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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take the Foundation Scholarship examinations?

This is a personal decision, but the Department of Political Science would strongly encourage students who received high marks in their Junior Fresh modules (for example, with module grades of a First or high '2:1') to sit the Foundation Scholarship examinations.

Which Schol examination papers should I take?

The five Political Science Scholarship Examination papers are:

  • Paper 1: Political Science - General paper 1
  • Paper 2: Political Science - General paper 2
  • Paper 3: Political Science - History of Political Thought paper
  • Paper 4: Political Science - Comparative Politics paper
  • Paper 5: Political Science - International Relations paper
The number and combination of papers that you should take depends on your programme plus the pathway that you are taking, there are mandatory papers for different programmes and pathways plus optional choices. The details can be found in the following table:

Credit Profile in Political Science in Senior Fresh No. of SF credits taken in Political Science by end of Semester 1 No. of papers taken in Political Science Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3 Paper 4 Paper 5
40 SF credits (20 by end of Semester 1) 20 credits 3 papers Mandatory Optional Optional Optional
JF credits only n/a 1 paper Mandatory
40 SF credits (20 by end of Semester 1) 20 credits 2 papers Mandatory Optional Optional Optional
20 SF credits (10 by end of Semester 1) 10 credits 2 papers Mandatory Optional Optional Optional
20 SF credits (10 by end of Semester 1) 10 credits 1 paper Mandatory

Please note that the Political Science Department cannot provide you with any guidance on what examinations you should take beyond the information provided in this table. Applications to take the Schol examinations must be submitted to the Examinations Office.

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What date will these examination papers be held?

All scheduling of Schol examination papers is done by the Exams Office. The information should be available around the end of the calendar year on Exams Office website.

I am taking (e.g.) the Politics 1 examination but will only have taken 10 ECTS of Senior Fresh political science by end of semester 1. Will I have a restricted set of choices for essays for this examination paper compared to students taking 20 ECTS of Senior Fresh politics?

It is obviously the case that students taking more SF Political Science modules will be potentially able to answer a wider range of essays in the Politics 1 examination paper, but it is entirely possible to be successful at the Politics 1 examination paper while taking only 10 ECTS of Political Science Senior Fresh modules.

I am in an unusual situation - I am not taking a Senior Fresh module in Political Science but I will nonetheless be taking a Schol paper in Political Science due to my particular degree pathway. Is there any special advice for my situation?

Please read the Foundation Scholarship Examinations Guidance for Students 2020-21 carefully. The Political Science - General Paper 2 is for students in this situation, i.e. taking a Schol paper in Political Science but not taking any Senior Fresh modules in Political Science. After reading the Guidance document carefully, if you have further questions please contact the Schol Coordinator Professor Peter Stone

I have a question about preparing for Schol in relation to a particular SF module in Political Science (e.g. History of Political Thought, International Relations etc).

After the start of Michaelmas term, your course lecturer, and your course handout, will provide the material you need to prepare for Schol in relation to the various Senior Fresh modules offered by the Political Science department.

Will there be a meeting with students to explain the Foundation Scholarship exam papers set by the Political Science Department?

The Political Science Department held a Schol Information Meeting on Wednesday 25th November 2020.


All the information needed to prepare is available on the Department of Political Science website, including the Foundation Scholarship Examinations Guidance for Students 2020-21 (PDF, 676KB). For relevant Schol papers, you will also need to refer to the course syllabi for the various Senior Fresh Political Science modules - see the Module Outlines page.

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