BA (Hons)

Politics with Security Studies

Security studies
  • UCAS code(s): L202
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: Three years full-time

Who really holds power, who decides on how resources are to be distributed, which values should be promoted and why? These are the types of questions that motivate the study of politics. This exciting new course will see you gain a comprehensive and contemporary approach to politics and international security studies that integrates both theoretical and practical perspectives to help you answer these questions.

If you have an inquisitive mind and a keen interest in contemporary events, both domestic and global, and ambition to pursue employment in the security policy field, then the BA (Hons) Politics with Security Studies degree at NTU is ideal for you. This course encourages you to engage directly as a political scientist or theorist by doing your own independent research, culminating in the production of a final year dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Throughout the degree you'll develop a greater awareness of the complexity and connectedness of the processes that shape our world. This opens up careers in a wide range of fields in the public and private sectors, fostering the skills, imagination, understanding and flexibility that employers demand.

Why choose this course?

  • The research of our academic staff feeds directly into the course, which means you will be learning about the latest issues from world-renowned experts. The team also regularly contribute their thoughts about worldwide events and incidents to the local, national and international media.
  • You'll have the opportunity to gain work experience with local and national organisation throughout your degree.
  • You can choose to get involved with the student-run Politics society, which has arranged guest lectures from local MPs and numerous trips to places such as the European Parliament in Brussels.

Joint Honours courses are offered by the School of Art and Humanities and are available at our Clifton Campus.

What you'll study

This distinctive degree enables you to gain theoretical, empirical and practical training in the generation of security policy and the academic field of security studies. You will study the processes of security policy, understand the theoretical aspects of security studies, undertake a work placement with a security policy focus and complete an applied dissertation that will link the academic and practitioner world of security policy.

The content of this course reflects the fact that politics in the 21st Century takes place at a global level and is experienced in everyday life – in struggles against discrimination and in our interactions as consumers, workers, readers and viewers.

You won't simply study politics, you'll also have the opportunity to practice what you learn outside of the classroom. We actively encourage our students to recognise, develop, record and reflect upon learning opportunities available to them through engagement with a wider programme of co-curricular events and activities. The first year module Politics and International Relations in Practice facilitates your involvement in relevant co-curricular activities, helping you to practice and develop your politics skill set in ‘real-world’ contexts. In Year Two, the theme continues and you may have the chance to undertake a short work placement that is related to security studies.

Please be aware that some modules on the BA (Hons) Politics with Security Studies course may be taught at our Clifton Campus.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Foundations and Challenges to International Relations

    You’ll study the conceptual and historical areas necessary for understanding the dynamic nature of contemporary international relations. These include structuralism, post-structuralism and post-modernism, feminism, green theory and critical theory. You will also gain an understanding of the actual practices of resistances to orthodoxy embodied in social movements, popular direct action, and aesthetic-cultural forms of representation.

    British Political History

    Explore the development of British political history from the civil wars of the 17th Century up to the case for membership of the European Community in the late 20th Century.

    British Politics: Governing in a Global Age

    This module will introduce you to the basic concepts related to the study of British politics and government. It identifies significant actors in the political and government systems of the UK and its territorial polities, and identifies and interprets their role, functions and interrelations.

    Political Ideologies in Conflict

    Explore the main political ideologies that have emerged over the past three centuries.  You’ll learn the historical and contextual emergence of each ideology, alongside their continuing relevance for shaping today’s global society. The works associated with key political theorists will be studied closely, and you’ll explore not only the unity within each ideology, but also their internal complexity. Of particular importance will be appreciating the significance of human nature, and more specifically the way this feeds into each ideologies’ view on how society should function.

    Media, Power and Politics

    You’ll be introduced to the key concepts, theories and approaches to understanding the nature and impact of mass media in contemporary politics (and society). You’ll also consider the political ramifications of the developing structure, ownership and technologies of contemporary media in Britain, the range of key "players" involved in political communication, and you'll assess both competing and common interests and behaviour.

    Politics and International Relations in Practice

    This module will allow you to take part in real-world politics, such as participating in our Student Parliament, the Politics and International Relations society, or other relevant activity within or outside of the University.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Politics and International Relations: Theory and Methods

    This module is designed to develop your understanding of the role of research in the study of politics and international relations. You will learn the methods of research design and practice, the importance of analytical frameworks and generate a dissertation proposal. A key aim of this module is to help you develop the necessary skills to produce a viable research project. This will be excellent preparation for your final year dissertation.

