Overview

Through this joint degree in Philosophy and Politics students will encounter a common interest in theory, but they will also be encouraged to make connections between contemporary political debates and philosophical discourse. The unique selling point of the degree is not merely the range of choice in political theory and philosophy but the way in which the structure of the degree connects the core elements of both subjects with an understanding of political practices and behaviour, and development of political ideals and values.

Philosophy and Politics Degree highlights

Global Opportunities

  • Students have the opportunity to spend part of the course studying in other European universities, through our Erasmus programme, and also in the USA and Canada.

Industry Links

  • Internship: students in their final year have the opportunity to secure a semester long internship, giving them hands-on experience of political issues and policymaking. Placement: unique to the BA Politics programme is the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making. Research-led Teaching: We have particular strengths in the areas of applied ethics and political philosophy, and unusually amongst UK universities – offer teaching in scholastic philosophy. Student experience: We have active student societies for both Politics and Philosophy in the School and are also the home of the Belfast branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which organises regular talks and seminars by distinguished visiting philosophers.

World Class Facilities

  • Philosophy - Curriculum: we have particular strengths in the areas of applied ethics and political philosophy, and unusually amongst UK universities – offer teaching in scholastic philosophy. Politics - Research-led Teaching: cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.

Student Experience

  • Philosophy - Philosophy Societies: there is an active student run Philosophy Society and the School is also the home of the Belfast branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which organises regular talks and seminars by distinguished visiting philosophers. Politics - Support: our uniquely supportive pastoral care/personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available. Our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students. Diversity of Students: we have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.
 
“I chose Queen’s because the wide choice of modules essentially allows me to build my own degree. I enjoy the way we are taught through lectures and tutorials where we are given an overview of a topic, able to research more for ourselves, and then debate with our peers in tutorial sessions.”
Jessica Simonds, Colwyn Bay, Wales 3rd Year, BA Politics

Course content

Course Structure

Course Content
PHILOSOPHY
The degree programme does not
presuppose any prior training in Philosophy
and can profitably be taken by those who
have studied the subject at school – as well
as those who have not.

Year 1
Students choose six modules from a range
of introductory modules including the
following:
• Logic and Critical Thinking
• Perspectives on Politics
• Philosophy and Human Nature
• Philosophy and the Good Life

Years 2 & 3
At Levels 2 and 3, the subject may be
studied as a Single Honours (12 modules)
or Joint Honours (six philosophy modules
together with six modules taken from
the other subject). Students take the
appropriate number of modules from the
following indicative list:

Year 2 modules
• Applied Ethics
• Contemporary Critical Theory
• Contemporary Theories of Justice
• Contemporary Epistemology
• History of Philosophy
• Knowledge and Reality
• Metaphysics
• Mind and Language
• Mind and Nature
• Modern Political Thought
• Moral Theories

Year 3 modules
• Philosophical Theology
• Philosophy of Law
• Philosophy of Science
• Scholastic Ethics
• Scholastic Metaphysics
• The Religious and the Secular in Modern
• Political Thought
• Dissertation

POLITICS
Students who intend to study Politics
at Levels 2 and 3 must choose between
two and six of the introductory modules
available in the first year.

Year 1
• Comparative Politics
• Contemporary Europe
• Issues in Contemporary Politics
• Perspectives on Politics
• World Politics: Conflict and Peace
Thereafter, Politics may be studied at Levels
2 and 3 as a Major (eight modules), Joint
(six modules), or Minor (four modules)
component along with another subject. At
each Level there is a mix of compulsory and
optional modules, depending on the mode
of study. Students select the appropriate
number of modules from the following
indicative list.

Year 2
• American Politics
• British Politics
• Democracy, Ethics and Economics
• International Organisations
• Modern Political Thought
• Politics and Policies of the European
Union
• Security and Terrorism
• Studying Politics
• The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies

Year 3
• Arms Control
• Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
• Contemporary Critical Theory
• Contemporary Political Philosophy
• Ethics, Power and International Politics
• Global Resource Politics
• Middle Eastern Politics
• Minorities in Europe
• Northern Ireland: A Case Study
• Political Parties and Elections in Northern
Ireland
• Political Parties, Representation and
Democracy
• Politics, Public Administration and Policymaking
• Scotland and Northern Ireland
• Security and Technology
• The Far Right in Western Europe and
North America
• The Politics of Irish Literature
• The Politics of Sustainable Development
• Theories of Global Justice
• US Foreign Policy: War
• War and Visual Culture
• Women and Politics
• Internship
• The Placement
• Dissertation

Contact Teaching Times

Large Group Teaching
6 (hours maximum)
6 hours of lectures
Medium Group Teaching
6 (hours maximum)
6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
Personal Study
24 (hours maximum)
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
2 (hours maximum)
2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week

Learning and Teaching

Examples of opportunities for learning provided on this course are:

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E-Learning technologies

information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.

Lectures

These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.

Self-directed study

This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.

Seminars/tutorials

A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 10-12 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures. This provides students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers. During these classes, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.

Assessment

A variety of assessment methods are used.

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Coursework essays

Written examinations

Oral presentations

Weekly assignments

Dissertations

Feedback

As students progress through their course at Queen's they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources, including lecturers, module co-ordinators, personal tutors and peers. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms, including:

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Written comments

Face-to-face comments

General discussion

Pre-submission advice

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements
BBB

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 65%.

All applicants
There are no specific subject requirements to study Philosophy and Politics.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How we choose our students

Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.

Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

For last year’s entry, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.

Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.

The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).

The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units) with 10 Distinctions and 8 Merits. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 8 Merits.

For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only.

Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for the last year, the standard set was an overall average of 65% in Level 3 modules.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.

A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.

If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • English for University Study: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Careers

Career Prospects

Introduction
A degree in Politics and Philosophy
provides a stimulating programme of
study and intellectual training useful in
many walks of life and future career paths.
Graduates are equipped with the necessary
attributes for graduate employment or
postgraduate education and training, and
are able to make a difference in whatever
future career they choose.

Employment Links
The School has an active Employers’ Forum
that is used to forge links with national and
international employers. Graduates go
on to an unlimited range of occupations
in the public and private sectors - career
destinations of our students have included
the BBC, the Diplomatic Service, the NHS,
International House, Civil Service and major
banks.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,030
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,030
International £15,100

Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

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Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Philosophy and Politics costs

In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000. Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad, are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider. If the placement is undertaken under the European Erasmus programme, students are normally eligible to receive a top-up grant to contribute towards these costs of approximately €300 per month. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available. 

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

Scholarships

Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How and When to Apply

How to Apply

Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.

When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.

Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).

Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. Applying through UCAS
    Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
  2. Applying direct
    The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
  3. Applying through agents and partners
    The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

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