International Relations and Politics (with a Language) (BSc Econ)

Entry year

2018/19 2019/20

The ability to communicate fluently in a foreign language is a considerable asset for those seeking careers in the international arena.

The BSc Econ International Relations and Politics (with a language) gives students the opportunity to study International Relations and Politics in their breadth and depth in combination with study of a modern language over three years.

Political studies – of which Politics and International Relations form central components – is a very broad and contested subject. The QAA benchmark statements recognize that the nature of the discipline is such that standard core subject areas are not specified, as each institution is capable of presenting distinct images of what constitutes core or important knowledge in politics. This contestation, along with the fact that current political and economic changes are continuously questioning the fundamentals of the discipline, are reflected in the design of this programme. Our objective is to seek to challenge the preconceptions that students bring to the subject and to actively encourage a critical attitude to the nature of the political and the international. We also aim to prepare students to markets of knowledge and practice that are in constant evolution so that, through this programme, they become not only active and critical young professionals but also develop a consciousness of the values of internationalization, and with it of being active citizens.

The skills of academic study and independent research will be progressively developed and supported from study skills support at first year, specific research training at second year to longer research essays, primary research exercises and 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.

Year 1 consists largely of core modules (studied by all first year Politics and International Relations students within the Department) which provide a solid grounding in international relations theories and perspectives, the historical development of the international system and introductory modules to Political thought. Language skills are also developed via teaching provided by the School of Modern Languages, in the form of a 40 credit language module (Beginners or Advanced).

Year 2 combines 60 credits of optional level 5 politics and international relations modules, selected from the range of optional modules available to all final year students pursuing BScEcon Politics/International Relations programmes across the Department with 30 credits of language study and a further 30 credit module delivered by the School of Modern Languages.

Year 3 sees students study 120 level 6 credits selected from the range of optional modules available to all final year students pursuing BScEcon Politics/International Relations programmes across the Department. Students are given the opportunity to write a dissertation, which exposes them to the skills needed for research. There is no language study during this year.

Distinctive features

The programme affords opportunity to combine the study of politics and international relations with proficiency in a modern language without the requirement for the year abroad, necessary as part of a traditional joint politics/IR and language degree.

The Department of Politics and International Relations has excellent 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.

In terms of Language and Culture students benefit from

  • High-quality language teaching delivered by native speakers, with blended learning and digital technologies embedded in the teaching and assessments designed to feed forward into future learning.
  • A vibrant programme of extra-curricular activities to support your language learning and immersion into the target culture, including extra optional conversation classes with Erasmus students and other language related events.
  • A new language curriculum with a clear learning arc, which draws on the latest research and allies a thorough understanding of the target culture with an ability to navigate and mediate between cultures.
  • An exciting range of specialised, research-led teaching options which enable students to engage with the most recent thinking by experts in the field.
  • A structured skills programme which embeds academic, transferable and employability skills into learning from the very beginning.

Key facts

UCAS CodeL292
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Contact

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerABB (excluding General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking). Applicants holding a B in relevant language A-levels will have access to the Languages advanced pathways. OR A in EPQ and BBB (excluding General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking). Applicants holding a B in relevant language A-levels will have access to the Languages advanced pathways.
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 OR 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 requirementsGCSE English Language Grade B or 6, IGCSE English First Language grade B, IGCSE English as a Second Language not accepted.

We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2019 and this page will be updated by end of October 2019 to reflect the changes.

BSc Econ International Relations and Politics (with a language) is a full-time honours degree delivered over three academic years. Each academic year consists of two semesters. Students are required to pursue modules to the value of 120 credits in each year of study. Students undertake language specific studies in the form of compulsory language modules providing tuition to proficiency in reading, speaking and writing in their chosen language, so that in successive years they develop high-level language competencies.

In Year 1 students pursue four core modules amounting to 100 credits in total: Introduction to International Relations (20 credits); Introduction to Politics Thought (20 credits); Introduction to Globalisation (20 credits); a language module (40 credits). In addition students must select one additional 20 credit module delivered by the Department of Politics and International Relations (Introduction to Political Science; Introduction to European Integration; Introduction to Government).

