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Study politics

Our wide range of politics programmes reflects our expertise in a very broad range of areas including British, American, European (including EU) politics, international affairs and global politics (including the study of war), the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia, in addition to political theory, nationalism, the study of the UK Parliament, public policy and political economy. 

We strive to ensure all our course modules are contemporary and reflect changing knowledge and a changing world. Modules cover everything from political communications to political economy, all of which involve up-to-the-minute readings. We also make our assessment as varied and engaging as possible, using a mixture of essays, learning logs and presentations to give our students experience of different approaches. As a measure of our success, the 2022 National Student Survey ranked Birkbeck Politics 1st in London for teaching, learning opportunities and overall satisfaction. In the last Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017, the government's new system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a silver award. 

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.

Politics at Birkbeck has always sought to engage with pressing policy problems and to try to change politics for the better. Our academics regularly speak with policy makers, MPs and think tanks, and Birkbeck has been host to a Jean Monnet Centre (2020-23). We are home to the Birkbeck Centre for British Political Life, which holds regular events with parliamentarians, journalists, and academics, and we also have an annual lecture. 

Birkbeck politics graduates have gone on to work (or develop their careers) in a very broad range of employers both in the private and public sectors and we take pride in Birkbeck’s contribution to this effect.

Our alumni include current and former members of Parliament such as Tulip Siddiq, John McDonnell, Lisa Nandy, Luciana Berger, Gloria de Piero as well as Claire Ainsley who is currently Director of Policy in the office of the Leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer MP, who is also Birkbeck’s local MP).

What it's like to study politics at Birkbeck

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