10 best universities to study Politics in the UK

By Haripriya Sivasubramaniam• Last updated: Jan 30, 2024
10 best universities to study Politics in the UK
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Studying politics in the United Kingdom offers students a unique opportunity to engage with one of the world's most influential political landscapes.

The country boasts a rich tradition of academic excellence in political science and international relations, and it is home to some of the finest universities globally.

In this article, we will explore the ten best universities to study politics in UK.

Whether you aspire to explore political theory, international relations, public policy, or any other facet of the political sphere, these institutions offer exceptional opportunities to nurture your academic and professional growth.

Best Politics Universities UK: Highlights

UniversityQS RankingNotable Courses
University of Oxford2Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE); MSc in Political Theory; MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)4BSc in Government and Economics; MSc in International Relations; MSc in Comparative Politics
University of Cambridge6BA in Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and International Studies; MPhil in International Relations
King's College London13BA Politics; MA International Relations; MA Conflict, Security, and Development
SOAS University of London17BA Politics; MA International Studies and Diplomacy; MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy
University College London23BA Political Science; MA International Relations; MSc Public Policy
The University of Edinburgh32MA Politics; MSc in International Politics; MSc in Public Policy
The University of Manchester50BA Politics; MA Politics; MA Human Rights and Political Science
Durham University51 - 100BA Politics; MA Politics; MA International Relations
Queen Mary University of London51 - 100BA Politics; MA Politics and International Relations; MSc Global Public Policy
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Best politics universities UK

The UK stands at the forefront when it comes to the study of politics, with the best politics universities in the UK offering a diverse range of programs and research opportunities that attract students from across the globe. 

Here are the best universities for politics in UK:

1. University of Oxford

Oxford, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious universities, is located in the historic city of Oxford. It boasts a rich tradition of academic excellence and intellectual rigour.

Oxford's Department of Politics and International Relations is at the forefront of political research, contributing significantly to the field's advancement.

The renowned Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) program of Oxford University is highly sought after. Students can also pursue specialised degrees like an MSc in Political Theory and an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy. Oxford boasts a distinguished faculty, including leading political thinkers and scholars.

Notable Courses: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE); MSc in Political Theory; MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy.

Also Read: UK universities with high acceptance rate for international students

2. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

London School of Economics and Political Science is situated in the heart of London, making it a global hub for political and social sciences. LSE's international student body and faculty from around the world create a multicultural and diverse academic community.

LSE offers a BSc in Government and Economics and a wide range of Master's programs, including MSc in International Relations and MSc in Comparative Politics. LSE is renowned for its global influence in the social sciences and boasts a faculty consisting of leading political scientists.

LSE is a global leader in the social sciences and offers a wide range of political science programs.

Also Read: The Best Universities in London to Study Medicine

3. University of Cambridge

Located in the picturesque city of Cambridge, this ancient institution is known for its stunning architecture and intellectual legacy.

Cambridge offers a BA in Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and International Studies. For postgraduates, the MPhil in International Relations is a standout program. 

The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) encourages students to explore politics from various perspectives, including sociology and psychology.

4. King's College London

Situated in the heart of London, King's College London is known for its vibrant and diverse campus life. Its extensive network of alumni and partnerships with international institutions provide valuable opportunities for students.

King's College London offers a BA in Politics and Master's programs like an MA in International Relations and an MA in Conflict, Security, and Development.

King's College London's Department of Political Economy is well-regarded for its research and teaching.

5. SOAS University of London

SOAS is also located in London but has a distinct niche focusing on non-Western politics. SOAS is known for its expertise in development politics, conflict resolution, and regional politics.

SOAS offers a unique political perspective focusing on Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Their programs include BA and MA degrees in Politics and International Studies, emphasising the importance of global politics beyond the Eurocentric perspective.

Also Read: How To... Understand how UK politics impacts your studies

Explore courses at SOAS University of London

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6. University College London

University College London is located in the heart of London. The university's strong research culture, coupled with its London location, ensures that students have numerous opportunities to engage in political debates and events as they unfold.

UCL offers a variety of programs in Politics and International Relations, including BA, MA, and PhD options. Their curriculum covers various topics, from international security and political economy to political philosophy and public policy.

UCL's Department of Political Science is one of the largest and most prestigious in the UK.

7. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh combines a rich history with a modern, dynamic approach to education set against the backdrop of Scotland's capital city. Its strong focus on international politics aligns with the city's global outlook and political significance.

The University of Edinburgh offers diverse programs, including an MA in Politics, an MSc in International Politics, and an MSc in Public Policy. The university strongly emphasises international politics and public policy, attracting students with diverse interests.

Also Read: Universities to study game design in the UK

8. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is located in one of the UK's most dynamic cities and offers a modern and inclusive academic environment. The university's School of Social Sciences is dedicated to impactful research, addressing societal and political issues globally.

The University of Manchester offers a BA in Politics and various Master's programs, including an MA in Politics and an MA in Human Rights and Political Science. The School of Social Sciences fosters a vibrant research community in politics and related fields.

9. Durham University

The historic setting of Durham University provides a unique backdrop for studying politics, with a rich cultural heritage and access to the Durham Cathedral and Castle, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Durham's politics department is well-regarded for its research and teaching excellence. It offers opportunities for specialisation in areas like Political Theory, Security Studies, and Environmental Politics.

Explore courses at Durham University

10. Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London is located in the heart of London, providing students access to the capital city's vibrant political and cultural scene. It is known for its research excellence in politics, with faculty members contributing to significant political debates and discussions. 

Their School of Politics and International Relations provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including Politics, International Relations, and Comparative Politics. 

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge stand out as best universities for politics for their historical significance and rigorous academic programs.

Explore courses at Queen Mary University of London

Best politics courses in UK

The best politics courses in the UK cover a wide range of topics within the field of political science and international relations. 

Here's a detailed overview of some of the top politics courses available in the UK, offered by various universities:

1. Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) - University of Oxford

  • University: University of Oxford
  • Course Overview: The PPE program is world-renowned and covers a broad spectrum of political, philosophical, and economic topics. It encourages critical thinking and the development of analytical skills.

2. BA Politics - University of Cambridge

  • University: University of Cambridge
  • Course Overview: Cambridge's BA in Politics offers a comprehensive education in political theory, international relations, and comparative politics. It emphasises critical analysis and research skills.

3. BSc Government and Economics - (LSE)

  • University: LSE
  • Course Overview: This program combines the study of government and economics, providing students with a deep understanding of political processes and their economic implications.

4. MA Politics - University of Manchester

  • University: University of Manchester
  • Course Overview: The MA Politics program at Manchester offers a comprehensive curriculum covering topics such as political theory, comparative politics, and international relations.

5. MA International Relations - King's College London

  • University: King's College London
  • Course Overview: This program delves into the complexities of global politics, emphasising international relations theories, security studies, and diplomatic analysis.

6. BA Political Science - University College London (UCL):

  • University: UCL
  • Course Overview: UCL's BA in Political Science offers a diverse curriculum, allowing students to explore various aspects of political science, from political theory to public policy.

7. BA Politics - SOAS University of London:

  • University: SOAS University of London
  • Course Overview: SOAS offers a unique perspective on politics, with a focus on non-Western and postcolonial political studies.

Also read: Universities to Study MSc Business Analytics


The United Kingdom offers a rich and diverse array of universities renowned for their excellence in politics and international relations. Studying politics in the UK offers a high-quality education, access to vibrant academic communities, rich cultural experiences, and a wealth of opportunities to engage with real-world political issues.

Looking to study in UK?
Explore top universities and get free expert guidance with Edvoy

Frequently asked questions

What are the requirements to study politics in the UK?

Typically, requirements to study politics in the UK include a strong academic background with relevant A-levels or their equivalent. Universities often look for a passion for politics, strong analytical and communication skills, and competitive grades in subjects like history, sociology, or government.

What university is best for politics in the UK?

Institutions like the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the University of Edinburgh are the best universities for politics, renowned for their political programs, offering a range of specialisations and opportunities.

How to start a career in politics in the UK?

To begin a career in politics in the UK, consider pursuing a relevant undergraduate or postgraduate degree in politics or a related field. Engage in internships, participate in political activities, and network within the political landscape. Joining a political party or working as a researcher, campaigner, or local council member can also be beneficial.

Why study politics in London?

London offers a unique advantage for politics students due to its rich political history, diverse population, and proximity to government institutions. Renowned universities like LSE and King's College London are based in the city, providing access to influential political networks and research opportunities.

Is Newcastle good for politics?

Yes, Newcastle is known for its strong politics programs. Newcastle University, in particular, offers a well-regarded politics department with various undergraduate and postgraduate courses, making it a viable choice for those interested in studying politics.

What are the best politics university courses in England?

In England, several universities offer excellent political courses. Apart from Oxford and Cambridge, you can consider universities like the University of Warwick, University of Manchester and University of Nottingham, which have strong politics departments.

What are the best political universities in London?

London hosts top institutions for political studies. LSE, King's College London, and University College London (UCL) are among the best-known options.

Are you ready to start your political journey?

At Edvoy, we can help you make an informed decision on which politics university in the UK is best for your future.

Speaking to a professional can help you gain more clarity and start to build a successful career in politics.

Start your journey with Edvoy today!

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