Politics and Economics BA


Fact file - 2016 entry

UCAS code:LL21
Qualification:BA Jt Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Politics and Economics
A level offer: AAA 
Required subjects: None specific but critical thinking and general studies not accepted; A in maths at GCSE required
IB score: 36 
Available part time: No
Course places: 25 
Campus: University Park 

Course overview

On this course you will take a range of core modules in economics and in the three key areas of politics: international relations, comparative politics and political theory. You will also be able to choose optional modules in both subjects as well as from a wide range offered across the University.

Year one

In year one, you will take modules in political theory and in comparative politics. You will learn to compare political institutions and behaviour in 'Western' liberal democracies and gain a thorough understanding of the history of political ideas. You will also take a range of modules in the School of Economics.

Year two

In year two, you will take the compulsory modules Approaches to Political Studies or Designing Political Research, Microeconomic Theory and Macroeconomic Theory. You will also take optional modules in both politics and economics.

Year three

In year three, you will undertake a politics dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff, and also take optional modules in both politics and economics from the range of modules offered by both schools.

More information 

See also the School of Economics.

Entry requirements

A levels: AAA plus A in maths at GCSE

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 (minimum score 55)

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Flexible admissions policy

We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.

Typical Year One Modules

Introduction to Comparative Politics 
In this module you will compare and contrast the decision making structures of modern states by examining different topics such as democratic and authoritarian rule, political culture, and legal and constitutional frameworks among others. You will also be introduced to the method of comparative politics and theory testing. There is a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops on different weeks totalling around three hours per week throughout the semester.

Problems in Global Politics
This module for joint-honours students explores a range of issues in contemporary international relations. It focuses on the problems of security and insecurity since the end of the Cold War. You will learn to develop critical and reflective thinking using a variety of approaches and methods related to the study of global politics. There will be around three hours of lectures, seminars and workshops a week studying this module.

Introduction to Microeconomics
You will be introduced to microeconomics, including the behaviour of firms and households in situations of competitive and imperfectly competitive markets. You will spend around three hours in lectures and have a one-hour tutorial each week.

Introduction to Macroeconomics
Introducing you to modern macroeconomic analysis, this module covers areas such as growth and employment, wage and price dynamics and consumption and saving behaviour. Spending around four hours per week in lectures and tutorials, you will learn about the two main modern schools of macroeconomic thought: one broadly characterised as New Classical, and one as Keynesian.


Typical Year Two Modules

Democracy and its Critics
This core module examines the concept and organisation of democracy using primary sources to investigate historic and contemporary debates. You’ll consider the principles and arguments of democracy and its critics, as well as the future for democracy in the context of accelerating globalisation. A variety of approaches and methods will be used to help you develop your skills for the study of political theory. There will be 3 hours a week of lectures and seminars studying this module.

Civilisation and Barbarism
You will explore some of the major themes of international relations using a variety of different sources including novels, essays, manifestos, treatise and film. Power and order is the underlying theme linking together areas such as imperialism, emancipation, human rights, terrorism and torture among others. The interconnectivity between all of these areas and the sources will help you appreciate texts from the breadth of your studies. There will be three hours a week of seminars and lectures studying this module.

Microeconomic Theory
You will study intermediate microeconomics including consumer theory, game theory, and strategic behaviour of firms. Around four hours per week will be spent in lectures and tutorials.

Macroeconomic Theory
You will address both the fundamental and applied aspects of macroeconomic theory. You will be introduced to the modern theory of expectations and economic dynamics, and how to use this approach to think about short-run fluctuations and the role of macro-policy within these fluctuations. This module consists of around four hours per week in lectures and tutorials.


Typical Year Three Modules

Politics and Drugs
This subsidiary module examines the implications of narcotics abuse for the political system from both a national and international perspective. You will consider the production, consumption and trade of drugs as a global problem. Contemporary British drug policy will be explored and questions raised by drug control policy will be discussed. You will spend around three hours a week in lectures and seminars studying this module.

Weapons of Mass Destruction
This module introduces a range of debates concerning weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) to give you an appreciation of the importance of the issue. The reasons for states to develop or acquire WMDs will be explored through core concepts such as deterrence, the security dilemma and organisation theory. You will discuss whether WMDs are good or bad, and whether or not Britain should build a missile defence system, among other topics. Three hours a week are spent in lectures and seminars studying this module.

Advanced Monetary Economics
This module will provide you with an outline of the elements of monetary theory including Classical, Keynesian, Monetarist, New Classical and New Keynesian approaches, and examine how these theories may be tested empirically. You will spend around three hours per week in lectures and tutorials studying this module.

Advanced Microeconomics
You will cover topics in advanced microeconomics and decision theory, building on the microeconomic theory module of year two. For this module you will have three hours per week in lectures and tutorials. 

Advanced Econometric Theory
This module builds upon the econometric techniques applied to the multivariate linear regression model covered in the year two module, Econometrics I. This involves introducing a number of new statistical and econometric concepts, in particular the study of large sample, or asymptotic, theory. You will spend around three hours per week in lectures and tutorials for study of this module.

Advanced Labour Economics
In this module, you will undertake an economic analysis of the labour market, with an emphasis on policy implications and institutional arrangements. This module consists of three hours per week in lectures and tutorials.



You will graduate with a thorough knowledge of a wide range of political and economic concepts and a good grasp of international political and economic experience. Transferable skills you will have developed include the ability to study independently, communicate effectively and to develop and sustain a reasoned argument.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2013, 91.3% of first-degree graduates in the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average salary was £22,498 with the highest being £60,000.*

In 2013, 92.1% of the first-degree graduates in the School of Economics who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average salary was £26,184 with the highest being £45,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates 2012/13.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  


Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

Home students*

There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.

To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.


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