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International Relations and Politics BA (Hons)

Study this International Relations and Politics degree course for a balance between the analysis of global trends and the investigation of issues closer to home.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:

L250

Typical offer:

96-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
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Overview

Make sense of the world and the forces shaping nations. Understand the factors behind war, conflict and collaboration between states. Explore what democracy, freedom and equality mean to people at home and abroad. 

On this BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree, you’ll analyse the global and local issues influencing society, from global migration to the rise of populist politics – and learn the skills needed to help enact change, shape opinions, and tackle inequality.

You’ll explore politics theory in action through the latest developments in British and international politics. Set yourself up for careers in local and national government, international diplomacy, security, lobbying, academic research, the charity sector and the media.

Course highlights

  • Learn from staff at our Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), whose research impacts government policy
  • Customise your international relations and politics degree with specialist subjects of your choice, such as climate change, social movements, digital technology and democracy, and human rights legislation
  • Create policy briefing papers offering recommendations to practitioners on major recent international issues, such as the Ukraine Crisis, the 'MeToo' movement, the rise of terrorist organisations and the Arab Revolutions
  • Attend events and talks led by people working in NGOs, local, national and international government, and journalism
  • Go on field trips to locations such as the Houses of Parliament
  • Take part in a simulated ‘academic conference’, where you’ll present a paper that will be discussed with your peers
  • Have the opportunity to do a work placement year after your second or third year on this Connected Degree - we're the only UK university to offer flexible sandwich placements for undergraduates
  • Take up an exchange opportunity at a university outside the UK, such as Nagoya University in Japan, Science Po or Caen-Normandy University in France, The Hague University of Applied Sciences or University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, University of Western Carolina in the USA, Prince Edward Island University or Carleton University in Canada, or Edith Cowan University in Australia
  •  Choose to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, from a selection of Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

97%

of graduates in work or further study

(HESA graduate outcomes survey 2020/21)

100%

of students said teaching staff were very good or good at explaining things

(NSS 2023)

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

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BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-CCC
  • UCAS points - 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM-MMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and 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

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Graduation 2023 Photos
- Event Consent Cards Used

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time studying International Relations and Politics. I found the course material engaging, highly relevant and useful to understand a range of concepts and subjects.

The faculty staff are always there for you if you need support and guidance and are the first to celebrate successes, small or large, alongside you.
 

Charley Lock, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics

Why study International Relations?

Hear from our students about why they love studying international relations. Learn more about the variety of subjects, your career opportunities and what makes the University of Portsmouth special.

Dr Aishling Mc Morrow: International relations is how states interact in the international system. As you can imagine, it's really broad and we look at many different topics and issues within that. It's not just states that we look at: it's non-governmental organisations, it's terrorist organisations and how they all interplay and interact with each other to make up this thing, that is the international system. 

India: I wanted to study this course because I've always had an interest in politics, and I felt that this course would provide me with opportunities to expand that knowledge while also gaining a greater global perspective on political issues. 

Samantha: I had my 'aha' moment when I actually came to Portsmouth and my foundation programme was law with international relations because I wasn't sure which one I wanted to do. I actually spoke to a lecturer, and I was like, "Should I do IR or should I change to law?" and it was her passion for me that really sold me and I really found myself identifying with it, and then that's when I knew like, "okay, this is it". 

Dr Aishling Mc Morrow: I think what students are attracted to is the variety of the course. So one day you could be studying conflict and security, and then the next day you might be studying development aid. Which are polar opposites, and they're different worlds, but you get to do that within your course. 

Samantha: It teaches you to see people from another perspective and I think that's really important, not just in diplomacy, but in everyday life. 

Joshua: The modules, they're so broad and vast so people can find their niches within that. So there you can find, "okay, this is what I stand for." 

Dr Aishling Mc Morrow: There are a lot of career opportunities. We have students working with the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees, working in the House of Congress in the U.S. and working as researchers with Parliament in the U.K. 

Johannes: I don't think I picked Portsmouth, I think Portsmouth picked me. This course really motivates me in this way to just go the extra mile, really do the reading, turn up and just invest my time and energy. 

Dr Aishling Mc Morrow: The reason why I think students should study and come to the University of Portsmouth is because what our courses enable our students to do, is look at the events that's happening in the world today and have the ability to process them and critically analyse them and to question the information that's put in front of them. 

