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Undergraduate Course

Politics and Economics BA (Hons)

Explore the relationships between the economy, policy and political power.

Student working at laptop

Debate important contemporary issues and build practical skills to prepare you for your career. By combining these two subject areas you will gain a broad understanding of the political and economic forces which shape the world today.

93% of York Business School students felt that their lecturers were good at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L1N7 (L3N7 with placement year)
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 4 years with placement year
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

On this course you will explore complex issues which are urgent and relevant in the modern world, from international security to climate change. You will also develop practical, employable skills that are valued by employers across many different professions relating to politics and economics. In your Economics modules you will investigate:

  • Econometrics modelling
  • Economic policy
  • Factors affecting income, wealth and wellbeing in an economy
  • Environmental economics
  • How economic metrics can be used to measure and enhance happiness in society.

While in Politics you will study:

  • How new technologies are changing the way we interact with politics
  • What makes a good society in an era of globalisation
  • The role of the state
  • How states respond to inequality, threats to national security and climate change.

We make sure your learning is always practical and relevant through field trips, live projects and experiments. You will also have opportunities to enter economics competitions. We have close links with businesses across the region, and you will regularly hear from high profile guest speakers. These connections also provide opportunities for networking, internships and work experience placements.

While you study with us, we will fund your membership of the Royal Economic Society. This will enhance your professional profile in the industry. It also opens up extra opportunities for training and development, such as competitions, grants and conferences.

As with all of our Business courses, you have the option to go on a placement year between years 2 and 3 of your degree. You can also choose to study abroad for a semester at one of our partner universities.

As a Business School we are passionate about social responsibility and sustainability. These values and this commitment will be embedded throughout this course. We are a Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatory for the United Nations. Our mission is to develop your potential so that you can make a difference in society.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters.

In your first year, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn the basic principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics. You will develop an understanding of economic principles and techniques and learn how to apply them in business contexts. You will also investigate the different issues related to macroeconomic theories and gain insight into the impact of the macroeconomic environment on business decisions. 

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your introduction to the academic study of Politics. You will become familiar with basic terms, concepts, methodologies and issues in the study of politics, preparing you for the rest of your degree. We will explore the diverse definitions and the scope of politics, and discuss what politics means to you. We will also introduce you to some of the essential skills you will need to succeed a degree level, including academic writing, researching and referencing.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will examine the nature of business enterprise and its relationship with wider society, focusing on what it means to be a responsible business. In the ongoing debate about what a business behaving responsibly really means, we will explore ideas including:

  • Stakeholder theory
  • The triple bottom line
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Business ethics
  • The role of the state.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the comparative approach to modern politics. You will focus on theoretical and methodological approaches, developing an understanding of these political analysis tools. You will then apply these to both authoritarian and democratic regimes. You will explore a range of political institutions and processes, and move beyond studying these in isolation to develop the analytical skill of comparison.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module explores the fundamental concepts and techniques of macroeconomic analysis. You will gain an understanding of quantitative techniques and modern macroeconomics. You will learn how decisions of the central bank and government affect inflation, consumption, economic growth and unemployment. You will also investigate contemporary economic events. This module is essential for obtaining The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) qualification.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will engage with debates surrounding the nature and extent of ‘globalisation’ and its impact on the role and power of contemporary states. You will learn how states are situated in the international political and economic system, and interrogate the relative power of states and international organisations in the context of globalisation.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the key principles of politics and how these affect individuals and organisations. You will learn how the priorities and choices of political institutions and power structures have a significant impact upon a range of social and economic activity. Areas we will cover include:

  • Political ideas and ideologies
  • Democracy and Legitimacy
  • The role of the state and nationalism (EU)
  • Political economy and globalisation
  • Representation and the party system (lobby groups)
  • Society, culture, and media.

Year 2

In your second year you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module and 2 optional modules in semester 2.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the field of Industrial Economics, looking at why and how firms and industries behave and interact with each other. Understanding their behaviour is relevant not only to the firms, but also to the governments that design industrial policies in order to favour consumers without decreasing firms' efficiency.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

International Relations addresses the fundamental nature of power in the international system, and the approaches used in this module are essential for understanding regional, international and global events. On this module we will introduce you to some of the major theories of international relations, such as:

  • Realism
  • Liberalism
  • Neoliberalism
  • Marxism
  • Critical theory
  • Constructivism
  • Feminism
  • Postcolonialism.

Using case studies and coverage of historical and contemporary events, you will consider how you can apply these theories to developments in state relations, taking into account the growing institutions and processes of globalisation.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will learn about theories of economic behaviour in the labour market and the nature of the labour market. You will test macroeconomic theoretical concepts and justify conclusions. You will gain core practical skills that are essential for a career as an economist, policy advisor or economic analyst. This module will help you to develop skills in analysing economic data and combine the results to form a discussion on societal problems such as wage inequality, the role of education and training and factors driving the demand and supply for labour.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Democracy is the dominant form of political organisation around the world, and it is essential to fully understand how it is put into practice. You will explore the development and evolution of democracy. This includes discussions on the concept and various models of democracy, as well as the institutions (executives, legislatures, judiciaries) and processes (electoral and party systems) that rely on it. You will complete a comparative analysis of democratic states throughout the world, examining both established democracies and democracies in transition.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Organisations frequently require both an understanding of how and why data is acquired, and an ability to collect, analyse and interpret it. This module considers the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and allows you to develop skills in the collection, analysis and reporting of relevant data. You will develop your project planning and management skills as a way to manage the research process.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Enhance your future employability by experiencing the workplace. We have designed this module to help you develop your skills, knowledge and understanding in different areas related to your career. You will engage with issues such as:

  • Career decision making
  • The recruitment cycle
  • Applying for jobs
  • Interviewing.

