International Relations

BSc single honours or in combination with another subject International Relations 2019/20

Year of entry

Why do states co-operate? What is the effect of globalisation? As long as there have been states, there has been negotiation, cooperation and war. You will explore the links between identity, conflict and models of governance to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.

You will have the opportunity to examine a fascinating range of current issues, theoretical analysis and historical context based on three important elements:

  • international relations theories and their relevance
  • analysis of regional and global organisations
  • contemporary issues, such as migration and climate change.

91% of our most recent  International Relations students were satisfied with their learning opportunities.

National Student Survey 2018

If you are considering a degree in International Relations, then you are probably already quite well informed about what is happening both nationally and internationally. However, knowing what is happening, and fully understanding why the world is the way it is, are two different things. Our lecturers will introduce you to theories and conceptual approaches which will help you to make sense of political events and processes. Engaging with fellow students, who are as passionate as you are, brings further insights as you explore together the core themes of International Relations – power, justice, security and peace.

As long as there have been states, there has been negotiation, cooperation, conflict and war. However, in the age of globalisation, relations between states and individuals are changing faster, and it feels, more dramatically. Our International Relations degree looks at how, in a globalising world, states interact, and at the relationship between states and non­state actors, such as the UN, the EU, NATO and multinational corporations. Led by experts in international security, post­conflict institutional building, foreign policy, minority rights and global justice, our modules explore the links between identity, conflict and cooperation and models of governance to tackle 21st century challenges which extend beyond the borders of nation states.

We pride ourselves on the warm atmosphere and inclusive spirit of our courses and learning environment. Our teaching has been recognised for its innovative character, particularly the student centred nature of learning and assessment. Our priority is to provide high quality learning and teaching, and a transformative student experience. 

“Enrolling on the Politics & International Relations program at CCCU has been one of the best decisions I have made. The course gave me academic skills and knowledge relevant to my current work topics. The lecturing team helped me clarify my academic interests and gave me confidence to continue my higher education further. The programme is interesting, innovative and interdisciplinary, and a great start to exciting career in the field!”

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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Our International Relations degree provides you with an exciting balance of current issues, theoretical analysis and historical context based on three important elements:

  • An examination of significant International Relations theories and their contemporary relevance
  • Critical analysis of regional and global organisations – for example, the United Nations or NATO, to illustrate the importance of international cooperation and global governance
  • Focus on contemporary issues such as the political influence of emerging powers and new international policy concerns such as energy security or climate change.

As well as traditional teaching methods such as lectures and tutorials, there are opportunities to go on field trips to Houses of Parliament or the European Union institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg.  In addition, you might be eligible to study abroad for a year as part of the Erasmus programme.

Our Making Politics Matter series regularly invites high-profile guest speakers, including politicians, to debate the issues of the day with our students and the general public.

Staff and students work together to organise these events, which gives students another opportunity to enhance their networking and employability skills. Guest lecturers are also invited to present specialised topics as part of certain modules. Wherever possible we invite practitioners to provide insights from their professional experience to add to the theoretical knowledge provided in academic literature.

We encourage, support and facilitate student work experience at all levels. Many of our students have undertaken internships or work shadowing with MPs, MEPs, and UN agencies. We also offer short term employment opportunities to our students as researchers on academic projects.

“The degree will challenge you to think critically, consistently. To assess conflicting opinions and understand perspectives outside of your immediate comfort zone, as political students should aim to do. Looking back on my 3 years studying Politics and International Relations, I absolutely loved the variety of modules made available to us. I was always spoilt for choice at every avenue; vital if like me at the time, you too are not yet sure what area of politics you would like to specialise in. I will cherish the time I spent here, the connections I made here, and the goals it sparked within me.”

Year 1 

Central to our degrees is the opportunity to learn more about why all forms of political enquiry are necessarily contested. These critical thinking skills are at the core of all of our teaching and learning in the first year. You will also learn more about specific national and international political regimes and modes of governanceand the ways in which ideologies and systems of governance have changed across culture, space and time. As you engage with your modules and complete your assessments, you will learn how to gather, organise and use information to support your arguments and to communicate these reasoned arguments clearly and coherently in both speech and writing.

Year 2 

The second year is all about deepening your knowledge of the subject area and further developing the transferable skills which will assist you in your career once you leave university. During the year you will gain a better understanding of the many different approaches to the study of IR. You will strengthen your ability to critique interactions between people, ideas, structures of power and institutions. You will also gain the skills to gather and deploy data to construct increasingly sophisticated arguments and communicate these in presentations and written work. During your second year it may be possible to spend time studying abroad at a partner institution in Europe or Canada. Language skills need not be a barrier as some of our partners teach in English. This is a competitive process as the opportunity to live and study in a foreign country is such an incredible privilege. Previous students who have participated in these exchanges have benefitted academically and in their personal development. 

Year 3

The final year of your degree is when all the ground work laid in the first two years begins to come together. You will have amassed a great deal of knowledge and you will also have more confidence when it comes to critically assessing the information you find and reaching your own reasoned conclusions. Optional modules offered in the final year are taught around the research interests of your lecturers and vary from year to year.

For most students the main focus in your final year is the Individual Study. This is a significant piece of independent research, where you may select a topic of special interest within your discipline area. You will be guided by a lecturer but the main direction of the work will be decided by you.  Students who invest time in their work are rewarded by a huge sense of personal satisfaction as they produce academic research which is entirely their own. Your individual study also acts as a step on the path to your career as it allows students to demonstrate effective time and workload management in the production of an extended piece of work. 

“I really enjoyed my time at CCCU and found the lecturers to be very encouraging, welcoming and helpful, throughout my time at university. They were always willing to help, whether it was giving advice about an essay, dissertation or career opportunities.”

100% of our most recent International Relations students were in jobs or further study 6 months after finishing their course.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016-2017

In a competitive job market, it is crucial that as a graduate you have all the right skills that employers are looking for. Our International Relations degree emphasises transferable skills at each level of study, with a strong focus on employability. You can expect to gain skills in critical thought and analysis, working autonomously and as part of a team, networking, and the ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise fashion.

International Relations graduates have gone on to enter a variety of roles in sectors such as national or international government, leading international nongovernmental organisations in London, Brussels and other European capital states, journalism, law, teaching, and further graduate training schemes in the public and private sectors. Many also go on to study at postgraduate level in the UK and internationally.

My degree helped my career in many ways. My clients are banking institutions, asset management and law firms. They are all tied to international developments around the globe. Conflicts, trading regulations and political instabilities shape our global society and affect everyone. Thanks to my degree I can relate with my clients, track potential opportunities and understand my clients' preoccupations.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc)

Compulsory field trips are all covered by tuition fees or by external funding. On these trips students would be expected to pay only for food and drink.

Occasional non-compulsory interest based trips may also be organised during the course of the degree programme. These trips are funded for those students in receipt of a student hardship fund, but all other students would be expected to pay train fares and subsistence. Most of these outings take place in London and would last no longer than one day, thus costing the student no more than £40.

Text books

Text books for each module are advised for purchase. Normally we advise one core reading text per module. We have 6 modules per year for single honours students and text books cost around £30 each. This would come to £180 if all books were purchased.

These books are however also available in the library and are therefore not compulsory purchases.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

93% of our most recent International Relations students were satisfied with the teaching quality of their course.

National Student Survey 2018


At the core of our programme is the belief that reading books and writing essays is only part of the learning process. We want our students to engage in politics and apply their knowledge to real world cases. Using innovative teaching methods, we bring the outside world into our programmes, with role-plays and interactive learning via webinars and other digital platforms. We also take our students out into the wider world on study trips when possible. Our Making Politics Matter series regularly invites high-profile guest speakers, including politicians, to debate the issues of the day with our students and the general public.

