BA Degree in Political Science
The BA degree in Political Science prepares students for work in government, international organisations, business, finance and the media, which require articulate, clear thinking individuals with a grasp of contemporary political issues, succinct writing styles, and the ability to present complex arguments.
The degree is built on three core areas of Political Science: political thought, comparative politics and public policy. Students also take a range of optional courses in national, regional and globalisation studies, or addressing thematic areas of contemporary interest, allowing for specialisation within the major according to student interest.
Students enjoy a broad study of political thinkers and theories, whilst directly engaging with a range of practical policy issues, in many different national and regional settings. The British Politics course, for example, is partially taught in the Houses of Parliament. The degree also recognises the international dimension of political, economic and policy processes, and ensures students are familiar with the politics of the developing world.
The key difference between Political Science and International Relations
Political Science focuses on ensuring students build expertise in political theory, comparative politics and public policy. This reflects the unique mission of the Political Science degree.
- Access to leading non- and governmental and political institutions.
- Develop a sophisticated grasp of policy issues at the domestic, regional and international levels.
- Increase your understanding of a broad range of social, political and economic phenomena that affects business, government and civil society actors in the world today.
- Learn from the leading research of faculty in their specialist areas.
- Gain vital work experience in the marketplace with an international internship.
Lower Division Requirements
QCF Level 3 - US Credits 30 - UK Credits 120
FHEQ Level 4 - US Credits 30 - UK Credits 120
Upper Division Requirements
FHEQ Level 5 - US Credits 30 - UK Credits 120
FHEQ Level 6 - US Credits 30 - UK Credits 120
Career paths for Political Science graduates
- Public Administration (Government)
- Business, Corporate and Current Affairs
- Non-Governmental Organisations, Charities and Think-Tanks
- International Organisations
- Media / Journalism
Where do Richmond’s Political Science graduates go?*
In the workplace
- Credit Suisse
- Greenpeace USA
- The United Nations Children’s Fund
- World Bank
- Imperial College
- Johns Hopkins University
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- New York University
- University of St Gallen
* Figures and information supplied by the Department of Alumni Relations
How Will I be Assessed?
The teaching and learning strategy adopted within the degree programmes based in the School of Communications, Arts, and Social Sciences is based on the understanding that all students will be treated as active learners. Clearly, the precise approach will vary from course to course, depending on the learning outcomes relevant to each class.
The more generic components of our teaching and learning strategy normally involves a variety of approaches and include delivering many of the following:
- Regular use of formal lecture sessions in most courses.
- Regular use of individual and/or team-based projects in many courses.
- Use of audio-visual and library resources in many courses.
- Use of computer laboratory and/or Centre for New Media to learn and apply analytical and/or creative/professional techniques.
- Occasional workshops and seminars in some courses.
- Student presentations in some courses.
- Regular use of tutor- and student-led discussion groups via e-learning platforms such as PowerCAMPUS in some courses
- Regular use of self-directed and directed reading in all courses.
Students pursuing degrees in any one of the academic areas in the School of Communications, Arts, and Social Sciences are assessed through their ability to absorb material delivered in the classroom as well as through their ability carry out independent research. There are also a variety of project-based courses in the upper division within which students work in teams. Students are also assessed though a variety of methods, including tests, project briefs and term-papers. Most courses further assess students through the use of end of term exams.
All of our classes follow a University-defined set of Assessment Norms. The purpose here is to ensure equity and fairness for all students.
Undergraduate Entry Requirements:
Every undergraduate student will first enter our Liberal Arts programme before specialising in their Major. As such, the entry requirements for all undergraduate programmes at Richmond are the same, regardless of your chosen Major.
Undergraduate applicants should meet at least one of the following academic achievements for successful admission into Richmond:
- A Level: 96 UCAS points
- US High School Diploma (or equivalent): 2.5 GPA minimum (on 4.0 scale)
- International Baccalaureate: 24 IB points
- BTEC National Diploma: MMM
Additional Entry Requirements (please note, your application will not be complete until all items below are received by Admissions):
- Application for Undergraduate Admission
- your Personal Statement
- one Confidential Letter of Academic Recommendation
- Official School Transcripts (if you are a transfer applicant with less than 30 credits, you must also submit official secondary school transcripts)
- English Language Test Scores** (required for students whose native language is not English. Please see below regarding this requirement)
Deadlines & Start Dates:
(please view our Academic Calendar here)
Fall 2017: We are now accepting applications for Fall entry term.
- If you require a visa to study in the UK then we strongly suggest that you submit your application and supporting documents to us by 1st July 2017. Applications for spring entry received after this date, may still be considered but this will depend on your individual circumstances.
- If you do not require a visa to study in the UK, then we suggest you submit your application and supporting documents by 1st August 2017.
