Teaching and learning in 2021/22

If government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are required during the 2021/22 academic year, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning, in order to prioritise the safety of students and staff. For more details on changes to this course, see our planned undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £14,400 *
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, bringing together like-minded students to think about the ‘big ideas’ within your discipline. 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 International Relations and Development BA Honours degree over a further three years study.

Our International Relations and Development BA focuses on international development and the challenges associated with political and economic change in the international system.

The course considers the relationships between the Global North and South, examining how colonialism and capitalism have shaped our contemporary world. You'll explore global poverty and inequality and the impact of globalisation on different parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, the Middle East, China, India, Central Asia and Latin America.

The course provides a theoretical framework for understanding the international distribution of power at the global, regional and national levels, and we aim to enthuse and inspire you by building close links to government bodies and the policy world. A degree in International Relations and Development will prepare you for professional life in a range of sectors, including the Civil Service, media, public policy, NGOs, teaching and further research.

On this course, you'll have the opportunity to spend one optional year abroad, where you can complete a work or volunteering placement, undertake a year of study at one of our partner universities, or a combination of the two. The year abroad provides a valuable opportunity to boost employability, enhance language skills and build international experience, something which is highly valued by employers. It also encourages intercultural awareness and capability, qualities of self-reliance and other skills which will further enable you to become a mobile and transnational citizen.

The course is based in 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.

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. We are ranked top 20 in the world for the percentage of international students, Times Higher Education World University rankings 2021.

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

  • A global environment – we are one of the most diverse universities in the country, and London is a vibrant, global city
  • Supportive staff and student satisfaction – our student satisfaction rate is over 90%, and we do everything we can to ensure our students get the most from studying with us. (Source: Discover Uni – site accessed in December 2020)
  • International experience – the course includes a year studying, working or volunteering abroad
  • Development theories and practice in a real-world environment – overseas field trips give students real experience of global development

Course structure

Teaching and learning includes small group work, problem-based tutorials, review sessions, workshops, symposia, debates, Q&A sessions, document analysis sessions, and structured role-plays.

Assessment methods are wide-ranging on this course and include essays, exams, policy reports, project work, individual and group presentations, blogs, posters, and debates.

Students on this course have the opportunity to spend one optional year abroad. 

The following subjects 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

Our teaching programme is structured to support your transition to higher education, with our first year designed to immerse you in the key concepts, issues and major themes in international relations and development.

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 the second year, you will be encouraged to think about the operation of the global economic system through an in-depth overview of international political economy. You will explore the contemporary challenges to developing states in the context of the world market, and explore the origins of capitalism through detailed case studies in different regional settings. More significantly, you will be encouraged to think about the impact of global economic forces on individual states, territories and regions in world politics.

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 your third year, you will examine the regional constellations of development and how different regions of the world have been affected by developmental politics.

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.

For general enquiries about the course, please email [email protected]

To request an accessible version of the programme specification, please email [email protected]


graduate icon in turquoise
Successful alumni

Recent graduates of this course have found employment in companies and organisations including the Greater London Authority, the Home Office and the Young European Federalist.

airplane icon in turquoise
International experience

You'll have the opportunity to spend a year abroad working or volunteering, developing key international experience and boosting your employability.

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.

Career development

Graduates in politics and international relations are adaptable and able to respond to new challenges faced within economic, social and global political life.

Students on this course have the option to participate in a year working or volunteering abroad, both of which provide valuable opportunities to boost your employability and ground your studies in an experiential setting.

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

Job roles

This course prepares students for roles including:

  • Advocacy
  • Network or communication officer
  • Policy researcher
  • Project manager or coordinator
  • Research or policy officer or adviser

Graduate employers

Recent graduates of this course have found employment in companies and organisations including:

  • BronzeGate
  • Gender Action for Peace and Security
  • Greater London Authority
  • Home Office
  • The Takshashila Institution
  • Young European Federalist

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

taghdisi-rad-sahar's profile photo

Understanding the political economy context within which international development takes place is vital to our ability to contribute to fair, inclusive and sustainable economic development across the globe."

Dr Sahar Taghdisi Rad


Sahar Taghdisi Rad is a development economist focusing on the political economy of international development, with particular interest in the Middle East and North Africa. She holds a PhD in development economics from SOAS. Sahar’s areas of research and work include the political economy of conflict, international development assistance, labour markets and employment policies, social protection and inequality. She has previously taught political economy and international development at SOAS and King's College London, and has also worked as a senior economist at the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation, and the African Development Bank.

