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BA International Relations and Development

Start date
October
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
LL29
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

For 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU students)
£18,120 (International Students)
More Fees and funding details.

Our BA International Relations and Development programme will give you an understanding of politics, history, geography, economics and law, and will explore complex development challenges, from inequality, migration, conflict and climate change.

International Relations and Development looks at how politics, economics and law are interconnected throughout the world, analysing the foreign policies of countries and states, and explores the challenges facing developing and developed countries in the fight against global poverty.

Throughout this course you will gain the all-round skills needed for a modern working world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity.

Why study this course?

There are plenty of reasons to study BA International Relations and Development at Birmingham:

  • The programme includes a specially designed Working in Development module, which will provide hands-on experience of common tools used in development projects and programmes.
  • You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement through our integrated Professional Development module.
  • You will have the chance to take part in an International Model NATO Conference in Washington DC. This experience provides you with a unique opportunity to participate in a role-play exercise of decision-making at NATO, working with delegates from universities and institutions across the globe.
  • You will be taught by world-class academics, engaged in cutting-edge research that impacts policies and debates across the globe.

We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas. Find out more about studying as an international student.

Modules

Year one

Compulsory modules

  • Politics of Development
  • Global development challenges I/II
  • Understanding International Relations
  • Pathways to International Relations Research 1 and 2
  • Global History
  • Introduction to International Development

Year two

Compulsory modules

  • Understanding development assistance
  • Working in development
  • International relations theory

Optional modules

Three second-year optional modules from IDD and POLSIS

  • Economic perspectives on development (IDD)
  • Governing states and societies (IDD)
Optional POLSIS modules in the second year
 Public Choice Theory  International Political Economy  Diplomatic History post 1945
 British Politics  International Relations Theory  International Security
 International Politics & Security in Russia & Eurasia  Modern Political Thought  Analysing Political Worlds
  International Relations of the Middle East  Feminist Political Ideas  Comparative Politics
 Elections and Voting in Britain  America and the Middle East through Politics and Film  Understanding Foreign Policy

Final year

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Four final-year modules from below. A 50/50 split of credits between IDD and POLSIS.

  • Development: The environmental challenge (IDD)
  • Identity, inequality and inclusive development (IDD)
  • African politics (IDD)
Optional POLSIS modules in the final year
 Environment, Politics and Society A and B  War-Torn States and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the South Power in Britain 
 Contemporary US Foreign and Security Policy  Contemporary International Political Economy  Topics in British Politics
 Democracy and Democratization in Contemporary Europe  Left Parties and Protest Movements  Gender in World Politics
 Issues in US Domestic Politics  Global Capitalism and Migration  Law, Politics and the International System: Mediating Power beyond the State
 Varieties of Capitalism and Welfare State Models  Russian Foreign Policy  Security in Europe: Actors, Crises and Threats
 Strategy and Decision-Making  Conflict, Statehood and Sovereignty in World Politics  Politics of Migrants, Refugees, and Diasporas in the Middle East
 Politics, Music and the Arts  Global Uprisings: Critique and Radical Politics  New Media, Social Media, and International Politics

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2020, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Home/EU students

Undergraduate Home/EU student fees 2020-21
Fee Band Full-time
Undergraduate £9,250

Overseas students

Overseas students entering in 2020-21
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1 (Classroom) £18,120

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of bursaries, grants and scholarships.

Learn more about our scholarships and awards .


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code LL29.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View further advice on 'How to apply for undergraduate courses', including advice for UK, EU and overseas applicants.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
General Studies:
not accepted

Typical offer AAB

International students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 32 overall with 6, 6, 5, at higher level

Standard English language requirements apply. For more information, please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/students/entry-requirements.aspx

Other qualifications are considered. For full details, please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/requirements

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are all considered.

 

International Students

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

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:

  • Research
  • 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.

Contact hours

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.

Personal Tutor

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 world leading researchers

Throughout the International Relations and Development degree you will be taught by lecturers who have worked in the fields of development, political science and international relations as well as world leading researchers. You can learn more about the School by visiting the School of Government staff pages.

Learning settings

Departments from across the School of Government are all 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 and teaching 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.

More about our approach to teaching.

A pathway to a career in international development

Globally, a huge range of organisations are working for inclusive development, opening up a variety of opportunities to pursue a career in the sector. This includes international agencies such as the United Nations, national aid agencies like the UK’s Department for International Development, and local civil society organisations operating all over the world.

Our degrees are carefully designed to provide the knowledge and skills these kinds of employers value - from critical thinking and problem-solving, to practical experience of frameworks for designing, monitoring and evaluating development. While our degrees are tailored for a career in development, these skills are also highly transferable to a range of government or non-governmental sectors.

Input from Professional Careers Advisers in your Curriculum

During the first year of your studies Careers Advisers from the University Careers Network team attend lectures in your course to support you with career planning from an early stage. The lectures will cover career planning, researching career and internship opportunities, developing the skills that graduate employers are looking for, and presenting yourself with impact to a potential employer.

Professional development module

You will have the unique opportunity to take advantage of a work placement as part of your final year by undertaking the Professional Development Module as part of your optional module choices.

Your Birmingham degree

Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Visit the University of Birmingham Careers pages for further information on how we are 'Investing in your future'.

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