Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDIRPCST - BA International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
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

Explain how the course exemplifies the School/University strategy for learning, teaching and assessment? Please include details of access to learning resources and student support, that will support student achievement.

Reflect upon the rationale for the course and what makes it distinctive. Detail any distinctive philosophy. Consider how the course responds to market demand

The teaching and learning strategy of the BA International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies 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 successfully thrive in the workplace. To reflect the importance of learning languages, students may take up to 30 credits of a language at level 5 as extension-of-knowledge modules.

The BA International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies boasts many pedagogical innovations, such as active learning and practical exercises in the classroom, as well as utilising more traditional teaching methods. The programme is practically oriented, with opportunities for students to learn from and engage with practitioners and to experience the nature of conflict resolution through simulations and role-play exercises.

The more traditional approaches include a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops, within which 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 widespread use of blended learning. Most 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 and blogs. A growing number of materials are also available online through the university library, including access to journals and ebooks.

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.

At the heart of the course is an inclusive curriculum which seeks to relate to, and interact with, the diverse experiences and knowledge-bases of its students. It does this by, for example, examining multiples views of the subjects taught, exploring the differential impact of issues on different socio-cultural groups, making material as accessible as possible, offering a wide variety of assessment types, and incorporating student choice and personalization in assessments.

An additional, and important part of the teaching and learning strategy, is the academic research which is conducted by staff in the Politics and International Relations subject group. This is used to support teaching through the transferring of staff research skills and knowledge to enhance the student learning experience, as the students gain the benefits of staff expertise and the staff gain a better appreciation of their research projects through discussing them with students.

Course aims

The degree aims to provide students with a broad perspective on the theoretical, historical, political and economic aspects of international relations, peace and conflict to enhance their ability to understand the complex forces shaping the contemporary world. In particular, the course aims to:

• Place questions of international order, decision-making, contemporary conflict and its resolution at the centre of analysis
• Ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in the areas of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies theory and analysis
• Enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches, key research methods and methodologies of the discipline and develop an understanding of its contested nature and the problematic character of both International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies
• Develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions
• Encourage students to relate the academic study of International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies 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 level 6 work placement option
• Provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of academic inquiry and debate
• Provide an inclusive curriculum that offers equal opportunities to all students

Accordingly, the syllabus seeks to assist students’ understanding of the key issues of global politics whether matters of conflict in the contemporary world, security and peacekeeping, cooperation 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' or 'Third World', terrorism, regional problems like the conflicts in the Middle East, or the salience of ethical issues like environmentalism, democratisation and human rights.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

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

1. Deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies

2. Devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies

3. Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies, 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, Peace and Conflict Studies)

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 Outcones cover LO1-9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Politics and International Relations (2015)

Assessment strategy

In describing the assessment strategy, describe how:
• Assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice, and subject-specific and educational scholarship.
• Staff and students engage in dialogue to promote a shared understanding of the basis on which academic judgements are made.
• 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 enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.
• Formative assessment supports students in developing for summative assessment
• Feedback on assessment is timely, constructive and developmental.
• Processes for marking assessments and for moderating marks are clearly articulated and consistently operated by those involved in the assessment process.

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, case studies, blogs, policy documents and book reviews. The majority will be tutor assessed, but a number will be peer-reviewed in seminars. Prompt feedback will be provided for all assessment, electronically via Weblearn, in-class, or individually with tutors.

The strategy is designed to maximise the development of subject specific skills and employability skills appropriate to each level of the degree, and to meet the needs of the inclusive curriculum.

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

Employability and work experience are central to the course. All modules have employability embedded within them (see each module specification for further details.) At Levels 5 and 6 there are core work-placement modules designed to introduce students to the world of work and develop employability skills.

In terms of study abroad opportunities, students on this programme can apply to attend the Hiroshima and Peace summer school at Hiroshima City University, Japan in late July to early August each year. A study-abroad semester (or, in exceptional circumstances, year) 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 subject group has Socrates exchange links with a number of European universities, including Bologna, Bordeaux, Istanbul, Madrid and Stockholm. It is also possible to study in the United States, where the university has exchange links with a number of universities, such as the State University of New York, City University New York, East Carolina, Roosevelt University (Chicago) and a number of colleges in the University of California state system. 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.

See para 22 Students must select one of the following core pathways:

a) GI5W50 or MN5W51 or MN6W51 and either GI6P01 or GI6P51
b) GI6W01

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 tutors 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 enter non-governmental organisations, national diplomatic services, as well as international organisations like the European Union and the United Nations, the media, research and teaching, and international business. Many of our students go on to be successful in postgraduate study.

Career opportunities

Pursue the career of your dreams and follow in the footsteps of our previous graduates who have earned roles with the United Nations, the Department for International Development and other government bodies and non-governmental organisations. The type of work you could be doing includes international mediation, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and more.

The degree is also excellent preparation for further study or research. You can embark on our postgraduate courses in international relations, human rights and international conflict, security studies and more.

Entry requirements

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

  • a minimum grade C 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 from 2017) 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 with Politics Extended degree.

These requirements may be varied in individual cases.

Applications are welcome 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): 50% , L200 (Politics): 50%
Route code IRPCST

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        
GI5008 Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice Core 30        
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 PM
GI5006 Diplomacy Old and New Option 30        
GI5062 Media and Culture 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 WED AM
GI5065 Shifting Global Power in the 21st Century Option 15        
GI5066 Strategy in the Contemporary World Option 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  
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
GI6002 Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
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 MON PM
MN6W50 Creating a Winning Business 2 Alt Core 15        
GI6005 International Security in an Era of Globalisation Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
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        
SS6054 Human Rights and Conflict Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA