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International Relations and Politics

BA (Hons)

Key facts


UCAS code

L290

Start dates

September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Department

Department of Social Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points

104

Overview


Our International Relations and Politics degree offers you an integrated approach. You'll learn about domestic, comparative and international politics and:

  • the roots and nature of political activity
  • the changing nature of international cooperation and conflict
  • the new character of warfare
  • the impact of globalisation upon states and societies
  • the persistence of world problems.

Our teaching staff are active researchers with strong publication records. This means the knowledge you gain is informed by the latest academic thinking.

Our Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society has three research groups, focusing on:

  • Critical Security Studies
  • State and Society
  • International Political Theory and Culture
  • Identities and Divisions. 

To prepare you for future employment, you'll have the opportunity to take part in a Work Based Learning module. Oxfordshire has one of the highest number of non-governmental organisations (NGO) outside London. So this is an excellent place to pursue career opportunities. 

How to apply


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29

BTEC: DMM

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2019/20
Home/EU full time
£9,250

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time
£13,410

2020/21
Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£13,900

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading, this is at their own discretion.

Learning and assessment


Year 1 introduces you to the theme of democracy. You will explore a range of political ideologies and political systems as well as exploring the individual in politics. And through your studies you will engage with contemporary issues in global politics.

In Year 2 you will study the history of political thought and begin to examine, in some detail, the ways in which the real world of politics and international relations can be understood.

In Year 3 you will be able to choose from a range of specialist modules which reflect the expertise of staff.
You will undertake a piece of independent research under supervision. You will have the option of doing more independent research.

Work placements

Year 2 International Relations students are encouraged to study for part of their degree with one of our 100 partner institutions across the world.

Students in Lecture

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Politics

An investigation of the nature of political study and of politics through examination of political behaviour (processes of political socialisation, the nature of political culture and the ways in which individuals participate in a democratic society) and the role of ideas and ideologies in informing individual and collective behaviour.

Politics in Comparative Perspective

This module examines and compares the nature of democratic politics, including governmental institutions and political processes, in a number of systems including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the USA and the European Union.

Introduction to International Relations I: Perspectives

This module provides an introduction to the theory and history of international relations. The module will give a broad overview of the discipline of international relations, engaging with the scope of study, key theories and concepts, and ground these in an historical overview of the international system since 1945.

Introduction to International Relations II: Themes and Issues

This module provides an introduction to the field of international relations by examining some of the key issues in contemporary world politics. After introducing core concepts and themes – for example, the idea and history of the international system of states and international society, transnational and global society, along with the concepts of conflict and co-operation among states and non-state actors – the module examines a number of immediate and chronic issues in world politics.

Social Differences and Divisions

This module is designed to provide students with an introductory knowledge of sociology and the different ways in which sociological analysis makes sense of the social world. Key concepts and approaches in sociology will be introduced through a focus on the relationship between individuals, groups and social institutions. Core areas of sociological analysis, including gender relations, class divisions, and ‘race’ and ethnicity will be considered in light of contemporary sociological debates.

Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations

This module aims to develop and enhance the academic literacy of Politics and International Relations students through an exploration of the art, craft and science of these two disciplines. The aims of the module are to provide students with the opportunity to develop key academic skills through a consideration of the concerns and practice of these two disciplines. Through practical and analytical activities and content students are invited to explore what the nature and scope of these two disciplines are, what critical issues they explore, what questions they seek to answer and what the academic, educational and social value of these disciplines are.

Optional modules

Foundations of Social Theory

Introduction to Ethics

Superpowers: An International History of the Cold War

Theory of Knowledge

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Great Debates in International Relations: Inclusion and Exclusion

Political Thought 1

A historical and critical examination of political thought and international theory, beginning with Machiavelli and concluding with Bentham. Students will reflect on how historic theories of international and national politics are to be understood and assessed conceptually.

Political Thought 2

This develops from Political Thought 1, beginning with Kant and concluding with de Beauvoir. Specific theorists such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche and de Beauvoir will be examined and general themes such as gender, sovereignty and the end of history in relation to the politics of states and the international arena will be investigated.

Researching Politics and International Relations I: Analytical Modes

The aim of this module is to locate political science and international relations with reference to debates about the nature of social science, so that students may begin to make informed choices about their own modes of inquiry. Students will be introduced to debates about the nature of ‘the political’ (ontology), what we can know about it (epistemology) and how different modes of inquiry are derived from these debates

Optional modules

Borders and Solidarities in World Politics

Dilemmas of Governing

Nationalism and Regime Change

State and Society in Europe

Offers an exploration into the social and political foundations of European states and societies. It looks at the processes of nation and state-building and the relationship between state, markets and society, consolidation of European models of capitalism and the construction of European concepts of citizenship.

