BA (Hons)

European Studies and International Relations

Understanding Europe and its place in the world

RL92UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

What does the EU look like from Paris, Berlin, Madrid, or London? How does the EU interact with China, Africa or Latin America? This richly multidisciplinary course will help you gain the skills and knowledge to understand the complex relations between the EU, the UK and other member states within a wider international context. You will study a series of IR frameworks that will be vital in helping you to make sense of a rapidly changing world and focus on specific themes such as global migration, terrorism, climate change, the rise and fall of major powers, and the factors that trigger global protest movements. ‘However Brexit plays out, the UK will need to devote considerable attention to the EU for the indefinite future – ironically, far more than it did when it was a member. The terms of the UK−EU agreement will not only be vital for British jobs and businesses. They will also be central to the future of the United Kingdom’ (Dr R. Niblett , director of Chatham House, June 2016). 

What will I experience?

On this course you will:

  • Enjoy cutting edge teaching provision on recent major international events such as the Ukraine Crisis, the ‘Occupy’ movement, the rise of ISIS, the after effects of the ‘Arab Spring’ and ‘Brexit’.
  • Study with experienced lecturers employing innovative and exciting teaching techniques such as interactive lectures, simulations, scenario exercises, debate-discussions and the use of audio-visual sources.
  • Gain career enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training ‘built-in’ to courses, work placements and the possibility to learn another language.

What opportunities might it lead to?

A degree in European studies and international relations and European studies opens doors to a number of exciting careers. Of course, jobs in the field of diplomacy, intelligence, development or European and international organisations spring to mind, but the skills and knowledge acquired on this degree are also of interest to a range of employers in the field of political risk analysis, public relations, international business and consultancy. Our students have also found employment in such diverse careers as marketing, teaching, NGOs, journalism or academia (think tanks, universities etc.), diplomacy and numerous other opportunities.

Olga Kleska, BA (Hons) European Studies and International Relations student

It is a rich and diverse course linking together many disciplines that I'm interested in such as history, politics, economics, law, cultural and social studies.

Olga Kleska, BA (Hons) European Studies student

Apply for September 2016

Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing, so please contact us on 023 9284 8000 to discuss your options.

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement.
240-300 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
80-112 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 8299
School of Languages and Area Studies
Programme specification


History, Politics and Social Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The diverse spread of subjects offered and ability to complete your own research
  • The critical thinking, analytical and debating skills you’ll develop
  • The passionate lecturers with a wide range of specialist research expertise

Browse all courses in History, Politics and Social Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

  • Political & Social Change In Contemporary Europe
  • The Making of Modern Europe: 1500-1990
  • Introduction to International Relations: States, Conflict & Cooperation
  • Introduction to Political Thought
  • Studying At University
  • Global Issues

Year two

  • Comparing Extremism In Europe
  • International Politics

Options including:

  • Nation, Language and Identity
  • Business & Markets In Global Environment
  • Culture & Ideas In 20th Century Europe
  • Conflict & Disaster
  • International Relations Theory
  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • Governing the European Union
  • Russian and Eurasian Politics
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Languages
  • Learning from Experience

Year three

Your dissertation is written in the final year, either on a European studies topic, an international relations topic or on an interdisciplinary topic that combines both subjects.

  • Dissertation/Major Project
  • Global Political Economy
  • Political Economy of EU
  • Protecting the Environment in Europe

One option from:

  • Democracy & Democratisation
  • Strategic & Security Studies

Teaching and Assessment

We provide a varied, creative and stimulating learning environment, with enthusiastic teaching staff drawn from our research centre, CEISR. You will be taught in lectures and small-group seminars to develop your confidence and analytical skills through questions and debates around primary documents and contemporary issues. Our aim is to enable you to become an independent thinker equipped with skills that will continue to influence your experiences beyond your time at university.

How are you assessed?

We use continuous assessment on our degree programmes. Methods are varied, including some formal examinations but with a main focus on assessment through engaging and challenging case studies, projects, presentations, book reviews and creative writing.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

The Study Centre

A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, printers, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can work on group projects, alongside access to the University 3rd Space.

Research-Active Staff

You will be taught by specialist staff who are actively undertaking research in this field, ensuring your learning keeps you abreast of the latest developments. Staff are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

For placements abroad that are taken in countries outside the EU/EEA, you will be required to meet travel costs. These costs will be in the region of £1000.

You will also be required to meet any extra tuition costs for units of study taken outside of your agreed study abroad programme. These costs will be in the region of £200.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

You could find work within the European Commission and multinational organisations as global business managers or EU liaison advisers. Roles our graduates have moved into include:

  • European commission administrator
  • business analyst
  • assistant international coordinator
  • translations coordinator
  • charity fundraiser

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. The option gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, to reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and to learn to express this to potential employers.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 8 October, 2016

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