    International Security

    Explore issues in strategic and security studies by focusing on security in a broad sense, from issues relating to the use of force by states, through to violence by non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, and on to the concepts of critical security where issues such as disease and environmental impact are important.

    Politics Specialisation

    Specialise in security studies and learn about contemporary security policies.

    Working with Politics and International Relations

    Following on from the ‘Politics and International Relations in Practice’ module in Year One, this module sees your continued in involvement in practical politics with business or community issues. You may even have the chance to undertake a short work placement with one of our external partners.

    Optional modules

    Political Activism and Community Engagement

    This module allows you to not only study the history of activism in politics and international relations, but to learn by engaging in activism and community engagement. You'll engage in a group activism project throughout the year alongside an academic engagement in the history and theory of campaigning.

    Environmental Politics and Policy

    In this module, you'll consider a number of theoretical perspectives within ecological political thought; examine in detail national and international actors, processes, treaties and disputes; and consider possible resolutions of complex and apparently intractable global environmental problems.

    Change and the World  Order

    This module draws on the theory of Liberal Pluralism and is based on the assumption that non-state actors are important entities/actors in international relations. The module aims to examine the nature of international order and to consider how international institutions have contributed to its maintenance.

  • Final year

    Core modules

    Applied Dissertation

    Undertake an independent study of around 10,000 words on a Politics subject of your own choosing. You'll be supervised by a member of staff and attend dissertation workshops. The context of the dissertation must be practice-based, and the applied focus requires you to identify a ‘real-world’ issue to address, for instance a specific policy challenge in an organisation.

    Critical Security Studies

    Investigate the different critical approaches to analysing security dynamics and issues.

    Political Violence and Terrorism

    Expand your knowledge and understanding of terrorism and political violence in a global context. This module analyses the concept of insecurity in a broad sense, through exploring both the theoretical approaches to the study of violence, as well as a range of real-world cases to illustrate the increasingly complex use of violence for political objectives.

    Optional modules

    American Politics and Policy

    Examine the politics and government of the USA with a focus on its policy process. The US is a complex and changing western liberal democracy. During this module, you'll be introduced to the significant actors and institutions in the political and governmental system of the United States. Their de jure and de facto powers along with their roles and functions will be discussed and critically evaluated in a range of policy areas.

    International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa 

    Explore the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) against the backdrop of the colonial and post-independence history of the region.

    Emerging Powers of Asia

    This module explores and analyses international relations within Asia, both in terms of individual member states and regional players, for instance the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It will also explore the role that external actors have had in facilitating, hindering and modifying the development of specific forms of international relation.

    Post-Soviet Geopolitics

    Uncover the political, economic and social changes that the region has gone through over the last two-plus decades. As well as examining the variety of security problems that these states face or the security problems they project to the world.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

During the Working with Politics and International Relations module in Year Two you may have the opportunity to undertake a short placement with one of our external partners.

How you’re taught

To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods.

Structured teaching will be delivered through a combination of traditional lectures and seminars. Lectures encourage the skills of listening, concentration, active understanding and note-taking. Smaller group learning environments, such as seminars and workshops, offer reflective group discussions and provide opportunities to develop problem solving skills, group cooperation, textual analysis, debating skills, presentation skills, as well as exposing you to a wide range of views and perspectives on contemporary issues.

A number of modules utilise alternative forms of learning within the classroom, including problem-based inquiry, flipped classrooms, simulation exercises, group presentations, case studies and film-based discussions.

Tutorials with staff

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one, you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions you'll have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and gain feedback about your work
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances or your university experience.

Independent study

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout your three years of study, the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to undertake an independent study or dissertation in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors and, if necessary, ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Virtual learning environment

You'll also use our virtual learning environment NOW, which will extend the curriculum beyond the classroom, you will be encouraged to participate in a range of activities that serve to consolidate, broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding, for instance: online quizzes, crosswords, film-screenings and other video resources, mini-reports, online multiple choice tests, mini-essays, case-studies, short written answers (that help build toward longer essays), online question banks, discussion forums, topical question sheets, past exam papers and other online assessment materials.

