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International Relations and Politics (BSc Econ)

Entry year


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

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Course overview

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, 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.

International Relations and Politics graduates find careers in a wide range of fields. A further option is to go on to postgraduate study.

Distinctive features

  • We have excellent academic links with the National Assembly for Wales and long established relationships with national and international organisations such as the Westminster parliament, European Union and NATO giving you the opportunity to supplement your learning by engaging with political decision makers.
  • Students who study this area have had the opportunity to gain relevant work experience during their third year at an organisation that plays a key role in Welsh governance.
UCAS codeL290
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe school typically has 550 places available
Typical applications receivedThe school typically receives 3000 applicants

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB excluding General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking 

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Award of the IB Diploma with 34-32 points OR 665-655 in 3 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the Cardiff School of Law and Politics admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-scores.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 22 for Writing and 20 in all other components.

PTE Academic

At least 62 with 62 in Writing and no less than 54 in all other components.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

GCSE English Language Grade B or 6, IGCSE English First Language grade B, IGCSE English as a Second Language not accepted.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

Any equipment required will be supplied by the School.

Accommodation

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

Course structure

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.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

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

Year two

You will study 120 credits in optional year two modules.

Year three

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

Module titleModule codeCredits
International Politics in the Nuclear AgePL932020 credits
Africa in International Thought and Practice: Colonialism, Anticolonialism, PostcolonialismPL932120 credits
Global Environmental PoliticsPL932220 credits
Bombs, Bullets and Ballot-boxes: the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1969 to 1998PL932420 credits
Political Economy: Rationality in an Irrational World?PL932520 credits
Popular Culture and World PoliticsPL932820 credits
China in the WorldPL933020 credits
Cybersecurity: Diplomacy and Digital Rights in Global PoliticsPL933220 credits
A History of British IntelligencePL933320 credits
The Politics of Violence and KillingPL933520 credits
Justice, Legitimacy and International LawPL933620 credits
Latin American PoliticsPL933720 credits
Sex, Drugs and Public PolicyPL933820 credits
Visual Global PoliticsPL933920 credits
Politics in Practice: Work Placement ModulePL934020 credits
The Soul and the City: Plato's Political PhilosophyPL934120 credits
Crisis and Commitment in 20th Century Political ThoughtPL934320 credits
Science, Knowledge, PoliticsPL934420 credits
The Many Faces of Thomas HobbesPL934520 credits
Be the Change: Governing without the StatePL934620 credits
US Government and PoliticsPL937420 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangPL937720 credits
Cenedlaetholdeb, Crefydd a Chyfiawnder: Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruPL937820 credits
Parliamentary Studies ModulePL938020 credits
International Relations DissertationPL938520 credits
Politics DissertationPL938620 credits
Elections in the UKPL938720 credits
Global International Organisation in World PoliticsPL939120 credits
Personality and PowerPL939220 credits
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.

Learning and assessment

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. 

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

17%

Guided independent study

83%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

15%

Guided independent study

85%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

16%

Guided independent study

84%

Placements

0%

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

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

60%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

40%

Year 2

Written exams

43%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

57%

Year 3

Written exams

40%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

60%

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.

Careers

Career prospects

In 2016/17, 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.


Degrees in Politics and International Relations provide you with a foundation for a wide range of careers such as in non-governmental organisations, global development, international business, diplomacy and intelligence in government, journalism, and policy research, as well as a basis for more specialist subjects taught at postgraduate level.

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Next Undergraduate Open Day

Saturday 26 October

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