BA

International Relations and Military History

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The BA International Relations and Military History with integrated Foundation Year in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University enables you to study warfare as it has developed since the time of Napoleon, reflecting changes in society and technology. You will consider how and why the nature of war has changed, from nations in arms through the age of total war to wars of choice, and how technology has changed war, from steam through nuclear power to computers and nano-technology.

You will have the opportunity to engage with key debates about the changing character of war and its impact on civilian populations, as well as on the variety of ways that scholars interpret military history. You will analyse militaries and military operations from a variety of perspectives, such as the role of leadership, the significance of strategic thought and the lessons that can be learned from battles and wars. You will also reflect on the relationship of wars and militaries with political institutions, economic issues and ideologies such as nationalism.

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 sought-after scheme. In the Foundation Year, you will develop academic skills that will prepare you for the full scheme from the second year onwards.

Course Overview

Why study International Relations and Military History at Aberystwyth University?

  • You will become a student 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;
  • All students 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;
  • 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 also offer a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. See our 'Studying through the medium of Welsh' page 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 - 2023

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
Academic Skills Foundation 1 IC07620 20
Academic Skills Foundation 2 IC07720 20
Foundation - Dialogue GS00120 20
Foundation in Liberal Arts GS00220 20
Information in a Post-Truth World GS01120 20
Learning Experience GS00320 20

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Warfare after Waterloo: Military History 1815-1918 IP25320 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
A Century of Conflict: Global warfare 1918-2018 IQ25920 20
A War on the Mind: Propaganda and Secret Intelligence from the Great War to the 21st Century IP28320 20
America at War: A Military History of the United States IP26920 20
Capitalism and International Politics IQ22820 20
Climate Change Politics IP21420 20
Climate Change and International Politics in the Anthropocene IP20720 20
Contemporary Latin America IP28720 20
Devolution and Wales IP25020 20
Global Inequality and World Politics IQ24120 20
International Politics and Global Development IP29220 20
International Relations: Perspectives and Debates IP20120 20
Intervention and Humanitarianism IQ20220 20
Justice, Order, Human Rights IQ21720 20
Multiculturalism in Policy and Practice IQ23720 20
People and Power: Understanding Comparative Politics Today IQ23920 20
Refugee Simulation IQ25620 20
Russian intelligence from Lenin to Putin IQ24920 20
Science, Technology, and International Relations IP23020 20
Strategy, Intelligence and Security in International Politics IQ25120 20
Terrorism & Counter Terrorism in the Modern World: Policing, Intelligence & War IP24520 20
The Century of the Superpowers and the Global Cold War IQ25220 20
The EU: Politics, Policies, Problems IP23820 20
The Governance of Climate Change: Simulation Module IP22320 20
The Making of National Security Policy IP23720 20
The Past and Present US Intelligence IP26020 20
The Second World War in Europe IP26420 20
Trade Wars and the Liberal Order IQ21620 20
Women and Military Service IP21620 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 and 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 are working in the following areas:

  • the development sector
  • local and national politics
  • the Civil Service
  • Government research
  • Social research
  • the third sector such as with 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?

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 your first year - the foundation year - you will develop a solid academic base to prepare you for the full degree from Year 2 onwards.

In your second year you have the opportunity to explore:

  • key issues in the fields of War, Strategy and Intelligence
  • international history and the making of the modern world
  • a range of perspectives and approaches to the study of international politics
  • contemporary political problems and how they are portrayed
  • the different methodologies to analyse topical issues in international and domestic politics.

In your third and fourth years, you will have the opportunity to study issues such as:

  • the evolution of warfare since Napoleon
  • the role of war and warfare in the history of key states and regions (such as the USA, the UK and Ireland, Russia, and the Middle East)
  • key aspects of the Cold War, the Second World War, the relations between state, societies and the military, total war, intelligence and warfare.

You will also 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 Arctic environmental disaster, 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

UCAS Tariff

A Levels Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

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

BTEC National Diploma:
Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

International Baccalaureate:
Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

European Baccalaureate:
Available to those who are studying for, or who have completed Level 3 qualifications (eg, A-Levels or BTEC diploma) and to mature-aged candidates without formal qualifications who have suitable background education, experience and motivation.

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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