Aleksandra: Ever since I've started to study International Relations I've completely fallen in love with it. First, when I got to my seminars or lectures, I felt like Alice in Wonderland exploring the world from completely different angles I would never think about before and that's what got me. 
 
 

Careers and opportunities

The analytical skills you’ll develop on this international relations and politics degree are in demand – your ability to understand complex issues and find solutions to them means that roles across government agencies, NGOs, charities, think tanks and international organisations are all within your reach.

And with technology continuing to develop at a frantic pace, there’s an ever-increasing demand for graduates with the knowledge required to ensure new developments are ethical.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills and cultural experience to work. 

A global survey of 1000 business leaders by the Harvard Business Review [...] found that the skills most in-demand by employers are those in which Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts graduates specialise – from communication, problem solving and creativity, to research and analysis. 

Ian Diamond, The British Academy

What can you do with an International Relations and Politics degree? 

Graduates from this degree have gone on to careers in the following sectors:

  • local and central government 
  • embassies
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • security services 
  • international organisations, like the United Nations (UN) 
  • international charities like War Child, Amnesty International or the Red Cross 
  • policy research and think tanks
  • media and international business consultancy 
  • political risk analysis 
  • public relations 
  • voluntary organisations 
  • management 
  • banking and financial services
  • tourism 

Placement year (optional)

After the second or third year of your international relations and politics degree, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Taking an optional placement year will give you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role. We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.

Previous students have been on placements to organisations such as:

  • The Ministry of Defence
  • The House of Commons
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy
  • Otra Cosa (Peru)
  • SEK International
  • Freedom from Torture
  • Victim Support London
  • Tools for Self Reliance

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

What's it like to take a placement year?

Hear from some of our placement year students - Finlay, who took a placement at NBC Universal, Anastasia, who found a place at St Vincent College, and Charley, who took a role at Castle View Academy.

Find out about their experiences and hear what advice they have to give other students.

Finlay: I've loved every moment of my placement. It's probably one of the most fantastic years I've ever done in my life, probably one of the best things I've ever done.

Emily Parry: The school covers area studies, sociology, history, politics and literature. There are a number of different placement opportunities that are based locally or nationally around the UK, covering lots of different sectors and areas. So there's something there for everybody.

Finlay: Before university, I was always somebody that really didn't want to rush university. I wanted to try a placement year out, which was something that I'd love to do, and here we are today at NBC Universal. I got very, very lucky with it, but it's great.

Emily Parry: One of the misconceptions about placements and work experience for humanities students is that it would be very restricted on the kind of things that they can do.

Finlay: As a politics student, obviously I do love politics, but it's the other interests you have outside of politics. I love my films, I love my TV series, so I work in an environment selling content that I love.

Anastasia: Since about year ten, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. The work placement has definitely put it in perspective that it’s still what I want to do and it means that I don't have to go into a PGCE placement completely unaware of what I have to do. It gives me the experience of what a teacher actually needs to do and what their role is in a college.

Charley: Teaching is something I find quite natural to do. It wasn't really to do with my degree, but I found it was quite easy to interlink the two. So I was able to run a politics club here and it was really quite inspiring to see how enlightened the students were and how knowledgeable they were about current day events, and went from there, really.

Emily Parry: What I love about placements is seeing the students when they come back and you can see the development in them of the confidence that they've built and their ability to communicate and work as part of a team.

Charley: Before, I really struggled with public speaking. So standing in front of an audience is not something I would initially choose to do, and for some people, standing in front of 30 children is even more scary than standing in front of adults.

Finlay: University of Portsmouth really helped me with confidence and the ability to speak, which I've then brought into NBCU where I present in front of my managers once a month.

Charley: Having that sort of exposure was really, really important to me. For students who want to do a placement, I would just say go for it.

Anastasia: It’s a brilliant opportunity to put yourself in a workplace environment with loads and loads of support.

Finlay: Just put everything into it because it really is a year that's really helped me feel a lot more confident going into my final year of university.

Emily Parry: It's the best feeling when a student gets that placement because you know the opportunities that's going to open up for them with their future 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 jobs can you do with an International Relations and Politics degree?

