International Relations and Politics BA (Hons)

International Relations and Politics textbooks
UCAS Code
L250
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

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.

93% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

95% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2019)

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)

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:

  • government
  • academia
  • the security services
  • international organisations like the UN
  • international charities such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross
  • policy research
  • think tanks
  • charities
  • 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

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.

I've worked for the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, the United Nations, before ending up leading a new team at Uber -- and I’ve found the skills I developed on this degree have been highly adaptable, and helped me change direction when I’ve needed to.

Alex Thompson-Armstrong , BA Hons International Relations and Politics student

​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

What you'll do

You'll examine key analytical and philosophical concepts and their impact on how politics is studied, how political demands are expressed, and how governance deals with those demands. You'll analyse how people struggle to solve their problems as individuals, in groups and within political systems, using an interdisciplinary approach to look at the connections of other social science disciplines to political analysis.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify, debate and explain the implications of conceptual ideas in politics
  • Relate abstract ideas to concrete examples in British politics and governance
  • Identify sources of British political attitudes, behaviours and values
  • Analyse contemporary issues in British politics
  • Demonstrate the ability to work independently within defined guidelines
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 2 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 165 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment (20% of final mark)
  • a 20-minute practical skills assessment (20% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study the changing relationships between the organisations involved in international aid and development, engage with trends in development thinking and situate development in the context of global capitalism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and assess approaches to, and measurements of, global development
  • Identify and explain key global development challenges
  • Define the organisations involved in international aid and development
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 1-hour interactive lectures including online quizzes and small group discussions
  • 11 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops including simulations, quizzes and debates
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll focus on key developments in the international political system over the last three centuries, mainly in the contemporary period. You'll also look at sources of conflict and cooperation between states over a historical period.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe key aspects of the current international order (the rules, norms, and institutions that guide international relations)
  • Identify and discuss causes of conflict and reasons for cooperation in the current international system
  • Explain key concepts of international relations such as sovereignty, the balance of power, alliance-building, deterrence, terrorism and security
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 23 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop skills such as academic writing, logical and critical thinking, referencing, researching and using data. You'll also learn how to use the library and other learning technologies, as well as techniques for keeping up with political developments, managing stress and workload planning.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate the academic skills needed to study successfully
  • Demonstrate professional skills needed to work in professional contexts
  • Develop academic and professional practice through practical exercises
  • Identify academic and professional skills that require further development to improve your academic performance and improve your employability
Teaching activities
  • 23 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 23 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 331 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2-hour practical skills assessment (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,500-word portfolio (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at ideas of human nature, the relationship between individuals and societies, the authority of the state, duties and rights, liberty, equality and authority. You'll study historical and contemporary political thinkers to gain a greater insight into political discourse and theory.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and comment on the positions of major thinkers in the history of political thought
  • Discuss key arguments, relating them to contrasting philosophical positions expressed by major thinkers
  • Relate political theorists to contemporary political issues
  • Reflect on personal political ideas with reference to their theoretical origins
Teaching activities
  • 15 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
  • 8 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework essay (70% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word coursework project (30% of final mark) – building a website

Sessions are voluntary and will enable you to further engage with politics and international relations issues as well as with those working in these fields.