In year 2 students study 60 optional level 5 credits from the range of International Relations and Politics modules available to all students of the Department. Students also study one 30 credit module in their chosen language and another 30 credit non-language module from the School of Modern Languages’ suite of optional modules.

In the final year, students study 120 optional level 6 credits from the range of International Relations and Politics modules available to all students of the Department.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019. You are advised to check the final module descriptions when they are available to ensure that the programme meets your needs.

Year one

You are required to pursue modules amounting to 120 credits.

You will take three compulsory 20 credit modules in International Relations and Politics and one compulsory 40 credit module in your chosen language. In addition you must select one other 20 credit introductory module in International Relations and Politics.

Language modules use a varied timetable which includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. Teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of materials including videos, films, websites as well as interactive learning tools. Language classes are taught through the medium of the chosen language, thus allowing you to immerse yourself in the language right from the start. The advanced pathway develops the linguistic skills for post A-level students.

Year two

You are required to pursue modules amounting to 120 credits.

60 credits must be chosen from a broad range of optional, 20 credit, International Relations and Politics modules. You will also pursue a 30 credit module in your chosen language and an additional 30 credit module from the School of Modern Languages’ suite of optional modules.

The language elements of year 2 build on the work undertaken in year 1. This language component focuses on your communication skills in the target language. Teaching covers all the key competencies, and is enhanced by the inclusion of digital learning.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Ex-Advanced Spanish Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML027020 credits
Ex-Beginners Spanish Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML027120 credits
Ex-Advanced Portuguese Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML428320 credits
Ex-Beginners Portuguese Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML428420 credits
Ex-Beginners French Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML627020 credits
Ex-Advanced French Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML628420 credits
Ex-Advanced German Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML725220 credits
Ex-Beginners German Language Year 2 (POLIR Integrated Students Pathway)ML725320 credits
Gender, Sex and DeathPL922020 credits
International Relations of the Cold WarPL922120 credits
Colonialism, GPE and DevelopmentPL922220 credits
Digital Technologies and Global PoliticsPL922320 credits
Global GovernancePL922420 credits
EU PoliticsPL922520 credits
Comparative Politics: Protest, Power and PopulismPL922620 credits
From Espionage to Counter-Terrorism: Intelligence in Contemporary PoliticsPL922920 credits
The Power and Politics of Research MethodsPL923020 credits
Critical War and Military Studies: an IntroductionPL923120 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL923320 credits
Credoau'r CymryPL928620 credits
British Politics since 1945PL928720 credits
International Security: Concepts and IssuesPL928820 credits
Justice and Politics: Contemporary Political TheoryPL929120 credits
Global JusticePL929220 credits
Political Thought from Marx to NietzschePL929320 credits
Political Thought from Machiavelli to RousseauPL929420 credits
International Law in a Changing WorldPL929920 credits
The History of Thought in International RelationsPL931120 credits

Year three

You are required to pursue modules amounting to 120 credits.

You will study six, 20 credit, International Relations and Politics modules. The range of research led modules available includes 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?

You will primarily be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars. Language modules will also offer the opportunity for workshops and language classes.

Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for you to engage critically with key ideas and explore the ideas outlined in lectures in a small group environment, usually consisting of around 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small group work and student-led presentations.

Language classes are taught in groups to enhance confidence and active learning. A varied timetable includes oral expression, aural comprehension and writing skills, which are taught in small groups to enhance confidence and active learning. These vital communication skills are practiced and developed through regular classwork exercises and written work. Our teaching methods allow you to engage with a range of language-learning technologies. Materials including textbooks, videos, films, novels, audio files and websites are supported by online resources that compliment classroom activities and promote and enable independent learning. Class materials include a range from literary and historical to contemporary journalistic texts, providing a broad insight into language and culture.

Independent study forms a key part of your learning, and our independent learning portfolios have been developed to provide you with online resources to support your independent language learning.

How will I spend my time? (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

43%

Guided independent study

57%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

28%

Guided independent study

73%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

16%

Guided independent study

84%

Placements

0%

How will I be supported?