Recent graduates have gone on to roles including:

  • political researcher, Houses of Parliament
  • assistant to Member of Parliament
  • civil servant, Department for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
  • senior policy advisor, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • communications officer, House of Commons
  • local government administrator, Government of Jersey
  • director of Language Studies for an international school
  • public affairs consultant 
  • bilingual consultant 
  • multilingual project coordinator 
  • translator 
  • social researcher 
  • information officer 
  • conference producer 
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Modules

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.

What you'll study

Core modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • 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.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify and assess approaches to global development.

  • Identify and assess measurements of global development.

  • Identify and explain key global development challenges.

  • Define the actors involved in international aid and development.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • 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.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • 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.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Use a series of academic skills required for studying Politics and International Relations at degree level, with particular focus on reasoning, critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Reflect on personal learning and development in a way that supports onward learning throughout your first year.
  • Develop a professional approach to learning to enable you to successfully complete your course and to consider appropriate placement and work opportunities.
  • Demonstrate and apply the skills necessary to succeed in academic and professional contexts.

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Core modules

The learning outcomes of this module are: 
  • Critical and reflective knowledge and understanding to evaluate the research and argument of others.

  • Conduct research via independent learning and creativity.

  • Participate in and carry out the various stages of research process, including the synthesis of new and existing knowledge.

  • Evaluate linkages between theory and practice in research on Politics and IR, by locating, accessing and critically engaging with information, using current and emerging digital technologies.

  • Apply the various research approaches and methods available to studying Politics and IR.

  • Be able to recognise personal development needs, and to make informed career decisions

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Optional modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss a number of specific topics within the field of US foreign policy in the twentieth century and its emergence as a superpower.
  • Analyse key historical issues, concepts, evidence and historiographical debates in US foreign policy.
  • Critically analyse the role of the US as a hemispheric and world power.
  • Employ independent learning and research skills.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Appreciate and contrast contending perspectives in the study of foreign and security policy
  • Comprehend, evaluate and discuss the foremost variables in the formulation and presentation of foreign policy
  • Identify and deploy contending theoretical perspectives to analyse and explain major foreign policy processes and outcomes
  • Use empirical material to strengthen and substantiate understanding of major foreign and security policy decisions

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • 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 in relationship to an in-depth study of one country or region, taken from the late 20th or early 21st centuries.

  • 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.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • 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.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Apply discipline knowledge, principles and concepts such as political advocacy, policy influence and civil society and social mobilisation in a practical setting.
  • Use a range of techniques to understand and synthesise information, undertake critical analysis and reach solutions to problems arising from that analysis.
  • Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis by engaging in the development of a political campaign or lobbying strategy to effectively influence policy.
  • Demonstrate competence in a range of professional skills including problem solving, working independently and in teams, self-management, conflict resolution, time management and group negotiation.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise and differentiate between key academic debates in this field.

  • Compare and contrast political institutions, actors and ideas in Europe.

  • Apply comparative and theoretical frameworks to analyse and evaluate data independently.

  • Evaluate the advantages and problems inherent in the comparative method.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse the nature of the military regimes and the aftermath of military rule.

  • Critically evaluate the transitions to democracy in Latin America.

  • Account for the different experiences of democratisation across the region.

  • Appraise the roles played by a range of political actors in processes of political change. 

  • Apply their knowledge of processes and political actors in a verisimilar situation.

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Apply the concepts of modernisation, colonialism and multiculturalism to engage development experiences of East Asian societies.

  • Use gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, age and physical ability as analytical tools to explore the process of modernisation, colonialism, nation-building and development of East Asian societies.

  • Acquire country-specific knowledge in regard to cultural heritage, colonial legacy, geopolitical structure and economic interaction.

  • Obtain a dynamic regional perspective in regard to a common challenge faced by East Asian societies.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Engage with contemporary debates regarding colonialism, decolonisation and its legacies in Europe and Africa.
  • Critically analyse primary and secondary sources.
  • Present a reasoned argument in written form, using appropriate terminology.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Communicate clearly and effectively about social problems and their consequences.
  • Evaluate strategies for addressing forms of inequality and/or sustainability and obstacles to their implementation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective team player able to support others.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise the varying disciplinary perspectives on the concept of security within a criminological framework.

  • Critically discuss the drivers of societal risk and insecurity.

