Undergraduate programs

The Bachelor of Arts Honours program in Political Science provides students with the opportunity for an intensive examination of issues in the field.

Political Science may be combined at the Honours or Pass level with other disciplines, the choice depending upon the student’s interests and capabilities. As well, it is possible, within the departmental offerings, to arrange a thematic program of study around a selection of courses built to suit the student’s particular interests.

Experiential learning

Hear from our students on their internship experiences.

All students in Political Science especially those proceeding to graduate studies or to a career in the public service, are encouraged to become proficient in a language other than English, normally French. Students who develop interests in a particular geographical area are urged to select related courses in history, language and literature.

Programs in Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers majors at both the 15-credit Pass level and the 20-credit Honours level. The Honours program provides students with the opportunity for a more intensive examination of issues in the field and requires a minimum 70 percent grade average for admission. Political Science may be combined at the Honours or Pass level with other disciplines, the choice depending upon the student’s interests and capabilities. As well, it is possible, within the departmental offerings, to arrange a thematic program of study around a selection of courses built to suit the student’s particular interests.

For students majoring in other disciplines, the Department of Political Science offers a variety of minor program options that can be completed in 4.0 credits. Students can minor in political science generally or in any one of the sub-disciplines of political science: Canadian politics, political theory, comparative politics, international relations, and public policy and administration. A minor in political science can be a useful supplement to many major programs, and is particularly recommended for those planning to work in or with the public sector.

International Political Economy is a unique program offered by the Department of Political Science and Department of Economics. It explores the interplay of economic forces with political processes and institutions. The program pays particular attention to the challenges posed by the rapid expansion of global trade, investment and financial exchanges. Year 1 is now closed.

Why is Brock’s International Political Economy degree notable?

  • The program offers students a strong understanding of the impacts of economic change on the political process as well as of policy decisions on economic outcomes.
  • Students use a transdisciplinary perspective to explore the complexities of managing and governing international financial, trade and monetary systems, each of which have an impact on regional, national and international communities.
  • The program covers a variety of important topics that have a crucial impact on everyday lives, including globalization, global financial crises, international development, the environment and the rise of economic powers such as China, India and Brazil.
  • Small-group seminars give students the opportunity to develop valuable critical thinking, analytical and presentation skills — all of which are important for your future career.

Career opportunities
With a combined background in Political Science and Economics, graduates in the program look to careers in:

  • International organizations (such as the World Bank)
  • International business
  • International governments (such as the European Parliament)
  • The Government of Canada
  • Banking (e.g. political risk analysis)
  • Policy think tanks

Students may earn a BA in Political Science with a Concentration in International Development by completing select courses as part of their normal degree requirements for an Honours BA. ‘Concentration in International Development’ will be added to their transcript.

International Development is concerned with the uneven global distribution of wealth and power, and its impact on countries and peoples in the Global South. Impacts include the colonial experience, globalization, poverty, development policies of donor countries and international financial institutions, and touch upon issues related to race, gender, ethnicity and labour practices.

Students may earn a BA in Political Science with a Concentration in Public Law by successfully completing a number of prescribed courses when fulfilling the usual requirements for the Political Science Honours program. Students completing an Honours BA in Political Science including the concentration requirements will have the words ‘Concentration in Public Law’ added to their transcript.

What is Public Law?
Public law consists of those areas of the law that govern the relationship between individuals and the state, or the relationships between parts of the state. These include constitutional, criminal, administrative, municipal, and international law.

Why study Political Science with a Concentration in Public Law at Brock?

  • Among the courses available to students in the Honours BA Political Science program, is an internship placement (POLI 4P95). In this limited enrolment course, students in the Public Law Concentration have interned with local law firms, a provincial court, and other law-related organizations, thus providing a practical, career oriented experience as part of their academic studies.
  • Many Political Science graduates already go on to law school. The Concentration in Public Law is designed to give such students an opportunity to gain pre-law school experience by undertaking the systematic study of law as part of their undergraduate studies.
  • This program will also benefit students intending to proceed to careers in which knowledge of the legal environment will be helpful; these include the public service, the foreign service, international business and trade, public relations, and journalism.
  • Students in this concentration are also encouraged to take electives from public law-related fields in programs such as Child and Youth Studies and Sociology.

The Political Science Department offers programs leading to a Certificate in Public Administration and a Certificate in Public Law. These programs provide an overview for interested people who do not wish to proceed to a degree or those who have already obtained a degree with a major other than Political Science. Only under exceptional circumstances and with special permission from the department will applicants who already have a degree with a major (or combined major) in Political Science be admitted.

The Certificate in Public Administration is of interest to people already employed in the public sector environment and wanting to embark on a program of part-time studies.

The Certificate in Public Law is of interest to people already employed in the legal and justice fields who wish to embark on a program of part-time studies and to those with Community College qualifications in law and justice who would like to add university-level certification.

The Department of Political Science offers a number of joint programs with regional colleges that allow students to obtain both a Brock degree and a college diploma in a single, integrated program.  These programs provide students with both the analytical thinking skills and the applied knowledge necessary to give them an edge in today’s competitive job markets.  They are a particularly good option for those who already have specific career goals in mind. 

These programs include:

  • Paralegal – Seneca College
  • Political Science and Labour Studies – George Brown College

The Political Science Co-op program is designed to equip you with the necessary skills, knowledge and practical experience to provide you with a competitive edge in seeking employment in the federal, provincial or municipal levels of government.

Why choose a Co-op Program:

  • Earn your honours degree in Political Science Co-op, or concentration in Public Administration Co-op.
  • Develop skills and gain practical work experience needed to compete for jobs.
  • Explore career possibilities and discover where your interests lie and the type of environment best suited to you.
  • Work term placements complement the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom.
  • Hone your interview and resume writing skills.
  • The income earned during your work term placements can be used to offset tuition and living expenses.
  • Varied work term placements ensure exposure to a number of different work environments.
  • Make valuable professional contacts in your chosen field.
  • Develop your communication, presentation and leadership skills.
  • Enjoy the personal attention that is given in this student-centered program.

Why choose Brock University?

  • Limited class enrolment ensures the appropriate time is allocated to each individual student in preparing for the transition to the workplace.
  • Niagara continues to show strong economic and job growth.
  • Work placements are evaluated for their academic relevance and contribution to overall skill development.
  • Our co-op director will work with you one-on-one to ensure the success of your program.

Which Co-op Program is right for you?

Co-op Program in Political Science
For those whose interests are not necessarily in public administration and policy, and have a broader interest in Canadian politics, international relations, comparative politics, and/or political theory.

Public Policy and Administration Co-op
For those who intend to study government institutions and public policy making (particularly in Canada), possibly planning future employment in the government sector.