The International Development Department brings its research directly into the classroom. You can expect a range of teaching approaches designed to give you a varied learning experience. We are committed to encouraging an inclusive learning environment, by stimulating discussion and debate inside and outside of class. To ensure you are gaining skills fit for the real world, we use forms of assessment beyond essays and exams, such as blogging, report writing, learning logs, and group and individual presentations.
Through our interactive and student-focused teaching, and innovative approach to learning and assessment, you will develop core skills in:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Time management
- Global, local and cross-cultural awareness
- A wide range of communications, from oral, to a variety of written formats (blogs, reports, essays).
To help you develop these skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods on the International Relations and Development degree. They may include:
Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.
Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of an International Relations and Development degree.
More about student experience at POLSIS.
For all undergraduate modules students attend lectures and seminars regularly throughout the term. Contact hours vary dependent on module choice. As well as time with your lecturers and personal tutor, academic and professional services staff (like our dedicated Careers Network team) will be available to offer individual and group support throughout your time at Birmingham.
From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time studying our International Relations and Development degree.
Seminars and tutorials
Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.
Self study is an essential part of the International Relations and Development degree and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.
Lecturers and researchers
Throughout the International Relations and Development degree you will be taught by lecturers and researchers who have worked in the fields of development, political science and international relations. You can learn more about the staff in the school by visiting the School of Government staff pages.
All the departments in the School of Government are based within Muirhead Tower. The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 'hubs' for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.
Your lectures will take place in a variety of versatile lecture theatres and breakout rooms. Our rooms are all equipped with wireless connection and constantly updated technology including all the audio-visual equipment that you would expect from one of the UK's premier institutions.