Course specification and structure
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UDINTRLT - BA International Relations

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

International Relations is a dynamic subject which combines international political theory, and international economic, political and cultural analysis. The course is designed to examine the nature of world politics from both the system and actor perspectives, including individuals, states, international and transnational organisations and actors.

The Teaching and Learning strategy of the BA International Relations degree is designed to: ensure that the subject content meets, and improves, on the benchmarks set out by the QAA; encourage 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; facilitate students to develop independent skills and responsibilities for their own learning; incrementally strengthen the subject specific knowledge and skills gained by a students, in combination with the awareness and application of skills needed to successfully thrive in the workplace.

The degree has a growing 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. The emphasis is on ensuring a combination of discussion-based, skills-based and knowledge-based teaching and learning.

In addition to face to face teaching and discussion, there is also an increasing importance placed on the use of blended learning opportunities. Many modules already are already paper free, with learning materials and resources being placed on relevant module VLEs, e.g. lecture notes, module handbooks, video links, recorded lectures, podcasts, primary documents, and blogs. Assessment feedback is provided face to face and electronically through TurnitIn. A growing number of materials are also available on-line through the University library, notably journals and e-books.

This is all designed to open up the learning space for students to enable them to access the degree 24/7, 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 by Politics and International Relations (PIR) staff. This is used to support teaching through the transferring of staff research skills and knowledge to enhance the student learning experience, i.e. the research is effectively fed back to students through teaching.

Staff research specialisms are an essential component of the International Relations curriculum, with students benefitting from being taught by specialists. Indeed, it is this that ensures that the degree reflects the contemporary nature of the subject, keeping pace with trends and developments, and meets the demands of employers.

In short, the degree aims to provide a combination of teaching methods and learning methods approaches designed to strengthen the employability of students in a range of occupations.

Course aims

The BA in International Relations is a cornerstone degree offered by PIR. It aims to provide students with a broad perspective on the political, economic, historical, and cultural aspects of international relations, combined with international political theory. Together, this is designed to enhance students’ abilities to understand the complex forces shaping modern global politics. In particular, the course aims to:

• place questions of international order and decision-making at the centre of analysis;
• ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in areas of International Relations theory and analysis;
• enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches and research methods and methodologies of the discipline and develop an understanding of its contested nature and the problematic character of International Relations inquiry;
• develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions;
• encourage students to relate the academic study of International Relations 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 Work-Based Learning 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 global politics whether matters of security and peacekeeping, conflict and competition between states, the key concerns of 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', terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, feminism, cyberspace, regional problems (such as the conflicts in the Middle East), or the salience of ethical issues such as 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;

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

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in International Relations, 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);

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 Otcomes 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)

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

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


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

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.

Modules required for interim awards

Please specify if there are any combinations of modules that a student is required to take to gain either the highest level of award or one of the interim awards listed in section 3.

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 year 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 their Academic Tutor, course and module tutors, Academic Mentor, or in peer-review situations, and to reflect and learn, resulting in the developing of further learning strategies.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Graduates progress to: government departments, including the diplomatic services, as well as organisations like the European Union and the United Nations; NGOs specialising in the aid, human rights and the environmental; research and teaching; journalism; and international business. Many of our students go on to be successful in postgraduate study, e.g. King’s College, London, Oxford University, and SOAS.

Career opportunities

Our successful graduates are working in the diplomatic services, as well as governmental organisations such as the European Union and the United Nations, and non-governmental organisations specialising in international development, overseas aid, human rights and environmental fields.

Students have also gained employment in research and teaching, international business, the media, and political campaigns. We currently have students working in a variety of overseas positions throughout the world.

Many of our students also go on to be successful in postgraduate study, both at master's and PhD level.

Entry requirements

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

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic or business subjects (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot 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.

These requirements may vary in individual cases.

We welcome applications from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or who have appropriate work experience.

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): 100%
Route code INTRLT

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
GI5065 Shifting Global Power in the 21st Century Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
GI5066 Strategy in the Contemporary World Core 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15        
MN5W50 Creating a Winning Business 1 Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT FRI AM
          NORTH AUT FRI PM
          NORTH AUT THU AM
          NORTH AUT THU PM
          NORTH AUT WED PM
          NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR FRI PM
          NORTH SPR FRI AM
GI5006 Diplomacy Old and New Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI5008 Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
GI5009 Political Theory Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
GI5060 American Foreign Policy Option 15        
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
GI5067 Contemporary US Politics Option 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
SS5006 Racism and Ethnicity Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI PM
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
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        
GI6002 Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
GI6007 Public Diplomacy and Global Communication Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI6009 The Politics of Modern States Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
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