Politics BA (Hons)

Course code L240

What is special about this course?

This BA (Hons) Politics degree is designed to look at the three main areas of political study: Political theory, International relations, and Comparative politics.

The course will give you a solid grounding in all of the main debates and controversies of the day, as well as developing the skills to investigate, research, and explore subjects further.

The course is delivered by a team who have worked hard to establish relationships with potential employers such as local governments, political parties, lobbying companies, the voluntary sector, parliaments, and the trade union movement.

Guest speakers, workshops, and masterclasses are built into the course, with an optional placement module in the third year, based in a political environment, that will help you gain invaluable experience in the field.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • Study politics in a regional, national and international context
  • Optional placement module in the third year, based in a political environment
  • Study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two should be from the list of relevant academic subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Sciences (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit, will be considered for direct entry to year two

Year 1 - CertHE

Modules may include:

  • The enquiring student
  • Ideas and ideologies in politics
  • Evolving politics of the British Isles
  • Conflict and the balance of power in Europe

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules may include:

  • Comparative politics
  • History of political ideas
  • Politics of policing
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Scottish politics
  • Inside US politics

Year 3 - BA

Modules may include:

  • Wars of the promised land
  • European politics
  • Modern political ideas
  • Environmental and green politics
  • Social research methods (advanced)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation.

Additional modules may include:

  • Terrorism
  • Transforming regimes in Eastern Europe
  • Foreign policy analysis
  • Political theory

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): up to 10 years

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC
  • Inverness
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in the world
  • Students based near to one of the listed campuses should apply to, and be enrolled and supported by, their local campus
  • All other students should apply to, and will be enrolled and supported by, UHI Perth

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK studying online from their home country, or living in the UK but assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:

This includes EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK and EEA and Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540 £6,960
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of your BA (Hons) Politics degree you will be ready to embark on a career in many different and fulfilling areas. Not only will you be ready for the corridors of power in public office, but a wealth of government jobs will become increasingly available in many different sectors, for example:

  • Local government official
  • Political advisor
  • Political party administrater
  • Civil Service Fastrack scheme
  • Trade Union management
  • Policy analyst
  • Parliamentary assistant

Can I progress into further study?

The degree is very desirable as a starting point for further training in areas such as journalism, PR, marketing and research.

You may also wish to progress from the BA (Hons) Social Sciences degree to a range of taught postgraduate degrees, including:

  • MSc Social Sciences

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Politics BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.