  • Recognise the nature and impact of economic and political developments.

  • Explain and assess the many forms of threat to the security of states, corporations and individuals.

  • Identify and assess responses to security threats at the global, national, local, corporate and individual levels.

  • Locate, interpret, question and summarise information from a number of different sources.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • 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.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Assess key theories in intercultural communication research.
  • Collect data/information and analyse it from an intercultural perspective.
  • Research a certain aspect of culture and communication.

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

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of international thought and its range of concerns.

  • Discuss, critically, contending theoretically informed interpretations and explanations about the nature of the international order.

  • Appraise alternative contentions regarding 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 their own work in order to enhance their scholarship.

  • Be able to recognise personal development needs, and to make informed career decisions.

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Develop an understanding of the big issues and contemporary debates in education and teaching.

  • Apply the fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to the planning and evaluation of a lesson plan.

  • Understand the importance of safeguarding children.

  • Reflect on current developments in teaching and learning.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss key marketing concepts.

  • Retrieve and analyse appropriate real world marketing information.

  • Apply theories of marketing to real world contexts.

  • Distinguish between different forms of communication within the marketing context.

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The learning objectives of this module are to be confirmed.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key sources, concepts, ideas, substantive analyses, and contemporary relevance.

  • Demonstrate ability to compare and contrast analytical approaches to the study and explanation of themes and issues explored on the module.

  • Communicate understanding and knowledge of complex ideas, concepts and themes and issues explored on the module clearly, effectively, and creatively.

  • Work effectively, both independently and as a member of a group, to research, prepare and deliver a report.

  • Produce an organised, well-structured and concise answer to an essay question demonstrating critical engagement with relevant texts and analyses.

Explore this module

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

  • Critically and reflectively engage with literature exploring nationalism from various disciplines.
  • Analyse current political and economic debates surrounding immigration.
  • Evaluate how global inequalities relate to nationalist social and political structures and ideologies.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the issues discussed are relevant at micro and macro levels globally.
  • Understand and critically question how nationalism and national identities are often taken for granted in Western societies, and how this relates to contemporary global power relations.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Examine current issues relative to traditional (i.e. print and/or broadcast) media.
  • Empirically analyse media texts in terms of ideological representation.
  • Identify and justify the selection of appropriate media texts and appropriate analytical frameworks in the formulation of a short empirical research project.

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

  • Know and recognize the varying disciplinary perspectives on the concept of the principles of economic crime investigation within criminological, legal, and economic frameworks
  • Become familiar with the main types of organisations involved in investigating economic crime including SFO, NCA and FCA etc.
  • Identify the different modes of investigative techniques employed in investigating economic crime
  • Analyse information on the investigation techniques employed in real economic crime cases
  • Gather, retrieve, and analyse information from a variety of sources

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The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Reflect on their learning and experience to date and use this as a basis to plan and organise suitable work experience(s) that will enable the development of their professional profile.
  • Propose a programme of learning that enables the development and demonstration of specified professional skills.
  • Critically evaluate their learning and experience and relate this to their future career goals.
  • Communicate the outcomes of their experience through the effective use of reflective practice.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Explain the rise of Nazism.

  • Analyse NS ideologies and specific policies,

  • Compare types of support for and dissent to Nazism.

  • Debate the contested origins and implementation of the Holocaust.

  • Analyse the significance of the legacy of the “Third Reich” on German politics and society from 1945 to the present.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss conceptual and thematic aspects of the literature.
  • Reflect on the ways that subjectivity is formulated at specific periods and is related to place and/or gender.
  • Recognise the materiality and historicity of philosophical and theoretical concepts.
  • Comprehend the significance of perception for the subject and in narrative voice.
  • Define and critically assess key terms and concepts for theoretically-informed literary analysis.
  • Demonstrate critically-informed close reading skills and contextualised literary analysis.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse the mechanisms employed in the pursuit of truth, justice and reparation for human rights abuses in selected countries.

  • Analyse the effectiveness of transitional justice mechanisms in selected countries.

  • Analyse how political, social, cultural, and legal factors facilitate or hinder transitional justice in selected countries.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse and explain the role of the key institutions of the US federal government.

  • Critically examine the inter-relationship of the federal, state and local level of US political life.

