Develop your understanding of both historical and current political tensions and relations
Gain a rich understanding of the workings of modern politics and international relations as you incorporate strands from international law and diplomacy.
You will explore Britain’s wider place in the world through a theoretical approach to both contemporary politics and international relations. You will also examine interstate relationships across Eurasia, Africa, Asia and North America.
Pursue your interests
The course will allow you to choose your own area of interest and develop your knowledge and skills to take a critical perspective on political events and their outcomes for the modern world.
Learn from experts
You will learn from academics who are experts in their fields and use latest research to underline their teaching to ensure that you have access to the current debates within the study of politics.
On this course you will:
- Study Politics both from policy-oriented and academic perspectives.
- Examine current debates in contemporary politics and international relations.
- Explore global challenges of the twenty-first century: terrorism, global warming, migration, climate and health.
- Analyse politics and international relations in the UK, USA, China, Russia, South East Asia, and Africa.
- Learn from our team of expert staff.
- Develop your critical thinking, team-working, research and digital skills, all vital for post-degree employment.
Discover your interests and follow your passions
This course introduces you to the exciting and complex worlds of contemporary politics and international relations as you explore your interests in diplomacy and political debate.
In your first year, you will receive a solid grounding in the theoretical approaches and research methods in the study of Politics and International Relations.
The course introduces you to the political histories and contexts of Britain, Russia, China, and the United States.
In your second year, you will begin to mould your degree around your interests.
You will explore papal political influences, the links between political ideologies, religion, and modern cultures, British post-war cultural attitudes, conflict in Russia and Eurasia, and much more.
By your final year, you will have a strong sense of what political area you would like to focus on for your final dissertation project.
Alongside your thesis, you will have the opportunity to explore more specific aspects of Politics and International Relations, including: the politics of twentieth century European dictators, Pan-Africanism, the effects of globalisation, and the evolution of international law.
Select a year
Research In Politics And International RelationsThis module provides a general introduction to studying Politics and International Relations. You will examine some of the key research skills such as desk research (literature search, identifying existing datasets) as well as guiding you through different referencing styles, note-taking, how to present a coherent argument, and how to critique.
Introduction to International Relations Theory and PracticeThis module introduces you to the study of International Relations. You will learn the origins of the academic discipline and chart its evolution into modern approaches to the field. You will examine the relations between states and analysing some of the most significant ‘real world’ aspects of contemporary global politics, such as war and peace, security and insecurity, international intervention and peace-building, oppression and global inequality, among others.
Introduction to Political IdeasThis module introduces you to the academic analysis of politics. You will gain an understanding of politics both as an activity and as a discipline. The module focuses on the space of politics, and the conceptual approaches, ideology, schools, and methods in Politics
War and Peace: Twentieth Century Europe and Global ConflictThis module provides you with an overview of European political, cultural, and military history during the 20th century through the study of its major conflicts and global forces. The central focus of the module is the international history of the major Great Powers between 1914 and 2000. You will examine of some of the common debates that often surround the origins of the First World War; the Second World War; the Cold War and debates on the ‘New World Order’.
The United States: An Introduction (1763 – The Present)This module analyses the distinctive origins of American political thought and constitutional practice, the structures and effects of slavery, the origins of the civil war, the evolution of popular culture with special reference to jazz, the pursuit of civil rights and the emergence of the United States as a world power.
Introduction to Soft Power: Britain and its Cultural Diplomacy in the Twenty-First CenturyThis module examines the role of literature, arts and other cultural forms and processes in conducting international relations. It is an introduction to the notions of soft power and cultural diplomacy and how Britain and other states and intergovernmental organisations have used it to exert their power. The module introduces students to the history and practice of organisations such as the BBC; BBC World Service; the British Council; UNESCO
Russia and China: An Introduction To ‘Post-Communism’This module introduces you to the contemporary politics of the two great powers, Russia and China, and explores their comparative journeys into versions of post-Communism. You will understand the evolution and/or collapse of ‘communist’ ideology and practice in each state. It acknowledges the new state-society dynamics in each state, offering an introduction to politics and society in the twenty-first century Russia and China.
