Why study this course
Links to political institutions
Benefit from links to Westminster parliament, Senedd Cymru, the European Union and NATO.
Study current global issues
Choose modules ranging from cyber security and nuclear politics to climate change and feminism.
Experience politics in action
Choose a module taught in-conjunction with Westminster which includes teaching by clerks of the House of Commons and study visits.
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.
We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. If you are applying to study this course via Clearing, entry grade requirements may be higher than those advertised. Typical offers are as follows:
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.
- Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
- Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.
32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects.
From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Other qualifications from inside the UK
DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in any subject.
Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
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.
Course specific equipment
Any equipment required will be supplied by the School.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
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 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
You will study 120 credits in your first year, from the list of available Politics and International Relations modules.
You will study 120 credits in optional year two modules.
You will study 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.
Learning and assessment
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.
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 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.
Studying in Welsh
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.