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

Entry year


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

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Course overview

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

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.

Our objective is to challenge the preconceptions that you will bring to the subject and to actively encourage a critical attitude to the nature of the political and the international. We aim to prepare you to markets of knowledge and practice that are in constant evolution so that, through this programme, you become an active and critical young citizen and develop a consciousness of the values of internationalization.

International Relations 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.
  • 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.
UCAS codeL292
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time

Entry requirements

ABB-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.

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

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.

Accommodation

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

Course structure

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You will study modules amounting to 120 credits in year one.

This year consists largely of core modules which will provide you with a solid grounding in international relations theories and perspectives, the historical development of the international system and introductory modules to political thought. You will take three compulsory 20 credit modules in International Relations and Politics and you must select one other 20 credit introductory module in International Relations and Politics.

Language skills are developed via teaching provided by the School of Modern Languages, in the form of a 40 credit language module (you can choose a beginners or advanced pathway). 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.

Year two

You will study modules amounting to 120 credits in year two.

This year you will choose three modules from a broad range of International Relations and Politics modules. This will amount to 60 credits.

In addition you will also pursue two 30 credit modules in the School of Modern Languages: one in your chosen language and one in a suite of optional modules. The language elements of this year build on the work undertaken in year one. 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
The World & Language of Business (Spanish Ex-Beginners)ML026830 credits
Introduction to Catalan Language & CultureML026930 credits
Ex-Advanced Language Year 2 SpanishML027930 credits
Ex-Beginners Language Year 2 SpanishML028030 credits
Cultures in Context (Spanish)ML028230 credits
The World & Language of Business (Spanish)ML028330 credits
Introduction to Specialised TranslationML220130 credits
Ex-Beginners Language Year 2 PortugueseML428030 credits
Ex-Advanced Language Year 2 PortugueseML428130 credits
Cultures in Context (Portuguese)ML428230 credits
The World & Language of Business (French Ex-Beginners)ML627930 credits
Ex-Beginners Language Year 2 FrenchML628030 credits
Ex-Advanced Language Year 2 FrenchML628130 credits
Cultures in Context (French)ML628230 credits
The World & Language of Business (French)ML628330 credits
Ex-Beginners Language Year 2 GermanML725030 credits
Ex-Advanced Language Year 2 GermanML725130 credits
Cultures in Context (German)ML728230 credits
The World & Language of Business (German)ML728330 credits
The World & Language of Business (German Ex-Beginners)ML728430 credits
Ex-Beginners Language Year 2 ItalianML828030 credits
Ex-Advanced Language Year 2 ItalianML828130 credits
Whose ‘culture’ is it anyway? Identity, Power and Memory in C20th ItalyML828330 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
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
Comparative European PoliticsPL923220 credits
Modern Welsh PoliticsPL923320 credits
Modern Political Thought: Machiavelli to MillPL923420 credits
The History of Realist Political Thought in International RelationsPL923520 credits
Local to Global Sustainable DevelopmentPL923620 credits
Political Theories Across the Globe: Methods and Issues in Cross-cultural ThinkingPL923720 credits
Damcaniaethu a Dadfeilio’r Gymdeithas GyfalafolPL923820 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
International Law in a Changing WorldPL929920 credits

Year three

You will study modules amounting to 120 credits in year three.

This year you will study six International Relations and Politics modules. There is no language study during this year.

You will have the opportunity to write a dissertation which exposes you to the skills needed for research.

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?

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.

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

Careers

Career prospects

International Relations and Politics

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.

School of Modern Languages

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.

Our graduates flourish in the job market as our employment statistics underline. Their language degrees lead them into a diverse and exciting range of careers which have included finance, international sport liaison roles, business consultancy, education, health, the media, politics, diplomacy, interpreting, translation, law and teaching.

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