International Relations and Politics BA (Hons)

Overview

Do you want to understand the causes of war and conflict in the international system, and why some states are poor while others are rich? Are you also interested in what democracy, freedom and equality mean to different people? Do you want to understand developments in British politics, and the relationship between the UK and the EU?

If so, an international relations and politics degree may be right for you. This degree offers the opportunity to study all of these issues, and many more. You'll enjoy an excellent balance between the analysis of global trends and the investigation of issues closer to home in the UK and Europe.

The knowledge and skills you develop on this course could lead you to a career in local and national government, security, teaching, lobbying, academic research, the charity sector and the media.

What you'll experience

On this International Relations and Politics course you'll:

  • Combine your interest in politics with the skills and knowledge you need for a successful career
  • Keep up to date with the latest topics and issues in international relations by taking part in 'pop-up seminars' with staff and your peers
  • Visit parliament and take part in our Model United Nations through our Academic Enrichment Programme
  • Learn from staff who are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind
  • Have the opportunity to publish your work in our student journal and present at our student conference
  • Develop career-enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training, opportunities to do work experience and the chance to learn another language
  • Do a detailed academic analysis of major recent international events, such as the Ukraine Crisis, the 'Occupy' movement, the rise of ISIS and the effects of the Arab Spring
  • Tailor your degree by choosing optional modules  that match your interests and career ambitions
  • Have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner institutions – for example, Science Po Strasbourg (France), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and University of Szeged (Hungary)

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Analysing Politics: Britain and Beyond – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the study of politics.

Global Development – 20 credits

On this module you'll explore the concept of 'development' and the challenges in reducing global poverty, inequality and conflict.

Key Themes in International Relations – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the main themes in the study of international relations.

Performing Like a Pro: Skills for Academic and Professional Success – 40 credits

This module equips you with the academic and professional skills needed for your time at university and in your future professional career.

Political Thought – 20 credits

This module introduces you to some of the key debates in political thought.

Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits

Our academic enrichment programme responds to contemporary events and issues through round-tables, visiting speakers, student symposia, trips to Parliament and other government institutions and professional practice training.

Year 2Core modulesClose allAnalysing Foreign and Security Policy – 20 credits

This module introduces the means and methods to understand, explain and evaluate the processes of foreign and security policies. 

Ideology and Politics – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll examine the nature and role of ideology from the nineteenth century to the present.

Optional modules

Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the scientific study of Politics and International Relations (IR) such as practical research approaches and methods used in these fields of study.

British Political Leadership – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll explore core issues, debates and controversies in post-1945 British politics, focusing on political leadership.

China and East Asian Economics – 20 credits

This module gives you a thorough understanding of the development of East Asian economies including China and the 'Asian Tigers' (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore).

Democratisation in Latin America – 20 credits

This module introduces you to key themes in Latin American development and democracy from the 1960s to the present day.

East Asian States and Societies – 20 credits

On this module you'll get an understanding of the dynamics between state and society in East Asia.

Economics and Politics of Development – 20 credits

This module gives you a foundation for examining policies such as health, education, environment and housing, and the principles for the state and private provision of them.

From Revolution to Dictatorship – Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941 – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll explore the development of Russian and Soviet society from the revolution of 1917 to the Stalinist dictatorship just after the great purges.

Gender in the Developing World – 20 credits

This module explores the theoretical and practical ways that gender informs international development.

Global Environmental Issues and Concerns – 20 credits

On this module you'll look into environment concerns and questions of sustainability, focusing on particular environmental problems, the scale of the problems, the science behind them, and the solutions on offer to reduce human impact.

International Community Development – 20 credits

This module explores the concept of ‘community development’, and related approaches.

International Politics of the Middle East – 20 credits

On this module you'll analyse the relationships between domestic, regional and international politics in the Middle East, from Iran to Israel.

International Thought – 20 credits

This module improves your knowledge and understanding of theoretical approaches to the international order.

Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits

The module will introduce you to the role and expectations of a teacher.

Modern Foreign Language (IWLP) - 20 credits

In this module, you'll study 1 of 8 modern languages on the University's free Institution-Wide Language Programme.

Learning from Experience – 20 credits

On this module you can gain credits from paid or unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning including self-employment.

Politics and Policy in Action – 20 credits

On this module you'll apply knowledge, principles and concepts related to civil society and social mobilisation to the analysis of policy. 

Russian and Eurasian Politics – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll focus on questions of transition in Russia and the former Soviet space, the operation of the Soviet system in the post-Stalin period, the role of the Party, the relevance of models such as totalitarianism, and the degree or not of 'stagnation'.

Study Abroad – 60 credits

On this module you'll take part in a study abroad programme in a sandwich year with an agreed partner of the University.

