.

For instance, if you have applied for BA Honours English and are considering your options for a Joint Honours degree, e.g. a BA Joint Honours in English and French you only need to apply for one or the other on UCAS.

If accepted on to the BA programme, you can study one of the many available subject combinations.

Start date: Sep 2022

English & Politics and International Relations (1 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2022

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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Contact us

Find out more about the programme

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.