Home Courses Politics and International Relations BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

Explore and debate contemporary politics and diplomacy

Explore and debate contemporary politics and diplomacy

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Study political events, conflicts, challenges and their effects on relationships between states
  • Build your degree around your own research interests
  • Learn from experts in their fields
  • Smaller class sizes for better learning
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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.

The Course

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.

Year One

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.

Year Two

In your second year, you will begin to mould your degree around your interests, as you explore international human rights, organisations, conflicts and security challenges.

Year Three

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 East Asia, international diplomacy, the effects of globalisation, and the evolution of international law.


This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

EU Law I

This module introduces you to European Union law and the impetus behind the formation of the European Union. This provides an insight into the law-making institutions of the European Union, the different sources of EU law and the relationship between EU law and the law of member states. In addition, it shows you how to examine the impact of the different EU laws on the enforceability of an individual’s legal rights. Throughout, you will also continue to develop legal reasoning, research and referencing skills.

Introduction to Political Ideas

This module introduces you to the academic analysis of Politics, where you will gain an understanding of Politics both as an activity and as a discipline. The module also focuses on the space of Politics, and the conceptual approaches, ideology, schools, and methods in Politics.

Introduction to Soft Power: Britain and its Cultural Diplomacy in the Twenty-First Century

This 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.

Research in Politics and IR

This 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.

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.

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.

War and Peace Twentieth Century Europe and Global Conflict

This 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’.

Britain and Europe: Brexit – Before, During and After

This module explores the history and contemporary politics of Britain’s relationship with continental Europe. You will chart in place the reasons for European integration and the expansion of the ‘European Union’ from the 1950s to the present day. the module also investigates the rise of populist politics and the idea of Euroscepticism. In doing so, it highlights the processes associated with the ongoing ‘Brexit’ arrangements, as well as internal contemporary shaping of the EU itself.

Contemporary Issues in International Relations I: Global Security Challenges

This module focuses on the emerging global security challenges because of tensions between nations in recent years.

As part of this, you will consider the causes, consequences, and contemporary expressions of issues such as:

  • terrorism
  • cyber-security
  • bio-security
  • migration
  • corruption
  • trans-national crime.

You will also consider how western and non-western states engage with these challenges as you consider what models of global governance and power actually help model solutions to these key socio-political and economic problems in the twenty first century.


This module continues the study of EU law, which examines the substantive law of the European Single Market, focusing on free movement of goods, services, and people. You will also look at individual rights under EU law including the protection of fundamental rights linked to EU citizenship.

International Human Rights

This module examines different sources of human rights law, its impact on the English Legal System and considers different substantive areas of the law under the European Convention on Human Rights including absolute, limited and qualified rights.

International Organisations

This module provides a thematic and historical introduction to the idea of international organisations (inter-governmental organisations). It will introduce you to the core international institutions and their histories through the twentieth century, including:

  • United Nations (UN)
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
  • Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • World Health Organisation (WTO)
  • Red Cross
  • Amnesty International
  • and others.

You will be encouraged to rethink twentieth century history by not only developing a strong political understanding of these important bodies but also through original social history. The module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the history and practice of some of the major international organisations and their role in international world politics.

Identity and Conflict in Russia and Eurasia

This 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 (Transnistria)
  • Ukraine (Crimea/Eastern Ukraine)
  • Chechnya (Russian Federation)
  • as well as causes of intra- and inter-ethnic violence in Central Asia.

Contemporary Issues in International Relations II: Climate Change and Activism

This module explores a key international relations question concerning environmental and climate change.

You will examine the various organisations and campaign groups involved and their perspectives on the issue and explore the role of diplomacy in global negotiations and initiatives on the topic.

Civil Society, NGOs and International Development

This module analyses the link between civil society/NGO sector and international development.

You will examine some of the main players within the charity sector development organisations (such as Oxfam), as well as some of the important international development NGOs.

In addition, you will explore the role and power of smaller local groups and individuals engaged in the so-called citizen journalism, social media protest and other forms of political engagement.

Globalisation and Its Malcontents

This module looks at key moments in the development of globalisation 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 globalisation has shaped twentieth-century history and politics.

International Law

This 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.

International Diplomacy, Sustaintable Growth and Cultural Heritage

This module explores how nation state actors, international organisations, NGOs and other global heritage institutions (e.g. British Museum/Guggenheim) work in a world of international heritage management. You will consider key questions of post-colonial power, diplomacy, agency, censorship, freedom of speech.

Multi-Media and Public Communications

This module develops your professional/creative non-fiction/journalism and related public communication skills.

It will provide you with the opportunity to test these skills in a context that considers: writing that requires different rhetorical paradigms and communication in English to ‘non-native’ speakers.

These core theoretical conceptual questions will underpin your training and practice in multi-media public communications.

The Politics of East Asia

This module explores the politics and international relations in East Asia through analysis of the interconnections between regional development and geopolitical contestation in history and today.

You will consider the legacies of the Imperial Chinese tributary system, through to the European and Japanese imperialism in East Asia and East Asia’s experiences during the Cold War, before finally examining the contemporary developments in the region.


Discover facilities that support your academic learning

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:

  • Essays
  • Source evaluations and reviews
  • Research projects
  • Collaborative project work
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress throughout your degree.

Work Placements

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.

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


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
  • Business
  • Law
  • Communications and PR
  • Education
  • Journalism

Postgraduate pathways

  • MA Cultural History
  • MRes The History of Africa and the African Diaspora
  • PGCEs
  • MA Creative Writing
  • Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

104 - 120
tariff points.
A Levels
Access to HE Diploma
28 points
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.


Frequently asked questions

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Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

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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.


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