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Preparing for your politics degree

If you’re holding an offer for a politics degree or still thinking about applying there’s lots you can do to get your learning off to the best possible start.

Here are our top recommendations for reading, listening and watching that cover some of the topics you’ll be studying at Brighton.


What is Politics? edited by Adrian Leftwich

An excellent starting point for all students of the discipline. The book brings together a range of authors discussing what politics might mean from the perspectives of gender, class and nature as well as debating key topics such as the role of war and violence in politics, and the link between politics and policy.

What does Jeremy Think? by Suzanne Heywood

A book on politics as practised – gives a deep insight into British political decision making.

Empireland: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britiain by Sathnam Sanghera

A book on British politics and the legacy of empire. You can also try The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World by Kehinde Andrews.

Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates & Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Both give fascinating accounts of contemporary gender inequality, patriarchy and the impact on society. 


In a General Election year, there is no shortage of political TV, however, you might find the following particularly interesting:

On the situation in Gaza

On the situation in the West Bank

We discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in several of our modules at all levels of study.

On the Iraq war

The Troubles in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is covered in several modules at Brighton.


Climate emergency

The scale of the climate emergency will further deepen its impact on politics and policy.

  • Big Oil v The World, on BBC iPlayer, discusses the role of oil companies in climate politics.


  • The Netflix documentary Reversing Roe examines the campaign to overturn Roe vs. Wade in the US.
  • You can also watch The 8th, a film about the campaign to legalise abortion in Ireland.

Race, identity and nationalism

The politics of race, identity and nationalism is a key part of the Brighton curriculum.

Neoliberalism and contemporary politics and international relations


  • Trendy is presented by polling expert Sir John Curtice and former Downing St. advisor Rachel Wolf, and takes a deep look at the current state of British politics.
  • More partisan is Pod Save the UK, presented by Nish Kumar and Coco Khan, taking a progressive look at political and social issues.
  • Issues affecting marginalised groups and under-reported stories are covered on new podcast The Trouble with Politics presented by journalist Marverine Cole.
  • The Bunker presents in-depth explainers and interviews in fairly short episodes covering a variety of aspects of national and international politics.
  • For an in-depth look at the corporate world, media and politics, try Page 94, the podcast of satirical magazine Private Eye. 

Political comedies

For a lighter look, try the following political comedies:

  • Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister remain the classic look at the lives of a government minister in 1980s Britain, and exhibit tropes of British politics we still see today.
  • The Thick of It is a more contemporary account, created by Armando Iannucci and starring Peter Capaldi. It does contain, famously, a lot of strong and offensive language, so be warned. On a similar note, try Absolute Power, starring Stephen Fry and John Bird.
  • The Stanley Kubrick classic Dr Strangelove wrestles with themes of nuclear Armageddon, conspiracy theories and nationalism.

Learn more about studying politics at Brighton.

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