  • Examine and explain the influence of informal actors on the formal policy making structures within the US political system, including PACs, lobbies, and pressure groups within wider civil society.

  • Analyse and explain the salience of particular contested issues on the US political agenda with particular reference to gun control, abortion, welfarism, capital punishment, the media, and civil rights.

  • Employ independent learning and research skills.

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

  • Analyse the different types of wildlife crime and summarise environmental factors
  • Recognise and examine the importance of environmental justice and sustainability
  • Locate, access and engage with information pertinent to environmental justice and wildlife crime
  • Interpret and assess new and existing knowledge
  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and identify further opportunities within the subject area

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Optional modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop empirically founded knowledge of digital media that is 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.

  • Appraise and assess the impact of digital media on political communication for wider audiences.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Design a viable dissertation.
  • Make use of a range of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field.
  • Deploy 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 (which may be incomplete) in order to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions.
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic or community.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Design a viable dissertation.

  • Make use of a range of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the relevant field.

  • Deploy established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to politics.

  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) in order to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions.

  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to the academic or community.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the significance of France in contemporatary international relations.

  • Critically discuss the characteristics of French foreign and defence policy since 1958.

  • Critically evaluate contested notions of French power.

  • Communicate effectively using appropriate academic conventions and subject specific terminology.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically assess key issues and debates in global political economy using reasoned arguments and evidence.

  • Critically evaluate the processes of globalisation, its consequences, alternatives and governance.

  • Differentiate between and employ different theories and approaches within the field of political economy.

  • Communicate ideas effectively in an academic context and in a professional manner.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Design a viable project proposal.

  • Utilise a range of established research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the field of International Relations.

  • Deploy established and relevant methods and techniques of analysis and inquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to International Relations.

  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) in order to form a judgement, frame further questions, and identify potential solutions.

  •  

    Manage and reflect upon own learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to either the academic or workplace community.


 

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Design a viable project proposal.

  • Utilise a range of established research or equivalent advanced scholarship in the field of Politics.

  • Deploy established and relevant methods and techniques of analysis and inquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to Politics.

  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) in order to form a judgement, frame further questions, and identify potential solutions.

  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to either the academic or workplace community.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Use conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyse the main issues in contemporary debates about the Asia-Pacific.

  • Explain and critically analyse the foreign and security policies of key regional powers.

  • Critically evaluate how and why a range of contemporary issues have come to be treated as 'security threats'.

  • Develop a reflective approach to differing points of view on security claims within a politically diverse region.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate awareness of a variety of sources, identify and appraise different strands of utopian and dystopian political thought.

  • Compare and reflect critically upon different ideas about human progress and the difficulties of pursuing utopias under conditions of complexity and uncertainty.

  • Apply, creatively, 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.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Design a viable Major Project proposal.
  • Make use of a range of current research, advanced scholarship, or professional expertise in the relevant field.
  • Deploy established and relevant techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework to a specific and focused area relevant to the professional activity.
  • Critically evaluate assumptions, arguments and data (which may be incomplete) in order to form a judgement, frame further questions and identify potential solutions to the problems posed in the professional activity.
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and communicate in writing to a specified audience relevant to either the academic or workplace community.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of the project.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the accountability of key civil society actors.

  • Critically evaluate the composition, competencies and influence of key civil society actors.

  • Critically engage with debates on the potential and challenges of civil society activism.

  • Critically evaluate the application of various theoretical approaches to the interpretation of civil society action.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the social and political impact of literature and film.
  • Critically analyse cultural representations of Hispanic societies.
  • Situate cultural representations of Hispanic societies in their national and historical context.
  • Communicate ideas in a manner appropriate to the target audience.
  • Present an analytical treatment of a complex topic in written form, using appropriate academic/subject specific terminology.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically assess and apply political theories, empirical studies and policy communications on Brexit and post-Brexit politics.

  • Identify changes and continuity in post-Brexit domestic and international politics in the UK, European, EU and world politics (consider variations at the national/international/global levels).

  • Critically analyse competing perspectives on post-Brexit politics, policy priorities and changes in the role of key political actors in the UK, Europe and the EU.

  • Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of key arguments in the subject area using a variety of academic, policy and empirical sources verbally and in writing.

  • Analyse policy, academic, critical, and contextual sources, and organise and communicate ideas effectively in the subject area.

