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International Relations
Undergraduate course
BA (Hons)

International Relations

International Scholarships available

Overview

You will be able to choose from a number of International Relations pathways to study*:

  • BA (Hons) International Relations
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with Global Development
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with Peace Studies
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with Politics
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with Political Economy
  • BA (Hons) International Relations with Human Rights

Gain an international perspective by exploring how nations interact on the global stage, what happens during conflict, and the challenges faced by states and world organisations trying to preserve peace and security. You will engage with the theory of international relations and diplomacy, examining global inequalities, the rise of the superpower nations and what power looks like at a global level.

Understand how major developments, including the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, globalisation, changing global power relations and the emergence of new terror threats and social movements have shaped the world.

*You can apply to study the single honours degree or one of the combined awards listed below. You also have the option of changing your award at the end of your first year. You will be able to apply direct to UCAS for the combined awards using the UCAS codes provided:

BA (Hons) International Relations with Global Development (UCAS code L258)

Explore how global development confronts the ethical dilemmas facing the distribution of power and resources. You will examine theories of development, poverty and economic crises and their relevance to the social and political challenges of the 21st century.
In Years Two and Three you will study the modules Political Economy of Global South, Understanding Development and Development in Practice, and complete a dissertation.

BA (Hons) International Relations with Peace Studies (UCAS code L252)
Understand how international relations have traditionally been conducted and the consequences and limitations of these approaches. You will examine key theories of peace, warfare and security and their relevance and practice in the 21st century.
In Years Two and Three you will study the modules Theories of Peace, Peace building and Conflict Resolution and Non-Violent Resistance, and complete a dissertation.

BA (Hons) International Relations with Politics (UCAS code L254) Critically explore politics and examine some of the pressing issues facing us today, such as climate change, human rights, migration and the crisis of capitalism.
In Years Two and Three you will study the modules The State, Policy Making, The UK & EU, and complete a dissertation.

BA (Hons) International Relations with Political Economy (UCAS code L255)
Political Economy is a crucial tool to understand the relationship between history, economics, the international state system and political power.
In Years Two and Three you will study the modules Political Economy of Global South, Introduction to Marx and International Political Economy, and complete a dissertation.

BA (Hons) International Relations with Human Rights (UCAS code L253)
Many political, economic, social and cultural factors impact the successful protection and promotion of human rights around the world. You will engage with debates about the universality of human rights and assess the success of human rights as a mechanism for social justice. You will explore the work of human rights activists and the political strategies they employ to try and stop human rights violations.
In Years Two and Three you will study the modules Debates in Human Rights, International Human Rights and Politics of Human Rights, and complete a dissertation.
Students from around the world come to study our International Relations courses, offering unique experiences and insight that will enhance your world view and help build your network of international contacts.

You will explore the roles of international organisations such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations, giving you an understanding of their working processes and limitations. You will be encouraged to think critically and propose mock ideas that might help them to achieve their goals.

You can engage in our annual Politics & International Relations Festival and Peace Lecture, which have previously attracted guest speakers such as Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, former Labour MP David Miliband, and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas.

Our academic team are research-active, and are involved in international activism and global development. They include Dr Rachel Julian, who is currently researching local understandings of conflict in Myanmar through culture and stories.

You will also carry out a UK or overseas volunteering placement of your choice, enriching your concept of society and citizenship, and developing your skills for employment.

We understand that full-time study does not suit everyone. That’s why we offer courses which give you the opportunity to decide where, when and how you can get involved in learning. Studying a distance learning course offers the convenience and flexibility to make education work for you. Whether you’d like to fit your studies around childcare, develop your skills while working or, quite simply, want to learn from the comfort of your own home, we can help you gain a qualification at a time and pace that suits your lifestyle.

Like our students on campus, you will have the same excellent teaching and learning resources, however you’ll find these online instead of in a lecture theatre. Not only are all the modules taught online, but you will also have access to an online community and more than 140,000 books and journals in our online library.

Visit our Distance Learning Website

Course Features

  • Placements
  • Part-time study available
  • Expert careers service
  • 24/7 Library
  • TEF Silver Award
  • University accommodation
Play BA (Hons) Politics - Dr Robin Redhead, Course Leader Video
BA (Hons) Politics - Dr Robin Redhead, Course Leader

Entry Requirements

64
POINTS REQUIRED
If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Mature Applicants
Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website.

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Verify your qualifications
If you are an international student, we can help you to compare and verify your qualifications. Please contact our International Office on +44 (0)113 812 1111 09.00 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs / 09.00 to 16.30 Fri GMT or email internationaloffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Need to improve your English Language skills?
Don't worry if you don't have the level of English required for your chosen course. We offer a wide range of courses which have been designed to help you to improve your qualifications and English language ability, most of which are accredited by the British Council. Check your English and find out more about our English courses.


More questions?
No matter what your questions, we are here to answer them, visit our International website to get more information and find out about our online open days.

Careers

Nicholas Renn Nichol

Careers

Nicholas Renn Nichol
Managing Director AptART

BSc (Hons) International Relations & Global Development

“The course allowed me the freedom to explore how charities are run and how ethics are imposed within the organisation.

Teaching and learning

Understand and engage with the world around us through a programme of research-led teaching. You will explore issues such as governance, citizenship, poverty and inequality, peace and conflict, human rights, climate change, and importantly how to achieve fairer, more equitable societies at a local, national, regional and global level. You can apply to study any of the single or combined honours pathways.
Year One gives you a stimulating introduction to the study of international relations. You will encounter some of the key areas that make up International Relations as a subject, including actors and institutions, international relations theory, politics ethics and justice, and political economy.
Core Modules

Understand the the nature and structure of the international system, and how modern states evolve and develop. Consider the evolution of the 20th Century States System, beginning with the decline of pax-Britannica, the inter-war crisis, the emergence of pax-Americana, the establishment and design of key international institutions, the Cold War, the end of the Cold War, rise of non-state actors, globalisation, the decline of the west and the rise of China, the ongoing economic crisis and democratisation.

Gain a critical introduction to the history and contemporary evolution of political economy. You will engage with a variety of key historical thinkers and theoretical approaches in order to develop a qualitative understanding of the rich tapestry of political economy.

Explore a series of real world concerns as a starting point from which to look at issues in contemporary political theory. By looking at issues such as freedom, equality, violence and rights, you will attempt to provoke critical engagement and reflection on the contested nature of contemporary political theory.

Look at the key actors and institutions in the international system, and more broadly to the study of international relations. You will explore the roles key states, regional organisations and groupings, international organisations, NGOs and transnational actors play in the international order. You will examine how their power, role and significance have been affected by change and evolution in the international system, and how in turn these affect the processes of interaction, cooperation and conflict.

Study the main theories of international relations, including realism, liberalism, Marxism, the English School and constructivism. You will look at methodological issues in social studies including classical, positivist and post-positivist concerns.

You will explore aspects of international relations in depth, building on learning from Year One. You will extend your skills, knowledge and understanding of research. You will also engage in a volunteering placement which you will reflect upon using relevant knowledge of international relations, and through the concept of citizenship. You will also be able to choose from a range of optional modules so that you can tailor your studies to your preference.
Core Modules

Study an overview of contemporary environmental debates, with a particular focus on climate change and its consequences. You will critically assess the evidence for global environmental crisis, and efforts at global cooperation to address the issues, considering issues such as responsibility, and the role of environmental movements and alternative models of development.

Inequality is everywhere. People are treated differently or affected disproportionately because of their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, disability, and immigration status. In this module you will conduct research on how inequalities are present at local, national and global levels.

Investigate the concept of citizenship and actively engage with it by undertaking a voluntary placement. This placement will be related to the scope of your course and reflect on their experiences to enhance your employability.

Gain an overview of contemporary security issues, encompassing different perspectives from the state to the individual, and how security threats have changed over time and continue to change.

Option modules may include:

Explore the historical evolution of international human rights law at the United Nations. You will explore what rights are covered by the conventions and how the UN and human rights advocates use these legal mechanisms to promote and protect human rights internationally.

Develop an understanding of the key theories of peace, warfare and security, and their relevance to and practice in the 21st century.

Study the evolution and dynamics of development in the global south from the period of post-WWII state-led development to contemporary processes of neoliberal globalisation. Students will engage with a variety of theoretical approaches in order to understand concrete empirical issues facing development in the global south.

You will investigate the complexity of local socio-economic development and livelihood security in the global south. Look at current theories, policy and practice of community engagement and poverty alleviation. The local experience of development policy and the influence of donors and global partnerships for development will be examined along with some key poverty alleviation initiatives such as the livelihoods approach, micro-finance and social protection.

You will be able to understand international migration in a historical context as a process connecting origin, transit and destination countries, and to think critically and ethically about the causes and impacts of migration for these countries and the diverse responses to it.

Gain an insight into the key concepts, methods and debates within Marxism and develop your capacity to reflect upon the political relevance of Marxism today. The module will be geared towards a critical understanding of capitalism and its evolution as a historically specific mode of production.

Examine the various debates within human rights, looking at the different theoretical frameworks scholars employ in the study and practice of this field. Take specific controversial debates within the field and explore them in depth. You will be challenged to see the complex nature of human rights as a moral framework for political action.

Build on your cumulative learning over Years One and Two, through a focus on the diplomacy and the governance of globalisation. You will undertake a dissertation based on an element of International Relations that you identify. You also have further opportunity to choose options that reflect your particular interests.
Core Modules

Gain an introduction to the ideas of global governance and globalisation and the intersection between them. You will begin to think critically about future patterns of world order and their institutionalisation.

Investigate the operation, practice and context of contemporary diplomacy and international relations. You will explore traditional forms of and approaches to diplomacy and analyse the impact of changes in the international system on the practice and operation of international relations in order to understand contemporary forms of diplomacy. You will analyse diplomacy in the context of the cold war and post cold war, the rise of new actors in international diplomacy and the impact of technology and the media on international relations.

Focus on a subject of your choosing related to International Relations and your own future aspirations. You will be required to select an International Relations based dissertation topic and to engage with theoretical, methods and empirical material that is appropriate to study in this field. You will identify, plan and deliver a sustained and in-depth piece of work, linking it to theory, and critically reflecting on their subject matter and research findings.

Option modules may include:

Discover the field of study known as International Political Economy (IPE). You will engage with a variety of theoretical and empirical debates in order to situate and understand the field of IPE and its major object of study globalisation. Emphasis will be placed on how different theoretical approaches seek to understand, reform and critique the contemporary global political economy.

Through a series of workshops, you will focus on the politics of social justice and nonviolent resistance, the context within which activism takes place, and the key players that undertake the work of social change. You will explore these issues in greater depth through case studies of activism undertaken in particular geographical areas (i.e Africa, Myanmar, Russia, Brazil) as well as on different issues (i.e Corruption, landrights, oppression and environmental protection).

Focus on the politics of human rights movement, the context within which it operates and its key players. Workshops will allow you to explore these issues in greater depth as well as providing the opportunity for group work and practical exercises.

Investigate the related issues of terrorism, security and human rights. You will explore the synthesis between the fear of terrorism which is a pervasive threat felt by both states and individuals, the response to these threats that states adopt in creating security policy, and the impact upon human and civil rights.

Understand the context of development management, current policy debates and key practical methodologies of development in practice in the global south. The module is centred around a development planning simulation which culminates in the presentation of project plans to a development planning committee which must decide which to fund in the context of scarce resources.

Study the context of gendered lives in the global south. You will examine the evolution of understanding of gender differences in life chances and experience and the policy and practices to address these and wider gender bias.

Dr Robin Redhead
Dr Robin Redhead
Course Director

Dr Robin Redhead researches the politics of human rights, focusing on how people empower themselves through discourses of human rights. She looks at the practices of political activism of minority groups and investigates how the visual media represent their grievances.

Play BA (Hons) Politics - Dr Robin Redhead, Course Leader Video
BA (Hons) Politics - Dr Robin Redhead, Course Leader

Fees & funding

The tuition fee for the year for students entering in 2018/19 is £9250. The amount you will pay may increase each year to take into account the effects of inflation.
See further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our Bursaries and Scholarships.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • Access to the Clinical Skills Suite with specialist equipment in purpose-built rooms enabling a variety of sessions to be carried out in a suitable and safe environment

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific essentials

  • You will need to pay for two copies of your dissertation or final project to be bound
  • When undertaking work placement opportunities such as the compulsory Active Citizenship module in Year 2, you will need to pay for your travel expenses to and from that placement.

Course-specific optional costs

  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence for optional educational visits
    (The nature and cost of these visits will vary from year to year).
  • Voluntary field trip - Part of the Politics and International Relations Festival (approximate cost of travel: £10-£20)
  • Study materials - We provide core materials during your studies and you may choose to purchase additional materials. This is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs); student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets).

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

The tuition fee for the year for students entering in 2018/19 is £12000. The amount you will pay is fixed at this level for each year of your course.
See further information on fees and finance on our Financing Your Studies webpage.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • Access to the Clinical Skills Suite with specialist equipment in purpose-built rooms enabling a variety of sessions to be carried out in a suitable and safe environment

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific essentials

  • You will need to pay for two copies of your dissertation or final project to be bound
  • When undertaking work placement opportunities such as the compulsory Active Citizenship module in Year 2, you will need to pay for your travel expenses to and from that placement.

Course-specific optional costs

  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence for optional educational visits
    (The nature and cost of these visits will vary from year to year).
  • Voluntary field trip - Part of the Politics and International Relations Festival (approximate cost of travel: £10-£20)
  • Study materials - We provide core materials during your studies and you may choose to purchase additional materials. This is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs); student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets).

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

Facilities

  • Library
    Library

    Our Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, providing you with access to specialist books and journals, learning spaces, computers, multimedia facilities and media equipment hire. Tens of thousands of our Library's digital resources, including ebooks, ejournals and databases, can be accessed online at a time and place to suit you.

  • Social learning spaces
    Social learning spaces

    Our social learning spaces typically include PCs, desk space and seating areas, enabling you to study and socialise in a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Gym and Sports Facilities
    Gym and Sports Facilities

    Keeping fit is easy at Leeds Beckett - our fitness suites are easy to get to, kitted out with all the latest technology and available to all sports members.

Location

City Campus

City Campus

It is not every university that can offer you the chance to study in the best tall building in the world. But we can. Our City Campus is home to such award-winning learning environments as Broadcasting Place, voted best tall building in the world in 2010. Other buildings include the Rose Bowl, home to our Business School, which was awarded Best Commercial Property Development in the 2009 Yorkshire Property awards. Just over the road from the Rose Bowl is the Leslie Silver building which houses one of our impressive libraries across five floors. The library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year.

View in Google Maps

Want to know more?

Start exploring

We host a range of on campus and virtual open days throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to discover life at Leeds Beckett University. Find out more about your course, financing your studies, our range of accommodation and the vibrant city of Leeds.

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