Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £14,000 *
Duration 4 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Our degree courses with Foundation year offer the opportunity to prepare you for advanced study before you progress onto a full honours degree at the University of Westminster.

Whether you do not feel ready for degree-level study, don’t have the right qualifications, want to change your subject specialism or return to study after an absence from education, we aim to encourage a broad range of students to undertake our Foundation year in order to progress onto their full honours degree with us.

The Foundation year is designed to give you the opportunity to explore new ideas, opening up new perspectives on the key debates within your chosen field. Core modules accelerate your academic and professional development and you will also take modules from areas closely related to your chosen field, giving you the chance to develop a cross-disciplinary perspective on your course.

On successful completion of the Foundation year, you will be able to move on to study for the Politics and International Relations BA Honours degree.

Our Politics and International Relations BA equips you to understand the comparative dimensions of politics at the local, regional, national and global level.

You'll study political concepts, ideas, values and institutions, and explore the relationship between political theory and practice. While international relations shares these interests, it focuses on regional and global levels of political activity.

You'll also focus on areas such as globalisation, patterns of conflict and co-operation between states, and the shift from 'anarchy' in the global sphere to co-ordination through intergovernmental organisations and non-state actors (such as corporations and groups based in civil society).

Our course enables you to develop specialist knowledge of important political actors and key trends in international politics, and your critical and analytical skills in the understanding of political problems at both the national and international levels.

We take full advantage of our location in the heart of London, which allows us to take you out of the classroom to visit places such as the Houses of Parliament, government departments, international organisations, NGOs, exhibitions and museums. We regularly invite high-profile speakers to our central London location for our well-established series of seminars, public lectures and conferences, to which you, as a student of politics and international relations, will be invited.

We also enjoy excellent links with employers, and our graduates go on to develop careers in various sectors, including the Civil Service, NGOs, international organisations such as the EU or UN, policy and research, teaching, journalism, and politics.

As a student on this course, you have the opportunity to spend one optional year abroad. You may complete a work or volunteering placement, both of which provide valuable opportunities to boost your employability. You may also undertake a study placement at one of our partner universities.

Graduates with international experience are particularly valued by employers, and a one-year period of residence abroad enhances your language skills and gives you experiences, contacts and intercultural awareness that will be valuable in your career.

We are in the centre of one of the world’s greatest cities and we use this vibrant, multicultural setting to ensure that our students discover innovative solutions to the problems facing our world. In 2018, the University of Westminster was named the most diverse university in the UK, New Zealand and the USA, representing 170 nationalities (Hotcourses Diversity Index).

As a School, we also host the world-renowned Centre for the Study of Democracy. The centre undertakes research across a range of critical challenges to the theory and practice of politics, international relations, sociology and criminology. We have an innovative initiative called the Democratic Education Network, which facilitates dialogue and the sharing of knowledge between our students, international universities and diasporic communities in London.

Top reasons to study with us

  • An enhanced learning experience – Our central London location allows us to take you out of the classroom to visit places such as the Houses of Parliament, government departments, international organisations, NGOs, exhibitions and museums
  • Our truly international outlook – We have been named the most diverse university in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand (source: Hotcourses Diversity Index 2018), with students representing 170 nationalities
  • A supportive community – We provide a supportive, inclusive and dynamic environment with high student satisfaction. There are plenty of opportunities for community engagement, not least through the student-led Democratic Education Network - a runner-up ‘Student Experience’ initiative in the Guardian University Awards 2019

Course structure

Teaching and learning methods include small group work, problem-based tutorials, review sessions, workshops, symposia, debates, Q&A sessions, document analysis sessions, and structured role-plays. A wide range of assessments includes essays, exams, policy reports, project work, individual and group presentations, blogs, posters, and debates.

The teaching is offered within the School of Social Sciences, which brings together Criminology, Politics and International Relations, Psychology and Sociology. What binds us together is our shared commitment to making education a transformative experience for our students, to conducting research that makes a difference to the social world, and to enhancing the diversity of ideas and identities within and beyond the University.

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Subjects of study include: 

  • Introduction to Academic Practice
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Imagining Global Society and Politics
  • Critical Thinking for Academic and Professional Development 
  • History, Memory and Belonging
  • Rights and the Law

There are no optional or elective modules offered at Level 3, as the focus is on the development of key academic skills through a broad understanding of social sciences and humanities.

Credit Level 3

Year 1 provides an introduction to key concepts and structures of government, and how these impact on political behaviour and decision-making. It also embeds the study of politics and international relations in a wider context by providing a grounding in development studies.

Subjects of study include:

  • British Politics
  • Critical Perspectives on Global Politics
  • Democracy in Crisis
  • Dilemmas of International Development
  • Global Governance and Development
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Political Ideas in Action
  • The Politics of Migration

Credit Level 4

In Year 2 you will deepen your understanding of theoretical approaches, and your critical awareness of conflicting narratives of the state and of governance, particularly since the Cold War, in relation to society and to the international community.

