Business people at a conference

BAPolitics & International Relations & Human Resource Management

Why this course?

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

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

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

We also offer some of the best teaching in Human Resource Management (HRM) in both Scotland and the UK.

Human Resource Management (HRM) is about the relationship between employers and employees and the ways in which people are managed in the workplace.  

This covers areas such as recruitment and selection, training and developing and managing conflict at work. These are an important part of the management process in all organisations.

Politics

What you’ll study

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

Year 1

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

Year 2

Second-year is organised around three core classes:

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

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

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

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

Human Resource Management

What you'll study

Year 1

The introductory class, Managing People, provides an overview of the study of HRM.

Years 2 & 3

Students will learn more about HRM processes and the employment relationship. Second-year classes focus on areas of workplace behaviour, including recruitment and selection, teams and groups and employee commitment and engagement. In third-year, you'll focus more on the employment relationship and behaviour at work. Themes explored include power and authority, interests and conflict.

Year 4

A range of specialist classes is available for study at single or joint Honours.

Study abroad

We have a wide range of partner universities abroad.

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

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

Student competitions

The Peter Bain Prize is awarded each year to the student with the highest mark for their dissertation.

The HRM Society

The HRM Society is run by our students for our students. It aims to bring together all year groups into one network where they can share knowledge and practice, awareness of careers and build relationships with alumni and employers.

Course content

Year 1

Politics

Politics 1A: Concepts

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

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

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

Politics 1B: Government & Governance

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

Human Resource Management

Managing People
In recent years the task of managing employees has been made more challenging by rapid changes in the business environment. This class focuses on the contemporary and practical issues of how people are organised and managed in the workplace and examines theoretical perspectives which help our understanding of the complex relationship between the employer and employee in facilitating the organisation and production of goods and services.

Year 2

Politics

International Relations & Global Politics

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

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

Modern Political Thought

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

Comparative Politics

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

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

Human Resource Management

Work Psychology
This class develops understanding of managing people from a psychological perspective through understanding behaviour, attitudes, motivation and wellbeing of people at work. Areas covered include what leads to positive employee work attitudes like job satisfaction, organisational commitment, and their outcomes in terms of work behaviour, such as job performance, withdrawal, absenteeism, turnover, fair treatment and trust.
Work Psychology for Human Resource Management
This class looks at applying psychological theories explaining effectiveness and well-being of people at work to Human Resource Management as an approach to managing people and the employment relationships. Areas covered include organisational and individual decision-making relating to the recruitment and selection process, the impact of performance management on employee perceptions, team working, and the impact of leadership on attitudes and trust.

Year 3

Politics

Quantitative Methods in Social Research

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

Research Methods for Political Scientists

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

You'll learn about different methods of:

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

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

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

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

American Politics

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

Class topics include:

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

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

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

Scottish Politics

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

Local Politics

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

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

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

Parliamentary Studies

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

Contemporary British Governance

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

Human Resource Management

Work, Employment & Society
This class critically explores changes in the nature of work, employment and society through investigating the extent to which current developments in the workplace can be seen to represent a fundamental shift in the nature of workplace regulation. It'll provide contrasting and complementary perspectives on workplace behaviour to those provided in year 2.
Employment Relations
You'll be introduced to the British system of employment relations, and the general principles, processes and outcomes. It'll consider different theoretical approaches to the study of employment and industrial relations and then examine the role and objectives of trade unions, employers and the state, and their interactions in collective bargaining, employee participation and industrial conflict.

Year 4

Politics

Theories & Practices of Regulation & Governance

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

Governance & Development

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

Political Parties

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

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

Comparative Politics

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

Green Politics

This class is divided into four main blocks:

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

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

Feminism & Politics

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

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

International Relations Theory in a Global Age

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

International Security: Concepts & Issues

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

Analysing Religion & Politics

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

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

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

Human Resource Management

Advanced Organisational Behaviour
This class draws on current themes in work and organisational psychology, and HRM understood from the perspective of micro-organisational behaviour theory and research. It's structured around the concepts of Reframing Organisations and, although the emphasis is on ‘micro’, or individual-level, approaches to organisational behaviour, ‘reframing’ takes into consideration more ‘macro’ or sociological and critical management approaches as well.
HRM & Employment Relations in Public Services

The aim of the module is to provide you with a critical understanding of the context and content of ‘New Public Management’ and alternative public management reform strategies. There's particular reference to impacts on HRM and employment relations.

The module will enable you to compare how different countries’ reform trajectories have impacted on changes in HRM and employment relations.

Perspective on Work & Employment
This module builds on the year 3 class, Work, Employment and Society, and explores the contribution of social theory to understandings of the contemporary conditions of work and organisations.
Human Resources in the Global Economy
This class looks at HRM within a broader understanding of globalization and the international political economy. It places current themes in an international and comparative perspective by analysing and comparing different national ‘models of management’, and a range of employee response to them and, amongst other things, asks questions about the ways in which these management practices are disseminated by multinational companies (MNCs).

Assessment

Politics

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

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

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

Human Resource Management (HRM)

The majority of classes are assessed by a final exam in addition to one or more forms of individual and/or group coursework. In some cases, students can earn an exemption from the exam by achieving a specified coursework mark. Exams are normally held at the end of the semester in which the class is taught.

Students normally have one opportunity to be re-assessed for a failed class.

Learning & teaching

Politics

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

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

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

Human Resource Management (HRM)

Teaching is given over two semesters in blocks of 12 weeks each. Methods include lectures, tutorials and seminars. As a student you'll take part in team-based projects and make use of online teaching materials. Our industrial partners regularly assist in teaching and the assessment of student presentations.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAA

2nd sitting: AAAAB

Required subjects

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

Higher subjects

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

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

A Levels

Year 1 entry:

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

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

Year 2 entry:

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

Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required)

International Baccalaureate

36 (Maths SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry:

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

Irish Leaving Certificate

Subjects and grades as for Highers.

Additional information

Personal statement

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

Deferred entry

Deferred entry normally not accepted.

Applicants with Highers

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

Second-year entry

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

Admission to Honours

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

Widening access

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

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

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

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

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

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

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

Scotland/EU

  • 2017/18 -  £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £9,250

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

International

  • 2017/18 - £13,500

Additional fees 

Politics 

Placement & field trips 

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

Human Resource Management 

Course materials & costs 

Students are encouraged to purchase the core textbook for each Human Resource Management module.  

  • approximate cost - £40 to 50 per textbook

Other costs

PG Diploma and MSc Human Resource Management is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD). Students wishing to achieve the Associate Membership of CIPD are required to join as a student member during studies.  This is not a mandatory requirement for passing the course but is required by CIPD to achieve membership update on passing the course.

Costs for 2015/16 membership:

  • £40 admission fee 
  • £90 annual subscription  

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.

Dean's Rest of UK Merit Scholarship

The Dean's Rest of UK Merit Scholarship recognises academic achievement. It's for students who are paying the Rest of UK tuition fee of £9,250 per year and achieve ABB or above at A Level (or equivalent). Successful applicants will receive £500 in each year of study at the University. Find out more.

Careers

Politics

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

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

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

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

Human Resource Management

Recent HRM graduates have found employment in insurance, retail, manufacturing, recruitment consultancy and in the public sector. Some are employed in jobs such as HR trainee, HR assistant and recruitment consultant while others are employed in general administration and management.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

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

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

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

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

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

    There’s also an online application form.

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

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