Many congratulations on securing your place to study at the University of Bath; we wish you continued success during your time with us.

As Director of Studies (DoS), responsible for the academic and operational management of the First Year Undergraduate programmes BA (Hons) Language and Politics, BSc (Hons) in Politics with Economics and BSc (Hons) in Politics and International Relations (PIR), I’d like to take this opportunity to personally welcome you to the University and to the Department. Below you will find some information about the induction programme that has been arranged for you.

Welcome Week

Welcome Week runs from Monday 24 September to Sunday 30 September. On Monday 24 September, you will have an introductory meeting for all new students in the Department. This will give you the opportunity to meet your Head of Department, Directors of Studies and other students studying within the Department.

Support available in your Department

Although exciting, many students find that the transition to study at a new institution can be challenging. We are here to support you so please let us know if you are having any difficulties or have any concerns and we will do our very best to assist you through this transitional period. You can contact:

All incoming students will also be allocated a Personal Tutor who will be responsible for providing pastoral and academic support. You will also have a Peer Mentor who is a current student in the Department and will be able to share experiences with you, and answer any questions you may have about being a student here at Bath. You will have an opportunity to meet both your Personal Tutor and Peer Mentor during Welcome Week.

Choosing your optional units

Students of Politics with Economics and Politics and International Relations (only) will be asked to select their optional unit choices during Welcome Week via our Student Record system, more information can be found. You will find out more information about how to do this during your Departmental induction talks. However, you may like to look at the Programme Catalogues online before you arrive, so you can see the options available on your programme.

Department pre-arrival information

Pre-arrival reading

There is no formal requirement for pre-arrival reading. However, for students heading to university to study politics, the most valuable thing they can do to prepare themselves is get into the habit of reading the news daily. You will need to keep up to date with the latest events in world politics, so the habit of reading the papers will be invaluable. In your first semester, you will tackle the key concepts in politics, discussing power, democracy, the nation-state, freedom and ideology amongst much more. As an introduction to such themes, the following articles from The Guardian ‘long read’ are a nice starting point. Not everyone will agree with all the points made, that is the nature of the topic – the hope is that they will spark ideas, ready for debate:

We’ve also put together some suggested texts to help you to read around the area of your chosen language. Please find this book list below.


  • Dictionary: use free online dictionaries such as Cambridge, Larousse, TLFi, WordReference.

  • M. Thacker & C. d’Angelo, Essential French Grammar, Routledge 2013

  • P.Beaumarchais, Le Mariage de Figaro, Gallimard Folio Classique

  • E. Zola, Germinal, Gallimard Folio Classique

  • W. Doyle, The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford

  • R. Gildea, Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799-1914, Penguin

  • M. Evans & E. Godin, France since 1815, 2nd edition, Routledge 2014

  • A. Camus, La Peste, Editions Belin 2012 [for Semester 2]

  • A. Prost, Petite histoire de la France : de la belle époque à nos jours, 7th edition Armand Colin 2013 (for Semester 2)

  • Film: G. Pontecorvo, La Bataille d’Alger (1966) (for Semester 2)


  • R Wahrig-Burfeind, Wahrig Deutsches Worterbuch, 6th edition, Bertelsmann 2008

  • M Allinson, Germany and Austria since 1815, 2nd edition, Routledge 2014

  • E Toller, Eine Jugend in Deutschland, Reclam 2011

  • J Weber, Kleine Geschichte Deutschlands seit 1945, dtv (for Semester 2)

  • H Böll, Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum, dtv 1995 (for Semester 2)

  • P Schneider, Der Mauerspringer, rororo 1995 (for Semester 2)

  • Dreyer/Schmitt Lehr- Und Ubungsbuch Der Deutschen Grammatik - Aktuell: A Practice Grammar of German


  • Collins Sansoni Italian Dictionary, 2005

  • F. Merlonghi and others, Oggi in Italia (International Edition), 9th edition, Heinle 2011

  • A. Cento Bull, A Very Short Introduction to Modern Italy, OUP 2016

  • C. Duggan, A Concise History of Italy, 2nd edition, Cambridge 2013

  • P. Morgan, Italian Fascism 1919-1945, Palgrave 2003

  • P. Hainsworth & David Robey, Italian Literature: A Very Short Introduction, OUP 2012

Films - Roberto Rossellini, Roma città aperta, 1945 - Vittorio De Sica, Ladri di biciclette, 1948


  • The following two online tools are key dictionaries for Spanish:

  • J. Kattán-Ibarra & A. Howkins, Spanish Grammar in Context, 3rd edition, Routledge 2014 (essential)

  • J. Butt & C. Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish, 4th edition, Routledge 2011 (recommended, will be useful in subsequent years of study)

  • C. Ross, Spain since 1812, 3rd edition, Routledge 2009 (a couple of additional literary texts may be recommended later)

Study Skills

It is well worth reading something on university-level study skills. There are a number of such works in the Library, but if you can afford it you should buy one to refer to as need arises. We recommend:

  • M. Lewis, How to Study Foreign Languages, Palgrave 1999 or S. Donald & P. Kneale, Study Skills for Language Students: a Practical Guide, Hodder Arnold 2001 (available second-hand)
  • P. Dunleavy, Studying for a Degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Palgrave 1986 OR R. Barnes, Successful Study for Degrees, 3rd edition, Routledge 2004

You can find more information about Welcome Week and things you can do in preparation for your arrival at Bath. These pages will be updated as the time draws closer to Welcome Week (particularly during September). Therefore, please do continue to visit these pages ahead of your arrival.

We very much look forward to meeting you at the end of September. In the meantime, if you have any queries or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With very best wishes,

Dr André Barrinha,

Director of Studies, L&P, PwE & PIR