BA

International Relations

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

International politics is entering a turbulent and fascinating era. The global order is being reshaped both by the emergence of new powers and by the increasing complexity of politics at the local, national, regional, international and global levels.

In studying International Relations at Aberystwyth University, you will engage in debates about the key issues and most significant challenges in international politics in the 21st century. You will study the concepts, practices, policies, histories and regions that are central to international politics as a discipline and explore the ways in which all these factors are undergoing radical transformation.

Course Overview

Why study International Relations at Aberystwyth?

  • 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 people to understand the world.
  • You will be guided and mentored by lecturers who are enthusiastic, committed in providing you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment.
  • During the duration of your course, you 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, team work, and problem-solving skills.
  • We operate 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.
  • We also run 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.
  • We are 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, we offer a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Check out the module tab for further information.
Our Staff

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

Modules September start - 2024

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.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
International Relations: Perspectives and Debates IP20120 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Britain and Ireland in War and Peace since 1800 IP28820 20
Britain and World Politics from Global Empire to Brexit: The Diplomacy of Decline IQ22620 20
China From the Opium War to the Present IP29820 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP20720 20
Economic Diplomacy and Leadership IQ24320 20
European Security in 21st Century IP23620 20
Gender, Conflict and Security IP26720 20
Global Politics and the Refugee Regime IQ25520 20
International Politics and Global Development IP29220 20
International Politics and the Nuclear Age IP20420 20
Knowing about Violent Conflict in International Politics IQ24420 20
Middle Powers in the Global Political Economy IQ27120 20
Nationalism in Theory and Practice IP29920 20
People and Power: Understanding Comparative Politics Today IQ23920 20
Race in Global Politics IQ20020 20
Refugee Simulation IQ25620 20
Russian Security in the 21st Century IP21820 20
Strategy, Intelligence and Security in International Politics IQ25120 20
The Arab-Israeli Wars IP21320 20
The British Army's Image in Battle, from the Crimean to the Present IQ20920 20
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module IP22320 20
The Long Shadow of the Second World War IP22720 20
The Past and Present US Intelligence IP26020 20
The Politics and Paradoxes of International Organisations IQ26020 20
UK Politics Today: A Union Under Strain? IQ23820 20
Warfare after Waterloo: Military History 1815-1918 IP25320 20
Women and Global Development IP29620 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Careers

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
  • the 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?

Our graduates have found work in the following areas:

  • development sector
  • local and national politics
  • the Civil Service
  • Government research
  • social research
  • the third sector, eg NGOs
  • 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.

  • We operate 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.
  • We are 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
  • 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 and key political issues
  • contemporary political problems and how they are portrayed
  • key issues in the fields of War, Strategy and Intelligence.

In your second and third 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 twentieth 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, 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 Testimonials

I love the International Relations course, because it's a subject that attracts a wide range of people from around the UK and internationally, meaning you encounter 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 and 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

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-MMM

International Baccalaureate:
30-26

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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