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)
Teaching methods on this course include:
- independent study
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.
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:
- the security services
- international organisations like the UN
- international charities such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross
- policy research
- think tanks
- 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
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.
We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
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.
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
Previous students have been on placements to organisations such as:
- The Ministry of Defence
- The House of Commons
- National Museum of the Royal Navy
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.