Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDINTRFY - BA (Hons) International Relations (including foundation year)

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, Preparatory Diploma, Preparatory Certificate
Total credits for course 480
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
Part-time 6 YEARS 8 YEARS
Full-time 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader  

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

The preparatory year (Level Three) of the four-year extended degree programme helps prepare students with non-traditional qualifications, lower UCAS points and mature students wanting to return to education, for Level Four study at undergraduate level. It teaches students the academic study skills, digital skills, research techniques and critical thinking that they will need for undergraduate study as well as introducing them to basic ideas, approaches and themes in Social Sciences and their pathway choice. As such, it will introduce students to key themes which will enable them to see the wider context of the subject area and the links between different academic disciplines. The foundation year also aims to develop their independent learning, supporting them to become confident and proactive students, able to operate effectively at undergraduate level within a large university.

From Level Four, 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 out 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.

At the end of Level Four, students will be able to choose from a variety of progression routes, including: BA International Relations and Politics; BA International Relations and Languages; BA International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies; and BA Diplomacy and International Relations.

Course aims

The preparatory year (Level Three) aims to support and prepare students to become "undergraduate ready". This will be done by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and understanding in social sciences and their pathway choice (International Relations), the key digital and academic skills in order to communicate their ideas effectively (orally and in writing), using an appropriate academic style, that will allow them to progress onto Level Four. It also aims to develop their understanding of different assessments and learning and teaching styles in HE and to build their confidence by experiencing and understanding theories and knowledge through personalisation and reflective learning techniques.

From Level Four onwards, the course 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:

1. place questions of international order and decision-making at the centre of analysis;

2. ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in areas of International Relations theory and analysis;

3. 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;

4. develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions;

5. encourage students to relate the academic study of International Relations to questions of public concern;

6. 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;

7. 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, contemporary strategy, 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, the students will be able to:

1. deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Social Science;

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 Outcomes covers 1-9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Politics and International Relations February 2015

Assessment strategy

At Level Three, students will be thoroughly prepared for a range of different assessments to give practice in the types of assessments they will face at higher levels. Examples include research reports, in-class tests, written portfolios, individual oral presentations, group-led seminars, literature reviews and essays. These assessments are spread over eight 15 credit modules which allows for early assessment and feedback, giving students a clear sense of progress.

At Level Three, students have opportunities in all modules for formative feedback via draft submissions and one to one tutorials, which focuses on strategies to improve their work and reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. Further formative feedback is received through regular short in-class and on-line tests, peer assessment and discussions and tutor oral and written responses.

From Level Four onwards, 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


MN5W50 (Level 5)
Creating a Winning Business 1
15 credits (autumn or spring)

MN6W50 (Level 6)
Creating a Winning Business 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 subject group 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.

Course specific regulations


Modules required for interim awards

A Preparatory Certificate may be awarded on completion of any modules totalling 60 credits and a Preparatory Diploma on completion of 120 credits.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Throughout Level Three students will be required to reflect on their learning, identify areas of strength and weakness and develop action plans in response to these reflections. This will occur informally through tutor and peer feedback and also formally through reflective writing as part of the assessments and the written and oral response from tutors to this. We expect that through this experience of reflective learning, students will start to understand the value of being proactive, independent learners, ready for their first year of undergraduate study.

This support is continued from Level Four onwards, with every module on the course having 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 developing of further learning strategies.

Other external links providing expertise and experience


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, Cambridge University, and SOAS.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have progressed into careers within international relations, politics and related disciplines. They now work for companies including Muslim Aid, the American Cultural and Educational Centre of Bahrain, the UK Department for International Development and the United Nations.

The course is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study should you go on to study any of our international relations or politics courses at a higher level.

Entry requirements

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

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent)

If you are a mature student with significant work experience, you are invited to apply for this course on the basis of the knowledge and skills you have developed through your work.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 05 Aug 2019 Last validation date 05 Aug 2019  
JACS codes
Route code INTRFY

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 03 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
IF3050 Critical Thinking Core 15 NORTH AUT MULT  
          NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3051 Studying London Core 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
IF3058 Reflecting on Self and Society Core 15 NORTH AUT MULT  
          NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3059 Social Issues in Context: Text to Essay Core 15 NORTH SUM MULT  
          NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3060 Researching Discrimination Core 15 NORTH AUT MULT  
          NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3061 Researching Inequality Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
          NORTH SUM MULT  
IF3063 Media, Crime and 'Race' Core 15 NORTH AUT MULT  
          NORTH SUM MULT  
IF3073 Interventions for Change Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
          NORTH SUM MULT  

Stage 1 Level 03 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
IF3050 Critical Thinking Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3051 Studying London Core 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
IF3058 Reflecting on Self and Society Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3059 Social Issues in Context: Text to Essay Core 15 NORTH SUM MULT  
          NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3060 Researching Discrimination Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
IF3061 Researching Inequality Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
          NORTH SUM MULT  
IF3063 Media, Crime and 'Race' Core 15 NORTH SUM MULT  
IF3073 Interventions for Change Core 15 NORTH SPR MULT  
          NORTH SUM MULT  

Stage 2 Level 04 October start Offered

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

Stage 3 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 NORTH SPR MON AM
MN5W50 Creating a Winning Business 1 Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT WED PM
          NORTH AUT THU PM
          NORTH AUT THU AM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR THU 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
GI5050 Immigrants and Nativists Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
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 MON 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    
          NORTH AUT    

Stage 4 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 NORTH SPR MON AM
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 NORTH AUT THU AM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
          NORTH AUT THU PM
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 AM
GI6067 Human Rights and International Conflict Option 15        
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT