International Relations

BSc single honours International Relations (with Foundation Year) 2019/20

Year of entry

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:


Top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction with the quality of feedback.

The Guardian University League Tables 2019
  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year you will go on to explore areas including:

  • 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

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 states interact and at the relationship between states and non-state actors, such as the UN the EU, NATO and multinational corporations in a global world. Led by experts in international security, post-conflict institutional building, foreign policy, minority rights and global justice, our modules explore the links between identity, conflict and cooperation and models of governance to deal with the challenges in the 21st century which extend beyond the borders of nation states.

“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!”



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, while the research activities of our staff mean that we are at the forefront of our disciplines. Our priority is to provide high quality learning and teaching, and a transformative student experience.  Our students recognise this by consistently nominating us for teaching awards.

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 help make sense of political events and processes. Engaging with fellow students who are as passionate as you are brings further insights as you explore the core themes of International Relations – power, justice, security and peace – together. 

“I really enjoy what I study and enjoy discussing it with other students who care about global issues. ”

Levin Martins

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

National Student Survey 2018

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.

You could also gain direct experience of the political arena with our Making Politics Matter initiative, which has included debates and discussion on migration, Britain’s evolving relationship with the EU, international human rights, human trafficking, fair trade, climate change, and the global financial crisis. This initiative has attracted a range of national and international speakers. Guest lecturers are also invited to present specialised topics as part of certain modules which we believe to be of great benefit to all students.

“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.”

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

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We encourage, support and facilitate student work experience at all levels. Many of our students have used their own initiative to achieve positions working for MPs, MEPs, and the UN. For the past few years we have been working closely with the Parliamentary Outreach team at Westminster and several of our students have benefitted from placements with the team, fully supported by our programme. We also offer short term employment opportunities to our students as researchers on academic projects.

Dr André Barrinha is an expert on Security Studies, having published numerous articles and book chapters on issues from NATO in Afghanistan to the role of the defence industry in Europe. He is currently developing a third year module on Contemporary Security.

Year 0 - Foundation Year

Core Modules

Contemporary Issues in Politics

This module explores key issues and questions in the study of politics – including how political systems function, how political change occurs, and who holds political power. The module takes an exciting and innovative problem focused approach, enabling you to engage in lively and topical debate on the big issues of the day.  

Contemporary Issues in Sociology

This discursive issue focused module enables you to gain an entry level understanding of key critical issues in the study of sociology – including race, class and gender. The module uses the ‘sociological imagination’ to interrogate these issues in an engaging, innovative and informative fashion.

Contemporary Issues in Psychology

This module introduces students to some key areas and concepts in psychology and also begins to explore how psychology may be applied to addressing practical real-world problems and contemporary issues. Students will begin to put into practice the study skills that are required at university level and also begin to understand how to approach psychological theory and application from a critical standpoint.  

Academic Skills

The module aims to give you the basic transferable skills needed to understand and practice social scientific reasoning, to undertake research methods and to communicate effectively with academic writing and other formats.

Interdisciplinary Studies

This module provides an opportunity for hands-on project work allowing integration, reflection upon, and application of concepts and perspectives covered in subject-specific modules. The module provides a forum for exploring and appreciating the differences between, and the complementarity or otherwise of psychological, sociological and political perspectives on human behaviour.

Individual Project

The individual project allows you to pursue an investigation of a particular topic within your chosen subject area of EITHER Politics, OR Sociology, OR Psychology, and is designed to help you prepare for further study at Level 4 within your chosen degree pathway.

Year 1

Single honours students will study all of the following modules. Combined honours students will study three of these modules: Introduction to IR and Contemporary Global Politics plus one optional module. 

Introduction to International Relations

This module has two aims; first, to introduce you to a range of themes and issues that have been salient in international relations since the Second World War, such as: terrorism, nuclear war, migration and globalisation; second, to develop the key skills you will need to progress through your university career, with a particular focus on the development of essay writing and presentation skills.

British Politics in Context

This module will help you build a firm foundation of knowledge about the issues and challenges which have preoccupied British politicians and voters in past decades, many of which continue to concern us today and all of which have had a crucial bearing on contemporary political practice. The module will subject crucial aspects of contemporary British political history to critical analysis. You will end up better informed and more sceptical, better able to tackle the more advanced modules available in British politics in the second and final year. 

Contemporary Global Politics

Key issues addressed in this module include ­ the emergence of modern empires, the emergence of a global political world where state power is less significant. The module will allow you to see how the acquisition, possession and loss of state power became systematised over time and in different ways, and enable you to explain critically the responses which have been made to this loss of power, from protectionism to full scale war.

Europe: From Continent to Community

This module will introduce you to the politics, policies and Member States of the European Union. It will combine the ‘politics’ priorities of institutions, sovereignty and decision making, with the ‘international relations’ focus on global and regional issues pertaining largely to conflict and cooperation. As such, the policies and politics, the institutions and integrations will be examined both from an historical and a theoretical perspective.

Key Political Thinkers

This module aims to provide an introduction to classic and modern European political theory. Key thinkers will include Machiavelli, Hobbes, Lock and Kant. Its focus is political philosophy. Several areas of contestation including the nature of good government, the importance of discourses of human rights, and the role of national interest will emerge, providing you with the necessary theoretical and conceptual tools to make connections between the political concerns of the past and present – be it at the national, European, or international levels.

Power, Politics and the State

The module aims to introduce you to some of the key issues and challenges pertaining to the study of the state, its modes of power (territory and sovereignty), methods of political representation, and broader forms of governance. Key questions will include: What is the nature of political power? How does it operate in practice? What concepts are used to explain the role of the state, and its principle attribute of sovereignty? What is the relationship between political and economic power?

Contemporary Language Studies

We also offer the possibility to study a modern language in all three years. Languages offered vary year on year but typically include modern languages such as: French, Spanish, Italian, German and Mandarin Chinese.

Year 2

Core modules

Global Ethics

This module aims to introduce you to the key debates in contemporary global ethics, from the cosmopolitanism versus communitarianism debate to the deontological versus consequentialist approach to politics. This module will also offer a number of conceptual and theoretical tools that will allow you to understand and assess politics and political action through an ethical and moral prism. Finally, it gives you the opportunity to understand in detail the ethical dilemmas associated with some of most pressing issues in contemporary global politics, namely, the legitimacy of international humanitarianism, the utility of development aid or the role multinational corporations play in fulfilling an ethical agenda in the international markets.

Theories of International Relations

This module aims to introduce you to the key debates in contemporary global ethics, from the cosmopolitanism versus communitarianism debate to the deontological versus consequentialist approach to politics. This module will also offer a number of conceptual and theoretical tools that will allow you to understand and assess politics and political action through an ethical and moral prism. Finally, it gives you the opportunity to understand in detail the ethical dilemmas associated with some of most pressing issues in contemporary global politics, namely, the legitimacy of international humanitarianism, the utility of development aid or the role multinational corporations play in fulfilling an ethical agenda in the international markets.

Likely optional modules

British Politics: Continuity and Change

This module introduces you to the structure of British politics and the practical functioning of British government. Providing a contemporary focus, the main political and administrative institutions in the British system will be examined and set within a comparative context. This module will examine alternative political processes as well as the formal institutions of state; therefore powerful forces such as political parties, non­governmental organisations and the British media will be examined alongside institutions such as Parliament, the Prime Minister, the civil service and the constitutional monarchy.

Comparative Politics: States and Societies

This module is based on the long tradition of comparative political science and seeks to give you the critical knowledge and understanding required to appreciate the importance of global events and to analyse contemporary political institutions. In terms of practical comparative analysis, themes such as the following may be addressed: How do rates, and means, of political participation vary between countries? What impact do parliamentary structures have on political outcomes? Can we measure the impact of the powerful individual leader? To what extent is ‘democratisation’ an unstoppable force in international politics? How and why do countries make the transition from authoritarian to democratic regimes? This module will address questions such as these and many more.

Contemporary Political Theory

Thinkers will include John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Charles Taylor, Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Carol Pateman, Slavoj Zizek, and Chantal Mouffe. Though focusing on specific authors, the module will be primarily thematic in orientation. Some key issues to be explored include: What do we mean when we use the term individual rights? What are the limitations to democracy? How do we define liberty? Should freedom of speech be restricted? To what extent is liberal democratic society patriarchal in its structure? To what extent is the notion of ‘governmentality’ useful in understanding contemporary politics? How can we understand ‘power’ as a political concept? Is it legitimate to use violence as a political tool? Does the end justify the means in politics?

European Political Economy

This module is designed to provide you with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of Political Economy progressing on to investigate the specific details of European Political Economy and the current economic and financial predicament known as the ‘Eurocrisis’. You will first investigate the basic principles of political economy – state­economy relations, the function of central banks, international finance – before going on to apply them to the study of the political economy of the EU. Themes to be examined may include questions such as – why have governments become less powerful relative to central banks and international financial markets? What is the function of central banks in modern economies and why have they become so important? Can international financial markets be tamed for the benefit of the state or are they there to serve the best interests of the state? What effect has EMU had on the economies of the old and ‘new’ member states? Why was the Euro founded? What caused the Eurocrisis and what are the necessary steps to see it resolved, indeed if they can be solved?

EU: Power Policy and Integration

This module is designed to provide an in depth understanding of the European Union; based on both its legal foundations and the political will of its member states to engage in the ambitious, and unique, European integration project. Themes to be examined will include; the scope of community power – why do states cede autonomy to a European supranational body? The supremacy of EU law – to what extent, and under what conditions, must member states apply EU directives and legislation? The complexity of EU decision making – why are different legislative procedures used for different policy areas? The judicial system – what role is played by direct actions and preliminary rulings within the judicial system? We will also examine some of the major policy areas covered by the EU; for example, the continuing debate over the role of the EU in a common defence strategy; and some of its major legal doctrines.

Federalism, Multinationalism and the Future of Europe (summer school)

The module aims to develop awareness of the connection between the development of regional forms of government (in federal and regional states), the issue of multinationality and the evolution of the European Union. It studies the evolution and functioning of federal and regional government in a number of countries (including Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the USA, Canada and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and also provides some important insight into the discourses of federal theory (by focusing on the connection of federalism and democracy and the study of federalism and socialism). Finally, the module aims at assessing the role of the European Union (EU) in the federalist discourse.

Global Governance

This module has three aims. First, it provides a broad introduction to concepts and examples of globalisation and governance using a range of ‘globalisation theories’ including approaches to governance, regime theory, neoliberal institutionalism and hegemonic stability theory. Second, it provides a detailed exploration of international, supra­state and global dynamics, their mandate, composition, operation and impact across a range of international policy­making. Third, it presents a series of practical, institution specific case studies, by which to explore in detail four specific themes of multilateral policy­making that arguably display differing forms of contemporary governance: Security (e.g. UN, IAEA, NATO, OSCE, EU), Justice (e.g. ICJ, ICC, ICTY, ICTR), Environment (e.g. UNEP, CEC, EU), Humanitarian Issues (e.g. UN agencies including UNCDF, UNCHS, UNDP, UNHCR, UNRWA, WFP, IBRD, EBRD).

Political Research

The main aim of this module is to develop your appreciation of the importance of political enquiry, the contours of the empirical research process, and refine your ability to utilise these methods in your academic work. Through practical engagement and application of research skills you will gain an understanding of how the political arena operates in reality, and how to apply your research skills and wider subject knowledge to the realm of concrete politics.