Teaching activities
  • 2 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll debate, discuss and analyse how policies are made, as important decisions made by governments and leaders have a major impact on the world's population.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise and contrast perspectives in the study of foreign and security policy
  • Understand, evaluate and discuss the main criteria in the creation and presentation of foreign and security policy
  • Identify and use theoretical perspectives to analyse and explain major foreign and security policy processes and outcomes
  • Use evidence and research to strengthen and support your understanding of key foreign and security policy decisions
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • 1,500-word coursework portfolio (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll analyse the relationship between ideology and the operation of political parties, social movements and government policy-making and explore how ideologies have developed and what role they play in individual and group identity. You’ll adopt a global perspective to look  at the 'classic' Western-oriented ideologies and considers ideologies from a non-Western perspective and context.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess the status, logic and consistency of ideologies
  • Assess and account for the significance and role of ideologies in political contexts and periods
  • Discuss the relationship between ideologies and the conduct of politics (in parties, movements, leadership)
  • Evaluate the contribution of key thinkers to the development of political ideologies
  • Discuss the relationship between ideology and individual and group identities
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars 
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll develop the analytical skills and resources to evaluate, appreciate, and criticise research findings. You'll also develop the practical skills to design, carry out and report independent research. The skills you develop help you evaluate opposing ideas and arguments about issues in contemporary politics.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on knowledge and understanding to evaluate the research and arguments of others
  • Conduct independent and creative research
  • Take part in all stages of research, including the synthesis of new and existing knowledge
  • Evaluate links between theory and practice in research,  by locating, accessing and critically engaging with information using current and emerging digital technologies
  • Apply available research approaches and methods to the study of Politics and IR
Teaching activities
  • 2 x 1-hour lectures
  • 2 x 1-hour seminars
  • 10 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework report (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll be introduced to theoretical and conceptual ways of thinking about leadership, and to thinking in practice from different disciplinary perspectives. You’ll use different leaders as case studies to draw on conceptual themes such as power/authority, policy, performance, context, chance, and political capital/popularity,

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess key moments in British politics from the Post-war period to the present day
  • Distinguish between different leadership styles and evaluate their significance
  • Assess how and to what purpose leadership power is exercised collectively and personally
  • Manage, assess and critically interpret political sources
  • Use a variety of interdisciplinary theories/concepts in analysing British politics and leadership
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word essay (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll examine how they interact with each other and the impact that a successful economy has on traditional Asian values.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this unit successfully, you'll be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • The potential, legitimacy and formation of East Asia as a sub-region in the global economy
  • China’s economic reforms and its role in the regional and global economy
  • The impact of China’s growth domestically and internationally
  • The concept of 'developmental state' and its varying applications in East Asian economies
  • Individual economies and the dynamics of their regional configuration
  • The major challenges economies in East Asia face
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 1-hour discussion classes
  • 2 x 1-hour coursework tutorials

You'll also have continuous online access to supporting materials, and get regular feedback from teaching staff.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the unit.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a poster (40% of final mark)
  • an essay (60% of final mark)

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before your final assessments.

What you'll do

You'll begin by examining the experiences of dictatorship and military rule across the region, some of the reasons for the collapse of these regimes and the transitions to democracy that took place towards the end of the 20th century. You'll then move on to explore how countries in the region have consolidated democracy and look at the role of international actors in this process, while considering some of the challenges facing the region today and examining a number of case studies of countries with uncertain paths to democracy.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the nature of Latin American military regimes and the aftermath of military rule
  • Critically evaluate the transitions to democracy in Latin America
  • Explain the different experiences of democratisation across Latin America
  • Critically evaluate the relationship between democratisation and development, including the role of international actors in these processes
  • Apply knowledge of processes and political actors in democratisation
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 8 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour tutorial
  • 3 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at a regional overview, a case study of four countries and theme-based regional comparisons while getting an introduction to comparative and transnational perspectives. You'll learn to appreciate the regional dynamics in historical legacy and current political, socioeconomic and cultural development.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the impact of modernisation and development on the relationship between state and society
  • Comment on how gender is embedded in practices of employment, content of entertainment, and key sociopolitical institutions in East Asian states
  • Compare the concepts of race and ethnicity in the contexts of racism, nationalism and multiculturalism in East Asian states
  • Acquire country-specific knowledge and a dynamic regional perspective built on cultural heritage, colonial legacy, geopolitical structure and economic interaction
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll critically review the strengths and weaknesses of different developmental models from an economic perspective. You'll also discuss the role of migration and aid and its impact on developmental models, through case studies and examples.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically analyse and reflect on principles and economic policies of different developmental paradigms
  • Review and analyse regional development policies from various interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Demonstrate intellectual enquiry into key development issues from various perspectives
  • Identify and evaluate written and digital data to get insights into measures of human well being
  • Use focus groups to examine and report on approaches to specific welfare provision and develop leadership skills
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 12 x 1-hour tutorials
The material provided each week offers a short summary of the lecture and links to topical online videos that introduce you to key people (and their thoughts) on that theme.
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word coursework report (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll critically examine intertwined political, ideological, social, economic and cultural themes from this period.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate core historiographical debates in Russian and Soviet history and examine the influence of the wider political context such as the Cold War and Soviet collapse on the writing of history
  • Analyse the interplay between different factors in determining the causes and course of the 1917 Russian Revolution
  • Compare and contrast the role of different factors in determining the development of the soviet state
  • Assess the usefulness of different models and approaches in analysing soviet society and politics in the 1930s
  • Examine the effects of social and political development on core themes in Russian and Soviet politics and society
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll look at gender as a unit of analysis that's essential for understanding the differences between groups of people in any context. You'll also explore how specific theories of gender have shaped global and national policies in key areas such as reproductive rights, violence against women, the environment and sustainable livelihoods.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Review different approaches in the field of gender and development
  • Critically reflect on how theories of gender are formed by religious, cultural, social, and political contexts, and how they impact on the well-being of women
  • Discuss gender as a unit of analysis and as an approach to development policy and project planning
  • Effectively communicate the issues that are relevant to gender in developing countries, in different formats
  • Critically evaluate source materials on gender issues, from academic literature or blogging
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 10-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at how the environmental movement has grown and splintered, and the ways that different organisations address environmental issues. You'll consider climate change, natural disasters, the role of aid in mitigating their effects, the water and sanitation challenge, pollution and the toxic waste trade, food safety issues and species loss.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Investigate environmental issues that have local and/or national implications on welfare and ecosystems
  • Use cross-disciplinary thinking and analysis to understand how different stakeholder groups are affected by, and react to, emerging environmental issues and concerns
  • Critically analyse and question the practices and policies of local, national and regional institutions for addressing environmental issues and concerns
  • Design and produce a specialist briefing report in an environmental area for a targeted stakeholder audience
  • Use your knowledge of social justice issues and ethical practice in the consideration of environmental issues
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 12 x 1-hour tutorials

