Politics and International Relations BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: L250
International Code: AHU072

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Flexible part-time

Start date

September 2022
January 2023


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Politics and International Relations looks at how countries are governed and decisions are made, what shapes foreign policies, and how national and international political events impact people locally.

The course:

  • includes a range of modules on British, American, European, African and Middle Eastern politics
  • provides you with a deeper understanding of the rationale and value of peaceful and cooperative relations between nations and people
  • teaches you how the world is becoming increasingly more connected and how this impacts on governments and their agencies, multinational companies, international organizations, non-governmental organisations, and you.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • Academic staff who are actively engaged in high-quality research that informs their teaching and who are qualified lecturers with members of staff being fellows and senior fellows of AdvanceHE.
  • Events and conferences featuring national and international politicians and dignitaries (subject to availability and additional costs).
  • An exciting and modern course that examines the key political issues of the modern world.
  • Multidisciplinary teaching with experts from national and international politics, history, global security and social theory.
  • An intellectually challenging course that encourages you to sharpen your analytical skills and engage with issues of vital concern for today’s world.
  • The opportunity to focus on specific themes such as North American, European, East Asian, and Middle Eastern politics, social movements or global security as you progress through your course.
  • The opportunity to apply for an international experience with international staff, an international curriculum and the options of an overseas field trip, and / or study abroad or overseas placement (subject to availability, competitive application, meeting visa requirements and additional costs).
  • The opportunity to develop advanced professional skills such as the ability to think independently and creatively, to advance sophisticated arguments and to communicate ideas confidently as enquired by potential employers.

Find out more about our range of history, politics and international relations courses.


What you'll study

Politics and International Relations are highly interconnected academic disciplines, concerned with overlapping questions of power, government, decision-making, conflict, peace, foreign policy, democracy, human rights, social movements and political ideologies. Throughout your degree, you will study these issues, both in relation to the internal workings of different political systems and their external relations in the contemporary global system. Through a rich programme of modules, you will learn about the politics and international relations of the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, the US, Europe and China.

Your first year sets the foundation for the study of Politics and International Relations, at both country-specific and global levels.

Modules

  • This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the study of political institutions and behaviour post WW2. It examines the theories associated with political systems and institutions that form the framework for political life, and assesses the extent to which these match the reality of practice.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module examines three major themes that underpin the development of international relations in the 21st century: globalisation, power and order. It seeks to provide you with a coherent overview of three key debates preoccupying both analysts and policy makers: globalisation and its impact, the nature of power and how it is exercised in a changing world; how conflict has been limited and cooperation achieved in international politics.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module aims to introduce you to key concepts employed in the study of politics. These can enable you to gain both an insight into the working of modern political systems and an understanding of the ideas and theories underlying contemporary political structures, movements and debates.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • The module looks at the major developments in world politics since the end of the Second World War. It examines major themes of post-war international politics, such as the dominant relationship between the superpowers, the consequences of decolonisation, the emergence of the 'Third World', the spread of revolutionary wars, the development of European integration and the spread and final collapse of communism and its effect on world politics in the end of the Cold War.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • The aim of this module is to enhance your ability to see and understand the world from perspectives and positions you may not agree with in order to raise your socio-political and cultural awareness as well as your empathy for difference. But at the very least, you ought ultimately to recognise that, as Steve Smith has argued, ‘non-theoretical accounts of the world are simply not available’.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, exam

In the second year, you will study a range of topics that should deepen and widen your understanding of political systems, political ideas, international relations, conflict and security and foreign policy analysis. Focus will turn to contemporary issues and events, examining a range of real-life case studies to illustrate the challenges of government policy and the key role of civil society and non-state actors.

Modules

  • This module aims to familiarise you with a number of key theories and methodologies relating to the study of contemporary global security and to relate these to a broad range of specific issues on the contemporary security agenda.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • The module focuses on foreign policy analysis through theories and practice. You will be introduced to the foreign policy analysis, will evaluate and discriminate between foreign policies, apply these insights to foreign policy in general and to particular foreign policies in depth including the United States, China, Russia, the European Union, and Britain.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module focuses on politics and the state in different countries and continents. It aims to give you an understanding of liberal democracy in theory and practice, methods of gauging the quality of democracy and transitions towards and away from this particular regime type. The course starts by covering these theoretical themes in the abstract before seeking to apply this theoretical knowledge to four case study countries (these usually include USA alongside cases from Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Global South to reflect a range of domestic political contexts).

