Course Overview

UK Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £14,400 *
Duration 3 or 4 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

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), and have 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.

The first-year programme 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 the second year 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

    Why study this course?

    Figure walking up stairs
    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.

    Lecture speaking new icon turquoise
    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 – CCC to BBB
    • International Baccalaureate – 96 to 120 UCAS Tariff points from the IB
    • BTEC Extended Diploma – MMM to DDM
    • BTEC Diploma – DD to D*D*
    • Access – 96 to 120 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 – 96 to 120 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.

    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. 

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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 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: £14,400 (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.

    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
    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
    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

    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 Humanities 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.

    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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