war and security studies

Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BA War and Politics

Discover how war has fuelled the development of civilisations, raised and crushed societies, and driven humanity's technological and social development.

Key information

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Course length

3 years

Typical offer


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UCAS code


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Start date

Course overview

War. Described by some as “the continuation of politics by other means”. Said by others to be the single most important social activity that humanity has ever undertaken.

It’s fuelled the development of civilisations, raised and crushed entire societies, and driven humanity’s technological and social development. Here’s where you learn how and why.

Hull has an established reputation in the study of war and security. This programme focuses on the relationship between the theory of warfare and its practical application in the real world.

Our expert staff have considerable experience of working alongside the military and policy-makers, in the UK and overseas, and are widely recognised in their field. Their experience and research informs your studies.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session



Six reasons to study War and Politics at Hull

  1. One of the largest Westminster placement schemes
  2. 89% graduate employability rating*
  3. Opt to spend three months studying overseas
  4. Learn from some of the UK's leading experts
  5. Politics is 9th in the UK for overall student satisfaction**
  6. Join our active War and Politics student society

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    British Political History since 1945

    The UK's political history after World War Two: from Eden to the EEC and from Wilson to the 'Winter of Discontent', encounter the people, ideas and policies that have shaped modern Britain.

    Introduction to International Politics

    Examine the theories that help us understand how the world around us works, and the themes and issues that are central to international discourse and practice. You'll explore arguments and ways of thinking that are designed to expand their sense of who you are and of where and how you fit in the world around you.

    Introduction to Political Ideologies

    Political action is collective action among people who share beliefs. This module explores the most important formulations of these collective views. It explores political ideologies that defend the status quo, those who wish to reform it, and those that seek a radically different political reality.

    Introduction to Policy-Making

    This module provides an introduction and explanation of the plural theories and models of policy making before applying these theories and models to the practice of policy-making, via a series of case studies of policy-making in practice.

    Introduction to War and Politics

    Study the causes and conduct of war in modern times. Learn why the Allies won World War Two, why the US lost in Vietnam and how nuclear weapons affect international security.

    Introduction to Global Political Economy

    You'll gain the tools to understand and explain developments in the global political economy and be introduced to international political economy, one of the main sub-disciplines of politics and international relations. You will trace the evolution of ideas, institutions and policies related to global financial markets, transnational production, global division of labour, gender and climate change.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Modern Strategy

    Ultimately, this module is about how to win wars and achieve objectives in the face of the enemy. You'll learn how strategy works, why it often doesn't work, and how to use it better. 

    Sea Power

    This module will teach you about the role of sea power, what navies do in warfare and diplomacy and why the world's great naval powers became the world's great global powers.

    Air Power

    Chart the history of air warfare from the Red Baron to the drones of today. You'll explore uses of air power including strategic bombing, airborne troops and aircraft carriers. 

    Paths of Research

    Discover the research techniques and skills used in the study of politics. This module unpacks everything you'll need for conducting research in your own area of interest.

  • Optional

    Terrorism, War and Ethics

    Explore the history and evolution of terrorism, its impacts and the ethical arguments around it. You'll study violent political groups from the 19th century to the present day.

    International Relations Theory

    Examine the state of international relations theory, beginning with an analysis of realism. You'll consider whether we are returning to geopolitics reminiscent of the Cold War era.

    The Global South

    You'll explore issues such as equality, income distribution, gender, role of states and markets and democracy in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

    Understanding the European Union

    Learn about the history and politics of the European Union. You'll consider its core policies, including the European Single Market, environmental policy and the implications of Brexit.

    Understanding America

    An introduction to the political culture and institutions of the USA. You'll consider America's international role and the relationship between its domestic and international policies.

    Understanding China

    This module examines the economic transformations of China in a historical, cultural and political context. You'll evaluate the major issues and challenges facing the nation.

    The United Nations and Global Security

    This module introduces you to the study of state interaction within the context of the world’s major inter-governmental security organisation: the United Nations.

Final year modules

  • Choose one


    You will make an original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up your own project on a topic you choose, supported by your dissertation supervisor.

    One-Trimester Internship

    Apply knowledge learned on your degree in a real working environment on one of our unique internship opportunities - enhance your chance of getting a job at the same time.

    One Trimester Abroad

    An opportunity to study for a semester abroad at any of our partner institutions. Select a number of modules on offer from the host institution to count towards your degree.

  • Optional

    Politics of the Environment

    Analyse attitudes towards the environment and the politics of the environmental movement, pressure groups, political parties, states, the EU and international organisations.

    BRICS: Emerging Powers in International Affairs

    Discover challenges facing the five emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the shifting power structures of international affairs.

    War in the 21st Century: Robots, Cyberwar and Nuclear Weapons

    Explore the strategic, political and ethical implications of autonomous weapons systems, warfare in cyberspace, and the significance of modern nuclear forces.

    Intelligence and National Security

    The intelligence agencies work in the background to provide security for their respective nations states. But how exactly does intelligence work? In this module you'll find out. 

    Dangerous Minds

    Study the relationship between ideas, the people who promote them, and political practice. From Plato, to Machiavelli, explore just how influential and dangerous ideas can be.

    Small Wars from Malaya through Ireland to Iraq

    Insurgency and how to beat it is among the biggest problems of our time. Examine the issue in case studies from the end of empire to the latest Iraqi and Afghan insurgencies. 

    UK Politics in an Age of Austerity and Brexit

    Examine contemporary debates on economic, social and political renewal. You'll cover topics such as: Brexit, austerity, foreign policy and the future of the welfare state.

    Culture Wars

    What causes the culture wars? Explore the controversies. From identity politics to free speech and BLM to transgenderism.

    Maritime Security in the 21st Century

    Learn about the role of modern navies, piracy, terrorism, maritime law, economy, expeditionary warfare and the frightening fragility of the world you take for granted.

    Short Dissertation

    This module enables you to undertake independent research on a question of your choice. Working with an academic across your final semester, you'll write a 6,000-word dissertation.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Lucy Dunwell Politics houses of parliament
Lucy Dunwell Politics

Why I chose Politics at Hull

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Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades N/A

  • BTEC grades N/A

  • Points required N/A

Work out your estimated points

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

At Hull, you’re a name not a number. During Clearing, we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades. We may be able to offer you a place whatever your situation.

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 466100 or complete our online form to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

You can start your virtual trip around campus here, in the reading room of the Brynmor Jones Library.

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,706 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Politics
  • HM Armed Forces
  • The media
  • The Civil Service
  • Business and the commercial sector
  • The charity sector

A Hull politics degree opens doors if you’re considering a career in politics, the Civil Service, the military or the intelligence services.

Our graduates are well known throughout the major UK political parties. In fact, so many of them now work in Westminster that they’ve become affectionately known as ‘the Hull Mafia’.

Open Day at University of Hull

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Clearing is open. This is your opportunity to get a place at uni if you don’t have one already – for whatever reason. It’s your chance to get the degree you need and the future you want.

Not ready to apply?

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*Percentage of students in work or further study within 15 months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2017/18, published by HESA 2020.

** National Student Survey (NSS) 2022, HEIs only