Studying Political Science at the University of Birmingham
The image of a University of Birmingham politics undergrad and the reality of it are two different things. I don’t know about you, but when I signed up I was ready to be the next Benazir Bhutto
. I was preparing myself to climb the metaphorical mountain which is political thought and encompass all the knowledge I needed for a political career. Yes, I am exaggerating, I’m not that naïve to think three years of politics would make me the biggest political activist of the 21st century. But I thought that my political opinion would at least be significant.
As you can tell, this wasn’t really the case. From my experience, you do not need a political opinion. You need political knowledge, but not opinion. You could be the epitome of a fence sitter (someone who sits on the fence) and brisk through this course ladies and gentlemen. Do this and voila! A 2:1! Now get a graduate job and fly, fly my pretty, fly! Maybe it’s just that I’m too argumentative for my own good. But if you love politics like me and love developing your political opinion then I am here to tell you that you can do this without doing a course in politics and its entirety.
However, what may surprise you is that even with this, it is an amazing course to do. You grow as an individual and I definitely believe the course helps with that. You learn about politics, you just don’t express it. Sigh. You have countless family dinners and twitter wars to do that, so don’t worry. But when you learn about politics, you really learn. One article takes you through a whirlwind of that topic and by the end of it you feel like you could debate the issue on national television, which is good because it takes about an hour and a half to read an article and university is costing a lot nowadays so you better get your money's worth!
Seminars can be really good or not great. Sometimes you wonder if you did the same reading as everyone else or in most cases whether anyone did the reading because you did not (not that I’m promoting this behaviour at all). Seminars can be summarised as this:
Liberals who are secret conservatives but have made to feel ashamed for being right wing due to the left-wing indoctrination
While I confess that I am exaggerating in the name of comedy, I believe the above is a good representation of what is to come. However, this course is different to many others and will make you a well-rounded person ready for life. As a reputable degree at a reputable university, with pleasant lecturers and doable contact hours, the positives outweigh the negatives. Even if they didn’t, that’s just politics.
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