Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Axiom Law
  • Barclays Bank
  • SDLP
  • Ulster Unionist Party
  • Sinn Fein
  • Softcat Ltd
  • Citizens Advice Bureau

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Graduate Analyst
  • Junior Communications Officer
  • Manager
  • Policy Officer
  • Researcher for Political Party
  • Account Executive
  • Community Support Worker


Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

A dynamic subject essential to understanding people, power and policies in a changing world.


Our curriculum is based upon the research and scholarship of the staff team. We aim to encourage students to become research literate and have a strong understanding and appreciation of the research carried out within their discipline. Students are introduced to the central questions and discover how academics, including their own lecturers and professors, are trying to address them. Our research is used in the classroom to help develop the overall research literacy of the students. We aim to give our students the opportunity to gain the skills and ability to carry out independent research, to assess the merits of competing theories and explanations, to work as part of a team, and to effectively engage in policy debate with sensitivity to the views of others – all skills that are highly attractive to employers. This Politics with Criminology degree provides a detailed knowledge and understanding of contemporary political analysis, an excellent training in social research methods, the ability to apply theoretical perspectives and concepts to real-life problems, and an appreciation of the complexity and diversity of political problems in society. The degree equips graduates for employment in a range of careers in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors.

Criminology forms the Minor component of this course. The Criminology component offers a range of ideas and theories from several different disciplines including law, public policy, social policy and economics. Students will examine mainstream concepts of criminology and criminal justice such as crime, victims, sentencing, policing and emergent ideas on equality and human rights. These, coupled with knowledge of institutions and structures, will provide students with a wider understanding of behaviour and activity within the criminal justice system.

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About this course

In this section


Our Politics with Criminology course covers all the core areas of the discipline and offers a range of options focusing on theories and ideologies and the study of the politics of individual nation states. It also includes the study of politics and political issues at the international level, as well as the study of themes such as the growing importance of 'identities' to political action. We have recently reviewed and revised the Course, introducing new modules including the Politics of Deeply Divided Societies, and Work Based Learning and Politics. Students will have an opportunity to cover the key areas of the discipline, including: • the nature of power; • the meaning and relevance of political ideologies; • the interrelationships between domestic and international politics; the functions and development of political institutions • the challenges posed by new social movements and global developments; • the meaning and application of political theories; • conflict transformation and the impact of political violence.

The course has been commended in internal and external review for its well-structured and relevant curriculum, which is underpinned by the original research and scholarship undertaken by staff teaching on the course.

Our research has a well-established record of impressive achievements through:- first, the authorship of books and articles of acknowledged international excellence, second, demonstrable practical impacts on the policy-making process, and, third, winning against strong competition the support of prestigious sources of external funding including the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy. Our research influences our teaching through the content of the curriculum, and through developing research awareness and literacy among our students.

This is crucial since it helps students understand that research and scholarship is the basis of their university experience – other people’s research and their own research collectively make up the scholarship which defines a university. Additionally, our students gain the skills and ability to carry out independent research, to assess the merits of competing theories and explanations, to work as part of a team, and to effectively engage in policy debate with sensitivity to the views of others – all skills that are highly attractive to employers.

Members of the team are actively engaged in research and scholarship, and in addition have collaborated with colleagues in the UK Political Studies Association and the Political Studies Association of Ireland to develop appropriate and innovative methodologies for developing students' independent learning capacities.

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards



Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BCC*- BBC*.

* Applicants can satisfy the requirement for an A-Level Grade C by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC award profile DMM (to include a minimum of 7 distinctions if the asking grades are set at BCC equivalent, or a minimum of 8 distinctions if they are set at BBC equivalent).


BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DMM.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard. Examples of combinations include:

A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate

A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3H3H3H4H4 - H3H3H3H3H4.

English Grade H6 (Higher Level) or above, or Grade O4 (Ordinary Level) or above, if not sitting at Higher Level, is required.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of 24 points (12 at higher level) - 25 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 60% - 63%.