Subjects of study include:

  • Geopolitics
  • Global Security
  • Governance in Europe
  • International Political Economy
  • Learning in an International Environment
  • Middle East Politics
  • Nationalism and the State in the Global South
  • Political Research and Practice
  • Politics and International Relations Internship
  • Power and the State
  • Rethinking Development
  • The Politics of Killing
  • Theorising Politics and International Relations

Credit Level 5

Students on this course have the opportunity to spend one optional year abroad. You may complete a work or volunteering placement, both of which provide valuable opportunities to boost your employability and ground your studies in an experiential setting. You may also undertake a study placement at one of our university partners. You can also undertake a combination of both study and work.

In the final year you can tailor your degree to a more 'academic' pathway or a more 'professional' pathway, completing either a traditional academic dissertation or a professionally-oriented research report. The third year programme revolves around linked studies of postcolonial theory and practice, ethics and morality in international relations, and the contestation of sovereignty.

Subjects of study include:

  • American Power in a Multipolar World
  • Contested Sovereignty: Territory, Borders and Resistance
  • Digital Politics
  • Dissertation
  • Energy and Development in the Middle East and Central Asia
  • Equality, Justice, Citizenship
  • Ethics, Morality and World Order(s)
  • Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
  • Gender and Politics
  • Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations
  • Learning from NGOs in an International Context
  • Policy and Practice
  • Postcolonial Politics and International Relations
  • Radical Democracy
  • Security and the Surveillance State
  • Special Topic in Politics and International Relations
  • The Politics of Protest: Social and Political Movements Today

Credit Level 6

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

95%

Graduates in work or further study

95% of our Politics and International Relations BA students are in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation. 

(Source: Discover Uni –site accessed in April 2020)

Globe

Gain international experience

You'll have the opportunity to do a work, study or volunteering placement, all of which provide valuable opportunities to enhance your employability.

3,000

Employers around the world

The University’s Careers and Employability Service has built up a network of over 3,000 employers around the world, helping all our students explore and connect with exciting opportunities and careers.

Industry links

We take full advantage of our location in the heart of London, using our links with the Houses of Parliament and other centres of power and policy-making.

We regularly invite high-profile speakers to our central London location for our well-established series of seminars, public lectures and conferences, to which you, as a student of politics and international relations, will be invited.

Work experience

Our central London location means you'll be perfectly placed to access placement and internship opportunities. 

Job roles

This course will prepare you for a range of roles, including:

    • Campaigner
    • Civil servant
    • Diplomat
    • Journalist
    • Researcher

    Graduate employers

    Graduates from this course have found employment at organisations including:

    • Embassy of Colombia

    • Vision Critical

    • Sanrio Company

    • The Civil Service


    International Opportunities

    Many of our courses offer international study and work experiences, and the University provides other global opportunities that all students can apply for - so whatever you're studying, you'll have the chance to go abroad.

    Opportunities could include:

    • Taking part in semester or year-long exchanges at institutions around the world
    • Attending an international summer school or field trip
    • Developing your CV through volunteering or work placements abroad

    International experience broadens horizons, boosts self-confidence, and improves global understanding, alongside being fantastic for your career.

    Find out more about our international opportunities, including funding options and where you can go.

    Students working and studying internationally

    Course Leaders

    Profile photo of Frands Pedersen's profile photo

    The safe and compassionate learning environment we have here encourages students to explore new ideas, grow their subject-knowledge, and expand their skills and build confidence."

    Dr Frands Pedersen

    Senior Lecturer in International Relations

    Dr Frands Pedersen is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the Foundation Courses in Humanities, Law and Social Sciences. He has Masters degrees in Political Science (Aarhus, Denmark) and Diplomacy (Lancaster), and received his PhD for his thesis on sub-national authorities as international actors. He convenes the Teaching Excellence Learning Community at Westminster and the Political Studies Association’s Nordic Politics Specialist Group. He is also co-founder of the Serious [email protected] group.

    Dr Pedersen has led Diplomacy, International Relations and European Union related modules at the Universities of Surrey, Central Lancashire and Westminster since 1999. In 2016, he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to innovation in learning and teaching. He is passionate about active and immersive learning and has conducted extensive research on, for example, simulations and games, run projects and created shared resources to facilitate active learning. Dr Pedersen's current research focuses on Nordic responses to the Covid19 crisis, aspects of digital diplomacy and city diplomacy, and pedagogical research on compassion in higher education.

    See full profile

    Dr Daniel Conway

    Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

    Dr Conway has been at the University of Westminster since 2015, and teaches in areas of International Relations, South African politics and society, gender and sexuality and the politics of killing and war. He is interested in questions about masculinity and militarisation, migration and identity. Dan’s recent publications include a book exploring the lives, histories and identities of white British-born immigrants in South Africa, "Migration, Space and Transnational Identities: The British in South Africa".

