You will study international and comparative politics; the theory and practice of international relations; and diplomatic history.
On our four-year Year Abroad programmes, you will undertake a year abroad between your second and fourth years at a partner HE institution. This will give you the opportunity to experience a different academic environment and way of teaching (and even different approaches to the subject).
The year abroad will also enhance your employability prospects through a proven ability to succeed in a foreign setting, and will provide an additional opportunity to develop relevant, marketable skills in terms of organisation, communication, and intercultural awareness.
The University of Birmingham has been welcoming international students onto our campus since 1900. Find out more about studying as an international student.
POLSIS undergraduate brochure (PDF 1MB)
This degree combines an interdisciplinary approach to the study of international affairs with a specialised knowledge of economics, particularly international economics. As well as economics, you study international and comparative politics, the theory and practice of international relations, and diplomatic history.
Where can I go?
A lot of our European partner universities teach in the native language and so, if you wish to apply to one of them, it is usually a requirement that you have a good working knowledge of the respective language.
Outside of Europe, we have exchange partners in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, the USA, Uruguay, and the West Indies.
For more specific details on the names and locations of our partner universities, you should consult our study abroad - outgoing students webpage.
For more information about the year abroad visit our Year abroad and student exchange page.
As a University of Birmingham graduate, we provide you with the tools and skills to operate in an ever growing global environment.
Student Research Internships
Each year on this International Relations degree we offer up to 10 research internships to undergraduates in POLSIS. These are open on a competitive basis to all second year students. These are fully supported, paid internships that give students the opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with a member of academic staff in POLSIS on a research project.
In addition to the extensive careers support that Birmingham University offers all of its students, we offer bespoke employability and careers workshops to all students on our International Relations degree. These workshops run in each year of your programme and are tailored to support you with the information you need to plan should you wish to pursue employment or postgraduate study.
Professional development module
In the final year of your studies of our International Relations degree you will have the opportunity to take our Professional Development module. This module is based around a work placement and will help you bridge the gap between your academic studies and your future career.
Even if you haven’t applied for our 4-Year Study Abroad International Relations degree you can transfer onto this track during your time at Birmingham (grades depending) and benefit from the increased confidence and different academic perspective gained by studying in a foreign country. We have exchange partners across Europe, as well as in Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Vietnam and Uruguay.
International Model NATO Conference in Washington DC
All third-year students on our International Relations degree, are eligible to apply to be part of a delegation to the annual International Model NATO Conference, held in Washington DC in the Spring Term. This experience provides students 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. Students selected for this Conference will be provided with bursaries that cover the cost of Conference registration, accommodation and subsistence.
On-campus UN modelling event
Each year we work with the Guild UN Modelling Society to put on a Model UN event. This is open to all students in POLSIS and attracts students from all around the world.
Learn more about our student experience activities
You may also be interested in: