International Politics is about how we tackle global challenges. World politics stands at a fascinating but difficult historical juncture, one that as political beings, we all need to understand, explain and, in part shape. With the relative decline of the ‘West’, the emergence of new powers and actors, and the increasingly complex and intertwined nature of local, national, regional, international and global problems, ‘international politics’ is entering a new era.
The degree in International Politics with integrated Foundation Year offers students the opportunity to study the concepts, practices, policies, histories and regions that make up international politics as a discipline and to explore the ways in which, all these factors are undergoing a radical transformation in the twenty-first century.
The integrated foundation year - designed for prospective students who do not have a sufficient or relevant academic background - is the perfect option to access this highly-sort scheme. In the Foundation Year, you will be brought up to speed on the fundamentals of International Politics, providing a solid base for you to go on and enjoy the full undergraduate degree.
Student Satisfaction and Employability Results
Top 10 in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Experience for the subject of Politics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)
91% overall satisfaction for the subject of Politics; 85% for the sector. (NSS 2019)
94% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months after graduating. (HESA 2018*)
Following the foundation year, the syllabus of this course is identical to its sister course [International Politics, L241].
Why study International Politics at Aberystwyth?
- Our department is ranked in the top 40 in the world for academic reputation (QS, 2017);
- You will be taught in the world’s first department of international politics, founded in 1919 after the end of World War I to help the world understand the world;
- You will be guided and mentored by lecturers who are enthusiastic and committed to providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment;
- During the duration of your course, will have the opportunity to participate in our renowned ‘Crisis Games’; a three-day role-playing exercise in political, economic and diplomatic manoeuvre, developing negotiation and communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving skills;
- 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 also has an International Student Exchange Programme based on close 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. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball;
- Last, but not least, the Department also offers a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Check out the module tab for further information.
Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.
Employability is embedded within all courses provided by us. Our degrees provide a solid foundation for a vast array of careers across a range of sectors. In a rapidly shifting global economy, our graduates are adaptable and able to draw on a range of transferable skills, ensuring that they are always in demand.
The skill sets include:
- Effective problem solving and creative thinking skills;
- Information technology skills;
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
- Time-management, organisational skills;
- Communication skills both written and oral;
- Self-motivation and self-reliance.
What opportunities are there for me after I complete my degree?
Here is an example of what some of our graduates are doing:
Roles in the development sector, local and national politics, the Civil Service, Government research, Social researcher, roles in the third sector such as with NGOs, work with international organisations, journalism.
What opportunities are there for me whilst studying at University?
Employability is embedded across our teaching. We teach our students to aim for the career they want, not the job that they can get.
- 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. Stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.
What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying?
Find out about the various opportunities that our Careers Service offers.
Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and Year in Employment Scheme managed by our Careers Service.
Teaching & Learning
What will I learn?
The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the four-year degree scheme.
In the first foundation year, you will be introduced to core components of International Politics.
In your second year you will have the opportunity to explore:
- A range of perspectives and approaches to the study of international politics;
- The development and progress of international relations during the twentieth century;
- The different methodologies to analyse topical issues in international and domestic politics;
- Political theory & key political issues;
- Contemporary political problems and how they are portrayed;
- Key issues in the fields of War, Strategy and Intelligence.
In your third and fourth years, you will have the opportunity to study issues such as:
- Theories, approaches and perspectives in international relations;
- A range of challenges facing the international system, such as globalisation, international security, the environment, inequality, global health, conflict and post-conflict environments;
- A variety of regional and national politics including Latin American, Russia, Europe and the EU, the BRICS, the Middle East, the UK;
- International 20th century history and Cold War;
- A compulsory dissertation to demonstrate your substantive knowledge in your chosen subject area.
How will I be taught?
We deliver this degree through the medium of lectures and seminars.
We will assign you a personal tutor who will be with you throughout your degree, this person will help you any problems whether these are academic-related or personal issues.
We assess our students through essays, reports, examinations, book reviews, learning logs and presentations.
We encourage our students to take part in the Crisis Games, which is a yearly residential event away from Aberystwyth. Crisis games have been based on humanitarian crises, the Northern Ireland peace process, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the US presidential election, environmental disaster in the Arctic, the war between Russia and Georgia. The Crisis Games will allow you to learn about aspects of international politics which cannot be taught in lectures and seminars, especially the constraints which political leaders face in responding to various crises. This is no doubt, the highlight of the year.
Typical Entry Requirements
GCSE requirements (grade C min):
BTEC National Diploma:
The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org