International Relations BA (Hons)

Overview

Do you ever look at the issues the global community faces and wonder why they haven't been dealt with yet? On this BA (Hons) International Relations degree course, you'll learn skills and knowledge you need to help solve these problems.

You'll examine international issues such as the causes of conflict, the challenges of managing migration and the global rise of populism. You'll look at current problems, and the response of government agents.

This will set you up for a career in government, security and intelligence. You could work with international institutions, such as the UN or international charities. You'll be equally suited to take your studies to postgraduate level.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Analyse the latest topics and issues in international relations by taking part in 'pop-up seminars' with staff and your peers
  • 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
  • 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), Nebraska Omaha (US), and University of Szeged (Hungary)

Optional pathways

On this course, you can study history or international development alongside your international relations degree. This will lead to one of these awards at the end of the course:

  • BA (Hons) International Relations with History
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with International Development

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 in this year include:

  • Analysing Politics: Britain and Beyond
  • Global Development
  • Key Themes in International Relations
  • Performing Like a Pro: Skills for Academic and Professional Success
  • Political Thought
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme

There are no optional modules in this year.

Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Analysing Foreign and Security Policy
  • International Thought

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations
  • China and East Asian Economies
  • Danger! Censorship, Power and The People
  • Democratisation In Latin America
  • East Asian States and Societies
  • Economics and Politics of Development
  • From Revolution to Dictatorship - Russia & the Soviet Union 1917-1941
  • Gender in the Developing World
  • Global Environmental Issues and Concerns
  • Imagined Communities: Ethnicity and National Identity
  • International Community Development
  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning From Experience
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme 
  • Politics and Policy in Action
  • Russian & Eurasian Politics
  • Slavery and Antislavery in the Atlantic World
  • Study Abroad
  • Underworlds: Crime, Deviance & Punishment in Britain, 1500-1900
  • US Foreign Policy: From the Great War to 9/11
  • US Politics

Optional Placement Year

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
  • Security Challenges in the 21st Century

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'State Fragility' in Post-Colonial Africa
  • Autocracy and Democracy
  • Comparative Public Policy and Public Administration 
  • Digital Media and Democracy
  • Dissertation / Major Project (International Relations)
  • Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
  • Independent Project (International Relations)
  • Learning From Experience
  • Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
  • Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: a Simulation Game
  • NGOs and Social Movements
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme 
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Rethinking Aid and Development
  • Special Subject: Group Project 1
  • Special Subject: Individual Research 2
  • Strategic Management and Leadership
  • Strategic Studies
  • The Anthropology of Development
  • Transitional Justice & Human Rights

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • independent study
  • work placement
  • plenaries
  • simulations
  • roundtables
  • guest lectures

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: 35% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 58% 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 support you in identifying postgraduate study opportunities or help you find a job that puts your skills to work.

What can you do with an International Relations degree?

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

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

What jobs can you do with an International Relations 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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