    See full profile
    Dan Conway's profile photo

    I strongly believe that teaching should be embedded in real-world politics, connect with student backgrounds and interests and encourage curiosity and critical perspectives in the world around us." 

    Why study this course?

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    Get career-ready

    Studying politics and international relations will prepare you for a range of careers, including working as a civil servant, diplomat, campaigner, researcher or journalist.

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    Learn from experts

    Our School of Social Sciences hosts the world-renowned Centre for the Study of Democracy, and the innovative Democratic Education Network initiative. 

    Big Ben in London

    Fantastic London location

    We take you out of the classroom to visit places such as the Houses of Parliament, government departments, international organisations, NGOs, and museums. 

    Studying with us

    Online open days

    Join us at an online open day and get a feel for student life at the University of Westminster.

    You'll get a chance to: 

    • Speak to our academic staff
    • Take a virtual reality tour of our student halls
    • Ask us any questions you may have about student finance and accommodation

    Find an online open day

    Student taking notes while attending an online event

    Democratic Education Network

    The Democratic Education Network (DEN) is an academic, student-led organisation, part of the Department of Politics and International Relations.

    It promotes social action and student engagement through local and international projects that solidify and enhance your experiences. It also provides numerous opportunities to transform your ideas into reality and make a real difference.

    Participate every Thursday at our weekly meetings and check out our blog 'Inside Westminster'.

    Visit the DEN website

    Entry Requirements

    • A Levels – DEE to CDD
    • International Baccalaureate – 24 points. We also welcome applications from students taking the IB Career related Programme
    • BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP
    • BTEC Diploma – MM to DM
    • Access – 56 to 80  UCAS Tariff points from the Access course

    In addition to one of the above, you should have: 

    • GCSE English Language grade 4/C – IB grade 4 Higher Level, GCSE Maths grade 4/C – IB grade 4

    If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with 5.5 in each component.

    We also welcome applications from students who are taking a combination of qualifications listed above. For further information, please contact Course Enquiries.

    View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

    • International Baccalaureate – 24 points   

    If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with 5.5 in each component.

    More information

    Pre-sessional English programmes

    Need to improve your English before starting your course? We offer summer pre-sessional English programmes to help develop your English language skills.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English programmes.

    Learn new skills

    Languages icon

    Learn a new language

    From Arabic to Spanish, you can learn a new language alongside your degree with our Polylang programme

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    Develop your entrepreneurial skills

    Our award-winning Creative Enterprise Centre offers industry networking events, workshops, one-to-one business advice and support for your startup projects. 

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    Gain extra qualifications

    We provide access to free online courses in Adobe and Microsoft Office applications, as well as thousands of specialist courses on LinkedIn Learning.

    Fees and Funding

    UK and EU tuition fee: £9,250 (Price per academic year)

    When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

    Find out how we set our tuition fees.

    Funding

    As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

    Find out about undergraduate student funding options.

    Scholarships

    The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

    Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

    Additional costs

    See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

    International tuition fee: £14,000 (Price per academic year)

    When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

    Find out how we set our tuition fees.

    International student funding

    Find out about funding for international students.

    Scholarships

    The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

    Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

    Additional costs

    See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

    Teaching and assessment

    Below you'll find examples of how marks have been calculated and study time distributed in the past. Changes to assessment weights and division of study time may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

    How you'll be taught

    Teaching methods across all our undergraduate courses focus on active student learning through seminars, workshops, problem-based and blended learning, as well as group work. Teaching will be informed by our research, giving you the benefit of the knowledge of current theories and, where appropriate, their practical application.

    Year
    F
    24%76%
    1
    24%76%
    2
    24%75%1%
    3
    20%80%
    Scheduled hours Independent study Placement

    How you'll be assessed

    Assessment methods across our undergraduate courses may include essays, reports, presentations, case studies, videos, podcasts and posters, as well as time-constrained in-class tests and exams.

     

    Year
    F
    8%92%
    1
    4%9%87%
    2
    2%3%95%
    3
    5%95%
    Written exams Practical Coursework

    Data from the academic year 2019/20

    Supporting you

    Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

    • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
    • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
    • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
    • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

    visit our student hub

    Illustration for the Student Hub

    Studying at Regent Campus

    Location

    Located on one of London’s most vibrant streets, our 309 Regent Street site houses our Humanities subjects and the Westminster Law School. Along with a city-centre location, the site boasts high-tech learning facilities, collaborative social spaces, gym facilities, and our Regent Street Cinema.

    Our Regent Campus is made up of three locations – 309 Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street and Wells Street, all of which are just a five-minute walk from Oxford Street.

    For more details, visit our locations page.

    Contact us

    We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

    Or you can contact the Course Enquiries Team:

    [email protected]

    Start live chat

    Opening hours (GMT): 9am–4pm Monday to Friday

    More information

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