International Relations (BSc Econ)

Entry year

2018/19 2019/20

International Relations has developed from a relatively restricted field of study concerned with the relations between states and the causes of war, to a rich and broad disciplinary field which addresses a wide breadth of questions critical to our contemporary global world.

International Relations encompasses diverse theoretical approaches and perspectives, from liberalism and realism to feminism, postcolonialism, critical theory and environmental thought.

Our BSc Econ International Relations provides you with the opportunity to study this exciting and important subject in its depth and breadth. It has been deliberately structured to cover both traditional and new areas of the discipline in a manner informed by current scholarly debates and global political concerns and developments.

You will be taught by academics who are leading researchers in their fields. As a consequence you will be exposed to research-led teaching in areas across the breadth of the discipline. 

International Relations has developed from a relatively restricted field of study concerned with the relations between states and the causes of war, to a rich and broad disciplinary field which addresses a wide breadth of questions critical to our contemporary global world. These range from still-crucial concerns such as war, security and terrorism, nuclear politics, and the Cold War, to digital technologies and cyber-security, global environmental politics and climate change, colonialism and anticolonialism, tourism, popular culture and everyday life. 

Distinctive features

  • A shared first year with related programmes to provide the foundation for a broad skill set in political studies.
  • Module options that give you the space to develop and pursue your own interests as your grasp of the field is progressively enriched and broadened over the three years of study.
  • A broad and deep education in global affairs and a rich understanding of what international politics is and ought to be.

Key facts

UCAS Code305Q
Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Contact

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerABB excluding General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking 
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerThe Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerAward of the IB Diploma with 34 points including 665 in 3 HL subjects.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the Cardiff School of Law and Politics admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsYou will require GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade B or grade 6. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language will be considered at grade B. 

This is a three year, full-time programme made up of 120 credits per year.

Year one will provide you with a solid grounding in core international relations theories and perspectives, and the historical development of the international system through the study of designated core modules. This platform will provide the theoretical and historical foundation for more advanced study of a rich range of international relations topics as you progress. 

Study in the second and third years will have a distinctly IR focus and you will be required to study a minimum of 100 credits in the discipline in each year. The volume and range of modules available means that you are able to retain an element of choice within that compulsory element and as such design and pursue a bespoke pathway that reflects their specific study interests.

 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year one

You will take modules totalling 120 credits. This includes a range of both core modules (40 credits) and optional modules (80 credits).

Study skills support integrated within year one modules will help you cultivate the essential skills of academic study and independent research.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction to International RelationsPL919520 credits
Introduction to Political ThoughtPL919620 credits
Introduction to GlobalisationPL919720 credits

Year two

You will take modules totalling 120 credits.

You must select a minimum of 100 credits from a designated International Relations module collection. In addition, you may elect to study one additional 20 credit module from either the International Relations or Politics module collections.

A range of modules covering areas such as international security, international governance and international theory will be available. This arrangement means your programme has a distinct international relations focus, but you retain an element of choice and design that enables you to pursue a pathway that reflects your specific study interests.

Year three

You will take modules totalling 120 credits.

You must select a minimum of 100 credits from a designated International Relations module collection. In addition, you may elect to study one additional 20 credit module from either the International Relations or Politics module collections.  

A range of modules covering areas such as international security, international governance and international theory will be available. This arrangement means your programme has a distinct international relations focus, but you retain an element of choice and design that enables you to pursue a pathway that reflects your specific study interests and to work in areas where our staff are leading researchers.

The International Relations dissertation offers you the opportunity to engage in supervised but self-directed research. You will be able to choose a preferred area of focus and an appropriate supervisor will be appointed. To maximise opportunity for success, selection of the dissertation module will normally demand achievement of a 2:1 overall in your year two assessment.

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?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars.

Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information.

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.

Welsh language provision

This programme provides opportunities for learning and teaching through the medium of Welsh. Seminar teaching in Welsh is available in modules in each year. You may elect to write all or some of your assessed work and examinations in Welsh. If you are in receipt of a Coleg Cymraeg scholarship you are required to take a prescribed number of Welsh medium modules in order to fulfill the terms of your scholarship, the need for which is accommodated within each module collection.
 

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will help you reflect on your performance on the programme and advise you on study techniques, module selection and career planning (in conjunction with the University’s Career Service). They will also provide a first point of contact if you experience any difficulties. Additionally, all teaching staff keep prescribed office hours when you can meet with them and discuss any learning queries arising from the module or from your studies in general.

All modules within the programme make extensive use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials including multimedia materials, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises, discussion groups, etc. You will also be able to reflect on your progress and on the skills that you will develop through a section on the University’s Central Learning site called Planning Personal Development.

Within modules, the requirements and expectations of learning and assessment will be explained carefully by the module leader within the class and through supporting materials available on Learning Central.

Many modules include early forms of assessment designed to monitor progress and provide feedback before longer pieces of coursework and final exams. You will receive written feedback on all coursework.

A range of staff are available to provide further support, including a specialist librarian. A member of academic staff acts as a designated Disability and Diversity Officer and ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities.

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.

Feedback

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.

Formative feedback does not contribute to progression or degree classification decisions. The goal of formative feedback is to improve your understanding and learning before you complete your summative assessment. More specifically, formative feedback helps you to:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.
  • Help staff to support you and address the problems identified with targeted strategies for improvement.

Summative feedback does conribute to progression or degree classification decisions. The goal of summative assessment is to indicate how well you have succeeded in meeting the intended learning outcomes of a Module or Programme and will enable you to identify any action required in order to improveAll feedback should directly link to the Module grading / assessment criteria.

Feedback is given in tutorials, discussion classes and problems classes as well as through individual written comments on coursework.

How will I be assessed?

Year one is an introductory year. Results from Years two and three determine degree classification.

The programme structure is intended to progressively develop skills of academic study and independent research. This is delivered via levels based teaching and supported by, for example, study skills support at first year, specific research training at second year and longer research essays, primary research exercises and, if selected, the dissertation at third year.

Forms of teaching and assessment across the three years of the programme will include a wide range of methods and approaches, from essays and exams to group work, blogs, primary document analysis, writing briefings and learning diaries.
 

 

What skills will I practise and develop?

On completion of this programme you will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of various international relations theories, the nature of the international system and of global power structures (with main focus in terms of agencies such as States, International Organisations and other non-State actors) together with a command of associated transferable skills, such as:

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Understanding the nature and significance of politics as a global activity.
  • Demonstrating critical knowledge and understanding of historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics.
  • Applying concepts and theories used in the study of international relations to the analysis of political ideas, practices and issues in the global arena.
  • Making use of various categories of evidence to illustrate the applicability and limitations of the aforementioned concepts, theories and methods.
  • Evaluating different interpretations of world political issues and events.
  • Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of key aspects of contemporary international relations, embracing global and also regional studies.
  • Critically engaging with contemporary research materials in the relevant areas of international relations.
  • Effectively managing time, tasks and resources.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of sources.
  • Develop a reasoned argument, synthesize relevant information and exercise critical judgement.
  • Reflect on your own learning and make use of constructive feedback.
  • Manage your own learning self-critically.
  • Communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management.
  • Collaborate with others and contribute to the achievement of common goals.
  • Use communications and information technologies for the retrieval and presentation of information.

International Relations at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector, including the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, the UK Border Agency and the range of political parties.

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 in a range of prestigious companies.

In 2015/16, 97% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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 (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£15,950None

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 and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

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

No.

Accomodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

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