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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112* (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



Joint Honours

Start date



One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Course description

Politics at the University of Derby aims to give the traditional way of studying politics a very modern twist:

Why you should study Politics at the University of Derby

You will be introduced to how the political system works in Britain, learning that it’s more than just elections and politicians. We will look at key political ideas, important political parties, and organisations not normally thought of as ‘political’, giving you a well-rounded idea of how politics really works.

You’ll be taught with an international mindset, particularly in regards to the European Union, United States, and non-Western political systems like China and the old Soviet Union. Politics is in a period of flux that is seeing old parties suddenly undergoing massive growth in membership and new parties with a cynical ‘anti-political’ attitude becoming increasingly popular, also the challenge of Brexit which has the potential to cast a long shadow over modern day British politics. Our degree programme addresses, analyses, and tries to understand these complex new developments that are exercising the minds of activists, politicians, and political thinkers.

Popular Joint Honours combinations

Joint Honours gives you the flexibility to cover two subjects in one degree. Popular combinations with Politics  include:

What you will study

Example modules are shown below, the modules available as a Joint Honours student will be dependent on the subject that you combine with. In your first year, modules will be defined for you, and will be dependent on your subject combination to ensure you have the best fit. In your second and third years, module availability and the number of modules you are required to take will depend on whether you choose this subject as a major, joint or minor.

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Year 3Year 3

Code: 4SL510

Researching Society 1: Methods and Analysis

Research sustains the vibrancy and everyday relevance of sociology by tracking social and cultural change, offering insights into the values and experiences of individuals from different social and cultural groups, and enabling sociology to continue to influence policy and practice. This module serves two fundamental purposes. The first is to equip students with a solid grounding in academic skills and to introduce them to key academic conventions such as reviewing literature, referencing (and plagiarism) and making good use of the library facilities. Secondly, the module seeks to equip students with sufficient knowledge to understand how social research is designed and implemented. Students will learn to formulate and answer sociological questions, interpret and subsequently critically analyse research findings.

In addition, students will familiarise themselves with a range of different research methods and data collection strategies. This aspect of the module will prove useful when students come to conduct their own research in later modules.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SL512

Making Modern Britain

British society in the early twenty first century is complex and contested and contains many competing versions of what it is to be ‘British’ and what rights we can expect as citizens. The aspirations, inequalities and formations present within it are the product of national, and global, histories. When we speak of our rights, of equality and justice, these, too, are the product of the same histories and the development of ideas in the modern world. This module will enhance your knowledge of the historical processes that have contributed to this complex, interlinked story of Britain and its relationship with the rest of the world. Through lectures and, workshops, and seminar debates, students will draw on scholarly and cultural sources to build up their knowledge of how British society became what it is.
20 Credits

Code: 5CJ546

Penology: Punishment and Rehabilitation

Penology is the study of punishment, and the philosophical and sociological study of penal and rehabilitative agencies and institutions. This module analyses the ideas, principles, policies and practices of the penal and rehabilitative systems, alongside their broader socio-economic, historical, intellectual and political contexts. This module focuses on the fundamental issues of punishment and rehabilitation and considers the key questions of how we punish people, why we do so, and whether rehabilitation works. These are key areas for the study of criminology and criminal justice. The notion of punishment as the major weapon in the arsenal against crime is gradually declining. Penology’s primary focus has been on analysing the legitimacy of imprisonment and evaluating the effectiveness of alternatives to prison. The module assesses the effectiveness of penal policy in communities and in prisons.

The module focuses on contemporary developments in probation and offender management, including the growing involvement of the private sector and the growth in community sentencing. The module also includes the study of comparative penologies.

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20 Credits

Code: 5IR504

Middle East Politics

This module focuses the modern Middle East looking particularly at the causes, development and consequences of different types of conflict in the region including interstate, civil war, ethnic, religious and terrorism.

It examines the historical formation of the nation state system in the Middle East and the development of competing ideologies. The legacies of these processes are explored through case studies including the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon and Iraq. The rise of political Islam in the region has had a significant impact on state-society relations and both its militant and non-violent manifestations will be examined. The region has been characterised by authoritarian regimes and this legacy and the impact of the 2011 uprisings will be explored. The question of external intervention in the Middle East will also be addressed with particular reference to Iraq post-2003.

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20 Credits

Code: 5SL519

Researching Society 2: Qualitative Approaches

This core module is designed to provide students with direct experience of a number of qualitative methods of social research. In addition, it will provide them with the foundations of research design and ethics. The module will introduce students to the kinds of reflective questioning that is necessary to the process of matching the research methodology to the research question being explored. The emphasis here is on qualitative methods and their strengths and weaknesses will be explored through lectures, seminars and workshops. The experiential detail that qualitative research can provide is crucial to understanding the lived experiences of social phenomena and this module will equip students with the skills necessary to produce qualitative data.

As well as empowering students with the ability to design and perform their own research, the module will enable them to assess the value of qualitative data they encounter in professional and other settings.