The material provided each week offers a short summary of the lecture and links to topical online videos that introduce you to key people (and their thoughts) on that theme.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework report (30% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written exam (70% of final mark)

What you'll do
You'll explore what is meant by the term ‘community’, the definition and value of community development practice and the difficulty of tailoring development programmes to meet the needs of everyone in a community. You'll look at development techniques and learn how to design and maintain a social enterprise for community development.
What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the origins of community development including the definitions, values, ethics and principles of community development practice
  • Identify and analyse how community-focused approaches engage with development issues and concepts
  • Develop regional knowledge and contextual understanding of community development practices, across the developed and developing world
  • Develop work-based learning skills, knowledge and understanding around the professional application of community development
  • Successfully research and plan a social enterprise initiative
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word written assignment (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

The key themes you'll study in this module are: Islam, politics and revolution; the Sunni -Shia divide, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria; Oil, OPEC and the West; and the Arab-Israeli conflict, the peace process and challenges.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the nature of conflict in the Middle East at sub-state, state and regional levels
  • Interpret the claims, ideologies and interests of principal actors in the Middle East
  • Compare and contrast the reasons for great power interventions and wars in the Middle East
  • Evaluate the issues facing the peaceful settlement of key disputes in the region
  • Communicate and report effectively in a range of forms
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops 
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 150-word oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written exam (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore mainstream international relations theory, international political thought and post-colonial theory. You'll also look at historic approaches and how the international should be studied. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the diversity of international thought and its range of concerns
  • Discuss theoretically informed interpretations and explanations about the nature of the international order
  • Evaluate alternative theories on the purpose of international theory
  • Apply various modes of thought creatively and reflectively to a range of contentious issues in international politics
  • Integrate international theory into your own work to enhance your academic skills
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop fundamental skills needed to be a teacher, and the capability to structure and deliver a short lesson.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the expectations of a professional teacher in terms of skills, knowledge and conduct
  • Discuss the importance of safeguarding students
  • Apply fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to plan an effective, peer-assessed lesson
  • Deliver lesson plans with clear objectives, student-centred learning and assessment of learning
  • Reflect on the use of active learning methods within subject specialism
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 2-hour seminars
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 10 x 1-hour lectures
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute practical skills assessment (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll enter at the appropriate level for your existing language knowledge. If you combine this module with language study in your first or third year, you can turn this module into a certificated course that is aligned with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module:

  • You'll have improved your linguistic skills in Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, French, German or Spanish
  • You'll be prepared for Erasmus study abroad
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • coursework (100% of final mark) 

What you'll do

You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
  • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
  • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
  • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
Teaching activities
  • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 80-hours of work-based learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also analyse the development of a campaign or lobbying strategy to influence policy. Your study will focus on applying subject specific knowledge in simulated professional contexts.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply knowledge, principles and concepts such as political advocacy, policy influence and civil society, and social mobilisation to practice
  • Understand and synthesise information, make critical analyses and propose solutions to problems that arise from your analyses
  • Communicate information, arguments and analysis by scrutinising government policy and developing a campaign or lobbying strategy to influence policy
  • Demonstrate professional skills including problem solving, working independently and in teams, self-management, initiative, and planning and organising
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 1-hour lecture
  • 12 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour demonstrations
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,500-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the post-soviet period and the transition in Russia. You'll also analyse the transition in former Soviet states in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Ukraine and Belarus through core themes such as ethnicity, identity, historical memory, security and relations with the West.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the operation of the Soviet system and assess the relevance of key theoretical models
  • Critically assess the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the problems of transition
  • Compare and contrast the role of important factors such as elites, ethnicity, identity, economic development, security in shaping the post-soviet transition
  • Explain the role of core determinants of the relationship between Russia and the former Soviet states and their relationship with the West
  • Critically account for and assess the extent of democratisation in Russia and the former Soviet states
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 2,000-word written assignments (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks in a study relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance
  • Critically reflect on the formal learning experience and student ambassadorial role for the University, and consider the relevance of this learning to future study and/or employability and personal development
  • Critically assess how activities relate to disciplinary knowledge and practice covered on your undergraduate course within the global context
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 595 hours abroad
Independent study time

n/a

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at the rise of the US from a regional power to a global superpower in the twentieth century and the international pressures on the US that cause it to experience periods of isolationism and global engagement. You'll examine the two world wars and why the US entered them later than other nations, the isolationist interwar years, the start of the Cold War, the Vietnam Conflict and the War on Terror.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically discuss specific topics in US foreign policy in the twentieth century and the emergence of the US as a superpower
  • Analyse key historical issues, concepts, evidence and methods of historical debates in US foreign policy
  • Critically analyse the role of the US as a world power and a key power in its hemisphere
  • Use independent learning and research skills
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll get an introduction to key US political processes and institutions such as the presidency, Congress and the US Supreme Court. You'll also explore the impact of the system of governance on current issues such as gun control, abortion, the death penalty and the media.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse and explain the role of the key institutions of the US federal government
  • Critically examine the relationships between the federal, state and local level of US politics
  • Examine and explain the influence of informal organisations on formal policy making structures in the US political system, including political action committees (PACs), lobbies, and civilian pressure groups
  • Analyse and explain the prominence of issues on the US political agenda, particularly gun control, abortion, welfare, capital punishment, the media and civil rights
  • Employ independent learning and research skills
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (60% of final mark)

Optional sandwich year

Optional modules

What you'll do

Your placement year will be assessed after a period of no less than 30 weeks, on a pass/fail basis.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on the skills needed in a placement environment
  • Identify and evaluate your learning experience and the relevance of this to future careers and professional development
  • Identify areas for improvement or further training in your professional development
  • Evaluate your success in meeting the objectives identified in your learning agreement
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1,125 hours on placement
Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word coursework portfolio (pass/fail, pass mark of 40)

Year 3

Core modules - one of:

What you'll do

You'll base your dissertation or project on your own enquiry and research of a specialised topic. Depending on the aims and methodologies of the project, your research can take many forms. You'll use skills such as critical engagement with subject knowledge, independent research and initiative, ethical research practice and project management.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an achievable dissertation/research project proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to International Relations
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect upon your own learning
  • Communicate in writing to a specific audience, relevant to the academic community or civil society
Teaching activities
  • 10 hours of project supervision
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 390 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll base your dissertation or project on your own enquiry and research of a specialised topic. Depending on the aims and methodologies of the project, your research can take many forms. You'll use skills such as critical engagement with subject knowledge, independent research and initiative, ethical research practice and project management.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an achievable dissertation/research project proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to International Relations
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect upon your own learning
  • Communicate in writing to a specific audience, relevant to the academic community or civil society
Teaching activities
  • 10 hours of project supervision
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 390 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (10% of final mark)
  • a 9,000-word written assignment (90% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll explore Africa the continent, as well as the African peoples living on the continent and in the diaspora. You'll also look at Africa as the home of various ideologies such as unity, communalism, anti-colonialism, pan-Africanism, black liberation and black consciousness.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and appreciate various sources to understand the diverse continent of Africa
  • Decolonise your understanding of Africa
  • Critically evaluate the importance of history, power and inequality, and knowledge without social dominance in the study of Africa
  • Understand African history and how it shapes present-day Africa
  • Present knowledge of selected country case studies and relate them to a regional and global context
  • Employ and compare disciplinary approaches to the study of Africa-related issues and challenges
  • Understand state and society building approaches and issues applied to the African context
Teaching activities
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 6 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 2 x 2-hour demonstrations
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-week coursework project (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word portfolio (80% of final mark) - a reflective summary and critical case study

What you'll do

You’ll discuss and apply core theories of authoritarianism and democracy and the factors that promote democratic consolidation and authoritarianism, looking at them from contrasting regions and countries. You’ll also examine alternative themes and compare them, such as the way that human rights, media, religion and identity are affected by authoritarian systems and democracies, and you'll explore variations in the nature and responses to threats and challenges such as terrorism populist movements and protest.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate competing theories of democratic consolidation and authoritarianism
  • Compare and contrast the role of procedural and substantive conditions in determining the success of democratic consolidation and the maintenance of authoritarianism
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of competing explanations of democratisation and authoritarianism through an in-depth study of one country or region, taken from the late twentieth or early twenty-first centuries
  • Critically examine the relationship between democracy and authoritarianism and factors such as religion, identity media and political culture
  • Assess the resilience and response of democratic and authoritarian systems to challenges and threats such as terrorism, populism, protest, corruption and economic problems
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word practical skill assessment (10% of final mark)
  • a 3000-word coursework report (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll apply policy and administrative theory to case studies from the UK, other European states and beyond. You'll also explore and explain the influences and constraints affecting political decision-makers, the factors that affect the political agenda between and within states and how influence is exerted at local, national and international levels.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply relevant policy and administrative theory to various case studies
  • Compare and contrast State administrative systems
  • Explain similarities and differences in policy outcomes between states
  • Apply comparative theory to a specific case study and communicate findings effectively
  • Effectively communicate complex political ideas
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lecture
  • 11 x 1-hour seminar
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word written assignment (80% of final mark)
  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

For example, does digital media provide effective forms of communication between citizens and politicians, or are Facebook and Twitter more suited to trolling? This module explores how emerging technologies are reshaping who holds power in a democracy.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop knowledge of digital media relevant to different actors of political communication, such as parties, social movements, and citizens
  • Critically evaluate the impact of digital media on political communication and democracy
  • Analyse the role of digital media in democratic governance
  • Apply empirical and normative theories of politics to understand how communication and media affect society
  • Evaluate the impact of digital media on political communication for wider audiences
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore a critical, theoretical and historical introduction to the concepts of race and culture, in case studies based in Latin America and the Caribbean, East/Southern Africa and the ""First Nations"" of countries such as Australia and Canada. You'll also consider developments of cultural and indigenous rights at the international level, specialising in a region of your choice for your major assessment.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of culture, race and ethnicity and how they're used in debates around policy at national and international levels
  • Explain the roles played by ethnic and cultural factors in structuring patterns of political and economic inequality
  • Critically analyse policies around ethnic and cultural differences
  • Understand the use of international declarations and legal instruments relevant to the field
  • Independently apply relevant concepts and theories to a contemporary case study
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 1-hour seminars
  • 6 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 8 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework portfolio (100% of final mark) – you'll get feedback on drafts and get support towards the completion of this assessment

