Overview

The programme is designed to provide students with an intellectual training in the disciplines of Philosophy and Politics which, while discrete subjects, are complementary and mutually enriching. The combination of Philosophy and Politics allows for the development of an in-depth appreciation of the ideas that help to explain the foundations of the modern world, democracy and political stability.

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. Placement: students have 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:
• Introductory Logic
• Perspectives on Politics
• Philosophy and Human Nature
• Philosophy and the Good Life

Year 2
Students choose 6 modules that explore the wide range of major debates and inquiry in Philosophy, exploring questions that range from how to understand the mind, to how ‘reality’ might be understood, to key political theories about how we live as a society. Examples include:
• History of Philosophy
• Knowledge and Reality
• Mind and Language
• Modern Political Thought
• Moral Theories
• Philosophy of Science

Year 3
In the final year, students focus on particular areas of specialisation that build on their studies in years 1 and 2. Students will write a dissertation (double-weighted) and choose four modules. Examples of options include:
• Applied Ethics
• Contemporary Critical Theory
• Philosophical Theology
• Philosophy for Children
• Issues in the Philosophy of Science
• Scholastic Ethics
• Scholastic Metaphysics
• Topics in Epistemology
• Dissertation

POLITICS
Students who intend to study Politics at Levels 2 and 3 must choose between two and five 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

Year 2
In their second year, students focus on the political, economic and social transformations of the 20th century and beyond, and will be able to advance their conceptual understanding of the field of politics and international relations by studying modules such as: American Politics, British politics in crisis?, Deeply Divided Societies, Politics and Policies of the EU, and Security and Technology.

• American Politics
• British Politics in crisis
• 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
In the final year, students can select more specific areas and specialist-based modules on, for example, the Middle East, US foreign policy, migration, the Far Right, political extremism, politics of the global economy,
and modules on identity politics, international ethics, war and visual culture, conflict and conflict resolution.

• 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
• National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
• Northern Ireland: A Case Study
• Political Parties and Elections in Northern Ireland
• Challenges to contemporary party politics
• Politics, Public Administration and Policymaking
• Scotland and Northern Ireland: Points of Political Comparison
• Security and Technology
• The Far Right in Western Europe and North America
• The Politics of Irish Literature
• Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy: The Politics of Unsustainability
• Theories of Global Justice
• US Foreign Policy
• War and Visual Culture
• Women and Politics
• Internship
• The Placement
• Dissertation

Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.

Contact Teaching Times

Large Group Teaching
2 (hours maximum)
Level 1 per module 2 hours lectures
Medium Group Teaching
2 (hours maximum)
Level 2 per module 2 hours lectures; Level 3 could be 1 hour lectures and 2 hours seminar
Personal Study
30 (hours maximum)
30 hours studying and revising in your own time each week (10 hours per module), including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial
2 (hours maximum)
Level 1 per module 1 hour tutorial; Level 2 per module 1 hour seminar; Level 3 could be 1 hour lectures and 2 hours seminar

Learning and Teaching

Examples of opportunities for learning provided on this course are:

Read more

Dissertations

In their final year, students can write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field. This provides a unique opportunity for students to marshal all the research and writing skills they have learned through the course of their degree to produce an original piece of research which reflects the particular interests that they have acquired in their time studying at Queen’s.

E-Learning technologies

Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). 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.

Logic Labs

For level 1 Introductory Logic, students meet for two hours a week in a large open-plan computer suite to work through logic assignments online. The session is facilitated by tutors who encourage students to work together to find strategies to solve problems.

Assessment

The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Level 3 students can take a dissertation module (it is double weighted) which reduces their contact hours, however they are expected to have regular one-to-one meetings with supervisors, and to conduct more personal study.

Read more

Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.

Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.

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:

Read more

Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.

Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.

Placement employer comments or references (where relevant).

Online or emailed comment.

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. All students are required to meet with their Personal Tutor to discuss their overall academic progress and performance at least once a semester. They are encouraged to bringing assignment mark-sheets to these meetings to help with discussing ways of improving assignment performance and preparing for exams.

In philosophy, every lecture, tutorial and seminar is a ‘feedback’ session, where students get a better sense of their academic progress by being actively encouraged to discuss anything they do and don’t understand with each other and their class leader.

General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.

Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.

Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.

Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A level requirements
ABB

Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3

Access/Foundation Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70%.

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.

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 entry last year, 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 will check 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. 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 two A-Levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-Level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.

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 (180 credits at Level 3) with 120 credits at Distinction and 60 credits at Merit. 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 last year, the standard set was an overall average of 70% 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.

  • Academic English: 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 2019-20 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,160
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,160
International £15,550

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.

Read more

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/.

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 2019 from 1 September 2018.

Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (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 2019.
  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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