The assessed research proposal can, but does not have to, be used as dissertation plan.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SL520

Researching Society 3: Statistics in Social Research

This module is designed to familiarise you with the use of statistics in sociological research and the power of statistics in influencing opinion in politics, business and the public sphere. It is intended as a ‘beginner’s guide’ and makes no assumptions about prior statistical knowledge or maths ability. It will teach you the basics of survey design in addition to data collection and will introduce to essential data analysis skills including showing you how variables can be used to test a hypothesis. The module will give you a solid grounding in descriptive statistics and basic multivariate/regression analysis. These abilities will enable you to conduct your own statistical research and also to assess the strengths of statistical claims in a range of settings.

The teaching is done via lecture, seminars, and, crucially, hands-on sessions in which you learn to employ computer software such as SPSS to analyse data, including population level made available by the Office for National Statistics. As well as empowering students with the ability to design and perform their own research, the module will enable them to assess the value of quantitative data they encounter in professional and other settings.

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20 Credits

Code: 5SL523

Globalisation and Social Change

The concept of ‘globalisation’ is one of the most prominent - and controversial - ideas current in contemporary social science. We will begin with an overview of the contribution of major social theorists to debates about the nature and impact of globalisation and in particular social networks of communication and cultures of consumption. We will focus on the development of a global capitalist economy and the impact of globalisation on everyday working lives. We will investigate forms of, and challenges to global culture and expose the hierarchies of identity that permeate global power relations. Throughout the module, we will critically evaluate the extent to which global phenomena are experienced evenly around the globe and question if national dimensions of power are waning.

Through contemporary case studies we will look at the construction of ‘global threats’ such as terrorism, the reality of global pandemics - and the grave danger posed by a lack of effective global institutions. More recently the nature of the threat presented by global warming has provided sociologists with stark insights into the nature of social change. Is the ‘environmental threat’ better understood as a social - rather than straightforwardly biological - problem that is a matter of definition and social and political construction - demanding a ‘global’ response and the development of a ‘global’ consciousness? Finally we will investigate the nature of social change and reconfigurations of individualisation and community in a digital age.

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20 Credits

Code: 5SL525

Society, Government and Policy

Every society sees some issues as social problems, but there are often arguments about which issues are social problems, about the causes of the problem or how the government should respond to issues and problems as items on policy agendas. Whereas poverty, poor health, bad housing, lack of opportunities and hunger were seen as fundamental social problems during the early and middle 20th century in the UK, recently emergent issues such as social care, immigration, racism, inequality, work-life balance, teenage pregnancy have comparatively attracted more media and public attention. Therefore, it has become important to understand how social science uses evidence to ask how and why attention paid to a social issue means it is justified as a social problem(s).

The module aims introduce the key concepts, theories and ideological perspectives to identify social problems and examine competing accounts of the development of the relationship between society and government in Britain. More specifically, the module seeks to address three questions: firstly, how does an issue come to be defined as a social problem? Secondly, what kind of problems are seen as a social problem? Thirdly, how are social problems presented in the media, government investigations, and professional discourses and in the public imagination? Students will gain knowledge of how social problems emerge and UK policy responses to them, how we can analyse these social problems from a social policy perspective, as well as how the UK compares in broad terms with approaches to the construction of welfare provision in other countries.

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20 Credits

Code: 6IR501

International Economic Relations

The module will examine the economic and jurisprudential justification for engaging in multilateral trading and how this current framework of international economic relation aligns with realising the economic, social political and cultural sovereignty of the members of the international community.

The module will further explore the economic tenets of contemporary international economic relationships in order to critically evaluate their impact on rights to development. In these contexts, the module will be examining the status of International economic relations, in particular the tension between global institutions and United Nations and other actors.

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20 Credits

Code: 6IR503

Global Watch: International Events and the Media

Almost everyone watches TV, regularly reads a daily newspaper, news website or app and often discusses what goes on in the world. The media play an important and sometimes controversial role in international affairs and global development. What we watch, hear or read from the media often shapes our views on and perspectives on international events. This module examines the role of the media in international politics and development.

The module evaluates factors of control and power by the media in galvanising and shaping public opinions on issues of national and international significance. It uses case studies from both print and electronic media to illustrate how mass communication facilities are used for political activism, forge public consensus and debate and influence development policy. The module seeks to evaluate the media coverage of international events and global development issues and highlights particular problems with the way the ‘Third World’ is portrayed by the Western media. The module involves a discussion of theories surrounding media debates and the extent to which media representations may have a positive or negative impact on global development process. The module is assessed by 100% coursework.

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20 Credits

Code: 6SL518

World in Conflict: War, Terrorism and Societies

The module begins with an overview of war as a concept and contrasts theories which emphasise our human disposition to violence and competition with approaches that evidence our ability to cooperate and using other forms of power and exchange. We will look at the major wars that have shaped the 21st century - from the geopolitical legacy of both world wars through to the construction of the enemy ‘other’ that dominated the cold war and the so called ‘war on terror’. We will then consider aspects of globalisation and the digital age which may be exposing us to conflict in different ways as victims, agents and bystanders.

