Italian ab initio and Politics BA (Hons)

4 years including year abroad, starting in September 2018

Master one European language and gain the skills to analyse the social, political and economic changes affecting Europe and the world.

This degree enables you to combine a European language with the study of the politics of the societies in which your chosen language is spoken.

In the course, the language and politics strands carry equal weighting. You will gain a strong competence in both your chosen language and in relevant issues of world politics.

The first and second years are about key political concepts and the culture and society of your target language. You will be able to choose from some optional units, enabling you to focus on areas of most relevance to you.

During the third year, you will spend a year abroad. The year abroad assessment contributes towards your final degree classification.

In the final year, you will write a year-long dissertation supervised by an academic member of staff. There are several optional units you can choose allowing you to focus on areas that you are most interested in and excited by.

You’ll learn from academics with expertise in politics. Their international collaborations and research activities feed into undergraduate teaching and contribute to your learning experience.

Our politics graduates are found in a wide range of public, private and voluntary sector jobs. Popular destinations are jobs in the banking and finance industries, the media, public administration, and national, European and international political institutions and organisations.

Recruiters include :

  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Nine Feet Tall

Many graduates have chosen to pursue an academic career with further study.

Find out what our graduates go on to do.

Course structure

This course lasts 4 years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2022. Induction week starts on 24 September 2018.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year abroad
  • Year 4


As part of your course, you will take compulsory units covering key concepts. You may also be able to take optional units which assist you in developing your own interests.

You need to take 60 credits in each year of your course (usually split equally into 30 credits for each semester), so the number of optional units you can take depends on the number of compulsory units in each year of the course.

Six credits are the equivalent of at least 120 hours of study, including contact time with staff and independent study.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Year abroad

On your year abroad you will spend time in the country of your chosen language either within Europe or beyond. You can spend your time on a study placement at a foreign university (usually an exchange with one of our Erasmus+ partners), as a language assistant in a school, or on a work placement. You can also have the flexibility of a combination of any of these options.

Our dedicated and experienced Placements Officer will support and guide you through the recruitment process to gain your placement.

Our students have previously spent their year aboard working for:

  • Optimy (France/Belgium)
  • Simmons & Simmons (France/Belgium)
  • Freshfields (Spain/ Latin America)
  • PwC (Spain/Latin America)
  • Siemens (Germany)
  • Zanker und Kollegen (Germany)
  • Di Palma Associati (Italy)
  • Unilever (Italy)

Placement opportunities may not be guaranteed. Find out more about placements.

Learning and assessment


  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials


  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Oral assessment
  • Seminar
  • Written examination

Typical assessment breakdown

This average assessment breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Your specific unit choices will determine the actual breakdown of assessment methods that you will experience.

% written exam % practical exam % coursework
Year Written Exam Practical Exam Coursework
Year 1 41% 7% 52%
Year 2 30% 9% 61%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 14% 3% 83%

Typical contact time breakdown

This average contact time breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Scheduled learning and teaching may include: lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Your optional unit choices will determine your actual personal contact hours.

% time in scheduled learning and teaching % time in independent study % time in placement/year abroad
Year Scheduled Independent Placement
Year 1 22% 78% 0%
Year 2 21% 79% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 16% 84% 0%
“As you move further along in the course you’re able to specialise more in terms of what your interests are.”
Jessica Miles

BA French and Politics (2015)

Entry requirements

Your application, especially your personal statement, should demonstrate your enthusiasm for languages and politics, expressed through an interest and knowledge of certain social, political or economic aspects. This might include relevant reading, involvement in political or language societies, activism for a political party or an NGO or by participating in language exchange programmes.

You do not need to have studied Politics or Italian before to be suitable for this course. You will need a strong performance in a language other than your own of at least GCSE level (or equivalent).

We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds to our language courses. Language content in the first year of this degree is typically pitched at students who have not studied Italian before and who are not native speakers. If you have more advanced language skills may find these aspects of first-year study less challenging.

We do not accept A levels in General Studies. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.


Select the country where your qualification comes from.

United Kingdom qualifications

Typical offer A level


AAB in 3 A level subjects

Alternative offer A level


AAB plus one of the following:

  • grade A in the EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspective

Typical offers for other qualifications

International Baccalaureate

36 points overall and 6,6,5 in 3 Higher Level subjects.

