Why this course?
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are initially broad-based. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
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.
What you’ll study
We introduce you to the key themes of politics and investigate the behaviour of politicians and citizens through the study of institutions and concepts.
Second-year is organised around three core classes:
- Modern Political Thought
- International Relations & Global Politics
- Comparative Politics
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
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 will debate questions of identity and multiculturalism.
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Today’s media industry expands beyond traditional print and broadcast journalism. It includes professional bloggers and vloggers, freelance writers and editors, podcasters, people working in entertainment TV, radio, or film, creators of video games and interactive apps, promoters of ideas and products, and many others.
The most successful professionals in today’s media are not only highly skilled in reporting, writing, editing and pitching their material, but they are also excellent communicators online and offline, and problem-solvers. They are innovative and entrepreneurial, bold and curious, open-minded and collaborative. These are also some of Strathclyde’s core values, which guide our own teaching, research, and public engagement.
Pursuing the BA in Journalism, Media and Communication will engage you in useful learning in a broad professional context, which includes a critical understanding of the media industry, while acquiring technical and professional skills in journalism, communication, information design and management, and using them in the dynamic media market of Glasgow and beyond. It will also allow you to take a second subject, which will enhance your expertise and university experience even further.
What you'll study
All students take one core required class per semester in year 1, which introduces them to the larger field of journalism, media and communication (semester 1) and to essential skills of journalism reporting and writing (semester 2).
In the second year of the course, students must take two required classes and one option, which will enhance students’ conceptual understanding of the field and strengthen their practical skills, plus will introduce them to digital media.
In third year, students can choose from various option classes, which build on their practical skills and introduce more advanced conceptual topics, which are based on our staff’s research specialisms.
In the Honours year, students again can choose from a variety of specialised practical and conceptual option classes. They can also choose between an academic dissertation in journalism, media or communication, or a practice-based final project. The final year is designed to help students enhance their professional profile for whatever they plan to do after graduation: whether pursuing employment in the media and communication field, entering the graduate job market in the private/public sector, or staying on for further study at post-graduate level.
Work placement and links with industry
Work placement can be pursued as a credit-bearing option class in fourth year. Students can take a short-term experience placement in a variety of organisations: newsrooms, third-sector organisations, government bodies, various industries, etc.
Our strong relations with the media industry, third sector and government organisations in Glasgow and Scotland allow us to host many external speakers as guest lecturers in various classes or as extracurricular talks and events on campus. We also organise field trips to newsrooms in Glasgow, such as BBC, STV, The Herald, Radio Clyde, etc. and work continuously with students on ideas for future professional events.
Our students apply their skills in various ways beyond the classroom through student societies, volunteering for events on campus, and working at university offices. They staff and often run the campus newspaper Strathclyde Telegraph, run the industry-focused Byline Club, the podcast society, the photo club, etc.
We are located in the centre of Glasgow and just a few minutes from the railway stations, bus stops, shops and restaurants. This location is ideal as it provides a social hub and easy access to student services such as the library, cafes, meeting areas and exhibition spaces. We’re close to city chambers and public offices, which makes it easier to report on their work.
Students will report externally using mobile media, online programmes and various apps, which makes their skills transferable to various situations.
Our taught graduate programmes combine academic excellence in journalism studies with professional education to industry standards. We offer taught Masters degrees in:
We also offer various research degrees including an MRes in Journalism.
Politics 1A: Concepts
Politics 1B: Government & Governance
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.
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Introduction to Journalism, Media & Communication
Introduction to News & Features
An introductory conceptual class on these topics, it will provide a wide overview of the media, journalism and the communication fields. Key contemporary issues in journalism, media and communication will be introduced and discussed.
A practical introductory class on journalism reporting and writing. Students will learn the basic rules of reporting, interviewing, writing news and features, and editing them. The specifics of each format of writing will be emphasised. Assessments include writing real-life stories on topics chosen by students.
International Relations & Global Politics
Modern Political Thought
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.
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.
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
News Reporting and Writing
Journalism, Media & Communication: Theories & Methods
A practical intermediate class focusing on journalism skills related to news writing. Students explore news reporting and writing in more depth, including how to work with numbers, how to interview and write about vulnerable peopleand how to conduct research online. Assessments are real-life news stories written on topics assigned by the instructor or chosen by the student.
A theoretical class, which takes an in-depth look at major theories of the field and related methods. The class will prepare students for research by exploring the main methods of studying the media. It will connect these methods to the major theories in journalism, media and communication, which aims to bring a deeper conceptual understanding of the field.
ElectiveDigital Media: Histories, Theories, Practices
This class mixes conceptual and practical elements with a focus on digital media. It explores the history of digital media and asks students to think conceptually about it, but also to gain relevant practical skills related to digital journalism & effective communication in the digital age.
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Research Methods for Political Scientists
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- interest groups
- the question of where power lies
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.
War, Terrorism & Conflict
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?
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.
Contemporary British Governance
This class is co-taught with staff from the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament. It also involves deliberative sessions with parliamentarians.