In the second part of the module we will use contemporary examples to look at how war impacts on individuals and societies through various institutions and practices. We will consider war’s different roles for men, women and increasingly youth. As wars become more deadly for civilians and many combatants, we will ask where does war begin and end in today's societies and across lifespans? How and when can we engage meaningfully in debate about the legitimacy of war and responses to it?

Finally, we will look at the blurred boundaries of war and peace in the context of new constructions of war, terrorism and ‘terrorist’ that arguable inform and shape our everyday decisions and actions.

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20 Credits

Code: 6SL523

Gender and Inequality in the Global Age

How does globalisation affect the lives and status of women in the world? How do the processes of economic restructuring, political instability, environmental degradation and cultural change impact upon women - particularly in the ‘developing’ world? Does globalisation distinguish between men and women as it appears to do between rich and poor? How divergent are life expectancies and experiences of violence for men, women, boys and girls? How do constructions of boyhood and girlhood impact on access to education or protection from militarism or sexual abuse? Six case studies will form a central pillar of the module: and reflect changing pressures throughout life stages across the globe focusing on: female infanticide and discrimination in China; education and girlhood in Pakistan; exploitation and forced labour in Europe, masculinity and sexual violence in Latin America, access to water in Africa and women’s health globally.

We will ask if understandings of patriarchy and feminism are shared across borders and illustrate interconnections of age, culture and tradition. We will assess what commonalities might exist in how gendered inequalities are experienced and resisted? How dominant are Western and postcolonial signifiers of innocence and vulnerability, strength and paternalism in everyday and institutional responses to inequality? In conclusion, what is the outlook for greater empowerment and progress?

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20 Credits

Code: 6SL528

Populism, Extremism & Violence

There has been an increasing awareness that a great many violent acts committed in the UK, North America, Europe, and Australasia are motivated by ideologies of hate. There is an increasing reluctance to readily describe the actions of individuals such as Anders Breivik, Dylann Roof, Thomas Mair, or Brenton Tarrant as simply psychological in nature. Instead, these acts are more typically now seen as terrorist attacks motivated by differing forms of white supremacism and neo-fascism.

In addition to these extreme acts, Western societies have also witnessed an increased awareness, and rising levels, of hate crime and hate incidents. Much scholarship suggests that the ideas contributing to these ideologies exist on a spectrum that includes the ‘populist turn’ in Western politics and the violence committed is an extreme form of the anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and ethnonationalist sentiments that define populism.

This module examines the histories, cultures, and ideas that sustain and fuel both these violent acts and the new populism. It will also consider the deeper question of what kind of social and cultural environments are productive of populist sentiment and in what circumstances does that become expressed in violent ways. The module will take an interdisciplinary approach that draws on the best scholarship in the field, with an emphasis on the following disciplines: sociology, criminology, and political studies.

More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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How you will learn

There will be a mix of teaching and learning methods, ranging from lectures to tutorials to workshops to work-based learning. The emphasis will be on you creating your own pathway with a stress on developing your own independent and intellectual interests.

Throughout the course we will have guest lectures from individuals who are active in all levels and all kinds of politics. The University will also give you the opportunity to go on trips to Parliament, the European Parliament, and the United Nations in Geneva.

You will also be expected to undertake a placement activity working with an institution of governance, political party, trade union, campaigning organisation, lobby organisation, or think tank to gain an idea of what working inside the political system, whether formally or informally, is like. At the end of the final year you will be undertaking an independent study project on a topic of your choice.

How you'll be assessed

You’ll be assessed through essays, exams, case studies, project work, group work presentations and online discussions - a broad range of methods allowing you to demonstrate your individual strengths and abilities.

You’ll also be assessed by a number of methods that replicate working in a political environment such as reports, briefing notes, blog posts, speeches, leaflets/electoral communications.

Who you will meet

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr Helen Brocklehurst
Programme leader

Helen Brocklehurst lectures in Social Science and is Programme Leader for Joint Honours Politics. She teaches modules at masters and undergraduate level which also draw upon her research interests in security, conflict and terrorism; gender and childhood; and the politics of knowledge.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112* (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

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Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Politics is designed to equip you as a critically minded, self-activating citizen of the 21st century. As such the specialist skills and knowledge acquired during the programme – an understanding of government policy, how the public sector works, awareness of current affairs, “marketing” political positions, practical work-based experience – are all desirable from an employer’s point of view.

By studying Politics as a Joint Honours Subject, you will broaden your scope in the job market. It will set you apart as a flexible, adaptable and highly organised graduate, while enabling you to apply for a wide variety of jobs.

You will also gain key transferable skills around research experience and the analysis of key information.

The association of our Politics degree with national and international organisations and institutions will ensure that you stand out to potential employers.

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme, which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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Politics can be combined with:

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