BA Politics and International Relations

with Year Abroad

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
L257
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined, Single Honours, Study abroad year
Fees

For 2023-2024:
£9,250 (UK)
£21,300 (International)
More Fees and funding details.

Student Alifia discusses her experience as an undergraduate Politics and International Relations student at Birmingham.

Our BA Politics and International Relations with year abroad degree combines two major fields offered by POLSIS. It allows students with an interest in how states, cultures, and societies interact internationally to combine this with study of political theory and practice.

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.

Politics looks at how power is exercised, how political decisions are made, and who makes these decisions. On this programme you will learn about campaigns, elections, protest movements, policy issues and political ideals. You will explore different political arguments, rival theories, and alternative explanations. You will develop your skills in analytical and critical enquiry, debate, independent study and research, and self-motivation.

International Relations looks at how politics, economics and law are interconnected throughout the world. On this programme you will learn about the foreign policies of states, and about the international systems within which they operate. Throughout this course you will gain the skills needed for a modern working world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity.

Why study this course?

  • You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement through our integrated Professional Development Module.
  • Your experience of studying in a foreign country will help to increase confidence and give you a different academic perspective. We have exchange partners both across Europe and internationally.
  • 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.
  • We have an on-campus UN modelling event. This is open to all students in POLSIS and attracts students from all around the world.
  • The university is ranked number one for being targeted by the top UK employers (High Fliers Research 2021).

We also a large and vibrant international student community, with more than 10,000 international students from approximately 150 different countries. Find out more about studying as an international student.

It’s incredibly important, especially in the world that we live in today, to be aware of the various developments going on across the globe, and the modules here have really enabled me to enhance my global citizenship, as well as allowing me to have a solid grounding in approaching Politics and International Relations from an academic perspective.

Samuel, 2019 Graduate

Modules

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2023.

Modules in the first year

In the first year of your degree, the course offers a package of modules designed to give you a firm foundation for study in the discipline. This lets you discover what interests you most, and helps you develop the knowledge skills to pursue more specialised, advanced modules in subsequent years.

Compulsory

  • Understanding Politics
  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Debates in World Politics 1 and 2
  • Pathways in Research 
  • Understanding International Relations
  • Global History

Modules in the second year

You build upon this foundation in the second year. An outstanding feature of the programme is the wide range of options available, as well as the interdisciplinary nature of the course. 

Compulsory 

  • Research Design 
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations Theory
  • Political Theory and Social Criticism

You will also chose 3 optional modules.

Year Abroad

In your third year you will register for the equivalent of 120 credits at the host institution. You will have to undertake and pass the assessment for 60 credits of the modules for which you are registered at the host institution. A Pass is required for progression to the 4th year of the programme. These credits will not contribute to the overall degree classification.

  • 60 credits - POLSIS year abroad
  • 60 credits - Year Abroad Assessment Module

Modules in the final year

In the final year of your degree you will write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice. You will be guided and supported by a supervisor who is an expert in your area of interest. In addition to writing the dissertation you will be able to take four optional modules. Modules in the final year are advanced, research led modules taught by experts in the subject area.


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. 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

Fees 2023-24

UK

Full-time £9,250.

Learn more about fees and funding and Tuition fees.

International

Full-time, Band 1 (Classroom) £21,300

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.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com using code: L257.

University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32.

Find out more about transferring from another college or university.

Learn more about applying.

Standard offer

International Requirements



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

T Levels: all subjects considered; Standard offer: Distinction overall with A in the Core Component.

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

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students starting their course in 2023 the entry requirements are 6,6,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.

Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements.

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.

On the BA Politics and International Relations degree you will be taught by staff from the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS). We take an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that as well as providing your with engaging content about the subject, we also help you become an independent and self-motivated learner. Throughout the degree, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates – qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop these skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods on the Politics and International Relations degree. They may include:

  • Lectures – where academic experts introduce you to topics, sharing their knowledge in challenging and provocative ways. Students are provided with reading recommendations alongside the lectures, which will allow you to deepen your understanding of topics and develop your critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars – where you discuss and present topics in smaller groups, allowing you to develop your ideas, share interpretations, and debate opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials – your opportunity to discuss your work with your personal tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops – problem-solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff, usually involving group work.  

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the demands of a Politics and International Relations degree.

More about your student experience at POLSIS.

Contact hours

Contact hours vary depending on module choice. As well as time with your lecturers, class teachers, and personal tutor, academic and professional services staff (such as our dedicated Careers Network team) will be available to offer individual and group support throughout your time studying your degree here 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 advice and encouragement, guidance toward welfare services when needed, and helping you get assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time at the University of Birmingham.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside lectures, allowing you to consolidate lecture material through discussion, and test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Independent study alongside your time in the classroom is an essential part of your degree and requires motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry, inspired by the taught content, and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and researchers

Throughout your Politics and International Relations degree you will be taught by lecturers and researchers who have worked in the field of political science and international relations. You can learn more about the staff in the school by visiting the School of Government staff pages.

Learning settings

On this degree you will be taught by lectures from our internationally renowned Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), located in the Muirhead Tower on our main Edgbaston campus.

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, 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.

Throughout your time on the Politics with International Relations Year Abroad BA course, employability is a key area of focus.

 

We help to make sure that you are employable through a range of department led and university wide initiatives which include:

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.

Find out how the University of Birmingham is Investing in your future.

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