Politics as a University Subject Watch

Thirst
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#1
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I have noticed that on TSR Politics as a university subject seems to attract a mix of comments, ranging from the likes of it being a solid academic subject like that of say History and English, while others have compared it more to that of Sociology.

Therefore im asking for your opinion on the subject. Do you consider it an important/valuable subject? Do employers like politics grads? How do you rate its academic reputation?

I want you to answer on the pre-text of the subject being taught at decent institutional universities, or dare I say it the 'Red Bricks'.
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nunugab
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I'd say its highly regarded, definitely nothing wrong with a politics degree and there are several career options after graduation! In terms of academic reputation I'd really just say that it's considered to be a respected subject especially if you're studying it at a good uni. In terms of how important or valuable it is, its really up to how you choose to use your degree and how others view it, but that said politics graduates are very employable and have a wide array of career options! Don't worry.
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member520746
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We would be in an odd state of affairs if nobody studied Politics. Therefore, regardless of what TSR may think, it's valuable.
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Tommyjw
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Never listen to anything TSR says about anything related to a subject and how 'academically solid' it is and such.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by Thirst)
I have noticed that on TSR Politics as a university subject seems to attract a mix of comments, ranging from the likes of it being a solid academic subject like that of say History and English, while others have compared it more to that of Sociology.

Therefore im asking for your opinion on the subject. Do you consider it an important/valuable subject? Do employers like politics grads? How do you rate its academic reputation?

I want you to answer on the pre-text of the subject being taught at decent institutional universities, or dare I say it the 'Red Bricks'.
It's an interesting question. It's a social science just like sociology is, but it doesn't get the stick sociology does...

I think as far as employers are concerned, History, English, Politics and Sociology will all be seen the same. None of them are likely to give you specific knowledge you need for work, but with a 2:1 you can get past filters and apply for grad schemes. The exception with Politics would be if you want to work in the political system, in which case you will learn stuff of use. It's definitely possible to get work in politics if you have a politics degree and the right kind of experience during uni, but don't expect it to be a high paying career....you have to do it for the 'love of politics' and the buzz of that, rather than expect to be well rewarded.
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Joinedup
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I'm not entirely sure English is respected by everyone tbh. Some seem to think it's degenerated into a load of post-modern gobbledegook. Sociology at least addresses interesting problems in the real world , politics too (probably)
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ArcadiaHouse
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(Original post by Joinedup)
I'm not entirely sure English is respected by everyone tbh. Some seem to think it's degenerated into a load of post-modern gobbledegook.
Only by those who don't have the ability to comprehend it.
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username196545
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Pollytix is rubbish. :dunce:
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Joinedup
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(Original post by ArcadiaHouse)
Only by those who don't have the ability to comprehend it.
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ArcadiaHouse
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(Original post by Joinedup)
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My God, you're 41 and using TSR a comic strip in place of an original argument.

It's easy to dismiss that which you don't (or can't) understand.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by ArcadiaHouse)
My God, you're 41 and using TSR a comic strip in place of an original argument.

It's easy to dismiss that which you don't (or can't) understand.
Just said some people don't think much of English as an academic subject - pretty easy to google up evidence for this assertion. for instance http://www.denisdutton.com/bad_writing.htm

PS. I'm a student, why shouldn't I use The STUDENT Room? Have you got some weird age discrimination issues going on?
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magnum.opus
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It's odd how many people think English is a "solid" subject on these threads... Here in the US, English is on the same level as Classics and Sociology (probably underneath them, actually)- which means it doesn't have a very good reputation :mmm:

What are you post-grad plans, OP?
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MagicNMedicine
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Well all of these individual views on how English/Classics/Sociology/Politics etc are 'rated' just vary from person to person, the fact that all of them have in common is that a degree in them is usually one for 'signalling' value only, rather than for teaching content which is pre-requisite knowledge for a job (as would be the case for an engineering job where they want engineering grads for instance). 'Signalling' in this context means the employer has an initial filter where it wants to consider only those who have 'signalled' a certain amount of intellectual ability which is why the vast majority of graduate schemes say they want a 2:1 from any discipline to get through the next filter.

But in terms of employment, if you've done a 'signalling' degree then once you're past the initial filter, personal competencies and relevant experience or extra curriculars become the be all and end all, the exact degree subject becomes an irrelevance. You are not going to get an employer looking at two candidates and saying "hmm this person A is slightly ahead on competencies than person B, but person A did English and person B did History, and I reckon History is better respected than English, so lets hire person B".

Even when it comes to fields like strat consulting or IB where they are looking for 'signalling' on having been to a 'target institution', they are not going to stress too much about whether someone has done PPE or Classics at Oxford in to the decision.

When people **** off Sociology and say it's a ticket to the dole, it's more a reflection on the stereotype of the sociology student who chose it because they didn't know what to do, meandered along university, got a 2:2, did no ECs and then say ohh noo how do I get a job. I bet if somebody chooses Sociology because they want to do it, works hard and gets a 1st, then picks up some ECs relevant to the field they want to go in, they will have no problem landing a good job.
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Leo*
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I couldn't agree more with MaginNMedicine, well put!

Furthermore you find that in some cases just having a degree is a requirement
I've heard of people going on to be Accountants with Geography degrees or Insurance loss adjusters with History degrees etc..

Although this isn't the case with some disciplines, such as, you can't go in to Engineering with a English degree.
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TheGrandmaster
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(Original post by Tommyjw)
Never listen to anything TSR says about anything related to a subject and how 'academically solid' it is and such.
This. New members should be warned of this when they register
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toasteh
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The entry requirements to apply to Russell Group and 1994 Group universities for Politics tend to be at the upper end of the scale, so I imagine that must account for something. Politics graduates go onto a wide variety of careers as the degree gives you many transferable skills.
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aeterno
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Politics is an awesome subject and very well respected :yep:

Not that I'm biased or anything :ninja:

Seriously though, doing well in the subject, getting something out of it AND doing plenty of ECs will help you go a long way no matter what you study. It's no good just studying the most respected subject when all you've come out of university with is that degree and absolutely nothing else of any value.
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Thirst
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#18
Ill be doing politics at Nottingham. Post grad options are still open to be honest, I have a rough idea where I want to be but im not aiming for an ultra specific profession e.g. dentistry. I have had a gap year in IB but love politics, writing, current affairs and such... thus it only seems natural for me to explore what I love and am good at.
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Shroob
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Politics is a very interesting subject, although I don't actually study politics I have attended a number of lectures (I note take for the university). My main degree is History, and there's quite a bit of crossover, I would link it to history in terms of reputation to be honest. I've often thought of doing an MA in politics, if you like the subject go for it.
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