As part of this module you will embark on a work placement or business project in a group, or individually.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module aims to develop you into a confident, enterprising and creative graduate who will be able to cope with the ever changing business environment, recognise opportunities and to take responsible and measured risks. This is a very practical module. Starting with an initial idea, you will explore and assess a business opportunity and present a feasible business concept. Working alone or in groups, you will develop skills in collecting, analysing and organising ideas and information.

Credits: 20

Optional module

International trade is extremely controversial. It is thought to be the engine of much worldwide economic prosperity. It is also blamed for inequality between countries and for the rise of populism and nationalism in some parts of the world. On this module we will investigate these controversies. This will help you understand the patterns of international trade, the forces that produce these patterns, and how they impacts different people. Ideas from economic theory, business strategy and political economy will help you to develop this understanding.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module focuses on the 2 main parties of government of recent years, Labour and Conservative. There will also be a consideration of nationalist parties at the devolved and national levels, as well as the rise and influence of smaller, issue-based political parties. You will also examine the fundamental function of MPs as representatives, and consider notions of good political behaviour in light of a variety of political scandals.

Year 3

In your third year you will study:

  • A compulsory dissertation or research investigation module across semesters 1 and 2.
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional Placement Year

As with all of our Business courses, you have the option to go on a placement year between years 2 and 3 of your degree. If you choose not to do a full year, you can do a shorter placement module in Year 2. You can also choose to study abroad for a semester at one of our partner universities.

Modules

Credits: 40

Optional module

This module is your chance to plan and conduct a piece of independent research. You will be able to choose from the following projects:

  • Traditional dissertation: Plan and conduct a piece of independent research. Present your findings in a writing.
  • Business Research Project: Complete a small scale piece of individual research work.
  • Consultancy Project: Work with industry professionals and investigate a business project and produce a research based report.
  • Business creation project: Develop a full business proposal and plan. Use primary and secondary research to support your work.

Credits: 40

Optional module

This year long module will involve working independently to research a topic of your choice within the field of Politics. It is the culmination of your degree studies, and your chance to explore a topic that you are passionate about. You will plan, research, and write a piece of work that demonstrates your ability to structure a sustained argument, research effectively and think independently. A dissertation supervisor will help you define and develop your project throughout the year.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build on and apply previous learning from the course to critically examine economic policy issues. You will take an applied approach on this module and make use of both macroeconomic and microeconomic modelling. You will investigate recent research and methodological debates within the economics discipline.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore in detail the institutions, structures and processes of global governance. In particular we focus on the institutions of the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. We also cover regional organisations such as the European Union, and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. Global issues will be examined to analyse the work of these institutions, which may include:

  • Human rights
  • International terrorism
  • Global inequality
  • The environment
  • Conflict and peace.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will have the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the connection between politics and economics on an international level. You will engage with key aspects of International Political Economy, with a focus on how differences in growth and development arise due to the unique circumstances that characterise specific regions around the world.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will examine the nature and causes of environmental problems, along with the political responses to these. In the continuing context of global climate change, the focus is placed on the international system as a means to address environmental problems. You will apply theories of international relations to analyse the actions of states and global governance institutions to national, regional and global environmental issues. You will also examine the role of civil society in environmental politics.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

All of your modules will be delivered using a variety of different teaching sessions. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Guest speakers
  • Workshops
  • Events.

Each module has 3.5 hours of contact time a week. This consists of a 1.5 hour lecture and a 2 hour seminar. 1 to 1 time can be booked through our tutorial booker system.

You will also have regular individual tutorial sessions with your academic tutors to support your learning. You will also have opportunities to gain work experience through modules which take your learning beyond the classroom and into the city.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

We use a wide variety of assessment types, which help you to develop skills relevant to the workplace. This includes:

  • Written assignments
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Exams
  • Practical activities.

You will receive feedback on your work throughout each module. This will help you to improve your work for your graded assessments. We will advise you on developing your skills, useful areas for research and how to extend your business knowledge further.

Professional skills

We encourage you to extend your learning through Continuing Professional Development as you study. Our Success Lab provides extra events, short courses and opportunities to help you make the most of your degree. The academic and professional skills you develop through this will help to boost your employability when you graduate.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Politics and Economics

This course will give you the skills to succeed in many different careers relating to economics and politics. These include skills in problem solving, developing arguments, analysing and evaluating information, collaboration, independent working and communication.

This degree could be the first step toward your career in:

  • Policy development
  • Local government
  • The Civil Service
  • Accountancy
  • External audit
  • Analytics.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

Postgraduate courses

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

This course is available with foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Business foundation year

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Advanced Entry

Considering transferring to join us in year 2 or 3 of our Business Courses? Please see our Advanced Entry page for information on the courses available and how to apply.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

ASPIRE CARD

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