What you'll do

You'll look at the concept that France acts as if it has a 'right' to a global presence, questioning where those assumptions come from and to what end.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the significance of France in contemporary international relations
  • Critically discuss the characteristics of French foreign and defence policy since 1958
  • Critically evaluate contested notions of French power
  • Use appropriate academic conventions and subject specific terminology to communicate effectively
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll focus on the neo-liberal revolution (past), crisis, austerity and Brexit (present), the de-growth alternative and the post-liberal world (future). You'll tackle questions of power, multinational capital, relations between rich and poor, inequality, alternatives and revolution through documentaries, podcasts and texts.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Use reasoned arguments and evidence to critically assess key issues and debates in global political economy
  • Critically evaluate the processes of globalisation, its consequences, alternatives and governance
  • Differentiate between and use different theories and approaches in the field of political economy
  • Communicate ideas effectively in an academic context and in a professional manner
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops

The module runs as a 2–hour weekly block structured around small group activities, debates, interactive quizzes and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a group presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll base your dissertation or project on your own enquiry and research of a specialised topic. Depending on the aims and methodologies of the project, your research can take many forms. You'll use skills such as critical engagement with subject knowledge, independent research and initiative, ethical research practice and project management.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an achievable dissertation/research project proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework, on a specific and focused area relevant to International Relations
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect upon your own learning
  • Communicate in writing to a specified audience, relevant to the academic community or civil society
Teaching activities
  • 5 hours of project supervision
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 195 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 4,500-word coursework project (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll base your dissertation or project on your own enquiry and research of a specialised topic. Depending on the aims and methodologies of the project, your research can take many forms. You'll use skills such as critical engagement with subject knowledge, independent research and initiative, ethical research practice and project management.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an achievable dissertation/research project proposal
  • Make use of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field
  • Use established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to International Relations
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning
  • Communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic community or civil society
Teaching activities
  • 5 hours of project supervision
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 195 hours studying independently. This is around 12 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written assignment including essay (10% of final mark)
  • a 4,500-word coursework project (90% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
  • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
  • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
  • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
Teaching activities
  • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 80-hours of work-based learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

In this module, you’ll examine utopian ideas, ideologies, and practices as a basis for engaging critically with the idea of human progress at the beginning of a new millennium.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of a variety of sources, identify and appraise different strands of utopian and dystopian political thought
  • Compare and reflect critically on different ideas about human progress and the difficulties of pursuing utopias under conditions of complexity and uncertainty
  • Creatively apply relevant aspects of utopian and dystopian thought to contemporary political issues across local, national and global contexts
  • Assess the insights and limits of utopian and dystopian thought in relation to how societies understand and address the challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 5 hours of supervised time in a studio/workshop
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 172 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-minute assessment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

This module is divided into a series of simulation games designed to mirror and give you an understanding of the EU decision-making process. You'll simulate scenarios linked to EU institution settings such as civil society lobbying, European Commission College, European Parliament Committee and European Council meetings.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop skills to resolve complex problems or perspectives
  • Creatively and critically apply acquired knowledge
  • Differentiate between, and explain, European legislative processes and actors
  • Critically reflect on your own learning by engaging with simulation activities
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour lectures
  • 17 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word coursework portfolio (80% of final mark)
  • a 750-word written assignment (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

Grassroot political activist movements have grown fast and now international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are increasingly visible advocates in various policy areas as well as important service providers, particularly in fragile and post-conflict states. This module encourages you to reflect on the legitimacy and accountability of NGOs and social movements, and consider the political consequences of their activism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the accountability of core civil society actors
  • Critically evaluate the composition, competencies and influence of core civil society actors
  • Critically engage with debates on the potential and challenges of civil society activism
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 2-hour lectures
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 750-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

Sessions are voluntary and will enable you to further engage with politics and international relations issues as well as with those working in these fields.

