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International Relations

BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons)

Key facts

Start dates

September 2020



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years


Department of Social Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points



Our International Relations degree looks at world power relations in their various forms. You will analyse a wide range of sources and gain powerful insight into the world. 

Our course examines some of the critical issues of our modern times including:

  • international cooperation and conflict
  • the new character of warfare
  • the impact of globalisation upon states and societies.

You will also study persistent world problems such as:

  • poverty
  • development
  • environment
  • human rights issues.

Our teaching team are active researchers and their research directly informs your learning. 

Oxfordshire has one of the highest numbers of non-governmental organisations. This gives you a diverse range of career opportunities. We also offer Work-Based Modules with MPs and local councillors to prepare you for today's employment market.

Combine this course

You can study this course as part of a combined honours degree. This course can be combined with:

How to apply

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

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Further offer details

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:

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


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
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

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

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

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.

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.

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.

Learning and assessment

In Year 1 you will take three introductory modules:

  • Introduction to International Relations I: Perspectives
  • Introduction to International Relations II: Themes and Issues
  • Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations.

In Years 2 and 3 you can choose from a range of advanced modules.These focus on different aspects of international relations. 

In Year 3 you will choose six honours-level modules. These will reflect our staff’s research expertise.

You can also write a dissertation as part of the honours component of our course. This allows you to specialise in one of your fields or combine them both in one project.

International Relations is a combined honours degree which means you study it alongside another subject.

Students studying

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

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.

Academic Literacy in Politics and International Relations

This module develops and enhances 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. The module well help students develop their key academic skills to equip them for their undergraduate studies while challenging them to consider the reasons they are studying these subjects. In short, the module asks what do students of Politics and International Relations do, how do they do it, why do they do it and why is it important.

Optional modules

Foundations of Social Theory

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.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Great Debates in International Relations

Researching Politics and International Relations

Optional modules

Borders and Solidarities in World Politics

Contemporary Security Studies (Alternative Compulsory)

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.

State and Society: Europe and the United States

The Global Political Economy (Alternative Compulsory)

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

Compulsory modules

Dissertation in International Relations (Double Honours Component)

This module provides the opportunity for independent research under supervision. Students choose a dissertation topic under advice from International Relations staff, then design and conduct a piece of small scale research over two semesters, which is finally written up as a dissertation of 8-10,000 words.

Optional modules

Ethics, Power and World Politics

Managing Global Issues: Environment and Development

Violence and the Politics of Peace and Identity

Violence, Militarism and Terrorism

Work placements

Optional modules

Work placements

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

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

We offer you a stimulating learning atmosphere within our Department of Social Sciences. You will develop a wide range of disciplinary and professional skills.

Our teaching methods include:

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

You can attend our weekly research seminars which include guest speakers who give presentations on their research interests. Our “Politics at Work” seminar series is perfect if you’re interested in international development or humanitarian aid.

We also encourage you to take part in our department’s online newsletter.


Assessment methods used on this course

We will assess you with coursework and examination. Coursework includes:

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

Some modules include examinations at the end of the semester while other modules are assessed during the semester.

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 and 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 two MA programmes: MA in International Relations or an MA in International Security master's programme, which places an emphasis on gaining critical perspectives on contemporary theory and practice.

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

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.

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.