Year 1 includes the theme of democracy, which introduces you to a range of political ideologies and political systems, as well as exploring the place of the individual in politics. You will be introduced to the nature of international relations by way of a critical focus on contemporary issues in world politics. You will also study the ways in which the wider social world influences politics and international relations.
In year 2 you will study aspects of 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 studied and understood. You will also be able to study some key areas of the discipline, including comparative politics, regionalisation (for example the EU), security studies, international political economy, and the politics of specific countries, including the UK, the USA and Russia. We also provide opportunities for overseas exchanges at partner institutions and for placement learning with a variety of governmental and political organisations.
In year 3, you will be able to choose from a range of specialist modules, all at honours level, which reflect the research expertise of staff. You will also undertake a piece of independent research under supervision in the form of a dissertation and have the option of doing more independent research under supervision through our Independent Study module.
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here.
Years 1 and 2
Year 1 compulsory modules:
- Introduction to Politics
- Politics in Comparative Perspective
- Introduction to International Relations I: Perspectives
- Introduction to International Relations II: Themes and Issues
- Understanding Society I: Differences and Divisions
- Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations
Core compulsory modules:
- Political Thought I
- Political Thought II
- Researching Politics and International Relations I: Analytical Modes
- Researching Politics and International Relations II: Methods
- Democracy, Autocracy and Regime Change
- Contemporary Security Studies
- The Global Political Economy
- Global Governance and Civil Society
- Understanding Europe: History, Culture and Political Economy
- Russia and East Europe after Lenin
- American Politics and Society
- Modern British Politics
- State and Society in Europe
- Nationalism, Identity and Ethnicity
- Development and Social Change in Latin America
- International Trade and Migration
- Sex, Gender and Politics
- Work-based learning in Politics and IR
Honours core modules:
- Dissertation in International Relations and Politics (double)
Honours optional modules:
- State and Society in Contemporary Russia
- Political Sociology of Crime and Disorder
- Theory and Practice of Human Rights
- Conflict and Peacebuilding
- Violence, Resistance and Identity Politics
- International Development
- Counter-Terrorism in Comparative Perspective
- Freedom, Justice and Political Theory
- South African Politics: from Apartheid to Democracy
- Global Environmental Politics
- Global Governance and Civil Society
- International Law and Institutions
- International Human Rights Law
- Central Asia in Global Politics: Beyond Oil and Islam
- Postcolonial Perspectives on Western Culture and Politics
- Independent Study
- Law, Empires and Revolutions
- The Ethics of Migration
- Militarism and Society
Modules in detail » Module diagrams »
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.
Students organise placements themselves, and are responsible for their own travel and associated costs - it is advised that they organise placements bearing this in mind. Oxfordshire based placements are accessible via public transport - often via the University’s subsidised BROOKESbus service, which is free to bus pass holders. Placements in London will incur higher travel costs; for example, a day return ticket on the Oxford Tube costs £14 (subject to change, for the latest fares see the Oxford Tube website). It is encouraged that students explore opportunities for their placement provider to cover travel costs if they opt for a placement which is not local.
Politics and International Relations students are actively encouraged to study for part of their degree at other universities. With over 100 partner institutions across the world, Oxford Brookes can offer a unique overseas study experience. Within Europe the Erasmus programme includes opportunities at Free University Amsterdam and The University of Tampere, Finland. Internationally, students have taken advantage to study in Australia, Canada, the USA, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Argentina amongst others.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your Student Loan or directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference.
You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
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.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
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.
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