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module aims to introduce you to and analyse the system of government in Britain. It assesses whether these institutions are appropriate for British society in the 21st century.  Key institutions (such as the Constitution, Parliament, the Cabinet, and the Devolved Administrations) will be examined to show their role in the British political system. Also, the module will look at recent debates, issues and topics arising within contemporary British political life.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module aims to introduce the concept of a graduate career and provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the graduate employment process. In addition, it guides you towards graduate career destinations for humanities students. It aims to develop your employability skills and professional competencies, facilitating your transition from undergraduate study in to the graduate labour market. To achieve this, you engage in a series of workshops and a process of self-reflection, developing market intelligence to produce an individual and tailored professional CV.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, exam

  • This module revisits key thinkers in classical political economy – Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes – and make its way through the 20th century, covering topics such as neo-liberalism, corporate globalisation, neo-imperialism, consumerism, emotional labour and biopolitics: all analysed through the prism of International Political Economy. The module will wrap up with an analysis of the some of the great crises of the 21st century – from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the market crash of 2008 to the election of Donald Trump and Britain's decision to leave the EU. You will be encouraged to explore the way these have affected the neo-liberal model of global market capitalism.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module addresses questions concerning conflict, state collapse, political and natural crises and large-scale human rights abuse. It asks whether individual states, regional bodies or the United Nations have the will or capacity to intervene to alleviate suffering? And if so, is intervention morally or legally justified? You will look at issues including the distinction between peacekeeping and peace-enforcement; the role of consent, self-defence and impartiality; and the current status of state sovereignty. You explore the development of the doctrine of the ‘responsibility to protect’, together with a number of case studies of intervention including Congo, Somalia, the Balkans and Iraq.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module focuses on the rise of Far-Right political parties in West European countries. It aims to give you an understanding of the characteristics and values of these parties under the umbrella term of the ‘Far Right’. The focus will be on the different explanations put forward for their success or failure to acquire electoral support, their influence on the behaviour of mainstream political parties and politics in general in the case study countries.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

After your second year, you have the option to take a placement year, studying abroad or on professional placement*.

If you wish, you can take the Professional Placement module or the Study Abroad module which both typically run for a full academic year between years 2 and 3.  You can progress onto the relevant module if you have successfully completed the first two years of the course (e.g., accumulated 240 credits) and provided you confirm your interest in undertaking this option before the end of your second year.

While the sandwich year modules you undertake are non-credit bearing and do not incur any additional tuition fees. If successfully completed, these modules will appear on your final academic transcript. In addition, if you complete this year, you will also gain an enhanced degree award title as the additional suffix of “With Professional Enhancement” if you’ve gone on a work placement and “With International Enhancement” if you’ve gone on a study abroad programme will be added.

Our Talent Team can provide you with a wide range of support services in order to help you apply for a placement opportunity.

Past students have studied in Australia, the United States, South Korea, France, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Modules

  • Optional

  • Optional

In your final year you will have the opportunity to specialise your knowledge, choosing from a range of optional modules on the Middle East, the US, China and Central and Eastern Europe.  You may also choose a Study Trip module and write a dissertation on a topic of your own free choice.