Teaching activities
  • 2 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops

What you'll do

You'll analyse employer expectations and apply your findings to refine your professional profile. You'll also prepare a job application pack, and take part in a mock interview as both a candidate and a recruiter and/or assessor.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate your personal professional profile and relate it to the development of effective job application strategies
  • Research and critically evaluate employers' expectations of a candidates' skills, attributes and competences in different sector
  • Evaluate your scores from various Psychometric tests to prepare for an employment assessment
  • Professionally communicate the outcomes of your experience to potential employers by producing a CV, statement, video pitch and a mock and formal job interview
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (10% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word coursework report (25% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word practical skills assessment (65% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll look at theories related to these questions, how they operate in practice, and how they've been addressed in decolonial, post-liberal, post-development and feminist literature. You'll also explore themes such as ownership and partnership, the local turn, aid effectiveness, humanitarian interventions and issues of racism, sexuality, gender, ecology, and indigenous cosmologies' insights.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical and reflective knowledge and understanding of the subject and question its principles, practices and boundaries
  • Understand key critical approaches to Aid and Development and apply them to current trends and debates around the subject
  • Critically evaluate the importance of history, power and inequality, and knowledge without social dominance in the study and practice of Aid and Development
  • Develop structured and creative arguments around the concept of rethinking international solidarity
Teaching activities
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 9 x 2-hour seminars
  • 2 x 2-hour demonstrations
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10-week coursework exercise (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

From a conceptual perspective, you’ll examine new debates in security studies and critically examine the enduring relevance of strategic thought in the face of contemporary challenges. You'll also explore contemporary events and issues, analysing the modes and causes of contemporary global threats and the options and responses of those tasked to deal with them.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the underlying causes and implications of contemporary security challenges
  • Critically review perspectives on the strategic options for managing these issues
  • (Re)appraise the use of traditional strategic concepts with respect to new forms of global (in)security
  • Demonstrate independent thought with respect to novel solutions to global (in)security concerns
  • Effectively communicate research findings for academic or professional audiences
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 1 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 175 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment (30% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word written assignment (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll analyse the macro, meso and micro environments of organisations to inform and create an organisational vision and strategic plan that includes a mission statement with strategic outcomes. You'll develop business skills such as business planning and an overall understanding of the relationship between planning and resources in an organisational setting.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the strategic management plans and organisational outcomes of relevant political organisations
  • Assess the strategic management models used in organisational strategic planning
  • Use theoretical approaches and models of change to show how change can be communicated and managed in an organisational setting
  • Evaluate the influence of organisational culture and structure on the process of change in relevant organisational contexts
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word coursework report (65% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word coursework report (35% of final mark)

What you'll do

The elements of war and conflict are identified and evaluated, these being: leadership, technology, logistics and society. Thematically, the module provides opportunities to investigate, debate and discuss a number of key themes such as; the relationship of leadership and society, including propaganda; the impact of technological change and warfare, including intelligence gathering; and the complexities of logistics and supply in modern war. Students are encouraged to engage with the core aspects of the module in a critically analytical manner, be it as independent learners or through groups as part of the teaching and learning activities.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Compare and contrast theoretical approaches to the study of war and conflict
  • Apply and evaluate key analytical pathways in the field of strategic studies
  • Identify and investigate research on conflict and security
  • Identify, analyse, and assess complex problems in a confident and academic manner
Teaching activities
  • 11 x 1-hour lectures
  • 11 x 1-hour group works
  • 11 x 1-hour plenaries
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 174 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 500-word written project proposal (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,500-word project (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

From the 1980’s to the present day, you’ll examine controversial debates on transitional justice through the use of truth commissions, the role of trials, the creation of memory cultures and official commemorations. You’ll explore the gains made in human rights legislation, and advances in international human rights practices.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the different approaches to transitional justice and the struggle for human rights at national, regional and international levels in selected countries
  • Critically comment on the mechanisms employed in the pursuit of truth, justice, reconciliation and commemoration for human rights abuses in selected countries
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms in promoting human rights in a simulation situation
  • Critically discuss how factors (political, institutional, social, cultural, and legal) can facilitate or hinder the enjoyment of human rights in selected countries
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 172 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word written assignment including essay (80% of final mark)
  • a 20-minute oral assessment and presentation (20% of final mark)

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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

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

Placement year

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.

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.

Simon's story
"I've enjoyed my time here thoroughly..."

Simon got a lot out of his time studying international relations and politics with us, including an invitation to present at an academic conference. Find out more about Simon's experiences at the University of Portsmouth.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • independent study
  • tutorials
  • workshops

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your International Relations and Politics degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning Development Tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty Learning Development Tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

For optional placements or placements abroad, you may need to pay additional costs, such as travel costs. These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. They'll range from £50 to £1000.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L250
  • our institution code – P80

If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

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.

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