Contemporary Security Studies

The topic of ‘security’ – what it is, how to achieve it, who should provide it, and even who and/or what should ‘be secured’ – is hotly contested by policy makers, the academic community, and members of civil society. This module examines some of the different ways that security and its objects of protection (whether these are the nation-state, the environment, the economy, a ‘way of life’, and/or the individual) have been conceptualised and the implications for peace and global conflict as well as for everyday forms of violence and exclusion.

The Global Political Economy

Examines the global economic order and the interaction of economics and politics in shaping world affairs. The module is divided into two parts. Part one offers a historical overview, and a range of theoretical tools through which to understand recent changes in the world economy. Part two looks at a number of substantive debates by discussing how politics and economics are entwined in the areas of production, finance, and trade.

Year 3 (placement)

Optional modules

Work placements

Our work placement module offers students the opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge gained in level 4 modules by undertaking a placement with organisations that are engaged in areas relevant to the study of Politics and/or International Relations. Students will be able to evaluate and reflect critically upon this experience in a module that links theory and practice of Politics and International Relations in a professional context.

Year 4 (or Year 3 if no placement year)

Compulsory modules

Dissertation in International Relations and Politics

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. Students choose a dissertation topic under advice from staff in the International Relations field.

Optional modules

Democratic Challenges in Russia and the EU

Ethics, Power and World Politics

Managing Global Issues: Environment and Development

Law, Empires and Revolutions

Freedom and Justice in Contemporary Political Theory

An examination of key political concepts, freedom, justice, and the community, taking account of affiliated concepts including rights and equality. In considering these concepts, differing theoretical treatments of them will be related to the roles they play in the practical world of politics.

South African Politics

This module will provide students with a detailed examination of the political economy of South Africa. It begins with an analysis of the legacy of South Africa’s history before surveying some of the key issues in the political economy of post-apartheid South Africa. It assesses the links between the historical legacies of apartheid and the unique nature of some of the problems encountered in South Africa today.

Violence and the Politics of Peace and Identity

Violence, Militarism and Terrorism

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You will learn in the stimulating and friendly atmosphere of the Department of Social Sciences. You will be able to develop a wide range of disciplinary and professional skills.

Teaching methods include: 

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • group work
  • individual and group presentations.

During semester time we host a series of weekly research seminars. Guest speakers from other universities and from outside the academic sector give presentations on various research themes.

We also host the “Politics at Work” seminar series for students with an interest in the international development/humanitarian aid sector.

Our students are encouraged to participate in the department’s online newsletter.

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 15%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 85%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 16%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 84%

Year 4 (or Year 3 if no placement year)

  • Lectures and seminars - 14%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 86%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment is by coursework and examination. 

Coursework includes:

  • essays
  • group projects
  • individual seminar presentations
  • research projects.

Some modules involve an element of examination at the end of the semester, but others are assessed solely on the basis of your work during the semester. 

Assessed work for the honours dissertation takes the form of a 10,000 word piece of work.

  • Written exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical exams

Year 1

  • Written exams - 46%
  • Coursework - 54%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 2

  • Written exams - 31%
  • Coursework - 69%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 4 (or Year 3 if no placement year)

  • Written exams - 9%
  • Coursework - 91%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Assessment method percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

Study Abroad


You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate


Career prospects

In addition to building a resource of discipline-based skills, International Relations and Politics encourages the development of abilities that will prove valuable in future careers. Some of our graduates go on to postgraduate study, while others go directly into the workplace.

Our graduates from this course enter a variety of careers, for example:

  • the diplomatic service
  • management
  • teaching
  • lecturing
  • publishing
  • journalism
  • advertising
  • local government
  • law,
  • trades unions
  • non-governmental organisations
  • international organisations.

Further study

A number of our graduates have progressed to postgraduate study, and we are keen to encourage our undergraduates to undertake their own research as part of their studies.

As well as offering supervision in a range of areas for research degrees, the department also runs an International Relations master's programme, which places an emphasis on gaining critical perspectives on contemporary theory and practice. You can do either an MA in International Relations or an MA in International Security. 

Student profiles


Our Staff


Dr Lucy Ford

Lucy helped set up the Green think tank Green House and is on their advisory board. She is also a research fellow at Schumacher Institute, an interdisciplinary systems think tank on environmental, social and economic issues.

Read more about Lucy

Dr Michael Lister

Read more about Michael

Free language courses


Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni


Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.