BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

International Relations and Politics

UCAS codeL250

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Study global and regional political phenomena

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Are you interested to understand the causes of war and conflict in the international system? Do you want to know why some states are poor and others are rich? Are you also interested in what democracy, freedom and equality mean to different people (and the source of these ideas?). 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 well be right for you. This degree offers the opportunity to study all if the issues mentioned above (plus much more) and in doing so provides an excellent balance between the analysis of global trends and the investigation of issues closer to home in the UK and Europe. 

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Enjoy cutting edge teaching provision on recent major international events such as the Ukraine Crisis, Brexit, global protest movements, the rise of ISIS and the after effects of the ‘Arab Spring’ and the future of the British union?
  • Study with trained lecturers employing innovative and exciting teaching techniques such as interactive lectures, simulations, scenario exercises, debate-discussions and the use of audio-visual sources.
  • Take part in ‘pop-up seminars’ on new topical issues and get the chance to publish your work in our student journal.
  • Gain career enhancing skills alongside your academic study with skills training ‘built-in’ to courses, work experience and the possibility to learn another language.
  • Undertake a work placement or a period of study abroad to enhance your employability

What opportunities might it lead to?

International relations and politics graduates go on to a range of careers in government (i.e. Foreign Office, Home Office, security services), teaching, local government, lobbying, academia, think tanks and research, international organisations (i.e. UN), nongovernmental organisations (such as Amnesty International or the Red Cross), charities, media and international business.

 

Julija Oleinika, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics student 2013

I have certainly chosen the right course - I find it interesting and exciting, with a good balance between politics and IR studies.

Julija Oleinika, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics student 2013

Course:

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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Structure & Teaching

Year one

All year one units are compulsory.

  • Introduction to Political Thought
  • Understanding Governance and Politics
  • Political Economy in a Globalising World
  • Introduction to International Relations: States, Conflict and Cooperation
  • Current Political Issues
  • Global Issues

Year two

Alongside year two's core study, you are able to select options that shape your degree to the issues or countries that most interest you.

  • International Politics

Options chosen from a range including:

  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • Comparative Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Conflict and Disaster
  • Russian and Eurasian Politics
  • From Revolution to Dictatorship: Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1941
  • Fighting over Europe: Parties, Business, NGOs and Lobbying in the EU
  • Civil Rights USA
  • The End of the European Order? Challenges and Threats to European States and Nations
  • Home and Away: US Foreign and Domestic Policy
  • Perspectives on World Politics
  • Ideology and Politics
  • Power, Politics and Policy in Practice
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • France: Crisis, Renewal and Reinvention (1936 to the Present)
  • Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations
  • British Politics, 1945 to Today: Leadership, Personality, Policy and Power
  • Germany in European and Global Context (1871 to the Present)
  • State and Society in East Asia
  • Guns, Glory Hunters and Greed: French and British Colonisation in Africa
  • Languages (University Wide Option)
  • Learning from Experience (Faculty Wide Option)

Year three*

In year three, you will write your dissertation, or undertake a work-based project, alongside further core study.

  • Dissertation / Project

Options including:

  • Nazi Germany
  • Transitional Justice & Human Rights
  • China & East Asian Economies
  • Global Journalism and Human Rights
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
  • Global Political Economy
  • Digital Media and Democracy
  • Democracy and Democratisation
  • Money, Government and Power
  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and State Fragility in Post-Colonial Africa
  • Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
  • Migration in East Asia
  • France and Africa: Decolonisation and Post Colonial Relations
  • Strategic Studies
  • Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
  • Regional Powers, Politics and Security in a Multi-Polar World
  • Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
  • Rethinking Aid and Development
  • Protest, Dissent and Solidarity Beyond Borders

*Please note that whilst a wide range of options will be offered in every year, there will inevitably be some variation in the availability of individual units at any given time.?

Teaching

Our teaching approach involves a range of small and large group learning environments with lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will be encouraged to participate fully in group discussions in order to develop your communication skills.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 78% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 14% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 86% studying independently and 0% on work placement

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods including article reviews, essays, projects, briefing papers, individual and group presentations and a 10,000-word dissertation. Examinations include open, pre-seen papers and closed, traditional examinations. This diversity of assessment will allow you to develop a range of writing styles.

Our strong tradition of providing a high standard of guidance and support through your personal tutor, whilst encouraging you to develop as an independent learner through the later stages of your degree, will help you develop the techniques necessary for the assessed work.

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

  • Year one students: 25% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 67% by coursework
  • Year two students: 25% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 68% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework


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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

There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. This will be in the region of £500.


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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

You can expect to pursue careers in local, national or international government, as well as teaching or lecturing, research, voluntary organisations and NGOs. Many also enter areas such as advertising and marketing, PR, media, banking and financial services.

Our graduates have gone on to jobs as:

  • politician’s assistant
  • public affairs consultant
  • social researcher
  • information officer
  • conference producer
  • local government administrator

Work experience

Work experience
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.

The School of Social Historical and Literary Studies can offer you a number of work experience opportunities in a range of local organizations during your degree course. Currently these include projects at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the New Theatre Royal, with local government departments and political groups, and a number of our students have worked on small research projects for the local community.

Career planning

Career planning

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.

Edward Parkes, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics student 2012

My degree has been instrumental in my career decisions and I currently cannot imagine working in any other sector other than international relations.

Edward Parkes, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics student 2012


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Apply now

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

You’ll also be able to explore course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Booking for Open Days for 2019 entry opens soon. Register your interest and we'll let you know when priority booking opens.

University of Portsmouth
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Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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