International Relations and Politics (BSc Econ)

Learn how to analyse the behaviour of key international organisations and the way they address the challenges facing today's world.

International Relations is a branch of Political Science that examines the role of states, international alliances, non-governmental organisations and multinational companies in an increasingly globalised world.

As part of this degree programme at Cardiff, you will have the opportunity to focus on global politics and world affairs as well as having the opportunity to attend a lecture series hosted by the University on International Relations & International Law, which has featured high profile speakers from institutions such as NATO and the UN Security Council.

In your first year you will concentrate on core modules, while in your second and third years you are able to choose from a wide range of optional modules. You must study a certain number of International Relations modules, but beyond this the full range of Politics modules is available.

Distinctive features

You will be taught by academics, many of whom are world experts in their field. The department has unrivalled academic links with the National Assembly for Wales via the Welsh Governance Centre and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO. This unique status gives students the opportunity to supplement their learning by engaging with political decision makers in the real world.

Key facts

UCAS CodeL290
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe school typically has 330 places available
Typical applications receivedThe school typically receives 1800 applicants
Typical A level offerAAB excluding General Studies.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrades AAB from a combination of 2 A levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma Core.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points with 6, 6, 5 at HL.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This is a three year, full time course, consisting of 120 credits per year.  Year 1 is an introductory year, with results from Years 2 and 3 determining your degree classification. The programme comprises compulsory and optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can undertake original research.

Year one

You will study 120 credits in your first year, from the list of available Politics and International Relations modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction to GovernmentPL919920 credits
Introduction to International RelationsPL919520 credits
Introduction to European IntegrationPL919820 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction to Political SciencePL919420 credits
Introduction to GlobalisationPL919720 credits
Y Da, Drwg a'r Gwleidyddol - The Good, the Bad and the PoliticalPL919320 credits
Introduction to Political ThoughtPL919620 credits

Year two

You will take 120 credits in optional Year 2 modules.

Year three

You will take 120 credits in optional Year 3 modules, including the option of writing a dissertation. 

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.

Politics and International Relations provides opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Seminar teaching in Welsh is available in modules in each of Years 1, 2 and 3.  Students may elect to write all or some of their assessed work and examinations in Welsh. 

How will I be supported?

  • Each module uses the Central Learning website, a Virtual Learning Environment at Cardiff University. Through the Central Learning site you will have access to relevant materials for the module, such as multimedia materials, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises, discussion groups, etc.
  • Academic Tutors have office hours for students to meet and discuss any learning queries as well as the opportunity in seminars.
  • The School has a wide programme of visiting speakers and guest lectures and students are encouraged to attend.
  • There will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your progress and on the skills that you will develop through a section on the Central Learning site called Planning Personal Development.
  • Furthermore, centrally the university has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

What skills will I practise and develop?

This degree programme will allow you to develop a number of valuable skills. Students who are awarded a Single or Joint Honours Politics degree will be able to:

  • Gather, organize and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of sources;
  • Develop a reasoned argument, synthesize relevant information and exercise critical judgement;
  • Reflect on their own learning and make use of constructive feedback;
  • Manage their own learning self-critically.
  • Communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing;
  • Use communications and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation of information;
  • Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management;
  • Collaborate with others and contribute to the achievement of common goals.

In 2013/14, 96% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Politics and International Relations at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and a range of political parties all recruiting from the last graduating year.

Outside of the political sector, the degree is of interest to employers in both the public and private sectors, with graduates taking up management training opportunities within EY, Enterprise Rent A Car, Zurich Insurance and King Worldwide.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2016/17)

EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2016/17)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,500None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Any equipment required will be supplied by the School.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.