International Politics and Modern Languages BA (Hons)

4 years including year abroad, starting in September 2020

You can apply for this course from September 2019.

Start a new language or achieve fluency in a language you’ve already studied. Gain the skills to understand the international political environment.

This degree enables you to combine the study of a language at either ab initio (beginner) or advanced level with the study of international politics. 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 international politics.

You can choose your language of study from either advanced French, German or Spanish (intended for those who have studied to A level standard) or any beginner language (which you do not need to have studied before): French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Russian or Spanish.

The beginner language stream will fast track your first two years in order to achieve the ability to study abroad in the third year. If you study an advanced language, you will be taught to engage with political and cultural issues in the target language.

In years 1 and 2 you will cover key concepts and theoretical tools which will enable you to study international relations and international politics. You’ll also explore the history and cultures of the country or countries of your chosen language in an international context. Your third year will be spent studying or working abroad. The year abroad assessment contributes towards your final degree classification.

In the final year, you will write a politics 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.

Teaching

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

Careers

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:

  • Amazon
  • American Chamber of Commerce to the EU
  • Civil Service
  • Interel
  • KPMG
  • Virgin Media

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 2020 and ends in 2024. Induction week starts on 21 September 2020.


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.

Units

At Bath, our courses are made up of units of study. Compulsory units cover core concepts that you'll need to understand as part of your degree programme. Some of our courses also offer the opportunity for you to study optional units. These allow you to specialise in particular areas of knowledge that interest you.

As an undergraduate, you will be expected to take 60 credits (ECTS) in each academic year. These are usually split into 30 credits for each semester you study. Sixty credits are the equivalent of 1200 notional hours of study; this includes contact time with staff and your own independent learning.

Compulsory course units

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

Year 1

Key areas of study

  • Written and spoken language
  • History, politics, culture and society (of chosen language) in an international context
  • Comparative politics
  • Politics: theory and analysis
  • International relations

Year 2

Key areas of study

  • Written and spoken language
  • History, politics, culture and society (of chosen language) in an international context
  • Political theory
  • Research design and methods
  • International relations and security

Year 3

  • Year abroad

Year 4

Key areas of study

  • Written and spoken language
  • Politics dissertation

Optional course units

This course includes a wide choice of optional units in the final year allowing you to specialise. Here are some examples of the units currently being studied by our students.

  • Conflict and security
  • Peace-building
  • Political parties and elections
  • Radicalism in politics
  • Gender
  • Politics of memory
  • European integration and Euroscepticism
  • International political economy

Year abroad


This course includes a compulsory 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, 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 students on related courses have previously spent their year abroad working for:

  • BusinessHub (Chile)
  • Di Palma Assocati (Italy)
  • EURODES Rare Diseases Europe (France)
  • Simmons & Simmons (France/Belgium)
  • Zänker & Kollegen (Germany)

Learning and assessment


Learning

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment

  • 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 27% 6% 67%
Year 2 13% 3% 84%
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 19% 81% 0%
Year 2 19% 81% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 16% 84% 0%

This information shows typical student contact time based on information from the 2016/17 academic year.

‘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 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 teaching in the first year of this degree for beginner languages is typically pitched at students who have not studied that language before and who are not native speakers. Teaching in the first year of this degree for advanced languages is intended for those who have studied the language to A level (or equivalent). If you have more advanced language skills may find these aspects of first-year study less challenging.

If you wish to study an advanced language you will need a strong performance in it as part of your entry qualifications. If you are not taking it as part of your entry qualifications, we can accept a relevant B2 level language qualification, such as DELF for French, TestDaF, Goethe-Zertifikat Deutsch or DSD for German or DELE for Spanish.

When completing your UCAS application for this course you will need to indicate the language and level you wish to study. You should do this in under "further details" in the "choices" section of the application form, using one of our listed codes. The available language options are:

  • French (advanced): FA
  • French (beginner): FB
  • German (advanced): GA
  • German (beginner): GB
  • Spanish (advanced): SA
  • Spanish (beginner): SB
  • Italian (beginner): IB
  • Mandarin (beginner): MB
  • Russian (beginner): RB

You can only choose to study one language through this degree.

We are aware that the context in which you are studying can have an impact on your ability to perform your best in exams and coursework, or limit which subjects or qualifications you are able to study at your school or college. We take this into careful consideration through our contextual admissions process.