  • Apply analytical skills to carry out independent research related to the module and post-Brexit politics specifically.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate personal professional profile and relate this to the development of effective job application strategies.
  • Research, compare and contrast and critically evaluate employers expectations in terms of candidates' skills, attributes and competences in different sectors of employment.
  • Reflect on and evaluate their scores from a range of Psychometric tests to prepare for an upcoming employment assessment.
  • Communicate professionally the outcomes of their experience to potential employers via the production of a CV, statement, video pitch and a mock and formal job interview.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Reflect on their learning and experience to date and use this as a basis to plan and organise suitable work experience(s) that will enable the development of their professional profile.
  • Propose a programme of learning that enables the development and demonstration of specified professional skills.
  • Critically evaluate their learning and experience and relate this to their future career goals.
  • Communicate the outcomes of their experience, through the effective use of reflective practice.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate and discuss a variety of theoretical approaches and debates in the social scientific study of religion.

  • Use empirical material to critically analyse religion's interaction with politics in a range of contexts.

  • Identify and use contending perspectives on religion to critically analyse and explain political decision making.

  • Assess critiques of the contemporary trend towards operationalising religion in foreign and development policy.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • 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.
     

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate different political science approaches discussing the EU as an actor in international politics.

  • Critically assess the impact of EU external policies, for example: common commercial (trade) policy, development, and enlargement.

  • Critically assess the impact of EU internal policies on the globe, for example: common agricultural policy, competition policy and the single market, economic and monetary coordination, and environmental policy.

  • Critically assess the limited global impact of EU foreign, security and defence policy.

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Optional modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically reflect on the competencies required within a placement environment.
  • Identify and evaluate the learning experience and the relevance of this learning to future careers and professional development, identifying areas for improvement or further training.
  • Self-evaluate their success in meeting the objectives identified in the learning agreement.

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The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Manage and complete tasks in a study relevant to their 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 the student's undergraduate course within the global context.

Explore this module

Changes to course content

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. 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

International Relations and Politics research at the University of Portsmouth

Ed Stoddard, Reader in International Security, explains how cutting-edge research like his (into the changing character of warfare) informs our courses and talks about some of the career opportunities this course can lead to.

Ed Stoddard: So the research I do here at the University is focused on the changing character of warfare.

Over the last few years I've been particularly focusing on questions to do with terrorism and violent extremism in the West African region, especially around the Lake Chad area.

And we use that research and distribute it at conferences and events with policymakers, both here in the UK, but also in West Africa as well. Armed conflicts are so destructive and, you know, I think it's incumbent on us as researchers who work in this area to try and think of ways they can be avoided, of course, in the first instance.

But if, when those armed conflicts do happen, try and think of measures that we can put in place to reduce their impact.

So the research connects with students here in a number of different ways. It supports the work they do in terms of their dissertations, but also directly into the modules that they study.

You know, our research, once we've done it and we've written the papers and we've publish the outputs, that gets then translated into the lectures that we deliver. So they will be directly learning and benefiting from that research that we've done out in the field in their studies and contributing to their degree.

There's a really broad range of different career opportunities that are available to students. The Foreign Office, the Civil Service and more broadly, the Ministry of Defence.

But also we have students who go to international organisations, NGOs, charities that work internationally in conflict zones, and we also have quite a lot of students who go into various research roles and risk analysis roles.

Portsmouth is a really exciting and vibrant city and the university is literally at the heart of the city. I think also the university has a really strong focus on student support and a really strong focus on teaching quality.

And I know that my colleagues spend very considerable amount of that time working to make sure that the experience for Portsmouth students is a really brilliant one. And I think those are some of the key reasons why students who are here really enjoy their degrees.

 

How you're assessed

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 1 students: 15% by exams and 85% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 5% by exams, 95% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

(Figures are rounded to nearest 5%)

Your coursework may include:

  • written exams
  • coursework: article reviews, essays, projects, briefing papers
  • individual and group presentations
  • simulations, podcasts and creative videos
  • 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.

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.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

Teaching staff profiles

David Norman Portrait

Dr David Norman

Senior Lecturer

David.Norman@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

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 10 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 dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

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 support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

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 meeting.

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

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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

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 In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

Apply now through UCAS

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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.