From Wikileaks to the War on Terror, from climate change to the financial crisis, today politics unfolds in a world of 24/7 news media. Whether parliamentary decisions or street protests, information can travel in less than a second, delivered around the world to screens we hold in our hands. This hyper-mediated environment brings with it new challenges and opportunities for politicians and political organisations. It raises issues around privacy, security and exposure, highlighting questions of citizenship, identity and democratic participation.
What does it mean to develop political campaigns and marketing strategies in these times? How do we respond to such challenges and make the media work for us? To navigate future careers in politics, graduates need expertise that bridges foundations in political thought with practical skills for doing politics in our media saturated world. With more than 8,000 politics graduates in the UK each year, a specialised degree in Politics and Media from BU can help your skills stand out.
The entry requirements for this course are 112-128 tariff points from 3 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.
Year 1 - Level C
The History of Political Thought
This unit provides an introduction to key and contested concepts in political theory. This includes: debates on notions of the state, power, civil rights & disobedience, justice, freedom, gender, equality, fairness, toleration and democracy. This unit will relate historical debates and disputed meanings to contemporary political realities.
Comparative Government & Politics
You will be evaluating the usefulness and legitimacy of politics. This will involve consideration of classical comparative techniques such as electoral systems, leadership, development, culture, legislatives, judicial systems, ideology and participation.
You will debate the role of the media in politics, cultivating political ideas and the way in which people influence one another about politics. The unit introduces a wide range of concepts and ideas including identity politics, symbolic representation, cultivation theory, mediatisation, politics and popular culture and participation.
Media, Journalism & Society
The unit introduces you to the role of journalism in society, as well as to the nature, history, structure and social roles of print, broadcast and digital media. It aims to evaluate the significance of cultural, technological and regulatory change on the media industries and assess the challenges and opportunities posed by the changing nature of the public sphere and includes the evaluation of theoretical perspectives.
Emerging Global Themes
You will gain an understanding of the global economic, political, financial and business contexts within which organisations operate. You will also gain an understanding of market economics and the economic forces affecting the private and public sectors. You will also consider the role of communications as an intermediary socialising practice that influences social and group identity in a multicultural society.
Communication & Research Skills
You will acquire knowledge of the major perspectives influencing the study of academic and marketing research and engage in the systematic search and research procedures required to investigate topics effectively. You will critically evaluate existing research findings and data sources and produce written work in a standard format that meets academic and professional expectations.
Year 2 - Level I
Critical Debates in Contemporary Politics
This unit will focus on challenges to political traditions by considering current debates on such broad concepts as citizenship, engagement, functionality of political institutions, political conflict and global/cosmopolitan societal trends. You will learn how to engage with such debates, how they ‘fit’ into a fuller understanding of politics and media, and, how to begin contributing to these debates.
Digital Communication Strategies
You will acquire a detailed, critical understanding of the impact of emerging digital technologies. They will be able to develop a critical understanding of issues raised by current digital and interactive media and apply marketing communications, politics and public relations conceptual frameworks to digital environments.
Global Current Affairs
The unit aims to engage you with current debates in international and multimedia journalism, while introducing major global developments and their impact on news reporting. You will develop your judgment and ability to link developments from different localities, periods and spheres of human activity, while dealing with issues of, and challenges to, professional practice.
You will gain an understanding of the links between marketing and politics from both practical and theoretical perspectives. You will explore the current practice with reference to key innovations by political organisations and candidates for election, and theory from the disciplines of marketing, political marketing and political theory, students are equipped to debate what role marketing does, can and should have in the process of politics.
You will learn the practical and theoretical issues relating to the design, execution and reception of political campaigns in the context of electoral contests. You will be required to read widely within a range of areas which examine current debates on campaigning, as well as analysing a range of contests and designing a campaign.
You gain grounding in political psychology, and to establish psychological perspectives as an intrinsic element in the systematic study of politics, especially in relation to a focus on politics and media. You will be introduced to the major paradigms in individual and social psychology which have been applied to the political domain.
Work Placement (6 weeks)
Year 3 - The Placement Year
Optional one year placement
Year 3 or 4 (depending on placement) - Level H
The Dissertation provides you with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your critical, analytical and research skills by conducting a significant piece of academic work. You will specialise in a topic of your choice, in consultation with an allocated Supervisor.
New Political Communication
This unit will equip you to think beyond current practice and blend together key theoretical perspectives to tackle the big debates circulating within literature on political communication. Students will draw on their intellectual engagement in years one and two and any practical experience they have gained to question current trends in practice and offer practical potential solutions.
Option units: please choose 3 of the following options
Fundamentalism, Extremism and Terrorism
Media, Conflict and Power
Persuasion and Influence
Political Mobilisation and Engagement
Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding
Public Relations, Power and Democracy
Transnational & Multicultural Communication
This will prepare you for careers in local and national government, non-government organisations, and think tanks, as well as further study at postgraduate level. Upon successful completion of the course, you might find you get a job as a:
Political press officer/spokesperson
Digital communication strategist
Political project manager
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