Modules

  • The aim of the module is to examine in detail a number of major themes and developments in post-1945 US foreign policy. These are examined both for their intrinsic importance and interest, and for the light they throw on the foreign policy making process in the US system. The module will consider the development of US foreign policy from the establishment of the post-1945 liberal world order to the challenges it faces in the contemporary global setting. The development of US foreign policy will be analysed using a variety of IR theories.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module develops an understanding of the ethical problems that emerge as a consequence of the rapid integration of the global political order. These include, the uneven distribution of gains and losses, the conflicting loyalties we might have to co-nationals and foreigners, the ethics of conflict and the problem of cross-border and trans-generational harm. You investigate these issues through a detailed engagement with key texts and fleshed out with reference to illustrative case studies. You can gain a vital understanding of key ethical problems and the most contemporary moral frameworks for thinking about how to approach and, perhaps, resolve these issues.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module is designed to enable you to develop, enhance and put into practice the research and time-management skills you acquired in your previous years of study. It encourages you develop your independent learning skills and gather and interpret knowledge so you can  analyse, in depth, a subject of your own choosing within the context of their programme of study.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, exam

  • This module aims to introduce students to the contemporary history, politics and international relations of the Middle East since 1948. It examines the process of European decolonisation since the 1940s, the rise of Zionism and national independence movements like , including Zionism, Nasserism and Ba’athism and focuses on the emergence of the Palestinian question from 1948 to the present. The module also examines the major Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982 both in the traditional colonial setting and, after 1956, in the context of the Cold War.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module aims to introduce you to the political challenges facing the countries of Central and Eastern Europe since the end of Communism, especially the unresolved clash between liberal democratic and ethnic nationalist norms. Case study countries will include Poland and Hungary as states which were previously seen as star democratisers until the early 2000s but have since been beset by illiberal nationalist revolts resulting in the rapid erosion of democratic institutions. The module will also cover case studies of Serbia and Bulgaria which similarly faced challenges arising from the clash of nationalist and democratic norms, leading to war in the former (in the 1990s) and EU membership in the latter, but a slow regression away from liberal democracy in both.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • The aim of the module is to examine in detail a number of major themes and developments in post-1945 US foreign policy. These are examined both for their intrinsic importance and interest, and for the light they throw on the foreign policy making process in the US system. The module will consider the development of US foreign policy from the establishment of the post-1945 liberal world order to the challenges it faces in the contemporary global setting. The development of US foreign policy will be analysed using a variety of IR theories.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module seeks to highlight the system of government in the United States. It places special emphasis on assessing the political institutions that have evolved from the US constitution, and analysing whether these institutions are appropriate for American society in the 21st century.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module aims to give you the opportunity to address and explore issues and themes in history, international relations, sociology, politics and linked disciplines, in a non-UK setting. A number of issues will be analysed in the study location. For example, on a study trip to Sicily, issues in history would include the origins and development of Italian organised criminal organisations and themes in politics would include the relationship between politics and the mafia. The study trip offers you the opportunity to take part in structured group discussions with renowned speakers from academia, diplomacy, the private sector and civil society and to build up your personal networks. Themes and topics to be examined in the study trip will be studied in preliminary lectures. The course will involve critical debate and team working to analyse selected themes.

    Additional costs apply. Trips are subject to availability and eligibility.

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

  • China is frequently referred to as the coming Superpower of the 21st Century. This module sets out to explore China’s domestic political institutions and political culture; deconstruct the country’s regional and global foreign relations; and define the military and non-military security challenges for the regional and global systems. It explores the challenges at home and overseas facing the leadership in Beijing and the way that China engages with the international community including the U.S., Japan, Southeast Asia and, perhaps most controversially, Africa. How is China responding to its new challenges and what is the likely impact on the global system?

    Optional

    Assessment: coursework

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials. As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

  • Politics: We study political institutions and behaviour post World War II, examining the theories associated with political systems and institutions that form the framework for political life. The major focus will be on the ways individuals and groups react to and behave within the political framework of the Nation State, including political participation, political communication and the expression of interests. We consider the foreign policy ‘problem’, assessing the ways in which national political systems experience and cope with challenges arising from their involvement in international affairs.
  • International relations: You will have the opportunity to learn about and understand the world from perspectives and positions you may not agree with to raise your socio-political and cultural awareness, as well as your empathy for difference. We examine three major themes that underpin the development of international relations in the 21st century: globalisation, power and order.

Assessment

Your course will be based on a series of lectures, with associated seminars, tutorials, workshops, online discussions, web-based activities and fieldtrip (subject to availability). In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice. In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 12 ‘contact’ hours of teaching.


