International Politics / English Literature

Key Facts

Code LQF3
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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In choosing to study for a degree in International Politics and English Literature at Aberystwyth University you will be a part of an energetic and lively community in one of the best departments of its kind in the UK, graded ‘’excellent’’ for its quality of teaching. You will discuss power and justice as well as conflict and co-operation. International Politics is fundamentally an interdisciplinary subject that draws on several subjects, including Politics, History, Philosophy, Law, Geography, and Sociology making our graduates highly employable.

Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of International Politics (NSS 2016)
Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of English (NSS 2016)

Department of International Politics: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of International Politics who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Department of English and Creative Writing: 96% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of English and Creative Writing who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views


This joint honours BA in International Politics and English Literature offers you the remarkable chance to study literature and politics from the fourteenth century up to the present day. You will be exposed to great writers and their handling of narrative function, language and form, as well as considering the global political events and actors across the time periods.

As you progress, you will consider the political, cultural and historical influences on a text or canon, as well as considering the global political events of the age. You will study topics including ancestral voices, contemporary writing, democracy promotion, political Islam, reading theory and state-building in world affairs.

You may also tailor your course to suit your own interests by selecting modules from a diverse list, including The World of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; Contemporary Queer Literature; Social Movements and World Politics; Responding to Terror; and Warfare after Waterloo 1815 - 1918.

This course is hosted jointly by our vibrant Department of English and Creative Writing and the world-leading Department of International Politics. Many of the staff members of both departments are published in their respective fields and are actively engaged in research. They are available to advise and encourage you as you tackle your substantial undergraduate dissertation at the end of the course.

Why study International Politics and English Literature at Aberystwyth?

Founded in 1919 after the end of World War I, the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth is the world’s first university department of International Politics. The Department has over 30 academic and research staff, all of whom are research active and contribute ti the undergraduate teaching programme. The Department's vibrant and cosmopolitan learning environment welcomes students from all over the world, and provides a lively venue for contemporary and international political debate.

The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment, the Department of International Politics came out  best in Wales, and it found that 76% of publications were rated as world-leading and internationally excellent.

Our lecturers are committed to excellence in both teaching and research, providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment. Research excellence feeds directly into undergraduate teaching, so that you are exposed to the very latest and most innovative ideas in the field even before they have become generally available through publication. We firmly believe that the synergy between research and teaching makes for a thought-provoking education.

The International politics department operates a prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer. During this time you will write reports and speeches, undertake research projects, and respond to constituency issues. There may be further opportunities for you to get involved in elections and various international issues.

The Department also has links with carefully selected universities in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia, offering you an excellent opportunity to expand your academic and social horizons by spending a part of your university experience abroad.

The Department is also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team. student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops - even the opportunity to take part in UN peacekeeping courses - alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.

Finally, a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the Department.

Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues
Theorizing International Relations
Literary Modernisms
The Shapes Of Tragedy
Literature Since 1945
Nineteenth Century Literature
Place And Self
Contemporary Queer Fiction
Forms Of Children's Narrative Prose
Writing Women For The Public Stage, 1670-1780
Demons, Degenerates And New Women: Fin De Siecle Fictions
Shakespeare, Jonson And Company
Society,sexuality And Subversion In The Middle Ages
Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer
Capitalism And International Politics
Contemporary Latin America
European Politics
Intelligence And International Security
Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice
Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances
Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed
The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice
The League Of Nations
The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence
The Vietnam War
Total War, Total Peace
Wales And Devolution
Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918
Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy
Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics
America At War: A Military History Of The United States
Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800
Espionage Studies
Eu Simulation
Gender And Sexuality In Latin America
Global Economic Governance
Global Health And International Politics
Ideas And Practice In American Politics
International Politics And Non-western Worlds
Political Theory
Special Forces: Theory And Practice
The Cold War
The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001
Theorizing International Relations
War, Politics And Strategy

Modules delivered partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol
Cymru A Datganoli
Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol
Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth
Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol


Career Prospects

Your joint honours BA in International Politics and English Literature will prepare you for a broad range of employment and further training options. The literature component will help make you a strong candidate for opportunities in publishing and editing, journalism, marketing and communications, library work and teaching. The international politics component will prepare you for work as a civil service fast streamer, a government social research officer, a politician's staff worker, public affairs consultant and social researcher. The natural fusion of the two parts of this course point towards a career in political journalism.

Recent statistics from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) show that over 92% of English graduates and over 82% of Politics graduates find either paid employment or continue with further study upon graduation.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in International Politics and English Literature will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
• research skills

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Personal Development Plan

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Teaching & Learning

This course will be delivered through a programme of lectures and seminars designed to stimulate your academic interest in both literature and world politics, whilst nurturing your personal and intellectual development. The fusion of these two courses will hone your critical faculties, arm you with a number of methodological approaches to your subjects and encourage original thought.

As you study, you will be both challenged and inspired by our staff, who have created a vibrant culture of creativity and intellectual curiosity perfect for the study of literature and politics. 

You will be assessed through essays, exams, oral presentations and a substantial final dissertation. This extended project of 8000 words will allow you to conduct an exhaustive study of an area of particular interest and prepare you for postgraduate level study. You will also be required to complete additional assignments and work with others on particular tasks.

As you study, you will develop a range of skills which will benefit you in further study or any graduate workplace. You will learn to: employ multiple critical techniques when approaching texts; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; select the most relevant contextual details; and articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject.

Your personal tutor

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

Student Views

I love the International Politics course, because it's a subject that attracts a wide range of people both from around the UK and internationally, meaning you meet a wide range of people and opinions. The seminars allow for great discussion and learning, and the lectures themselves are interesting with just as interesting lecturers! Roxy Taylor

The Department of International Politics has provided me with a new-found understanding of the world through modules on issues surrounding concepts of globalisation to the lives of women in the Third World. With experts in so many fields it is great having such an approachable set of tutors. My three years here at Aberystwyth have been educational as well as enjoyable and I would recommend studying here to anyone. Hannah Mitchell

Great lecturers, great building, great people on the course! Matthew David Bold

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30 points overall with 6 points in English Literature at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
65% overall with 70% in specified subject

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