Part of the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy,the Department of Politics is a centre of interdisciplinary research with an outstanding reputation for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
The Department was founded in 1972 by Bernard Crick, author of In Defence of Politics, and George Orwell: A Life. The leading British sociology and political theorist, Paul Hirst, is also a key figure in our history. Read more about our history.
The Department is situated in an elegant Regency house at 10 Gower Street in Bloomsbury (WC1). The building was once the home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, friend and patron of famous Bloomsbury writers and artists. Read more about our location.
The Department has a reputation for teaching excellence of which it is justly proud. This Self Evaluation Document was prepared for the Internal Review of the Department of Politics in March 2015.
The Department of Politics ranked 12th in Britain in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for 4* research - considered 'world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour - just beneath University of Cambridge. This places it within the top quarter of research-active Politics departments, higher if we include the many institutions that did not enter the REF. It also ranks 12th overall in 4* outputs, 17thoverall for Grade Point Average. This confirms Birkbeck's status as a top tier Politics department within the UK, and the world.
Our physical location also contributes immeasurably to our research culture, as we are located at the heart of the University of London and among the other Bloomsbury colleges.
The Department has a research centre dedicated to the study of British Politics (the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life) and a research group on Population, Environment and Resources.
Our teaching recognises no intellectual boundary between politics, political history, political theory and sociology, and our degrees transcend any artificial divisions. This particular combination of expertise and course has no equivalent in any other Department in the UK.