BA International Politics (Major)

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

BA International Politics students comparing notes

In choosing to study for a degree in International Politics (Major) 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. Simply put, the degree in International Politics (L240) explores who gets what on a global scale, how they get it, and why. 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)

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)

Overview

This BA in International Politics (Major) is an innovative course in which you will develop a comprehensive understanding of global politics alongside the study of another subject. You will spend two-thirds of your time on the key debates and theories of politics in the global age, and one-third of your time on another subject of your choice.

One central advantage of a major/minor scheme such as this one is the fascinating way you can tailor your study, both in the politics options modules and in your minor subject.

Depending on your module choices, your international political study may include Revolution and Continuity in Political Philosophy; Power and Equality in the Third World; and Politics in Europe. In your final year you may tackle modules such as The Cold War and Intelligence and International Security. The content of the minor component of your degree programme will depend on the discipline and department which you choose.

Why study International Politics 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, and it remains one of the largest departments of politics and international relations in Europe with over 30 academic staff. Its 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), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales with 76% of publications submitted 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 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 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. 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. 

Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops. 

The Department also offers 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.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

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.

Year 1 Options All students MUST take the Department's core module Exploring the International 1 and 2 (40 credits over both semesters)

Semester 1

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 1 GW12420

Exploring The International 1 IP12420

Semester 2

Cyflwyniad I Wleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol 2 GW12520

Exploring The International 2 IP12520

Year 1 Options Single and Major Honours students must take the following module

Semester 1

Y Tu ôl I'r Penawdau GW12620

Behind The Headlines IP12620

Year 1 Options Part One students may take the following optional modules

Semester 1

The Making Of The Modern World: International History Since 1789 IP12820

Understanding The Social World SA10120

Semester 2

War, Strategy And Intelligence IP10320

Approaching The Political IP10820

Year 1 Options Student wishing to study modules through the medium of Welsh can take the following:

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

Y Tu ôl I'r Penawdau GW12620

Creu'r Byd Modern: Hanes Ryngwladol Ers 1789 GW12820

Concwest, Uno A Hunaniaeth Yng Nghymru 1250-1800 HC11120

Cymru A'r Byd: Cysylltiadau A Dylanwadau 1860 - 2000 HC11520

Semester 2

Pobl A Lle DA10110

Newid Hinsawdd DA10810

Rhyfel Strategaeth A Chuddwybodaeth GW10320

Defnyddio Syniadau Gwleidyddol GW11220

Argyfwng, Gwrthryfel A Ffydd Yn Ewrop C.1000-1540 HA10820

Year 2 Options Student must take the following Degree Scheme Core Module (IP30120 or GW30120) in International Politics before being eligible for graduation.

Semester 2

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

Available both years Options Students must take 160 credits of the 240 credits (including the core module) at Part Two (year 2 & Final year) in the Department of International Politics and 80 credits in their minor department.

Semester 1

Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol GQ30920

Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed GQ33420

Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer GQ33720

Cymru A Datganoli GW35020

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol GW35620

The Vietnam War IP31920

Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances IP33320

European Politics IP33820

The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice IP34320

Wales And Devolution IP35020

Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918 IP35320

Intelligence And International Security IP35620

The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence IP36020

Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy IP36520

Contemporary Latin America IP38720

The League Of Nations IQ32420

Capitalism And International Politics IQ32820

Total War, Total Peace IQ33420

Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice IQ33720

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol GW39220

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

War, Politics And Strategy IP30320

Special Forces: Theory And Practice IP31520

The Cold War IP32020

Political Theory IP32220

Eu Simulation IP34020

Ideas And Practice In American Politics IP34420

The Cuban Missile Crisis IP35520

America At War: A Military History Of The United States IP36920

Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800 IP38820

International Politics And Non-western Worlds IP39220

Global Economic Governance IQ30820

Espionage Studies IQ31320

Global Health And International Politics IQ32020

Gender And Sexuality In Latin America IQ32320

The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001 IQ32620

Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics IQ33620

Final Year Options Students in their Final Year MUST take the core Dissertation module GW/IP30040 which runs over Semesters One and Two.

Semester 1

Dulliau Ymchwil + Traethawd Estynedig GW30000

Dissertation IP30000

Semester 2

Dulliau Ymchwil + Traethawd Estynedig GW30040

Dissertation IP30040

Available both years Options Students must take 160 credits of the 240 credits (including the core module) at Part Two (year 2 & Final year) in the Department of International Politics and 80 credits in their minor department.

Semester 1

Y Meddwl Cymreig Mewn Syniadaeth Ryngwladol GQ30920

Rhyfel Diarbed, Heddwch Diarbed GQ33420

Amlddiwylliannedd Mewn Polisi Ac Ymarfer GQ33720

Cymru A Datganoli GW35020

Cudd-wybodaeth A Diogelwch Rhyngwladol GW35620

The Vietnam War IP31920

Nato: The Making And Breaking Of Alliances IP33320

European Politics IP33820

The Ethics Of War In Theory And Practice IP34320

Wales And Devolution IP35020

Warfare After Waterloo: Military History 1815 - 1918 IP35320

Intelligence And International Security IP35620

The Past And Present Of Us Intelligence IP36020

Warfare In The 20th Century:technology And Strategy IP36520

Contemporary Latin America IP38720

The League Of Nations IQ32420

Capitalism And International Politics IQ32820

Total War, Total Peace IQ33420

Multiculturalism In Policy And Practice IQ33720

Semester 2

Damcaniaethau Gwleidyddiaeth GW32220

Gwleidyddiaeth Ryngwladol A Bydoedd Anorllewinol GW39220

Theorizing International Relations IP30120

War, Politics And Strategy IP30320

Special Forces: Theory And Practice IP31520

The Cold War IP32020

Political Theory IP32220

Eu Simulation IP34020

Ideas And Practice In American Politics IP34420

The Cuban Missile Crisis IP35520

America At War: A Military History Of The United States IP36920

Britain And Ireland In War And Peace Since 1800 IP38820

International Politics And Non-western Worlds IP39220

Global Economic Governance IQ30820

Espionage Studies IQ31320

Global Health And International Politics IQ32020

Gender And Sexuality In Latin America IQ32320

The Diplomacy Of Decline: Britain & World Politics 1851-2001 IQ32620

Aesthetics, Image And Narrative In Global Politics IQ33620

Employability

Career Prospects

Your major/minor honours degree will make you a strong candidate for opportunities in International Politics and whichever field you enter with the minor component of your degree. Your political training will make you suitable for work as a public affairs consultant (lobbyist), politician's assistant, government social research officer, social researcher or civil service fast streamer. Your skills would also be useful in the Diplomatic Service, local government, the charitable sector or in journalism as a political specialist.

Throughout your degree you will develop a wealth of core and other skills that can be easily transferred into almost any graduate or professional employment situation. For instance, you will learn to critically appraise historic political decision-making in case studies and apply the lessons in scenarios and papers. This sort of analysis and application of learning will equip you for any job in the political arena or in generic graduate employment.

Transferable Skills 

Studying for a degree in International Politics 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 and Assessment

The politics component of this course will be delivered through lectures, seminars and lively tutorials. You will also be encouraged to attend as many conferences that the Department of International Politics (and its affiliates) puts on.

As you gain political knowledge, you will develop a valuable collection of study skills. In tackling each module, you will need to learn to assimilate demanding topics quickly and accurately, and you will learn how to analyse and respond to political strategy and debate persuasively in written and oral forms.

You will be assessed through exams, written and oral presentations, group work and an extended dissertation. Depending upon the minor subject you choose, you may be assessed in other ways, such as field- and laboratory-based work. You will also be required to complete additional assignments throughout each term and to strict deadlines. In all these areas you will need self-discipline, academic rigour and an open mind to succeed. To help in this, you will also have access to a personal tutor throughout your degree scheme who will meet with you regularly and handle your queries.

The lectures, seminars and the Department's supportive staff will only take you so far in your political training. You must assume responsibility for your learning and engage fully with your major/minor degree. You must also take advantage of the many opportunities within the departments to develop your academic rigour and professionalism so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.

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

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

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

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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