Three students listening to a lecture


Politics and International Relations

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Health and Social Sciences
Three years
Part-time, full-time
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Professor Phil Cole and Dr Aida Abzhaparova
Key fact:
UWE Bristol Politics and International Relations provides a cutting-edge insight into the contemporary world. With the unrivalled support of expert staff, you will graduate with the knowledge and real-world skills demanded by today’s most forward-thinking employers.

Page last updated 13 September 2017


Why study BA(Hons) Politics and International Relations?

Politics and International Relations examines the influences, dynamics, conflicts and interactions of governments, individuals, organisations, and countries. It provides an understanding of domestic and international political issues, and establishes crucial skills that open up exciting opportunities, inside and outside the political world. Teamwork, strong writing skills and the ability to debate issues, solve problems and articulate opinions will give you a head start with a wide range of potential employers.

Why study our course?

BA(Hons) Politics and International Relations at UWE Bristol allows you to study both Politics and International Relations on an equal basis or specialise in aspects of either subject. From looking at how governments operate and analysing the way popular movements, cultures and great thinkers view conflicts, to examining the EU, terrorism and the abuse of human rights; you will have a tremendous range of modules from which to choose. With the opportunity to engage with other disciplines such as criminology and psychology, you will benefit from the support of inspirational staff and interactive, leading-edge teaching. In addition, our focus on developing professional skills in work settings is reflected in placement opportunities in Years 2 and 3.

Visit our Facebook page 

Read our 'Politics in Action' blog

Real-world experience

The course combines academic rigour with many opportunities to apply knowledge to real-world situations. With the chance to study in Europe and the USA, students can choose to apply for work placements and many students opt to gain valuable experience through volunteering roles. We also hold regular research events that focus on debating contemporary issues and advancing professional practice.

Where it can take you 

Graduates in Politics and International Relations are in demand across many areas, from government, the civil service and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to accountancy, human resources, media and journalism. Some choose to undertake research or work in education, while others opt to develop their knowledge or specialise in a particular area with postgraduate study.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Year 1

  • Politics Beyond the Nation State
  • Foreign Policy
  • Ethics and Power
  • Politics of Crisis and Change
  • Critical Thinking

Year 2

  • Theories of Politics and International Relations
  • Nature and Use of Research
  • Developing Self and Society
  • Two optional modules from the list below:

Optional modules

  • Comparative Politics
  • US Foreign Policy: From Cold War to Terror War
  • Global Political Economy
  • Human Rights and the International Order
  • The Politics of European Integration
  • International Development

Final year

  • Social Sciences Project and Placement Module
  • Three optional modules from the list below:

Optional modules

  • Ethical Issues in Politics
  • Politics of Latin American Underdevelopment
  • Policy-making in Britain
  • Europe in the World
  • Theories of Justice
  • Global Governance
  • The Politics of Climate Change
  • Theories and Practices of Securitisation

This structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery the same modules will be studied however the structure will differ.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

All modules are taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Lectures consist of a broad survey of a subject delivered by a lecturer. Seminars are discussion groups consisting of a tutor and approximately 20 students. They are highly interactive. The tutor facilitates a discussion in which students engage in debates and questioning. We use a range of innovative methods, such as on-line tutorials and simulation games to complement our teaching approaches and offer learning through practice

Independent study is an essential part of your course and primarily consists of reading and learning around the subject from published sources such as books, articles, official documents and websites.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Find out more about our academic staff, their teaching expertise and research interests.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Study time

Politics and International Relations students can expect at least 12 hours contact time per week across the year. This is supplemented by regular meetings with a personal academic tutor, special guest speaker and research events, and peer-assisted learning - whereby our best second and third year students provide module specific teaching support to first year students.

All staff members also hold weekly office hours when you can discuss your work or your progress more generally. Whenever possible, staff will also see students beyond their office hours and strive to respond promptly to emails. The teaching ethos across the course is informal, supportive and welcoming.


Most modules are assessed by a mix of coursework and end-of-year exams. Assessment includes essays, seminar presentations, timed assignments, case studies, literature reviews, oral presentations, simulation games, dissertation and formal unseen examinations.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check



In Year 2 you will have the opportunity to benefit from work-integrated learning opportunities, which combine work experience with critical self-reflection on what you have done. In your final year, you will be able to take a placement module offering around 20 days of work experience and allowing you to apply your expertise in a relevant real-world environment. Throughout the course, many students also opt to volunteer. These roles can often lead to further involvement or paid employment after graduation. We also have partnerships with European universities through the Erasmus scheme, giving you the chance to study abroad during your second year.

Study facilities

Politics and International Relations is taught on Frenchay Campus with easy access to the largest academic library in the South West - a focal point for the online and printed books and journals essential for course materials and research. Every fortnight we organise student-staff events featuring guest speakers discussing contemporary issues and explaining the role of politics in different professions. Recent topics have included criminalising hate speech in a democratic society, the EU's role in the former Yugoslavia and Iran's nuclear programme.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from Experts

You will benefit from being taught by a motivated and highly experienced team using a range of innovative methods such as online tutorials, simulation games and collaborations with other students to complement a programme of lectures, tutorials and interactive seminars. Staff regularly post about their research and teaching on the 'Politics in Action' blog and students can access a unique and informative website, e-International Relations, run by Dr Stephen McGlinchey.

The UWE Bristol Politics and International Relations Facebook page will keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and provides a platform for discussion of contemporary political developments and our student-run Politics and International Relations Society was voted Best Academic Society in 2014 by UWE Students' Union.


Careers / Further study

Politics and International Relations at UWE Bristol focuses on equipping you with the capabilities required to build fulfilling careers in government, the civil service, NGOs, research organisations, education and beyond. You will develop the skills in analysis, written and verbal communication, research, IT and teamwork that prepare you for many different occupations. Outside the public sector, popular career choices include marketing, human resources and industrial relations, public relations, finance and investment, accountancy and journalism. Postgraduate study options enable you specialise in a particular area or broaden your opportunities by moving into careers such as law. 

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Guardian - what to do with a degree in politics


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 120
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

You might also like

Back to top