Job ready

On successful completion, you will have knowledge of:

  • The origins and character of different political systems.
  • The origins and character of the contemporary international system.
  • The key issues, institutions and processes that determine domestic affairs and international relations.
  • The methods and approaches employed in the study of politics and international relations.

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Identify accurately the issue(s) which need researching and retrieve up-to-date disciplined based information using paper and electronic sources.
  • Locate a range of information sources, to gather and marshal relevant evidence successfully.
  • Review critically, synthesise and debate evidence collected by research.
  • Construct fair, coherent and convincing arguments utilising the relevant key concepts and approaches in the disciplines of politics and international relations.
  • Analyse problems, take decisions, be creative and show initiative.
  • Work independently with increasing self-confidence and to reflect upon the process of learning.
  • Work within a group, to negotiate, to learn from others and to lead an activity.
  • Manage time effectively, to set objectives and to evaluate the performance of oneself and others.
  • Develop and debate ideas and to sustain arguments effectively both orally and in written form.

International experience opportunities

This course has an inherently international perspective. If you want to further enhance your opportunity to gain an international experience, we will provide support for you to spend a year studying abroad or on placement and organise an annual overseas study trip (subject to additional costs, availability, application and meeting any applicable visa requirements). For example, previous students spent a week Brussels and The Hague to learn more about the European Union, NATO, and the International Court of Justice. Students also travelled to Sicily to examine how anti-mafia organisations have been working to combat organised crime.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSE's graded 9-4 / A* - C including English
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 29 points

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

Chat with UK admissions

You may be required to submit a portfolio/show-reel/written work (as appropriate for the particular course) and you may be asked to attend an interview if it is practical to arrange.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

You may be required to submit a portfolio/show-reel/written work (as appropriate for the particular course) and you may be asked to attend an interview if it is practical to arrange.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

Chat with International admissions


Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £15,300 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

We are currently in the process of a major redevelopment of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities buildings, due to open later in 2022. The building will be open to the public as well as students, and will feature an expansive gallery space. It will also provide world-class teaching spaces, including highly flexible and immersive media facilities.

lanchester library entrance

Library

The library offers a team of dedicated academic liaison librarians who provide specialist help and support. You’ll also have access to subject specific databases of journal articles related to criminology and forensics.

Two young adults sitting and chatting at a reception desk

Academic support

No matter which degree you’re studying, you’ll find a lot of support on campus, including the Centre of Academic Writing and sigma, which offers mathematics and statistics support.


Careers and opportunities

In a globalised world where companies increasingly do business across national boundaries, you can benefit from an in-depth understanding of the international landscape, gaining an insight appealing to many employers. This course is informed by up-to-date research and provides knowledge on issues that are at the forefront of the disciplines of Politics and International Relations and enables you to develop a wide range of skills that are highly valued by employers.

Our students who graduate in degrees that include politics and international relations can find a number of exciting careers.

International Relations
Recent graduates are now employed in the private sector, ranging from marketing, human resources, banking, and finance to media, and across the public sector in education, the civil service, police forces, local authorities, charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and international organisations.

They work for a range of organisations, including the Houses of Parliament, BUPA Healthcare, BMI Healthcare, Barclays, HSBC, Amazon, National Crime Agency, BBC, West Midlands Police/Transport Police, European Union, Atlas Copco, GlaxoSmithKline, Grant Thornton, IPSOS Mori, European Parliament, NHS, Commonwealth, Amnesty International and Greenpeace.

Some of our students set up in business for themselves, which range from youth mentoring, learning and development workshop delivery, logistics and creative industries.

Politics
Some of our previous students have secured graduate-level jobs in the Civil Service, international organisations, local government, the media, private sector companies, the culture industry, further and higher education teaching and non-government organisations (NGOs).

Where our graduates work

Our previous graduates of international relations and politics have worked at organisations including: the Houses of Parliament, BBC, West Midlands Police/Transport Police, European Union, GlaxoSmithKline, Grant Thornton, IPSOS Mori, European Parliament, NHS, Commonwealth, Amnesty International and Greenpeace.

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the International Relations MA, Politics MA and Terrorism, International Crime and Global Security MA. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply


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  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).