Origin of qualifications

Select the country where your qualification comes from.

British qualifications

A level Typical offer

AAB

AAB in three A level subjects.

For an advanced language option, your A level subjects must normally include that language.

If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.

A level Alternative offer

ABB

Most of our students will join us with three A levels, but you may have study beyond this (such as a project qualification or additional study in maths) which demonstrates your individual talents that will help you with your degree. We recognise these studies through our alternative offers.

ABB in three A level subjects plus one of:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade B in a Core Mathematics qualification
  • grade B in AS level Mathematics or Statistics

For an advanced language option, your A level subjects must normally include that language.

If you receive an offer for this course and are studying one of these qualifications you will be given both the typical and alternative offer. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.

You can find out more about our alternative offers, including a complete list of qualifications we consider on our dedicated page.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Typical offer

35 points

35 points overall and 6, 6, 5 in three Higher Level subjects.

For an advanced language option, your Higher Level subjects must normally include that language.If you apply with a Standard Level in your required language and are otherwise suitable you may be asked to undertake a language assessment. Our typical offer in this case would be 35 points overall with 6, 5, 5 in three Higher Level subjects plus 7 in Standard Level in your chosen language.

BTEC RQF Typical offer

DDD

DDD in the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF) in a relevant subject area.

If you wish to study an advanced language you will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using your language at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For a beginner language you will normally need a GCSE in any modern 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.

BTEC QCF Typical offer

D*DD

D*DD in the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) in a relevant subject area.

If you wish to study an advanced language you will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using your language at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For a beginner language you will normally need a GCSE in any modern 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 Technical Typical offer

D*DD

D*DD in the Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in a relevant subject area.

If you wish to study an advanced language you will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using your language at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For a beginner language you will normally need a GCSE in any modern 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

D3, D3, M1 in three principal subjects.

For an advanced language option, your principal subjects must normally include that language.

Cambridge Pre-U Alternative offer

D3, M1, M1

Most of our students will join us with three principal subjects, but you may have study beyond this (such as a Global Perspectives course or additional study in maths) which demonstrates your individual talents that will help you with your degree. We recognise these studies through our alternative offers.

D3, M1, M1 in three principal subjects plus one of:

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

For an advanced language option, your principal subjects must normally include that language.

If you receive an offer for this course and are studying one of these qualifications you will be given both the typical and alternative offer.

You can find out more about our alternative offers, including a complete list of qualifications we consider on our dedicated page.

Scottish Highers Typical offer

AB in Advanced Highers

AB in two Advanced Highers.

For an advanced language option, your Advanced Highers must normally include that language.

We make offers based on Advanced Highers. You will typically be expected to have completed five Scottish Highers and your grades in these will be considered as part of your application. We prefer applicants who have achieved at least AAABB in their Highers.

Access to HE Diploma Typical offer

33 credits at Distinction

A pass in the Access to HE Diploma with at least 33 credits achieved at Distinction and 6 credits achieved at Merit or above.

If you wish to study an advanced language you will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using your language at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For a beginner language you will normally need a GCSE in any modern 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.

Open University credits Typical offer

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

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. For an advanced language, you will typically need 60 credits at Level 2 in that language.

This information is a guide and we consider students applying with Open University Credits on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. We may be able to consider alternative units to those listed. Please contact us to discuss your profile.

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.

Combinations of qualifications Typical offer

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, of which some common examples are:

  • AB in two A level subjects plus D in the BTEC National Extended Certificate (RQF) or 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.

If you wish to study an advanced language your combination of qualifications must include a suitable qualification for that language.

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 in the same subject area.

Typical offers for other qualifications

Any modern language GCSE grade A or 7 and GCSE English grade C or 4 (or equivalent from English language category C).

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Fees and funding


Fees

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.

How to pay

Tuition fee loans

If you are studying an undergraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.

Read more about tuition fee loans

Scholarships and bursaries

You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. This is in addition to your student loan and you do not have to pay it back.

Read more about bursaries and scholarships

Other 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

Budgeting

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



Selection process

We will usually assess you based on your UCAS application. If you hold a language qualification that is not covered by our typical entry requirements we may invite you to attend an interview to assess your language level. This interview will usually take place remotely.

Very exceptionally we may invite you to an interview if you have circumstances we cannot assess from an application alone.

Our interview page gives more information on what you should expect from an interview.

Course enquiries


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