Three students listening to a lecture

BA(Hons)

Politics and International Relations

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2019/20
Course code:
L290
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
120
Department:
Health and Social Sciences
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Three years full-time; four years sandwich
Delivery:
Full-time; sandwich; part-time
Study abroad:
Yes
Programme leader:
Dr Stephen McGlinchey
Key fact:
Our course will equip you with the real-world skills demanded by today's employers.

Page last updated 30 November 2018

Introduction

Why study politics and international relations?

To understand governments, individuals, organisations and countries properly, we need to examine the different influences, dynamics, conflicts and interactions at play.

Being able to unpick domestic and international political issues requires a unique set of skills, which can open up exciting career opportunities for you, both inside and outside the political world.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Politics and International Relations allows you to study both subjects equally or specialise in aspects of either programme.

Looking at everything from how popular movements, cultures and great thinkers view conflicts, to the EU, terrorism and the abuse of human rights, you'll benefit from the support of our inspirational staff and interactive teaching.

The course is designed to give you a strong balance of academic knowledge and the practical skills employers seek.

Hone your skills on interesting work placements in years two and three. Study in Europe as part of your degree, and gain valuable extra experience by volunteering with one of our industry contacts.

We also hold regular research events where you can debate contemporary political issues, and test out and strengthen your professional skills.

Where can it take me?

Politics and international relations graduates are in demand across many professions.

They find jobs in government, the civil service, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), accountancy, human resources, media and journalism.

You could also get involved in research or education, or specialise further with postgraduate study.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Politics Beyond the Nation State
  • Politics, States and Resistance
  • Politics of Crisis and Change
  • Ethics and Power
  • Critical Thinking.

Study exchange (if applicable) 

If you choose the study exchange option, you'll spend the first and/or second semester of Year two studying at another university.  

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information. 

Year two

You will study:

  • Theories of Politics and International Relations
  • Nature and Use of Research
  • Politics at Work.

Plus optional modules from (the number depending on credit requirements):

  • US Foreign Policy: From Cold War to Terror War
  • Global Political Economy
  • International Development
  • Human Rights and the International Order
  • Comparative Politics
  • Gender and Global Politics.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after Year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Politics and International Relations Project and Placement module.

Plus optional modules from (the number depending on credit requirements):

  • The Berlin Republic
  • Britain after 'Brexit'
  • Gender and Security
  • Identity, Agency and Violence in South Asia
  • Crimes and Criminality in World Politics
  • Critical Reflections on Security and Strategy
  • Democracy in Theory and Practice
  • Development and Resistance in Latin America
  • Europe Reloaded
  • Exploring the International Relations of Southeast Asia
  • From Terror to Trauma: Politics in the Aftermath of Violence
  • Global Governance
  • Perspectives on Global Migration
  • Climate Politics
  • Public Policy and Decision Making
  • Religion and Politics
  • Violence and the International Order: Law, Ethics and Politics.

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.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

Learning and Teaching

You'll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials. We keep seminar groups as small as possible to keep them engaging and interactive.

Online tutorials and simulation games deepen your understanding and enable you to practise your skills. You'll also have the opportunity to go on field trips to places such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to see modern politics in action.

Independent study is vital. You'll read around the subject in your own time, looking at books, articles, official documents and websites.

The course lecturers and tutors are involved in internationally-renowned research. Read about some of their work on our Politics in Action blog and visit e-International Relations.

You'll have a personal academic tutor, and peer-assisted learning (PAL), where you'll be mentored by a second or third year student.

Staff hold weekly office hours, where you can discuss your work or your progress more generally. We try to see you outside those times as well, and get back to any emails promptly.

Our teaching ethos is informal, supportive and welcoming.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year: 

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
124%76%0%100%
222%75%3%100%
319%81%0%100%

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

Get involved

Attend our fortnightly student-staff events where guest speakers discuss contemporary issues and explain 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.

Join our student-run Politics and International Relations Society to debate current political issues and to network with other students from across the University.

Keep up to date with the latest news and discuss contemporary political developments on the UWE Bristol Politics and International Relations Facebook page.

Study time

You'll have at least 12 hours of teaching and related activities each week.

Assessment

We'll assess you using a mix of essays, seminar presentations, timed assignments, case studies, literature reviews, oral presentations, simulation games, your dissertation and formal unseen examinations.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
125%59%16%100%
230%59%11%100%
330%64%6%100%

Features

Placements

Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after Year two.

Many students also volunteer with organisations. These roles can lead to further involvement or paid work after graduation.

You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Study year abroad 

You'll also have opportunities to study overseas on courses that are taught in English and are relevant to your degree. The study year abroad is not a paid placement. 

Study exchange 

Study exchange allows you to take the first and/or second semester of Year two at a different university. Unlike the study year abroad, you'll complete modules to achieve equivalent credits. These modules will be decided in advance with your programme leader. 

Explore our global study partners to find out which institutions participate in our exchange programme.

Study facilities

You'll be on based on our Frenchay Campus, where you'll find modern, well-equipped facilities to support your studies.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Politics and international relations students graduate with the skills to build fulfilling careers in many fields.

You could go on to work in government, the civil service, NGOs, research organisations or education. You'll also be well equipped to go into areas such as marketing, HR, industrial relations, PR, finance and investment, accountancy or journalism.

Postgraduate study is another option to you, where you can specialise in a particular area or do a professional qualification to move into a career like law. 

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee13500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1688
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year473

Part Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.

Entry

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.
  • Relevant subjects: History, Government and Politics, Sociology, English Literature, English Language, Psychology and Geography
  • 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

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.

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.

Read more about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A-levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

If you receive an offer for this course, you may be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day in February or March. These are a great opportunity to find out what it's really like to study here. You'll experience taster lectures or workshops, meet your course tutors, current students and other offer holders.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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