Spring 2018: The entry term begins on 8th January 2018.
- If you require a visa to study in the UK, we strongly suggest that you submit your application and supporting documents to us by 17th November 2017. Applications for spring entry received after this date, may still be considered but this will depend on your individual circumstances.
- If you do not require a visa to study in the UK then we suggest you submit your application and supporting documents by 1st December 2017.
Students meeting this standard in relevant subjects will normally be given exemption from introductory courses and may complete the degree programme in less than four years. See the ABMA Advanced Early Qualifications link (below) for advanced entry details for students holding ABMA qualifications. Candidates with US High School Diplomas or other entry qualifications can be considered for entry to year 1 of the 4-year degree programmes. ABMA Advanced Entry Qualifications
Students with Advanced Standing:
A student who has passed an Advanced Placement Test will be given six credits for each subject in which a grade 3,4 or 5 is achieved. A student who has passed an A level (advanced level) examination will be given nine credits for each subject in which a grade of A, B or C is achieved. Six credits will be given for a grade of D or E. Students with advanced qualifications may be awarded course credit towards the BA or BS degree. Examples are the International Baccalaureate, the Baccalauréat de l’Enseignement du Second Degré (France), the Abitur/Reifzeugnis (Germany), the Diploma di Maturità (Italy), and the School Leaving Diploma from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
**English Language Proficiency Requirements (for non-native English speakers):
- If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, and are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, then you will need to provide evidence of your English language ability. This should be an IELTS test taken within the last two years with a score of at least 5.5 in each element. Majority English speaking countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and USA.
- If you do not need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, but you come from a country where English is not the native language, then we can accept a wider variety of English language tests as evidence of your English proficiency. Please note that tests marked with a * in the chart below are not Secure English Language Tests (SELTS) approved by the Home Office and therefore cannot be used to support your Tier 4 student visa application.
|IELTS||5.5 in each element|
|Cambridge English: First *Cambridge English: Advanced * Cambridge English: Proficiency*||Overall Cambridge English Scale score of no less than 168 in each skill|
|TOEFL iBT *||18 in reading, 17 in listening, 20 in speaking, 17 in writing, with an overall score of 80|
|Pearson Academic Test of English *||51 in each element|
|Slutbetyg från Gymnasieskola *(Swedish Students)||English 5 with grade B or above; or English 6 with grade C or above; or English 7 with grade D or above.|
|IB Diploma *||
Pass English Language A with 4 or above at Higher Level (HL) or 5 or above at Standard Level (SL)Pass English Language (B) with 4 or above at Higher Level (HL) only
I study on this programme
When I first stepped on to the Richmond Campus, I felt a sense of completeness. At once, the campus was large enough for all the incredible things I was going to learn and overall incredibly intimate, the sense of community is really pronounced. I am one of the main beneficiaries of Richmond University being so focused on diversity and in the most authentic way possible, which is to say not through quotas and dictates but how do we build a university as multi-faceted as the world. And here Richmond brought me, someone whose parents are Filipino from California and who went to a public school on this incredible castle-like campus. But that is merely scratching the surface of Richmond University, it is not just about the ethnicity or the backgrounds of a person, but it is about people from completely different ideologies coming together, it is about the true essence of diversity at Richmond, everything is open to interpretation and exploration, and that is a huge part in the notion of diversity. As a Political Science major, I have seen this institution look so clearly and with an unflinching eye on the issues that our world faces today. A huge part of my major is colouring outside the lines, there is creativity in everything that is done whether it be introducing new ideas to solve the crises of capitalism or a policy brief on child hunger in Southeast Asia, creativity is everywhere. The quintessential Richmond experience is sitting on the campus greenery, rather like some sort of halcyon afterschool special where everyone meets with their notebooks and book bags discussing the day’s interaction between students and professors. Richmond University is a beautiful, bucolic learning experience.
I graduated from this programme:
I graduated from Richmond in 2013 with a First Class Honours degree in Political Science. The experiences I had and the lessons I learned at Richmond readied me to compete and succeed in an increasingly globalised workforce.
Currently, I am employed as an anti-money laundering investigator with Promontory Financial Group, an international financial services consultancy based in Washington, D.C. Typically for major domestic and international banks, I examine customer activity, perform due diligence, and submit suspicious activity reports to relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure client compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and related regulations. The research and writing skills that were cultivated by the excellent faculty and rigorous academic standards of Richmond have made the transition from an academic life to a professional career almost seamless.
Through meaningful and continual interaction with the top-notch professors and unique student body, my time at Richmond trained me to understand and appreciate the limitless diversity of people and ideas that permeate daily life. It is this aspect of cosmopolitan knowledge that has given me an edge over my peers and will stick with me indefinitely.
Faculty who teach on this programme:
BA Degree in Political Science is currently validated by The Open University.