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good universities for POLITICS

(31 Posts)
MaryAnnSingleton Wed 14-Nov-12 13:59:26

ds doing GCSEs and hoping to study politics at university- has anyone any recent experience of studying politics and they any advice or recommendations ?

fussychica Wed 14-Nov-12 15:08:34

No experience but you can look here amongst other places.

Depends how well he is likely to do at A level. You can see Unis like Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Aberystwyth do very well considering their entry requirements are below 400 UCAS points. I do know the International Politics at Aberystwyth is very highly regarded.

Hopefully you'll get a more personal reply from someone with experience.

CarpeJugulum Wed 14-Nov-12 15:18:07

Did mine in Aberdeen with International Relations and loved it (but was a few years ago).

Was well regarded at the time, but no clue how it fares now blush

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 14-Nov-12 15:19:40

thanks v much - am hoping his great interest in politics will spur him to achieve good A levels grin

MoreBeta Wed 14-Nov-12 15:27:12

Oxford does Politics, Philosopy and Economics degree. Dave Cameron and Ed Balls did it among many other politicians.

London School of Economics and Political Science - does loads of politics courses.

mummytime Wed 14-Nov-12 15:41:18

A neice did PPE at Manchester, so other places do do PPE. I would look for somewhere big enough to also have active student politics (you might as well get practical experience too).

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 14-Nov-12 15:50:16

thanks all- have just shown him courses at Bath and at Nottingham...need to really have a good think about all this smile

outtolunchagain Wed 14-Nov-12 17:25:18

My ds is reading politics and so did I . Sheffield is very good and popular at the moment, Leeds has a fantastic PPS course where you work in year 3, possibly in Washington, Nottingham also very good

It really depends what aspect they are interested in , some better for UK politics some better for European, Durham very good for Middle eastern

lionheart Wed 14-Nov-12 17:31:51

I've heard good things about Leeds. I think they have internships at the H of P and so have set the bar quite high.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 14-Nov-12 17:57:26

yup,was looking at Leeds - ds v interested in US politics

creamteas Wed 14-Nov-12 19:42:46

A friend's DD had a great time at Aston studying Politics with International Relations. Unusually for this subject, they do a years work placement and she spent a year in Washington.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 14-Nov-12 19:45:52

Ds would love a placement in Washington grin

stillsmilingafteralltheseyears Wed 14-Nov-12 20:00:27

Doe he have any clear political leanings? It is also worth thinking about the type of practical experience available locally. A politics degree is fine, but it is no substitute for practical campaign or policy research experience. It is much better to get involved in a non-student campaign if possible.

TheCollieDog Wed 14-Nov-12 20:36:12

Politics at the research-led universities is not about "going into politics," remember! I'd advise a combined degree actually -- Politics with History, or even just History -- I think that's a better, deeper education -- you cover pretty much everything in History! (but I'm originally an historian).

LSE or Oxford are the obvious places, but Manchester's worth looking at as well.

If your DS wants to go into activist politics, of whatever shade, then it might be worth getting a sense of the extra-curricular student activities: big civics are likely to have a lot of activity in this respect.

TheCollieDog Wed 14-Nov-12 20:37:55

Gah! Should read the whole thread. If he wants to do some time in the US, then he could also look at places that offer a year abroad scheme, or Politics combined with American Studies. Nottingham & Birmingham would be picks there. Then he'd have the opportunity to do up to a year in the US as part of his degree.

sassytheFIRST Wed 14-Nov-12 20:39:01

Government dept at Essex is fab.

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 15-Nov-12 09:57:00

think he'd really love to go to the US - thanks for all the suggestions ! Am quite excited by it all grin

MariscallRoad Thu 15-Nov-12 16:11:11

MaryAnnSingleton There are some more routes one could explore: Dual BA Sciences Po-University College London (UCL). Or apply to international undergraduate admission at Scences Po in Paris – a knowledge of French will be beneficial for Politics. Or apply as international student in US in a programme offering bursaries (MIT) and do a double major. I would check other US universities too. Or apply to a UK university which offers exchange year abroad, but I am not familiar with exchange visas and I do not know if anything prevets the student later taking up a job or internship in US under these conditions. Or finally, a Masters in Politics after a degree.

mummytime Thu 15-Nov-12 16:38:28

If he is thinking of studying in the US even as part of a degree, he should be looking at the Fullbright for information.

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 15-Nov-12 17:53:57

mummytime and mariscallroad - thank you - lots to consider here !

boomting Thu 15-Nov-12 19:16:50

I'm a current politics undergrad at Manchester, and I'd recommend it. There's an incredible level of choice in terms of what modules you take, especially if you take the BA(Econ) route. There are also PPE and Politics & IR routes.

Hull and Aberystwyth are both known to have good politics departments, even if they are less world-renowned as universities; Hull is particularly good for anyone wishing to go into politics as a career, as they have a Westminster placement scheme. In a similar vein, Leeds' Politics & Parliamentary Studies degree (v. competitive though) involves spending your third year on placement, half in Westminster, and half in Washington DC / Ottawa. Birmingham seems to have a good department - I liked it when I visited, and they've got social policy options too, which attracted me.

Many universities offer study abroad options, even if it is not hugely obvious on the prospectus, so make sure that he does some 'digging' on the website to find out before he discounts anywhere.

Does he know if he's particularly interested in studying a particular region's politics? For instance, Exeter is a bit obsessed with the Middle East (I think that may be the case for Durham too, but double check that one), whilst Cardiff focuses on Europe.

Be aware that the UCAS entry point referred to on the league tables don't refer to requirements, they refer to how many UCAS points people go with. That can include everything from 'proper' A Levels to General Studies to A Levels in a person's native language (invariably ignored by universities) to pony care qualifications. Ignore it. If you want to check out a university's entrance requirements, then look at their website.

If it's possible, then get him to take Gov & Politics A Level - although it's not a hugely common A Level to be offered, hence universities won't demand it. Otherwise, subjects like History, Economics, Geography and English Lit are good 'fits' with Politics. Don't let him take Law A-Level - it's seen as a soft subject.

Finally, make sure that he visits the open days - I found them invaluable, less for telling me where I did want to go (although I did get a good "feeling" about Manchester, and I've been very happy here) but more where I didn't want to go - I hated the isolation and sportiness of Loughborough, and for reasons that I could quite put my finger on (although it really was just me), I really didn't like Exeter!

monstermissy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:23:26

I have a place to start politics in september at UEA, lots of universitys don't accept general studies a levels, always worth checking.

RugBugs Thu 15-Nov-12 19:34:02

I'm out of the loop since May '10 but Warwick was highly regarded for post-grad study and LSE generally, but that may well have been because of our love for Tony Travers blush

MaryAnnSingleton Fri 16-Nov-12 07:45:53

thanks - all very useful indeed- he's planning to do English/history or geog/music and Govt and politics A-levels.

sandripples Sun 18-Nov-12 19:46:41

Hi MAS - waving! I know my DS is doing a very different subject, but if you're curious about Bath, Manchester or Hull feel free to ask as we visited the first two and now DS's girlfriend is at Hull - she went through clearing but is loving it. I also have another friend whose son went to Aber (as did one of my nieces) - so do PM me if you want to ask about the places (but not the course as I have never had to research politics)

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