Politics A level for International Relations Watch

Hannay(FTGI)
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Hi,

I’m just wondering whether taking politics at a level is a good choice or not.

I’m taking English lit and philosophy and have already taken economics. I’m unsure whether or not I should swap politics with one of the ones I am currently studying.

Can someone shed some light on this, if someone has taken politics for a level and is now studying IR at uni. I’m flapping a bit because I’ve heard it is very useful, but I’m having my doubts because so many people are saying how useful philosophy is.

I don’t mind taking either of them, both subjects internet me a lot.
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TSR Jessica
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Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you've posted in the right place? Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Hannay(FTGI))
Hi,

I’m just wondering whether taking politics at a level is a good choice or not.

I’m taking English lit and philosophy and have already taken economics. I’m unsure whether or not I should swap politics with one of the ones I am currently studying.

Can someone shed some light on this, if someone has taken politics for a level and is now studying IR at uni. I’m flapping a bit because I’ve heard it is very useful, but I’m having my doubts because so many people are saying how useful philosophy is.

I don’t mind taking either of them, both subjects internet me a lot.
best A levels for IR: a foreign language or two, econ and history. you can swap phil for politics if you want... english is at least a traditional a level
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
best A levels for IR: a foreign language or two, econ and history. you can swap phil for politics if you want... english is at least a traditional a level
thank you for your response. I think I'll swap politics for English Lit, as I want to take A-Levels that will set me up best for uni and ones I have an interest in. All the ones I've mentioned are ones I have an interest in. I am surprised you say history or even economics is better than Politics. What is your background if you don't mind me asking?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Hannay(FTGI))
thank you for your response. I think I'll swap politics for English Lit, as I want to take A-Levels that will set me up best for uni and ones I have an interest in. All the ones I've mentioned are ones I have an interest in. I am surprised you say history or even economics is better than Politics. What is your background if you don't mind me asking?
well i didn't do IR but it is the 'flagship' degree at my uni (St Andrews)... it's very highly regarded and popular with thousands of Americans who apply every year so i know a lot about IR despite never having studied it In Scotland you study 3 subjects in your first year or two and beginners Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish were the most popular choices with IR and understandably so!
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
well i didn't do IR but it is the 'flagship' degree at my uni (St Andrews)... it's very highly regarded and popular with thousands of Americans who apply every year so i know a lot about IR despite never having studied it In Scotland you study 3 subjects in your first year or two and beginners Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish were the most popular choices with IR and understandably so!
If the uni I go to has an option for a year abroad I doubt I’d take it, which is a shame I know, but I have other commitments. Good luck at your uni
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Hannay(FTGI))
If the uni I go to has an option for a year abroad I doubt I’d take it, which is a shame I know, but I have other commitments. Good luck at your uni
i graduated a year ago good luck with your choices !
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fifi1610
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I’ve applied to uni this year to Durham (IR), UCL (politics and IR), Bristol (pol and ir), Cardiff (IR) and potentially LSE/ Exeter. If you want I’ll update you with how I get on!! I do history economics and English lit
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fifi1610
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I’d be more inclined to swap English for history tbh
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by Sophbarry16)
I’ve applied to uni this year to Durham (IR), UCL (politics and IR), Bristol (pol and ir), Cardiff (IR) and potentially LSE/ Exeter. If you want I’ll update you with how I get on!! I do history economics and English lit
Yeh please do update me. I’ve been looking at KCL myself. I’m a mature student so I don’t really have the luxury of asking teachers questions about A-Levels, but did they say anything about your subject combination or did anyone try and steer towards taking those ones? From what I’ve gathered so far I see politics, philosophy and economics being the best to set oneself up to study IR
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fifi1610
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(Original post by Hannay(FTGI))
Yeh please do update me. I’ve been looking at KCL myself. I’m a mature student so I don’t really have the luxury of asking teachers questions about A-Levels, but did they say anything about your subject combination or did anyone try and steer towards taking those ones? From what I’ve gathered so far I see politics, philosophy and economics being the best to set oneself up to study IR
They are good but personally I was told that for unis that are higher in the rankings you should definitely Have 1 or 2 “facilitating subjects”. I’d be careful with KCL as well as they are the only uni outside Oxbridge that ask for A*AA but they’re still not amazing on the rankings
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by Sophbarry16)
They are good but personally I was told that for unis that are higher in the rankings you should definitely Have 1 or 2 “facilitating subjects”. I’d be careful with KCL as well as they are the only uni outside Oxbridge that ask for A*AA but they’re still not amazing on the rankings
yeh i have thought about that and wondered why KCL have such a high entry requirement...surely people can se for themselves that it's very high and might be put off. I had a friend who studied there and did economics and she said it was fine. KCL does have a very good war studies department and their IR offering interlinks with it's famous war studies department, so if I make the grade i would still attend.

May i ask, why did you choose to not do politics, because you've already got 2 facilitating subjects (history and lit)? I think I'm going to email some unis and find out from them what they say and I can let you know if you like? ... I'm so stuck as to which subjects to take! I'm taking them summer of 2020.

