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.
On this course you can:
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.
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
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
All year one units are compulsory.
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.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
In year three, you will write your dissertation, or undertake a work-based project, alongside further core study.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
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:
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:
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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.
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.
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.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
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.
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.
There may be travel costs for placements undertaken during your course. This will be in the region of £500.
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:
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
If you'd like to tour the campus or meet teaching staff before you apply, find out about our other visiting opportunities.
Booking for Open Days for 2019 entry opens soon. Register here for priority booking.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.