See full profile

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 Master's 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
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."

Why study this course?

books icon in turquoise
Innovative research inspires our teaching

The research undertaken by our world-renowned Centre for the Study of Democracy means the department is at the forefront of global political understanding.

Big Ben in London
Central London location

Our location in a global political hub provides a perfect platform for exploring the rest of the world and we regularly invite leading intellectuals, policy-makers, officials and political activists to speak to our students.

Student satisfaction

Our supportive environment and expert teaching staff keep our student satisfaction at a high level – 92% of students agreed that they're satisfied with the quality of the course.

Source: Discover Uni (Accessed December 2020)

Open days

Join us at an open day either on campus or online or information session and get a feel for student life at the University of Westminster.

You'll get a chance to:

  • Speak to our academic staff
  • Take an in person virtual reality tour of our student halls
  • Ask us any questions you may have about student finance and accommodation
  • Find out more about the courses you are interested in
  • Meet and talk to current students about their experiences

Find an online open day

Student taking notes while attending an online event

Entry Requirements

  • A Levels – DEE to CDD
  • International Baccalaureate – 56 to 80 UCAS Tariff points from the IB 
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP to MMP
  • 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 – 56 to 80 UCAS Tariff points from the IB 

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

More information

International Foundation course

We work in partnership with Kaplan International College London to provide Foundation Certificate courses for international students who don’t meet our Bachelor’s degree entry requirements.

Find out how to apply for the Foundation Certificate course.

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.

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.

Check out our blog 'Inside Westminster' and visit the DEN website.

What our students say

Charlotte O'Brien

Charlotte O'Brien

International Relations and Development

The staff at Westminster are incredibly approachable, friendly and accommodating, and choosing to study this course turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

Keletso Kesupile

Keletso Kesupile

International Relations and Development

Though I could give you an endless list of why I enjoy my course so much, one thing that sticks out the most is the teachers. The academic staff create a friendly and comfortable environment for all the students. They not only push us to think outside the box and consider new things, but encourage us to see the uniqueness in all of us and celebrate our diversity.

Safa Nafi

Safa Nafi

International Relations and Development

The course has not only given me a broader understanding of global issues, but more importantly, it has given me the skills to think critically. Every module on the course has ensured that we, as students, are given a platform to learn about all global perspectives, not just dominant ideologies.

Studying with us

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

Toolbox icon
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. 

Awards icon in turquoise
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 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.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are an international student accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.


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.


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: £14,400 (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.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction of £4,500 per year, which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.

International student funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Additional costs

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

Teaching and assessment

Below you will find how learning time and assessment types were distributed in the past on this course, through approximate percentages taken from previous cohorts. The graphs below give an indication of what you can expect. Changes to the division of learning time and assessment 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 lectures, seminars, workshops, problem-based and blended learning, and where appropriate practical application. Learning typically falls into three broad categories:

  • Scheduled hours: examples include lectures, seminars, practical classes, workshops, supervised time in a studio
  • Placement: placement hours normally include placement opportunities, but may also include live projects or virtual activity involving employers
  • Independent study: non-scheduled time in which students are expected to study independently. This may include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks, or revision
Scheduled hours Independent study Placement

How you'll be assessed

Our undergraduate courses include a wide variety of assessments.

Assessments typically fall into three broad categories:

  • Practical: examples include presentations, videos, podcasts, lab work, creating artefacts  
  • Written exams: end of semester exams 
  • Coursework: examples include essays, reports, in-class tests, portfolios, dissertation
Practical Written exams Coursework

Data from the academic year 2019-20

Studying at Regent Campus

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

Course Location

Our Regent Campus is composed of three sites, situated on and around Regent Street – one of the most famous and vibrant streets in London.

Our Social Sciences subjects are based at 309 Regent Street, which includes recently refurbished social spaces, gym facilities and our Regent Street Cinema.

For more details, visit our locations page.

More information

Your Westminster

Book an open day. Order a prospectus. Sign up for newsletters.

Contact us


Call us now:

0800 027 9777 (UK)

+44 207 915 5415 (Overseas)

Opening hours: 10am–4pm (BST) Monday to Friday

You can also apply via our Clearing application form


Email us at [email protected] or speak to us on live chat.

Start live chat

Opening hours: 10am–4pm (BST) Monday to Friday