Is the Politics department at Durham really that bad? Watch
Is the Politics course really rubbish at Durham?
I have heard from quite a few people that the department is not good compared to others at Durham, should I choose another uni because of that (such as Warwick) or does it not matter that much in terms of how happy people are at uni?
At the open day the head of the department really did not sell the course, he said the Politics society is dead, the department has no links with employers, and he wouldnt give a straight answer on how many hours teaching a week there is!
I like Durham and the college im accepted at, but I really want to learn about Politics so good teaching is important to me!
Any advise would be much appreciated.
Sorry I can't help too much! But it depends on what you want after university (in my opinion)....if you want a high-salary job then go for the places that have a better reputation for the course, whereas if you're just after a degree then planning to go into, say, teaching or something then just go where you think you'll have more fun.
I'm trying to stray away from "COME TO DURHAM!!!" which as a Durham student I am obliged to do....but it all depends on what you want out of your course. Don't come to Durham if we don't offer what you want
There aren't many questions that are specifically related to my course so I tend to get excited if there are once in a blue moon.
Yes that is sad, but hey that's just me!
Is the Politics course at Durham rubbish?
The first year modules tend to be quite standard at any University you go to, and they tend to be split into three key areas; Introduction to Politics(Institutions,Political Culture etc), Political Theory and Ideology and International Relations(this is your World Political topics). I do know that Warwick(from looking on their site) offer "research methods" as a module in the first year and do not offer a political theory one until the second year.
My experience with the Politics department is that some aspects are better than others, but on the whole it's not been a bad experience. I am interested in all my modules so a bad lecturer does not necessarily put me off.
But with other departments such as the History department, they seemed a lot more organised than the Politics department. But this could easily be due to funding, and how successful research has been etc, etc.
I am surprised by the head of department being so cagey about your questions! We do have quite good and up and coming links scholarship wise through the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, and you can take modules in this to give you a specialisism in Middle Eastern affairs. But I'm not sure about direct links with employers, and I know quite a few people within my tutorial groups who do have links because they are doing Politics and Economics degrees or PPE.
I have five lectures a week, and five tutorials every other week.
I like my course, Politics(European Studies) because Durham was the only University out of several I applied to(Leeds, Warwick and Aberystwyth) to offer a year abroad in Europe.
Hope that is of some help! Jason, forever_delayed, can probably tell you more if he posts(he may be busy with his dissertation though!).
I'm coming to the end of my final year doing a single honours politics degree, and have really disliked the degree from start to end.
I think the module choice is extremely poor, and very much caters for people who have a major interest in political theory or international relations. If, like me, you enjoy learning about particular countries and their political systems, such as Britain, then you will be sadly disappointed. When I came to Durham such modules were available in the second and third years, but most of them were withdrawn before I had a chance to take them. The whole department has shifted focus, and those who joined wishing to pursue an interest in such comparative politics have been left very dissapointed and without much support (particularly if you wish to do a dissertation on such a topic).
I did have the opportunity to take a British politics module in my second year, but the lecturer who was supposed to be taking the course left and his replacement simply dictated out of a textbook. My A-Level politics course was more informative! At the start of the module, so many people came to the lectures that there were not enough chairs for everyone, yet by the end only 4 to 5 people turned up each week. Numbers also dwindled for my other second year modules.
Despite hiring British politics staff last summer, the department decided not to offer a third year module, and reduced the British element in the second year to half a module. Indeed, there were no so-called comparative politics modules offered in the third year (in which the political system of a country is studied in depth), and this resulted in a mass protest from the students. A petitition was launched which eventually resulted in an American politics module (which fuses theory and comparative politics) being offered. Many students, including myself, still feel that this is unsatisfactory.
The quality of teaching in many modules leaves a lot to be desired. I do not know one politics student who is satisfied with their degree, and therefore I would really think hard before choosing to come to Durham to study politics.
I hope this has been of some help.
Looks like it has
Are there any current politics students from Durham who could update this discussion? What is it like studying politics there now? When I went to the open I wasn't too impressed but really liked the rest of the uni.