US Foreign Policy: From the Great War to 9/11 – 20 credits

On this module you'll examine the foreign policy of the United States (US) from the Great War up to 9/11 and the War on Terror.

US Politics – 20 credits

On this module you'll examine the domestic politics and constitutional framework of the United States (US), the origins of its government and the challenges of current governance.

Optional sandwich year

Work Placement Year - 120 credits

With support, you'll identify and arrange a placement opportunity with an appropriate company or organisation.

Year 3

Core modules - one of:

Dissertation/Major Project – 40 credits

On this module you'll design and submit a dissertation or extended project.

Dissertation/Major Project – 40 credits

On this module you'll design and submit a dissertation or extended project.

Optional modules

Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'State Fragility' in Post-Colonial Africa – 20 credits

On this module you'll look at Africa as a geographic, embodied and ideational space, and at state and society building beyond a Western-centric understanding.

Autocracy and Democracy – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll examine the nature of authoritarianism, the transition from authoritarianism and the problems of democratic consolidation in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Comparative Public Policy and Public Administration (L6) – 20 credits

This module introduces you to the theory and practice of public policy formulation and implementation.

Digital Media and Democracy – 20 credits

On this module you'll analyse the relationship between digital communication technologies and democratic politics. You'll also look at the debates surrounding the democratic implications of digital media.

Ethnicity Class and Culture in the Developing World – 20 credits

This module explores the complex relationships between ethnicity, race, culture and inequality in the developing world through regionally based case studies.

France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick? – 20 credits

This module explores the idea of France as a global actor, and looks at France's relationship with the rest of the world in the twin contexts of Europeanisation and globalisation.

Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future – 20 credits

The module explores the power of capitalism and its impact on our daily lives.

Independent Project (International Relations) – 20 credits

On this module you'll design and submit a dissertation or extended project that shows your capacity for sustained independent and high-quality work in the field of International Relations.

Independent Project (Politics) – 20 credits

On this module you'll design and submit a dissertation or extended project that shows your capacity for sustained independent, high-quality work in the field of Politics.

Learning from Experience – 20 credits

On this module you can gain credits from paid or unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning including self-employment.

Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium – 20 credits

Political ideas and ideologies from ancient beginnings to the present day have been driven by a sense of discontent with the present and a desire to improve or perfect the human condition. But realising these imagined utopias has been less than straightforward and the pursuit of progress in human societies has led to new anxieties, fears, confrontation and conflict.

Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: a Simulation Game – 20 credits

Decision-making through negotiation and lobbying by societal interest groups are key features of EU politics and with current challenges to the EU (including Brexit) it's vital to understand this complex political setting.

NGOS and Social Movements – 20 credits

On this module you'll look at how civil society is a key concept in democratic theory, and transnational non-governmental action is a core feature of globalisation.

Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits

Our academic enrichment programme responds to contemporary events and issues through round-tables, visiting speakers, student symposia, trips to Parliament and other government institutions and professional practice training.

Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits

On this module you'll develop your understanding of the job application process from the perspective of recruiters and candidates.

Rethinking Aid and Development – 20 credits

On this module you'll question whether the aid and development business is a continuation of a colonial relationship between the Global North and Global South, if it works and if so what its effect are, and if aid and development is involved in the continuation of poverty, dependency and conflict.

Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll examine new security challenges and modes of conflict in the twenty-first century and get an introduction to the most pressing security challenges currently facing policy makers.

Strategic Management and Leadership – 20 credits

On this module you'll develop the skills, knowledge and ability to analyse strategic organisational planning in the public and private sectors.

Strategic Studies – 20 credits

This module examines and explores Strategic Studies through a range of case studies.

Transitional Justice and Human Rights – 20 credits

In this module, you’ll focus on the struggle for justice and human rights in selected countries in the aftermath of military rule, civil war, armed conflict, or other repressive regimes such as apartheid.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • independent study
  • tutorials
  • workshops

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • coursework: article reviews, essays, projects, briefing papers
  • individual and group presentations
  • 10,000 word dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 25% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 67% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 25% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 68% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry or support you in identifying postgraduate study opportunities.

What can you do with an International Relations and Politics degree?

Graduates from this degree have gone on to careers in areas such as:

  • government
  • academia
  • the security services
  • international organisations like the UN
  • international charities such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross
  • policy research
  • think tanks
  • charities
  • media and international business consultancy
  • political risk analysis
  • public relations

What jobs can you do with an International Relations and Politics degree?

Job roles former students have gone on to include:

  • parliamentary researcher
  • political advisor
  • public affairs consultant
  • social researcher
  • political risk analyst
  • conference organiser
  • local government administrator

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BA (Hons), BA (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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