The only thing that has put me off UCL is the fact that it looks very boring (quantitative methods etc), so I have a feeling it would be too boring for me and may drag. I have a lot of friends that have taken BSc and have said this. However.... looking at the LSE IR modules list, it looks very interesting, especially in the third year - http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calen...lRelations.htm

I am also looking at QMUL as an outside option. London based and also Russell Group (just)...entry requirements are lower and less intimidating, however, this might be a telltale sign of the quality of the course. SOAS also looks intriguing and lower entry requirements than KCL and similar rankings in that field of study.
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fifi1610
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(Original post by Hannay(FTGI))
yeh i have thought about that and wondered why KCL have such a high entry requirement...surely people can se for themselves that it's very high and might be put off. I had a friend who studied there and did economics and she said it was fine. KCL does have a very good war studies department and their IR offering interlinks with it's famous war studies department, so if I make the grade i would still attend.

May i ask, why did you choose to not do politics, because you've already got 2 facilitating subjects (history and lit)? I think I'm going to email some unis and find out from them what they say and I can let you know if you like? ... I'm so stuck as to which subjects to take! I'm taking them summer of 2020.

The only thing that has put me off UCL is the fact that it looks very boring (quantitative methods etc), so I have a feeling it would be too boring for me and may drag. I have a lot of friends that have taken BSc and have said this. However.... looking at the LSE IR modules list, it looks very interesting, especially in the third year - http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calen...lRelations.htm

I am also looking at QMUL as an outside option. London based and also Russell Group (just)...entry requirements are lower and less intimidating, however, this might be a telltale sign of the quality of the course. SOAS also looks intriguing and lower entry requirements than KCL and similar rankings in that field of study.
i don't understand how your friends have taken it as its a new course lol. i find economics super interesting and i think a lot of what we learn can link to politics and IR and as politics isn't a necessary subject for taking it at uni i figured i would try and broaden my horizons slightly so that when i (hopefully!) start uni im not just relearning information and i can see stuff from different perspectives a bit more

with regards to UCL i was originally put off at the thought of all those modules in the second year but i find the optional modules really interesting personally which is why i decided to apply.
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by Hannay(FTGI))
Hi,

I’m just wondering whether taking politics at a level is a good choice or not.

I’m taking English lit and philosophy and have already taken economics. I’m unsure whether or not I should swap politics with one of the ones I am currently studying.

Can someone shed some light on this, if someone has taken politics for a level and is now studying IR at uni. I’m flapping a bit because I’ve heard it is very useful, but I’m having my doubts because so many people are saying how useful philosophy is.

I don’t mind taking either of them, both subjects internet me a lot.
Politics A-level isn't that important for a pure IR degree. To be honest, politics A-level isn't even anything likely politics at university, let alone IR.

I would say history or geography are better, because they're traditional subjects, relevant to IR, and the essay skills you learn from them are very transferrable.

(I currently study Politics at university, and didn't do Politics A-level. I have several friends doing IR, and most of them didn't do politics A-level either - they all did geography & history though)
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by Sophbarry16)
i don't understand how your friends have taken it as its a new course lol. i find economics super interesting and i think a lot of what we learn can link to politics and IR and as politics isn't a necessary subject for taking it at uni i figured i would try and broaden my horizons slightly so that when i (hopefully!) start uni im not just relearning information and i can see stuff from different perspectives a bit more

with regards to UCL i was originally put off at the thought of all those modules in the second year but i find the optional modules really interesting personally which is why i decided to apply.
oh right sorry, i meant just BSc's in general that my friends have done (so a bit of a generalisation which probably wasn't necessary, I was waffling), not only the UCL one. i guess it matters what sort of person you are and what you are in to. for me i see being better suited to BA courses.

I think you are right in saying it is good to have different perspectives, but for me taking subjects that will best set me up for uni will help me in the long run. that is also why i won't be taking english lit i think because it's too off topic in relation to what will be learnt later on..However, it does of course have it's benefits! so good luck with your choices, let me know how you get on.
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
Politics A-level isn't that important for a pure IR degree. To be honest, politics A-level isn't even anything likely politics at university, let alone IR.

I would say history or geography are better, because they're traditional subjects, relevant to IR, and the essay skills you learn from them are very transferrable.

(I currently study Politics at university, and didn't do Politics A-level. I have several friends doing IR, and most of them didn't do politics A-level either - they all did geography & history though)
I have emailed two universities so I’ll wait and see what they say, but what you’ve said is helpful! Thanks
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username941859
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I'd agree with LeapingLucy. I did IR at undergrad and didn't do Politics in sixth form. It didn't hinder me at all. I'd say history and geography are the best ones you can do, along with economics. Geography was honestly the most relevant subject I did in sixth form, as part of my geography course looked at globalisation, which is the foundation part of IR.
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Hannay(FTGI)
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(Original post by Calllu-m)
I'd agree with LeapingLucy. I did IR at undergrad and didn't do Politics in sixth form. It didn't hinder me at all. I'd say history and geography are the best ones you can do, along with economics. Geography was honestly the most relevant subject I did in sixth form, as part of my geography course looked at globalisation, which is the foundation part of IR.
Maybe it also depends on the modules that you take for your course, so yours may have been more related to the geography and history aspects to IR and less so political.
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