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 2019, 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)

91% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

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.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

  • Analysing Politics: Britain and Beyond
  • Global Development
  • Key Themes in International Relations
  • Performing Like A Pro: Skills For Academic and Professional Success
  • Political Thought
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Analysing Foreign and Security Policy
  • Ideology and Politics

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations
  • British Political Leadership
  • China and East Asian Economies
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • East Asian States and Societies
  • Economics and Politics of Development
  • From Revolution to Dictatorship - Russia & the Soviet Union 1917-1941
  • Gender in the Developing World
  • Global Environmental Issues and Concerns
  • International Community Development
  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • International Thought
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning from Experience
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme
  • Politics and Policy in Action
  • Russian & Eurasian Politics
  • Study Abroad 
  • US Foreign Policy: From the Great War to 9/11
  • US Politics

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

For your core module this year, you'll have a choice between doing a dissertation or major project in an international relations or politics subject area.

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'State Fragility' in Post-Colonial Africa
  • Autocracy and Democracy
  • Comparative Public Policy and Public Administration 
  • Digital Media and Democracy
  • Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
  • Learning from Experience
  • Looking for Utopia, Finding Dystopia? Ideas and Ideologies in the New Millennium
  • Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
  • NGOs and Social Movements
  • Politics and IR: Academic Enrichment Programme
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Rethinking Aid and Development
  • Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
  • Strategic Management and Leadership
  • Strategic Studies
  • Transitional Justice & Human Rights

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

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 (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 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 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

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 in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

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

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

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

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

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

When you apply, you'll need:

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

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can 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.

This site uses cookies. Click here to view our cookie policy message.

Accept and close