The BSc Econ International Relations and Politics with a language programme is team-taught, with the programme as a whole overseen by the Programme Director. Students are supported by a number of different staff, some focussing on academic performance in a particular area and some looking at learning and progress more holistically.

All academic staff offer designated hours when they are available to meet with students to offer advice and feedback on the subjects that they teach.

Students will also be allocated a personal tutor, who will meet with them regularly to reflect on their progress and development across their studies, and to think about how to build on their achievements and advance further. The personal tutor can also guide students who are experiencing difficulties towards appropriate support.

An extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops is delivered within the School.

A range of staff are available to provide further support. A member of academic staff acts as a designated Disability and Diversity Officer and ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. Specialist librarians are also available to provide support and advice.

All modules make extensive use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, where you can access discussion forums and find course materials including recordings of lectures, links to related materials, multiple-choice tests, past exam papers and examples of student work from previous years.

A Professional Services Team provides support for all programmes. The team are located in the Law Building and are able to provide information and guidance in response to any queries you may have.

Beyond the School, the University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, the Academic Skills Development Centre and excellent libraries and resource centres.

How will I be assessed?

The focus of assessment is in supporting you to develop your ideas, skills and competencies, with the feedback you receive feeding forward into future work. We use traditional assessment formats (such as essays, class tests, exams and dissertation) as well as more innovative forms of assessment, (such as blogs, participation in radio shows, video and audio projects, interviews, portfolios, and so forth).

Feedback on your work is given frequently and in a wide variety of formats and is intended to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning, as well as give indications of how you might improve in your performance in examinations and coursework. As part of your skills training in year 1 you will be supported in understanding how assessments operate, what is expected of you, how assessment will be marked and how to make the most of your feedback.

This programme includes a variety of assessment methods, for example essays, examinations, class tests, and dissertation. Assessments include formative assessments (designed to help you to achieve the learning outcomes for your modules and to prepare for your examinations and coursework. This work might be written or oral and may be submitted formally to a tutor or presented during tutorials or seminars. This work will normally be completed during your independent study time and does not count towards your final module mark or degree classification) and summative assessments (which contribute towards your final module mark and, where appropriate, final classification).

Formative Assessment

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

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

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment contributes to progression and 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 improve. All assessment directly links to the Module grading / assessment criteria.

Examinations take place during scheduled assessment periods in January (Autumn Semester) and May/June (Spring Semester). The Resit Assessment Period is in August. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

60%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

37%

Year 2

Written exams

33%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

63%

Year 3

Written exams

35%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

65%

What are the learning outcomes of this course/programme?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the 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
  • understand the nature and significance of politics as a global activity
  • apply concepts and theories used in the study of international relations to the analysis of political ideas, practices and issues in the global arena
  • make use of empirical evidence to illustrate the applicability and limitations of the aforementioned concepts, theories and methods
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of contemporary international relations, embracing global and also regional studies
  • critically engage with contemporary research materials in the relevant areas
  • effectively manage time, tasks and resources
  • speak, write, and understand one or more foreign languages to a high level of competency

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you 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 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
  • 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
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech, both in English and another language
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development
  • demonstrate high-level communication and critical-thinking skills

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • 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
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech, both in English and another language
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • 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 and Politics

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 at Cardiff is a respected recruitment pool for a variety of employers within this sector with, for example, the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Department for Education, City Councils, 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.

Many of our graduates have sought careers with an international dimension not only in government but also in international organisations, transnational companies, and international non-governmental bodies after finishing their studies.

School of Modern Languages

In 2013/14, 95% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Many graduates enjoy their year overseas so much that they take time out for more travel, or go abroad on graduation in search of employment.

Of those who choose to remain in the UK, many pursue postgraduate studies such as one of the School’s MA degrees in European Studies or in Translation or a PGCE. Others start work immediately following their graduation, and our graduates go on to secure excellent careers in international diplomacy, the Civil Service, teaching, business and journalism. Other employment options include roles as translators, language assistants, export assistants and proof-readers.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

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

Many students choose to invest in personal copies of unabridged bilingual dictionaries and reference grammars. While copies of most course materials are available in the library, many students opt to acquire personal copies of set texts.

Accomodation

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

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