This degree provides the knowledge and skills to critically engage with key issues facing contemporary societies including globalisation; the changing nature of work and the family; gender roles and sexuality; multiculturalism; the impact of the media and information technologies; and new forms of politics.
In addition to these 'big picture' social theories we place a strong emphasis on developing social science research skills – so valued by employers – with research methods training in each year.
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).
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.
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
POLSIS undergraduate brochure (PDF 1MB)
These degree programmes help you acquire important analytical skills. You learn to find your way among different arguments, rival theories and alternative explanations. You also learn about campaigns, elections, protest movements, policy issues and political ideals.
Politics is not only what political scientists study, but also an activity in which professional politicians, civil servants and ordinary citizens take part. The politics course at Birmingham enables all students to profit from a culture of learning that is aligned with our research ethos - based on critical enquiry, debate and self-motivation.
Sociology seeks to understand how social relations and structures influence all aspects of our lives. Join us and explore the dynamic, unprecedented social changes reshaping the world today.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching. Our staff are active researchers who want to share their enthusiasm for sociology and political science with you. We believe teaching and learning should be both rigorous and enjoyable, and seek to involve students in continually developing our activities. The Sociology and Political Science degree at Birmingham presents a balanced view of the subject. You will be given a broad grounding in the major approaches to both disciplines, with emphasis on the cultivation of research skills. Your degree will culminate in a dissertation on a topic of your choice.
This programme provides the knowledge and skills to critically engage with key issues facing contemporary societies including:
- The changing nature of work and the family
- Gender roles and sexuality
- The impact of the media and information technologies and new forms of politics
In addition to these 'big picture' social theories we place a strong emphasis on developing social science research skills – so valued by employers – with research methods training in each year. This culminates in a final year dissertation where you research and write an extended piece on a topic of your own choice, with the support of an expert supervisor.
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.
Recent international universities include:
- University of Minnesota Duluth - USA
- Loyola University, New Orleans - USA
- New Mexico State University - USA
- University of Melbourne - Australia
- University of Lund - Sweden
- University of Maine - USA
- University of Queensland - Australia
- Western University - Canada
- Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina - Argentina
- National University of Singapore - Singapore
- University van Amsterdam - Netherlands
For more information about the year abroad visit our Year abroad and student exchange page.
If you want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be supported with a work placement opportunity as part of your final year, this course includes the opportunity to undertake a 'Professional Development' module as part of your optional module choices.