EU Law IThis module introduces you to European Union Law and impetus behind the formation of the European Union. You will examine the law-making institutions of the European Union, the different sources of EU Law and the relationship between EU Law and English Law. You will examine the impact of the different EU Laws on the enforceability of an individual’s legal rights. You will continue to develop legal reasoning, research and referencing skills.
Enlightenment Europe, 1688-1789The ideas of the Enlightenment provided new ways of thinking about science, religion, education, politics and society and the place of ‘mankind’ in the world, but to what extent did the ‘philosophers’ transform society and how enlightened were they? You will explore these ideas as you engage with the works of Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diederot, Rousseau, Beccaria and Wollstonecraft.
Approaches To ResearchThis module will build on your earlier explorations of research techniques, with a focus on the development of time and project management skills as you begin to prepare for your dissertation. Questions concerning how one starts on a research project and establishes viability of subject to a range of different approaches/theoretical perspectives will be discussed in detail, in relation to how you will choose their own dissertation topic.
From ‘Angry Young Men’ To Cool Britannia?: A Historical Analysis Of British Cultural Activity After 1945This module provides you with an opportunity to analyse examples of British cultural activity after 1945 within their artistic, political, and historical contexts. The module discusses a series of key movements of cultural production, for example, ‘the Angry Young Men’; ‘Cold War fictions’; or ‘Thatcherism/responses to Thatcherism’.
Fascism and Post-Fascism in EuropeBy looking at a variety of case studies from across Europe throughout the first half of the 20th century, we will discuss the way in which fascism was both embraced and fought against. In addition, by using literary and cultural forms of post-fascism you will explore how many of the core messages of ideological fascism survived despite being politically discredited.
Popes And PoliticsThis module examines the nature of papal pronouncements and diplomatic interventions in the continuing evolution of the modern nation state. You will consider these ideas in the new ideological landscapes of totalitarian power, in the two world wars and the Cold War. It will involve an analysis of the ideas, culture and structures of the Roman Catholic Church as they were found at work in the contexts of national and international politics in the years 1864-2005.
Oral HistoryThis module will introduce you to oral history as a methodology, as well as the evaluation of oral sources by historians. You will seek to place oral history within the wider debates around history as a discipline, and as a methodological approach to studying past events and experiences. You will also explore the ways in which oral sources have been used in different media, particularly in exhibitions, publications and museums, and to appraise these within a theoretical framework.
Ideologies, Politics And CultureThis module aims to provide you with a robust understanding of the nature of ideology, its operation within different political and cultural contexts, including Marxist, liberal, and conservative approaches. You will also explore and analyse a range of indicative political ideologies, including conservatism, socialism, fascism, feminism and ecologism, enhanced through analysis of historical and contemporary case studies, and discussion of a diverse range of texts.
Environment and State in Britain since 1945This module explores the British state’s evolving stewardship over the environment since the end of the Second World War. You will examine the connected environmental challenges that the state has faced in this time including pollution, urban change, resource depletion, species conservation and control, epidemics, extreme weather, the threat of nuclear war, and climate change.
Re-Litigating The Past: State, Media And Historical Injustice In Contemporary BritainThis module focuses on how public histories have been rewritten in Britain over the past three decades, through the interventions of state, media, and voluntary sector institutions. By studying these forms of investigations, you will learn about how private traumas are integrated into or transformed public memory, the ways in which and reasons why silences are maintained or broken, and the place of ‘the past’ in judicial processes.
Identity And Conflict In Russia And EurasiaThis module provides you with an understanding of contemporary Russia and Eurasia. You will examine the recent conflicts across the region through the prism of nationalism and identity politics. The module re-examines these conflicts by focusing on the sources of demand for national self-determination in secessionist conflicts in Azerbaijan (Nagorno Karabakh), Georgia (Abkhazia/South Ossetia), Moldova (Transdnistria), Ukraine (Crimea/Eastern Ukraine); Chechnia (Russian Federation), as well as causes of intra- and inter-ethnic violence in Central Asia.
Freedom and JusticeThe module investigates different philosophical approaches to freedom and justice. What constitutes a free action? Can freedom be granted? What are the key components of a just society? We explore different traditions with careful attention to their historical and cultural context while considering their ability to illuminate contemporary issues and debates.