NOW is a flexible web-based system that allows you to have 24-hour access to module learning materials and reading lists. It allows you to discuss work with tutors and other students, and submit coursework electronically from anywhere in the world.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by enthusiastic, engaged and expert staff. The courses all draw upon their expertise, research interests and experience, and many have also published textbooks in their specialist area of interest.

You'll develop specialist knowledge based on the team staff's expertise in several areas including political theory, foreign policy, and global political economy.

Study abroad opportunities

You may have the opportunity to spend half of your second year studying abroad with the Erasmus+ foreign exchange scheme. There are many benefits to studying abroad – not only will it help expand your CV and gain a new perspective on your subject, it will also allow you to grow your independence and experience a new culture.

All of our exchange partners offer modules taught in English, including our European partners, so foreign language skills are not essential.

Find out more about this exciting study abroad opportunity.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

How will I be assessed?

The BA (Hons) Politics with Security Studies course uses a variety of assessment methods to generate a broad and balanced representation of your skills and understanding. Methods of assessment may include: written examinations; coursework-based essays; textual analysis; oral presentations; multiple-choice tests; reports; case studies; reviews of academic literature and a final year research-based dissertations.

In response to student feedback, the University has introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

You'll be taught by staff who are recognised nationally and internationally for their research activity, media contribution and consultancy work, but remain passionate about translating this expertise into the classroom.

Careers and employability

We're building successful graduates

This course opens up careers in a wide range of fields in the public and private sectors. You may be keen to pursue a career in local politics and local government. You may also be interested in working in the police service, the civil service, or public relations. In the private sector, organisations are increasingly looking for graduates with an understanding of international and global events and processes – all areas explored during this course.

Excellent work experience opportunities

Throughout this course you'll be developing skills for employability. You'll have the opportunity, via specific Work Based Learning and ‘in practice’ activities, to generate an impressive profile of employment-related skills and experiences in the area of security studies, working with some of our internal and external partners. Work Based Learning is given a very definite flavour by inclusion of specific assessment criteria requiring you to understand the links between the local and global aspects of politics and the formation of security studies.

Your career development

We are determined to equip our students with the skills, attributes and experiences they require for graduate employment. From Year One onwards we run a programme of employability activities and events that will help you develop and enhance your own personal employability profile. Some of these events involve sessions with our dedicated Employability Team, others allow you to meet and network with external speakers and other partners who work in the field of politics.

When you start the course, you'll be given a learning journal, which you'll use to record relevant experiences and achievements, reflect on key skills you've developed and prepare for the world of work. The aim is to give you a head start in securing graduate employment following completion of your degree. There is also a dedicated ‘Year Four Tutor’ who will continue to work with you after graduation, providing support, circulating opportunities (for employment, experience and further study) and keeping you in touch with our networks of external partners, former students and other contacts.

Some of the key transferable skills you'll develop include:

  • communication
  • time management
  • problem-solving
  • teamworking.

Our Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability team located on the City Campus. The team are well placed to give you specialist guidance and practical help that will really make a difference to your prospects once you do graduate.

Entry requirements

For September 2020 entry you will need:

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. We are happy to accept applications from mature students, and from students with access qualifications or many other types of standard and non-standard qualifications for which we can calculate UCAS points. Non-standard applicants may be interviewed.

The UCAS Tariff

We’ve created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

For September 2020 entry you will need:

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements, please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification, please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements, please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements, please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications, or about making an application to the University, please contact our international team for advice.

University preparation courses

If you do not meet the entry requirements, you may be interested in our pre-Masters or Foundation course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), which lead onto this postgraduate or undergraduate degree if successfully completed. NTIC students are based on the City Campus and have access to all the University facilities.

Find out more about university preparation courses at NTIC.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application – it’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place. You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to NTU for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university, you must apply through UCAS.


Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here, you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Home / EU 
students
BA (Hons) Politics with Security Studies£9,250

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

International fees and scholarships

International
students
BA (Hons) Politics with Security Studies£13,900

For international and EU fees for all courses, together with advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to our international students holding offers to study here. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460