Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDINRPOL - BA International Relations and Politics

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Politics and International Relations
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The Teaching and Learning strategy of the BA International Relations and Politics degree is designed to dovetail with and reflect that of both the School of Social Sciences and the University. It ensures that the subject content meets, and improves, on the benchmarks set out by the QAA; encourages the acquisition and understanding of knowledge by students, engendering an enthusiasm for the subject and life-skills learning, including the progression from surface learning to deep learning; facilitates students to develop independent skills and responsibilities for their own learning; incrementally strengthens the subject specific knowledge and skills gained by students, in combination with the awareness and application of skills needed successfully to thrive in the workplace.
The degree has a long-standing reputation for pedagogical innovation as well as utilising traditional teaching methods. The latter includes a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. Within this a combination of whole group, small group, and student-led and tutor-led teaching occurs. This can included face to face teaching and discussion, but there is also an increasing emphasis on the use of blended learning opportunities. Modules are paper free, with considerable learning materials and resources being placed on relevant module Weblearn sites, e.g. lecture notes, module handbooks, video links, recorded lectures, podcasts, first hand documents, and blogs. Teaching staff often use electronic feedback, the electronic submission of formative and summative assessments, and on-line office hours. A growing number of materials are also available on-line through the University library, including access to journals and e-books. Students may also take modern languages as extension-of-knowledge modules.
This is all designed to open up the learning space for students to enable them to have continuous access to degree materials, improving the student learning experience, whilst increasing cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
An additional, and important part of the teaching and learning strategy, is the academic research which is carried out by Politics and International Relations staff. This is used to support teaching through transferring staff research skills and knowledge to enhance the student learning experience, i.e. the research is effectively disseminated to students through teaching.
Staff research specialisms are an essential component of the BA International Relations and Politics curriculum, with students benefitting from being taught by subject specialists.
Additionally, staff work closely with the various university support services and the Careers and Library Services to provide an holistic student experience.
The course marries a range of key core modules with a wide range of optional modules to maximise student choice. The content of modules is regularly updated to reflect developments in the subject areas but also to reflect and be flexible in relation to the changing interests of students.

Course aims

The BA in International Relations and Politics is a cornerstone degree offered by the School of Social Sciences. The degree aims to provide students with a broad perspective on the disciplines of International Relations and Politics and their philosophical, theoretical, historical and practical aspects, and to enhance their ability to understand the complex forces shaping international relations and politics in the contemporary world. In particular, the course aims to:
examine the concept and nature of international relations and politics and the institutions and structures engaged in international and domestic political decision-making;
ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in areas of International Relations and Political Science, theory and analysis;
enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches, key research methods and methodologies of the disciplines, and develop an understanding of their contested nature and the problematic character of international relations and political inquiry; develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions; encourage students to relate the academic study of International Relations and Politics to questions of public concern; assist students to develop a range of cognitive and social skills relevant to their intellectual, vocational and personal development, with a particular emphasis on employability, e.g. students can apply the knowledge gained from the course in a work experience situation through the work-based learning and work placement modules; provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of academic inquiry and debate.
Accordingly, the syllabus seeks to assist students’ understanding of the key issues of international relations and politics whether matters of philosophy, ethics, power, rights, justice, democracy, obligation, representation, freedom, security and peacekeeping, conflict and competition within and between states, the key concerns of states, issues of government, governance and public policy and administration, the foreign policy of major powers, the strength and success of international organisations, the international political economy and issues like trade and relations between the developed world and the 'Global South' or 'Third World', terrorism, the media, regional problems like the conflicts in the Middle East, area studies such as Europe, the United States, Latin America or Africa, or the salience of ethical issues like environmentalism, democratisation and human rights.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within International Relations and Politics;

2. devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of International Relations and Politics;

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in International Relations and Politics, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

4. manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to International Relations and Politics);

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;

6. critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;

7. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;

9. undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference


Learning outcomes cover LO1-9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Politics and International Relations February 2015.

Assessment strategy

The course combines both formative and summative assessment opportunities, embracing a variety of methods including: essays, briefing papers, exams, seminar performance, seminar presentations (both individual and group), portfolios, blogs, briefing papers, policy documents, and book reviews. The majority will be tutor assessed, but a number will be peer-reviewed in seminars.

At each Level of the degree, assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice, and subject-specific and educational scholarship. Staff and students are encouraged to engage in dialogue to promote a shared understanding of the basis on which academic judgements are made, and students are provided with opportunities to develop an understanding of, and the necessary skills to demonstrate, good academic practice.