Bio-EthicsThis module introduces you to the concept and debates of bio-ethics. You will become acquainted with the major problems in bio-ethics, especially those relating to the beginning and ending of life and discuss them multiple ethical approaches.
International Human RightsThis module examines different sources of Human Rights Law, the impact of this Law on the English Legal System and considers different substantive areas of Law under the European Convention Human Rights including absolute, limited and qualified rights.
Dissertation in PoliticsThe dissertation represents the culmination of your Politics studies as you complete an individual research project on a topic of your choosing. The 10,500-word thesis will include explicit methodological and historiographical dimensions and where appropriate, theoretical discussions integrated into the text.
Writing, Environment and EcocriticismThis module will offer you the opportunity to explore the ways in which contemporary writers and critics engage with images, issues and concepts of the environment in novels, poetry and non-fiction. You will choose whether you wish to engage with the themes of the module as a critic or a creative writer.
Dictatorship, Conformity and Resistance in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s RussiaThis module explores the distinctive ideologies of Soviet Communism, Italian Fascism and German National Socialism, and to consider if and how these were in fact new forms of religion. The module will also examine the construction of these ‘totalitarian’ states in practice, and the experiences of individual and institutions caught up within these contexts, with particular reference to the churches and to cultural movements
Pan-AfricanismThis module examines the ideologies, political movements and key activists concerned with the political unity and liberation of Africa and the African diaspora from the 19th century onwards. In particular, you will analyse the significance of the ideas of key ideologists and activists, including Edward Blyden, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, W.E.B. Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Franz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral.
A Global History Of The Cold WarThis module introduces you to a wider view of the effects of the Cold War beyond the traditional Western-centric view. You will examine the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Middle East, the decolonisation processes in Asia and Africa, the political influence on developing nations in Latin America, and the emergence of China as an additional player.
International LawThis module introduces you to international law: the body of law which governs the legal relations between or among states and nations. You will study the theories, principles and processes of international law, including its sources, legal personality, jurisdiction and realms of responsibility. In addition, you will also be introduced to debates about the regulation of international activities, including the use of force, dispute settlement processes, human rights, and the role of the UN.
Globalization and its MalcontentsThis module looks at key moments in the development of globalization focusing on moments in which the world came together, such as the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, when the terms of global trade were outlined after the rupture of the Second World War. You will use these examples to contextualise the work of theorists like Arjun Appadurai to develop your understanding of how globalization has shaped twentieth-century history and politics.
British Cultural WarsThis module explores conflict within British culture from the start of the 19th century to the turn of the new millennium. You will consider the reaction to obscene publications and other literary controversies and moral panics of Victorian Britain, through to the as the liberal reforms in the 1960s and the self-censorship and the baleful influence of Hollywood on British cinema.
Discover facilities that support your academic learning
Learning Resource Centre
Subject specific librarians
Royal Literary Fellows
Local cultural links
Teaching and Assessment
Feel the support of internationally-recognised research staff
At our university, you will find a friendly atmosphere and an encouraging team of staff who will work hard to support your learning.
All of our tutors have recognised national and international research expertise and a passion for their respective subject areas. This ensures that you have access the latest debates within the study of Politics and International Relations.
Much of our teaching is in small groups. Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment.
It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.
Our BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations course uses a range of assessments methods, including:
- Source evaluations and reviews
- Research projects
- Collaborative project work
Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress throughout your degree.
Gain vital workplace experience with our local partners
We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market.
We offer you work placement opportunities built directly into our courses to ensure you can gain the experience needed to stand out.
You can choose to organise your own work placement, or take advantage of our extensive network of local partners to gain experience within settings that can also support your academic studies.
Open up your future career options
Our graduates continue to succeeded in a range of positions after their studies through the supportive environment, varied modules, and the commitment to students provided by our staff.
Career paths include:
- The Civil Service
- International organisations
- Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
- Defence and security
- Public administration
- Communications and PR
- MA Cultural History
- MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora
- MA Creative Writing
- Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)
Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)
Access to HE Diploma
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply?
Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.
What are UCAS tariff points?
Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.
How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?
Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.
When does this course start?
This course starts in September 2022.