This webinar is hosted by Jon Cheek, the Founder and Director of UniTasterDays. Guidance is provided for students to help them make good choices when considering university. The guest speakers for this event are Dr Christopher Massey, a Lecturer in Politics and History at Teesside University and Dr Darren Lilleker, a Professor of Political Communication at Bournemouth University. What is politics at university?
Politics at university includes a wide range of subject material and analyses the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’. Christopher explains what a politics degree looks like, with most courses exploring current and past political events. Students also examine different models, the types of government and political behaviour as well as the work of theorists.
It is important to consider whether you wish you study another subject alongside politics such as history, philosophy, and international relations. If this is the case then it is crucial to research the universities you are interested in to see if they offer a joint honours degree in your chosen subjects.
The academic study of politics falls under two categories: discovering something entirely new and providing a new interpretation on an event via building on existing scholarship or challenging it. This is what you build on and become better at doing as you progress in your undergraduate degree, explains Christopher. Why study politics at university?
Darren speaks about how politics draws onto a variety of other disciplines such as psychology, making it a wide subject course. He explains what politics is and how the study of politics is about demystifying how power is won and used.
Politics is an interconnected sphere, states Darren, and we as citizens can all take part in politics. He goes on to describe how power is won by people through slogans, images and messages and the ways in which this can be psychologically analysed.
At university level, you can learn about power in society – do we trust those who are in power and can also study the power of voice – the role of the media to objectively state what is happening. The final example he provides is the politics of Covid-19 – this is concerning the ways government’s and NGO’s have responded to the pandemic. Lastly, he speaks about the benefits of studying politics in today’s changing world. Session summary from Rubaya Zaman, a final year English Literature student at the University of Birmingham.