Access to HE Diploma:

Typical offer:
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with at least 33 credits achieved at Distinction and 6 credits achieved at Merit or above. You will also need to offer a GCSE in a foreign language at grade A or 7.

Please contact us to discuss the content of the Access course you are studying to check that the units you are covering are suitable.

BTEC and Cambridge Technical

Typical offer:
D*DD in a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF)/ BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF)/ Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in a relevant subject area. You will also need to offer a GCSE in a foreign language at grade A or 7.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Pre-U

Typical offer:
D3, D3, M1

Alternative offer:
D3, M1, M1 plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

Open University Credits

Typically, we would be looking for you to have studied units worth at least 120 credits. You will need to have evidence of your ability to learn languages, which may be a GCSE in a language at grade A or 7, or an OU Level 1 beginners’ or intermediate unit in a language.

This information is a guide and all students applying with Open University Credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. Please contact us to discuss your profile prior to making an application.

Typical offer:
Pass units worth 120 credits, including a minimum of a Pass 2 with 70% in a Level 2 unit.

Please note that taking OU credits may be counted as degree-level study by the Student Loans Company and therefore may be counted as previous study and have an impact on your ability to access student loans/grants for the entirety of your chosen degree. We recommend that you discuss this in detail with the SLC before following this progression route to the University of Bath.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer:
AB in Advanced Highers plus AAABB in Scottish Highers.

Combinations of qualifications

Your application will be considered individually based on the particular combination of qualifications and subjects that you are taking.

We can consider combinations of accepted qualifications, such as A levels and a BTEC:

  • AB in two A level subjects plus D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)/National Extended Certificate (RQF) OR the Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (QCF)/Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (RQF)
  • AB in two A level subjects plus D3 in a Pre-U Principal Subject
  • AB in two A level subjects plus 6 in an IB HL Certificate. While we do not consider the IB Careers Programme for entry, we are able to consider the combinations of components that are typically offered by this route, such as BTEC and IB HL Certificate combinations
  • AAB in two A level subjects excluding Accounting plus the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies

We can also consider combinations that are not listed and that do not include A levels. You should read the information about essential and preferred subjects and subject combinations. We cannot consider different qualifications if they are in the same subject area.

Ireland qualifications

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 in 6 Irish Leaving Certificates.

Hong Kong qualifications

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

554 in 3 elective subjects OR 55 in 2 elective subjects plus 5 in any Mathematics extended paper.

France qualifications

French Baccalaureate

14.5 overall with 15 in either Economics and Social Sciences or History and Geography.

Option Internationale Baccalaureate (OIB)

13.5 overall with 15 in either Economics and Social Sciences or History and Geography.

European Baccalaureate qualifications

European Baccalaureate

79% overall with 8.5 in one subject.

India qualifications

Higher Secondary School Certificate (12th Standard)

Average of 80% across 4 subjects.

We do not accept Physical Education as one of these 4 subjects.

These requirements are for the CBSE, HSSC and ISC boards. Please contact us if you are taking this qualification with a different board.

United States of America qualifications

Advanced Placement Tests

5, 5, 4 in 3 APs.

We accept no more than one Calculus AP as one of these 3 subjects.

You will also need to pass your High School Diploma and achieve an ACT score of 29 or a SATR score of 700 in Evidence based Reading and Writing.

SAT Subject Tests

We do not accept SAT Subject Tests for direct entry to our degrees.

Spain qualifications

Titulo de Bachiller

A score of 8.5 overall.

Germany qualifications


1.6 overall.

Singapore qualifications

Singapore A levels

AAB in 3 H2 level subjects.

Greece qualifications


19 in the Apolytirion plus AB in two A levels.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels. We do not accept Pan Hellenic examinations in place of an A level.

Cyprus qualifications


19 in the Apolytirion plus AB in two A levels.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels.

Fees and funding

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

Read more about your payment options


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.

Placement fees

Placement fees vary

You will normally pay a reduced tuition fee while on a placement period or studying abroad. Find out more about placement fees and study abroad fees.


You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Application information

  • Course title
    Italian ab initio and Politics
  • Final award
    BA (Hons)
  • Mode of study
  • Course code
  • Institution code
  • UK/EU application deadline
    15 January 2018
  • Overseas deadline
    15 January 2018
  • Application eligibility
    UK and Overseas students are eligible to apply

Course enquiries

Undergraduate Selection

Apply for this course through UCAS.

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