GCSE Profile to include CGSE English Language grade C or above (or equivalent).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Instruction will take place in the form of 2 hour lectures and 1 hour seminars, or a combined 3 hour lecture/seminar, given on a weekly basis. Full attendance is essential. A module outline is provided at the start of the semester indicating the topics and readings for each session. More detailed lesson plans are made available via Blackboard well in advance of each teaching day. Students must consult Blackboard on a regular basis to ensure that they have the most recent information on readings and tasks that they need to complete before the upcoming session. All Politics modules require a significant commitment from students who are expected to be familiar with required readings when coming to class. Lectures will address complex substantive, conceptual and technical details required to fulfil the module aims. Students are expected to actively engage in dialogue with lecturers about the issues under discussion by asking and answering questions throughout lecture presentations. Seminars will build on instruction and facilitate dialogue and critical examination. Student group work in seminars and participation in debates and role playing /practical exercises will be features of seminars. Students will be directed to read steadily and extensively throughout the period between teaching sessions in order to keep up with the course requirements and fully benefit from participation in the teaching sessions. Students will be expected to participate in, and contribute effectively to, group tasks during the semester. Independent learning forms a core feature of the Politics programme. It is reflected in the requirement that students undertake a significant amount of external research to fulfil their assignments. Academic staff will be available to support and encourage that endeavour throughout. The structure assumes that academic staff will encourage students in ascertaining students' preferred area of research; give general and specific guidance in the location of relevant research materials; support the development of ideas and research plans; and guide students to governmental and non-governmental sources of materials and information that are relevant to their assignment. Students will be encouraged to develop retrieval skills in relation to academic and governmental sources. All Politics modules are offered by blended learning. The aim of all assessments is to give students the opportunity to review, consolidate and reflect on their learning and to demonstrate the extent to which they have acquired knowledge, understanding and skills. Hence, several modes of assessment are employed in Politics modules. Formative assessment involves course-based assessment work and ordinarily, though not always, accounts for 50% of the total marks available. It will give staff and students an early indication of their performance while providing a foundation for the summative assessment in a sessional examination that accounts for the remaining 50%.

Exemptions and transferability

We offer applicants who have achieved credits on courses with a Politics or International Relations content at Higher Education institutions the opportunity to apply for entry and to be exempted for modules already completed successfully. Students may enter the course with advanced standing at level 5 and level 6; however, we may require students to complete core modules before entry. Students may also apply for transfer to other courses within the Faculty of Social Sciences; this may require them to undertake additional study.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Axiom Law
  • Barclays Bank
  • SDLP
  • Ulster Unionist Party
  • Sinn Fein
  • Softcat Ltd
  • Citizens Advice Bureau

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Graduate Analyst
  • Junior Communications Officer
  • Manager
  • Policy Officer
  • Researcher for Political Party
  • Account Executive
  • Community Support Worker

Career options

A background in the academic study of politics is invaluable for those who aim to pursue a career in local or national government. There is a growing demand for staff in leadership positions in the voluntary or non-governmental sector, in political lobbying firms, think-tanks, and private sector consultancy firms. As the study of politics allows students to develop an understanding of organisations and decision making, they will have the skills and expertise which are sought after in many managerial and administrative positions. Students who have completed our course will have acquired the skills of respectful listening to those with diverse opinions, and of expressing opinions in a clear and respectful fashion. These skills are an excellent preparation for teamwork in a broad range of work contexts. Recent graduates have taken up careers in journalism, community development, research, teaching, the civil service and in a number of private sector companies. Others have taken the opportunity to study at postgraduate level. Ulster University has an excellent Careers Department: seminars and workshops focused on careers are timetabled within the course at all three levels.

Work placement / study abroad

The module POL328, Work Based Learning and Politics, is designed to provide a short placement opportunity for students and gives students the opportunity to apply political scholarship to practical situations and link academic studies to the world outside the university. Students will be enabled to apply political science theories and concepts to their practical work and volunteering experience. The placement not only encourages students to reflect on the applicability of their scholarship but also allows them the opportunity to draw on and enhance research skills. By practicing specific skills for employment – including the writing of CVs, giving presentations and critically reflecting on experience, the module also aims to prepare students for the world of work beyond university.

POL327 will be a compulsory module for those Politics students who have been accepted by a partner institution to undertake an intercalary study abroad year. There are many academic and non-academic benefits for students who take the opportunity to study abroad. Students will benefit from the opportunity to experience a broader Politics curriculum and to gain direct experience of politics in practice in a new and unfamiliar political culture and system. Students will also develop important employability skills through learning to cope with the challenges of an unfamiliar way of life and institutions. Students who have successfully completed an extended period of study abroad will have invaluable international experience.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Please apply before 15 January.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

An annual prize may be given for the best final year Politics dissertation.

Politics students can be considered for the School of Social and Policy Sciences Global Studies Award for the best dissertation with an international focus. Additionally, Politics students are encouraged to submit their final year work to The Undergraduate Awards, an international awards programme which recognises creativity, excellence and innovative thinking within student coursework. We have had a number of entries which have been highly commended.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


“I greatly enjoyed both the topics studied throughout the course and the way in which they were taught. All of my lecturers have been excellent in that regard.” “Staff are welcoming and very willing to assist with any academic queries or requests for help in work.” “A really interesting topic exploring a lot of previously unknown ideas. Topics that were quite complex were presented and taught at just the right pace needed to grasp them.” “I enjoyed the challenge of doing my degree…. it was a big accomplishment and something I am really proud of. The teaching staff instilled a great work ethic which stood by me in attaining the classification that I obtained.”