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Journalism and Popular Culture
A practical intermediate class focusing on journalism skills related to feature writing. Students learn about different types of features (e.g. profile, review, news backgrounder, column, travel or sport), in-depth reporting and writing.
Assessments are real-life features on topics chosen by students.
Law for Journalists
A theoretical class exploring in depth concepts around popular culture, as related to journalism. The class analyses the construction of the popular, along with those historical, economic and cultural forces involved in deploying the popular to establish hierarchies of judgment and legitimacy.
Communicating Politics: Truth, Legitimacy, Participation
A conceptual class covering Scots law for journalists. The class explores specific cases of media law in Scotland and how students need to conduct their reporting and writing in a way that respects those boundaries.
A theoretical class on concepts and theories from political communication. The class will explore recent developments in politics, political communication and the media, and will discuss their implications for democracy.
Theories & Practices of Regulation & Governance
Governance & Development
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.
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.
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.
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.
This class is divided into four main blocks:
- green political theory
- environmental attitudes & behaviour
- environmental movements
- green parties
Feminism & Politics
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.
International Relations Theory in a Global Age
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 Security: Concepts & Issues
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.
Analysing Religion & Politics
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.
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
ElectiveDissertation/Special Project (Semester 1 or 2)
Media and Health
Students can choose to do an individual project on a topic related to journalism, media or communication, which involves original academic or journalistic research under one-on-one supervision with staff. An academic dissertation involves individual scholarly research on a chosen topic. The special project is an extension of feature writing skills and will take those to a new level by requiring students to produce a much longer and more sophisticated portfolio of work.
Gender Issues in the Media
The class mixes conceptual and practical elements for an in-depth look at the media’s role in society’s health and wellbeing. The class covers topics such as media coverage of disease and disability, chronic versus acute conditions, how the media shape the image of doctors, people with various conditions.
Digital Communication and Society
A theoretical class underpinned by feminist media studies, which explores gender issues in relation to media production, representation and consumption practices – both in relation to mainstream media and ‘alternative’ content and distribution strategies. This class explores how gender intersects with other structural inequalities such as race, class, sexuality, dis/ability and age.
Working for and with the Scottish media
This class explores the implications and futures of digital technology in communication. It incorporates the range of digital communication, from mediated conversation, through social media, to blogging and the production and distribution of video content. The importance of the digital environment for politics and the labour market is also explored.
Ethical Issues for Journalists: Controversy, Responsibility, Care
A seminar class, which capitalises on staff’s relationships with media organisations, NGOs and government bodies in Scotland and brings professionals into the classroom for guest talks and discussions of professional nature. The class will help students with establishing professional connections in the media field and with getting an overview of the media landscape in Scotland.
Digital Tools & Skills in Journalism
A conceptual class that builds on journalism practice and explores it from a theoretical perspective. The class explores the accountability systems used by journalists, both external such as IPSO and internal such as methods of self-censorship. Students examine a series of ethical dilemmas emanating from the concepts of truth and trust, taste and offence, privacy and intrusion and respecting people.
A practical class on current software and online tools that enhance digital storytelling for journalists. It explores the changing nature of journalism in the face of rapidly advancing technological environment and asks a range of questions: how does the rise of information-driven society change journalistic practices? How do technological affordances help develop novel forms of storytelling? Which tools can develop and maintain professional presence on online platforms?
The School of Government & Public Policy encourages independent learning by reducing reliance on assessment through formal exams and introducing more flexible forms of class assessment.
All classes are of single semester length. In pre-Honours classes, students are examined at the end of the appropriate semester; short exam diets with two-hour exams are held in January and May. For most classes, a formal essay-based exam at the end of the class provides for two-thirds of the class assessment.
In pre-Honours classes on research methods, assessment is entirely by class-work. In some other classes, essays are supplemented by or, in part, replaced by project work or book reviews. At Honours level, all single Honours students are required to complete a 10,000-word dissertation in Politics.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Assessment methods include:
- group work
- reflective diaries
Learning & teaching
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.
Journalism, Media & Communication
As a student, our learning and teaching aims to help you:
- develop knowledge and understanding of the professional practices, skills and social contexts of the journalism, creative writing and communication industries
- help you think and work critically and constructively
- become a confident and responsible graduate, equipped to develop your potential throughout your career
A programme of visiting speakers from the world of broadcasting, publishing and newspapers, including Gaynor McFarlane (BBC) and Alan Ramsay (Connect Communications) runs alongside the Literary Lunch, run by our Keith Wright Literary Fellow. This series showcases the best in Scottish writing, and features poets and novelists such as Liz Lochhead, James Robertson and Andrew Greig.
Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.
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)
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.
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)
- 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)
Year 1 entry
- Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B or equivalent
- 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
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.
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?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.
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's also a tradition of Strathclyde Politics graduates entering academic research centres in the UK, Europe and North America.
Journalism, Media & Communication
Journalism and Creative Writing graduates from Strathclyde have won awards for student journalism and have gone on to succeed at national newspapers, the regional press and as published authors. Among graduates’ job titles are press officer, marketing and media officer, freelance journalist, fundraiser and PR assistant.