The volume, timing and nature of assessment is designed to enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes. Indeed, with an emphasis on progression, formative assessment is structured to support students in their summative assessment, with feedback being both constructive and developmental.

Throughout, the strategy is designed to maximise the development of subject specific skills and employability skills appropriate to each level of the degree.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Enhancing student’s future career prospects in a central aspect of the degree programme. In terms of more explicit work-related learning, there are two core pathways from which students can choose, either:


TWO modules – one from Column A and one from Column B


MN5W51 (Level 5)
Creating a Successful Social Enterprise 1
15 credits (autumn or spring)

MN6W51 (Level 6)
Creating a Successful Social Enterprise 2
15 credits (autumn or spring)

GI5W50 (Level 5 or 6)
Politics and International Relations: Work-Based Learning
15 credits (spring)


GI6P51 (Level 6)
Dissertation 1 semester
15 credits (autumn)

GI6P01 (Level 6)
Dissertation 1 year
30 credits (year)


GI6W01 (Level 6) Placement 1 year 30 credits (year)

All modules also have aspects of employability embedded within them.

In addition, a study-abroad semester (or, in exceptional circumstances two semesters) can be undertaken as part of the degree programme. The Course Leader (or a delegated representative) must approve the programme of study proposed at the overseas host institution. The Politics and International Relations section has a number of links with partner institutions throughout the world, including Europe, the USA, and Japan. These exchanges are arranged through the University’s International Office.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Every module on this course has embedded within it reflective learning components and personal development planning relevant to the level of study. It will be encouraged in lectures, seminars, and in assessment methods. Students will be directed to reflect on knowledge specific learning, personal and employability skills development. Students will be encouraged to engage positively with all feedback opportunities, be they with tutors or in peer-review situations, and to reflect and learn, resulting in the development of further learning strategies.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

By the end of the course you will be ready for careers in organisations ranging from central government departments, diplomatic services, the United Nations and the European Union, to domestic and international businesses, non-governmental organisations, the media, political analysis and research. Graduates have embarked on careers in the Civil Service: the Diplomatic Service; as a local government officer; political analyst and researcher; or undertaken postgraduate study.

Career opportunities

You could follow in the footsteps of our graduates who now work for the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations, national diplomatic services, leading non-governmental organisations, businesses and have even become Members of Parliament.

The degree is also excellent preparation if you want to go on to further study or research in subjects including politics, government and international relations.

Whichever path you choose, our teaching staff have nationally-recognised expertise in developing student employability to help you promote yourself effectively in the competitive job market.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University’s standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum grade BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification)
  • GCSE English at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)
  • Mathematics GCSE is not required

Applicants with international qualifications and mature applicants are also welcome.

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the International Relations and Politics Extended Degree BA (Hons).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
JACS codes L250 (International Relations): 50% , L200 (Politics): 50%
Route code INRPOL

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30        
GI4006 Global Politics, Economy and Society Core 30        
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30        
GI4008 Politics and Government Core 30        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH AUT NA  
          NORTH SPR NA  

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30        
GI4006 Global Politics, Economy and Society Core 30        
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30        
GI4008 Politics and Government Core 30        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI5005 Approaches to International Relations and Forei... Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
GI5009 Political Theory Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
GI5069 Governance and Public Policy Core 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
GI5070 Comparative Politics Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15        
MN5W50 Creating a Winning Business 1 Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH AUT WED PM
          NORTH AUT THU AM
          NORTH AUT THU PM
          NORTH AUT FRI AM
          NORTH AUT FRI PM
          NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR FRI AM
          NORTH SPR FRI PM
GI5060 American Foreign Policy Option 15        
GI5062 Media and Culture Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
GI5063 Politics of the Middle East Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
GI5064 The Politics of the European Union Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
GI5065 Shifting Global Power in the 21st Century Option 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
GI5066 Strategy in the Contemporary World Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
GI5067 Contemporary US Politics Option 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI6005 International Security in an Era of Globalisation Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
GI6009 The Politics of Modern States Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15        
GI6P01 Project 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI6P51 Project 1 Semester Alt Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH AUT MON PM
GI6W01 Placement 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
MN6W50 Creating a Winning Business 2 Alt Core 15        
GI6007 Public Diplomacy and Global Communication Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI6061 Modern British Politics Option 15        
GI6064 African Politics Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
GI6065 Latin American Politics Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
GI6066 Action and Identity: Gender and Political Parti... Option 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
GI6067 Human Rights and International Conflict Option 15        
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA