University of Leeds logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 9k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 12.9k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

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    BA International Relations explores how states interact.

    This course aims to give you a historical understanding of how the 'society of states' has evolved, and how it may be changing today. You will examine the way states behave and what obligations they may have to wider conceptions of international society.

    You will explore the political dynamics that influence interstate cooperation, and assess the specific role that international organisations, such as the United Nations, play in promoting international peace and security. You also have the option to study terrorism, strategic studies, international political economy and conflict in the Middle East.

    BA in International Relations is a successful and established degree programme that has been running for many years. A dedicated team of experts in the field of international relations teach the course and use their highly specialised and general knowledge of the international system to provide a thorough grounding in the one of the most important areas of political life.

    In the first year, you study international politics, international relations, international history and globalisation.

    In the second year, you explore international organisations and world order, security studies and examine the theoretical tools of foreign policy.

    In the third year, you produce a dissertation on an International Relations subject of your choice, and choose specialist modules that focus on politics and political theory.

    It is also possible to study this programme through a part-time route, the programme content is the same but you will study at a lesser intensity.

    Do you want to ...

    • understand UN responses to mass violence in Libya, Syria and the DRC?
    • analyse the rise of China in relation to the potential decline of the United States?
    • develop a regional expertise in the EU, the Middle East, and South-East Asia?
    • understand contemporary trends in terrorism at the local, national and international level?
    • investigate competing theoretical views including Feminism, Liberalism, Realism and Marxism?

    If you do, then choose BA International Relations.

    Detailed Course Facts

    Tuition fee
    • GBP 9000 Year (EEA)
    • GBP 12900 Year (Non-EEA)

    UK/EU student fees
    £9,000 per year full-time.

    International student fees
    £12,900 per year full-time.

    Start date September 2015 Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
    • English
    Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Part-time, Full-time Intensity Flexible

    Course Content

    Year One

    Year one introduces you to key concepts and debates within politics.

    Compulsory modules

    • Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introducation to Political Ideas is an introduction to political theory and an invitation for you to subject your own political views to critical examination, to work out what you think and why you think it.
    • International Politics introduces you to the complex changes currently underway in the international system and their political implications across the globe. We discuss the main ideas, concepts and philosophies that inform the contemporary world order.
    • Making of the Modern World examines the current divide between the global North and South, and considers the impact of colonialism, capitalist industrialisation and the slave trade upon the contemporary situation. You will analyse the history of resistance to colonial rule, the attraction of socialism to post-independent governments, and examine the legacies of colonial rule across the Americas, Africa and Asia.
    • Comparative Politics involves the systematic study and comparison of political systems. In this module you will examine the political systems of 3 different nations from across the globe, focusing on their respective political histories, political economies, party systems, social movements and foreign policies.
    • Studying and Researching in POLIS is a five credit, supernumeracy skills module.

    You will also take one or two optional modules from the following.

    • British Politics
    • Global Development Challenges

    Discovery modules

    You may select discovery modules to make up the credit blance for the year. Discovery modules allow you to study modules that may be taught outside your subject or home school.

    Year Two

    In Year two, you have more flexibility in your study and can direct your degree towards the areas that interest you most.

    Compulsory modules

    Security Studies provides an introduction to the debates on security in international relations, examining the concept, role and making of security in the contemporary international system. It outlines the main theoretical approaches and conceptualizations used in security studies and analyses a selection of important challenges that have been framed as security threats.

    Theories of International Relations offers students advanced training in International Relations Theory (IR) by critically analysing rival theories. As part of which, students will develop critical thinking through assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

    Approaches to Analysis introduces students to the ways in which research is conducted in the social sciences, with particular emphasis on approaches commonly used in the fields of politics, international development and international relations. Students will engage with key methodologies, theoretical frameworks and methods used in practical research.

    Optional modules

    You will then select two or three optional modules from:

    • British Central Government
    • Politics and Policy in the EU
    • United States Politics
    • Comparative Politics of Pacific Asia
    • Politics of Contemporary China
    • State and Politics in Africa

    Plus you must then take one module from:

    • The Conservative Party from Churchill to Cameron
    • Spin Doctors and Electioneering
    • Developmental Approaches
    • North-South Linkages
    • Revolution and Reaction: Political Problems in the 20th Century
    • Justice, Community and Conflict
    • Comparative Public Policy
    • Beliefs and Attitudes in Politics
    • Political Problems in the 20th Century
    • Career Planning for POLIS Students

    Discovery modules

    You may select a number of discovery modules to make up your credit balance for the year. Discovery modules allow you to study modules that may be taught outside your subject or home school.

    Year Three

    Compulsory module

    The only compulsory module in Year three is your Dissertation. This is a piece of written work of 12,000 words, and can be researched on a topic of your own choice. It is designed to allow you to produce an extended piece of written work on a topic of special interest to you.

    Optional modules

    You will be required to take two - four modules from:

    • British Foreign Policy
    • Europe in the World
    • Israel: Politics and Society
    • American Foriegn Policy
    • Politics of Islamism
    • The Responsibiltiy to Protect and to Prosecute
    • Crisis Diplomacy: Coercion, Sanctions and the Use of Force in International Relations
    • Dirty War: Insurgency, the State and Cities
    • Terrorism: Concepts, Debates, Cases
    • Analysing Data in Politics
    • Development and International Relations

    You will be required to study up to two modules from:

    • Elections and Voters
    • British Political Parties
    • Prime Ministers and British Politics
    • The End of British Politics?
    • Land, Fuel and Agriculture
    • The Politics of Aid
    • Gender and Violence
    • Violence and Reconciliation in Africa
    • Extreme Right Parties in Contemporary Europe
    • Britain and the EU
    • Exploring Political Theory
    • Political Psychology
    • Feminist Challenges to Political Theory
    • Culture and Community: Theoretical Perspectives
    • Machiavelli and the Making of Modernity
    • Video Games: Politics, Society and Culture

    Discovery modules

    You can then take a discovery module if necessary to make up the balance. Discovery modules allow you to study modules that may be taught outside your subject or home school.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    English Language Requirements

    IELTS band : 6.5 CAE score : 60(Grade C) TOEFL iBT® test : 92

    To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

    take an IELTS test. More About IELTS


    Our standard entry requirements are three A levels, or two A levels and two AS levels.

    In general, prospective applicants for our degree courses will be in the process of studying two 'traditional' academic subjects for A level, with a third in any other subject.

    We do not require A level Politics for any of our degrees, and we design our first year modules for students both with and without previous knowledge of Politics.

    We accept General Studies as an A level for all of our programmes except BA Economics and Politics, and we welcome applications that include vocational A level subjects: for example, AVCE (single or double awards). Any combination of A levels or AVCE is acceptable.

    Current academic requirements

    • BA International Development: ABB.
    • BA International Relations: AAB.
    • BA Politics: AAB.
    • BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies: AAB, including interview.
    • BA Economics and Politics: AAB, plus A in GCSE Mathematics. Excludes General Studies.
    Language requirements

    If English is not your first language, we require evidence of English language ability in reading, writing and speaking. If you do not hold an English language equivalent to UK GCSE standard, then you should hold one of the following qualifications.

    • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component.
    • TOEFL (internet-based test): 92 with not less than 21 in listening, 21 in reading, 23 in speaking and 22 in writing.

    Work Experience

    No work experience is required.

    Related Scholarships*

    • Academic Excellence Scholarship

      "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

    • Access Bursary

      Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

    • Alumni Bursary

      Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

    * The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Leeds.

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