International Politics and Intelligence Studies

Key Facts

Code L250
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB with B in any subject

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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International Politics and Intelligence Studies explores the secret world of ‘cloak and dagger’. Questions about intelligence - its collection, use, and influence – are central to international politics, security and strategy. This degree is not only concerned with the history of intelligence and its contemporary uses, but also the efficacy and morality of ‘covert operations’ and the legitimacy and accountability of intelligence gathering and use. If you are interested to learn how spies and code-breakers discover what enemies (and sometimes friends) don’t want them to know, and have the ability to scrutinise how knowledge of threats is acquired, analysed and used, or discover how intelligence is central to fighting terrorism and combating the spread of nuclear weapons, then our degree at Aberystwyth University is for you. 

Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of International Politics (NSS 2016)
91% student satisfaction on our International Politics and Intelligence studies degree scheme (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
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views


Why study International Politics and Intelligence Studies at Aberystwyth?

  • Our department is ranked in the top 40 in the world for academic reputation. (QS, 2017).
  • 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.
  • A UK top ten Department, and best in Wales, for student satisfaction (NSS 2016) and research excellence (REF 2014).
  • Taught by lecturers who are enthusiastic, committed in providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment.
  • Opportunity to take part in our prestigious Parliamentary Placement scheme alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff).
  • Participate in our renowned ‘Crisis Games’; a three day role playing exercise in political, economic and diplomatic manoeuvre, developing negotiation and communication, critical thinking, team work, and problem-solving skills.  
  • Contribute to the oldest student–run international Politics journal in the UK ‘Interstate' which is based within 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.


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.



* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


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? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you will have the opportunity to explore:

  • A range of perspectives and approaches to the study of international politics, including alternative ways of ‘making sense’ of politics and 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 ideas
  • Contemporary political problems and how they are portrayed
  • Key issues facing the Social World

In your second and third year you will opportunity to study:  

  • Key concepts and issues in International Politics and Global Development
  • Issues surrounding global inequalities, globalisation, and international political economy
  • Regional politics such as in Latin America, the Middle East and the so called BRICs
  • Key issues such as  gender, sexuality, poverty, race and religion in global and regional politics
  • And undertake a compulsory dissertation in the final year 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 twice-yearly residential course away from Aberystwyth. Crisis games have been based on humanitarian crises, the Northern Ireland peace process, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the US presidential election, an artic environmental disaster, 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. 

Student Views

The work we do covers a wide and interesting range of topics, whilst probing into the heart of controversial events in current affairs. We have the best building and facilities on campus to work in, and our seminars always result in stimulating discussions which open the mind to perspectives new and old from across the globe. Our department also organises brilliant activities both as part of modules and as extra-curricular events, from tours of the Welsh Assembly with talks from high-ranking civil servants to international exchange programmes and realistic crisis games! Edward Silva

What I love about this course is that we are able to analyse and compare different forms and types of politics, some which may never have been given the light of day beforehand. In this course, there are not only highly interesting lectures but also very engaging seminars. Before coming to Aberystwyth, Politics was an interest of mine but now having been through one semester in this course it has become my passion. This course is perfect for those, who like me, are curious about the workings of politics around the world. Ryan Hunter

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB with B in any subject

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

UCAS Tariff:
114 - 120

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30 points overall

European Baccalaureate:
70-75% overall

Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary. For further information, please contact

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