International Social and Political Studies BA

London, Bloomsbury
International Social and Political Studies BA (2022)

This degree combines specialisation in one of ten humanities and social sciences, or Q-step, with a broad base in history, law, politics and philosophy, and fluency in a language. The programme is designed as "PPE or SPS with a foreign language", where you will gain access to the literature of your chosen specialism in both English and your major language. You may focus on areas such as North and South America, China and East Asia, or Maghreb.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£24,000
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code
LV01

Entry requirements

Grades
A*AA
Subjects
A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A* required for full Economics specialism if chosen. French or Spanish at A grade required if one of these is to be studied as major language.
GCSEs
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

Grades
A*AB OR AAB more about contextual offers
Subjects
A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A* required for full Economics specialism if chosen. French or Spanish at A grade required if one of these is to be studied as major language.
GCSEs
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
Points
39
Subjects
A total of 19 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5. Higher level subjects to include French B, or Spanish B at grade 6 if either of these is to be studied as a major language. A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) at higher level is normally a requirement. Mathematics at grade 7 at higher level is required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Points
36 more about contextual offers
Subjects
A total of 17 in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5. Higher level subjects to include French B, or Spanish B at grade 6 if either of these is to be studied as a major language. A humanities or social science subject (or Mathematics) at higher level is normally a requirement. Mathematics at grade 7 at higher level is required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*AA. French or Spanish at A grade required if one of these is to be studied as major language, plus a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A* required for the full Economics specialism, if chosen.

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). French or Spanish required at Advanced Higher if taken as a major language, plus a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at A1 required for the Economics specialism, if chosen.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. French or Spanish required if taken as major languages, plus a social science or humanities subject (or Mathematics) preferred. Mathematics at D2 required for full Economics specialism if chosen.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Additional tests

Thinking Skills Assessment


Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Show details

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
 

Introductory modules in the first year allow you to develop your interests and identify an area of specialism for later years. Your modules then fall into three groupings: common core, language (and culture), and a specialism in the humanities or social sciences.

The common core involves working in a multidisciplinary environment, gaining insights into a range of academic disciplines and engaging critically with competing analytical perspectives. You will undertake language study throughout the programme, selecting one language on which to concentrate.

Your third year is spent abroad (outside Europe), in a country where your choice of major language is spoken. In your final year you return to UCL to continue with advanced modules in your language(s) and your humanities/social science subject, and also write your dissertation under the supervision of a member of staff. The major languages that you can study include Arabic (offered from beginner's level only), French, Hebrew, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish.

What this course will give you

Benefit from UCL's world-class teaching system and the insights of its renowned humanities, language and social sciences scholars, and from the expertise of their international counterparts.

A year abroad at a university in a country where the target language is spoken. ISPS students taking French or Spanish as their major language will spend their year abroad in South America or Canada and cannot spend their year abroad in France or Spain - if a student wishes to spend the year abroad in Europe they should apply for ESPS instead.

Undertake a dissertation on an independently chosen research topic, with specialist supervision.

Wide-ranging employability: approximately 15% of ESPS graduates have gone into European, international or British politics, 20% into law, business and commerce.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in International Social and Political Studies.

Modules

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Full-time

Year One

You will take 60 credits in the language department (less for Japanese), the 30 credit core module History, Law, Philosophy and Politics and 30 (more for Japanese) credits in humanities or social science specialism.

Students taking a full economics specialism will be required to take courses to the value of 45 credits in the department of their major language and courses to the value of 45 credits in the Department of Economics in their first year.

Year Two

You will take 45 credits in the language department and 75 credits in a humanities or social science specialism.

Year Three

You will take 120 credits for the year abroad.

Final Year

You will take 30 credits in the language department, 30 credits ISPS Dissertation and 60 credits in a humanities or social science specialism.

Your learning

Your formal timetable will involve a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops. As well as the core modules and modules designed specifically for ISPS students, you will choose options in other departments according to your area of specialisation. This gives you access to a range of UCL's successful teaching approaches.

 

Approximately 25% of a student's time is spent in lectures, 25% in seminars or tutorials and the remaining time is dedicated to independent study.

Assessment

Your work will be assessed by a variety of means, including written examinations, coursework and presentations.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

London and across the UK - Open day

UCAS Fairs and Events

UCL will be attending the UCAS fairs and events for 2022 in London and across the UK and we look forward to meeting you at one of these events.

Online - Open day

Undergraduate Virtual Open Days

Our virtual Open Days are an opportunity for students to learn about all our programmes of study and book onto live interactive sessions. The sessions will give you a unique opportunity to speak with admissions and academic staff and interact with current students. Our virtual site will go live on Monday 16 May where you can book onto sessions.

The foundation of your career

ISPS graduates combine specialised knowledge of a humanities or social science with a broad foundation in  philosophy, law, history and politics and importantly, proficiency in another language or languages. In addition, they gain independence from a year studying abroad. In particular, students are able to demonstrate their aptitude for research by writing a dissertation.


This unique combination yields a significant advantage when it comes to securing funding for further research or getting a foothold on a competitive career ladder. Outside academia, potential careers may include politics, law, business, commerce, teaching, public relations, journalism or IT.

Employability

International Social and Political Studies (ISPS) gives you the wide-ranging employability of graduates in PPE or international relations, but with the added maturity of a year abroad, and the advantage of fluency in a foreign language – essential for anyone seeking a career in an international context, and increasingly valuable for the financial sector or media posts.
 

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £9,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £24,000

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.

Additional costs

Students spend their third year at one of our partner institutions abroad. There may be additional costs in relation to travel, accommodation and living costs at the destination.

In addition, please note that if you wish to study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the UCL Study Abroad website.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the UCL Fees and funding pages for more details.

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Next steps

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

You should state clearly on your UCAS application which language you wish to study as your major language. Please state both if you are taking two major languages. It is not necessary to state the minor language if you choose one. Further information about the languages offered and their specific requirements can be found on our website.

There is a two-stage selection process for this programme. The first is based on your UCAS application, which we use to select candidates for the second stage, our online Thinking Skills Assessment Test (TSA). A limited number of exceptional candidates may be given an offer on the basis of their UCAS application alone, during the first stage of selection.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021