Teaching is structured to allow for flexibility. Your actual contact hours will depend on the optional modules you select.However, typically you will have 9-12 hours of structured contact time per week. This may be in lectures, where the module leader delivers key material to a large group, or seminars, where smaller groups discuss and debate the material being studied. Workshops blend the delivery of lectures and seminars when the class size is smaller. Delivery may vary week to week as the module leader designs activities which are pedagogically most appropriate for the theme. All of our programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Our degrees have a strong focus on work related learning. Students can build up experience with us by developing relevant skills together with our partnership practitioners from the political arena (journalists, diplomats, parliamentarians, civil servants, NGOs), who are actively involved with our curriculum. We provide opportunities for students to develop and enhance analytical and communication skills. We prioritise activities such as political role plays, policy brief writing and blogging. Such diverse activities bring politics to life and help you to develop specific work related skills.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions we expect you to continue learning through self-directed study.  Typically, this involves undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will indicate specific readings and/or activities to complete before class. We will also provide reading lists for further study. Seminars are enriched when students have completed their independent reading, allowing staff and other students to interact with this learning and benefitting the whole group.

Your Individual Study in your final year is a significant piece of independent research, where you may select a topic of special interest. You will be guided by a supervisor but the main direction of the work will be decided by you. Students who invest time in their work are rewarded by a huge sense of personal satisfaction as they produce academic research which is their own.

Overall workload

For every hour of contact we ask students to complete three hours of private study. Much like a full time job, we anticipate that as a full time student you will devote about 35-40 hours a week to learning for your degree.

Academic input

You will be taught by academics at all stages of their careers – from postdoctoral researchers to professors. Every member of our teaching team is committed to innovative and engaging approaches to teaching. We have excellent teaching (Higher Education Academy accredited) and academic (PhDs in Politics or International Relations) qualifications. We are also research active, publishing our research in academic journals, engaging in work with academic and professional bodies, and featuring in the media when our expertise is required.

Our students tell us that they value the opportunities they have to be taught by experts in particular areas. However, of equal importance to us is the positive feedback we receive through evaluations and teaching awards, where students confirm that we are always very approachable, supportive and encouraging.

We recognise that people learn differently and our assessments are designed to be as varied as possible to maximise the opportunities for students to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired. You will be assessed through a range of methods, including essays, examinations, individual and group oral presentations, practical assignments and reports, active simulations which recreate political scenarios, social media blogs and research projects. These will evaluate your acquisition of relevant knowledge and understanding and the development of academic style and practical skills. The balance of assessment depends on how you select your options. This allows you to play to your strengths and use your preferred method of assessment to show us what you have learned.

Single Honours students are required to undertake a 40 credit Individual Study which explores a theme related to International Relations of your own choosing. This is also an option for Combined Honours students who wish to major with our programme. 

To progress from one level of study to the next you must pass 120 credits (typically six 20 credit modules). The standard pass mark for a module is 40%.

Our aim is to ensure that assessments cater for a range of students’ requirements. Throughout the programme, strong emphasis is placed on regular feedback in order to provide you with the opportunity to enhance your performance. It is university policy to provide feedback on all work within 21 days. You are always welcome to come and discuss the feedback with your module leader to ensure that you understand what you need to do to improve your performance ahead of the next assessment.

Our International Relations degree is enhanced by our links with local, national and international politicians and policy makers. External funding from the European Commission’s Jean Monnet programme for European political study supports our Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies. This allows us to take students on fully paid visits to sites of European interest and have previously included trips to Brussels and the war graves of Northern France.

We also have strong links with the Houses of Parliament. Our Parliamentary Studies module is a Higher Education module formally approved by Parliament and our students have also taken up work experience opportunities with the Parliamentary Outreach Service and with MPs.

Where appropriate we invite practitioners to speak to students about their experiences working on policy issues which relate to the academic material under investigation. For example, the Foreign Policy Analysis module has been addressed by former ambassadors and foreign affairs correspondents. Representatives of NGOs supporting refugees have participated in sessions of the Politics of Migration module. Our own graduates regularly return and get involved in the Political Research module. 

“My time at university not only opened my eyes to what it was that I was passionate about but it gave me the time and support that I needed to gain the experience and skills to enable me to be where I am today.”

Georgia Outteridge


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • L250 International Relations
  • L257 International Relations (4 years with Foundation)

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 24/01/2019 16:26:00