Politics is a wide-ranging subject which covers aspects of law, public policy, economics, geography, history and philosophy, involving the study of power and its justifications.
Here are some general resources related to Politics. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Politics related course you’re interested in and where you might want to study it.
Podcasts are fantastic and accessible introductions to areas of politics. Listen while you’re cooking, walking, knitting (other activities are available!) and then follow up anything you find interesting with some independent research online. The process of finding things and following them up is something university students do all the time; it is also good evidence of interest, curiosity and good academic practice in a personal statement.
Oxford Podcasts 🔗 🌟 The University of Oxford has produced a series of handy podcasts on various topics within politics and international relations which might pique your interest.
Spotify: The Rest is Politics 🔗 This podcast is hosted by former Downing St Director of Comms Alistair Campbell, and cabinet minister Rory Stewart.
Spotify: Politics Weekly UK, by The Guardian 🔗 This podcast might also be a good place to start!
Lectures are the way that we learn at university, so getting used to learning like this is really good preparation for student life. Take notes, and follow up anything you don’t understand or that you find interesting. This will develop your thinking (which will come in useful at admissions tests and interviews, if applicable) and could become part of your personal statement.
Gresham College Lectures 🔗 Gresham College offers free online lectures on a range of topics. They have a particularly extensive set of Politics based lectures which you might find interesting, and might get your cogs turning for your personal statement.
London School of Economics lectures 🔗 🌟 Here, you can find many online events, lectures and podcasts. Many of these have a political foundation to them, but often crossover with economics, geography and other topics which often find their way into political discussion.
The School of Life Channel - Political Theory Series 🔗 Here, The School of Life YouTube channel has produced a series of videos discussing political theory which might be a useful introduction.
Books are a great way to challenge your thinking and expand your political knowledge. Pay attention to the way that the authors write about their findings. Take notes and follow up on their references and research anything you’re intrigued by - again, this sort of process is useful for ‘thinking like a university student’ and developing your personal statement.
Some examples of books you might wish to read:
‘Politics: A Very Short Introduction’ by Kenneth Minogue - a classic introductory text to politics as an academic discipline. Within this text, you might find a certain chapter particularly interesting, and choose to read further.
‘An Introduction to Political Philosophy’ by Jonathan Wolff
‘Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction’ by David Miller
‘Political Philosophy: A Beginner’s Guide’ by Adam Swift
‘The Signal and the Noise: why so many predictions fail-- but some don’t’ by Nate Silver - an excellent introduction to political statistics, analysis and prediction.
LibreTexts 🔗 LibreTexts is a database of freely accessible textbooks maintained by several American universities. You may wish to look through their social sciences database to see if any textbooks are available and whether they may be useful to you.
Project Gutenberg 🔗 🌟 Project Gutenberg is another free online database of thousands of eBooks which are easy to download and read.
It’s important to stay up to date with the news if you are applying to study Politics. The best place to go for this is broadsheet newspapers, but bear in mind they have their own political bias. Similarly, certain political TV programmes might display bias, but they are useful ways of keeping up with current affairs and what’s going on in the world of politics.
Politics Home 🔗 🌟 A great website to keep up with the daily news.