Year 3

Core modules

Foreign Policy Analysis

The aim of the module is to examine the nature of modern diplomacy and foreign policy in terms of how states formulate goals and use available instruments to achieve these on an international level. Why do some foreign policy choices end in success and others in failure? Is it the way decisions are made or policies are implemented? Who are the important actors and what factors influence their behaviour? What are the consequences of the rise of new powers and the shifts in priorities in a globalising world? Foreign Policy Analysis examines the nature of diplomacy and foreign policy in the 21st century. You will address both conceptual and empirical issues in relation to how foreign policy is designed and implemented. In terms of theoretical and conceptual analysis you will also critically analyse decision­making theories, consider questions of agency and structure and address theories of policy implementation. This module will also encourage you to address issues of truth and power and to question the relationship between academic work and practitioner reality.

Individual Study

The individual study is designed to allow you to study in depth an area of special interest within the International Relations discipline area, encouraging wide research, relative autonomy, time management, disciplined pursuit of goals and the enhancement of knowledge and skills bases. In relation to benchmark aims you will be encouraged to tackle topics which will enhance knowledge of concepts, questions and approaches pivotal to the politics area, presented with a balanced view of the areas of contestation which are inherent within the discipline.

Likely optional modules

Contemporary Security

This module provides a general outline to study of security. You will first look at the conceptual and theoretical history of security studies. Themes to be examined will include: NATO after the end of the Cold War and the security priorities for the United Kingdom. This will be followed by an in­depth study of what is known in the literature as ‘Critical Security Studies’. Here, the main theoretical schools – from the Copenhagen School to Post­ Colonialism ­ will be discussed at length, supported by the analysis of specific case studies as diverse as the Arab Spring or global warming as a security issue. The third and last part of the module deals with the interaction between theory and technological development, focusing on post­modernity and risk as conceptual tools for the understanding of issues such as cybersecurity or the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the so­called drones.

EU Foreign Affairs

This offering provides an advanced but cutting edge exploration of the challenges surrounding contemporary EU foreign policy as the EU – in the wake of Lisbon Treaty implementation ­ now strives to assert itself as a region, a foreign policy actor, a neighbour, and a source of European power. It will combine the ‘politics’ priorities of examining international institutions alongside national sovereignty and forms decision making, with the ‘international relations’ focus on regional and global issues pertaining to national interest, foreign policy, European foreign policy and international engagement.

EU Power and Strategy

This module is set to provide you with a smooth transition to exploring the range of external dynamics facing the European Union as it strives to assert itself as a region, a foreign policy actor, a neighbour, and a source of European power. It will combine the ‘politics’ priorities of examining international institutions alongside national sovereignty and forms decision making, with the ‘international relations’ focus on regional and global issues pertaining to national interest, foreign policy, European foreign policy and international engagement. This module thus examines the foundational aspects of European strategic culture in terms of its historical development, conceptual schools of thought, empirical impact on decision­making modes, and case study examples highlighting the implementation of key EU outputs.

Parliamentary Studies

Parliament plays a key role in the British political system, but that role is often misunderstood. This module will explore this role, and adopt both a descriptive and analytical approach in doing so. It will provide an introduction to the Westminster Parliament, and examine where it fits into the political system as a representative institution. It will explore the key functions performed by parliament, in terms of deliberation, legislation and scrutiny, along with analysis of proposals to reform these functions. It will also examine the relationship between parliament and the public, and contemporary discussions about how this relationship might be improved. The module will cover both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and will also, where useful, include some analysis of the devolved institutions.

Politics of Migration

The module will aim to address a range of crucial political and ethical questions pertaining to the issue of migration ­ perhaps one of the most ideologically contested topics in contemporary politics. This module will introduce you to the debates and controversies which surround the politics of migration in all its varied forms. This may include high and low­skilled labour migration, the ethics of migration, lifestyle migration, refugees, internally displaced persons and human trafficking. The module will outline how patterns of migration and perceptions of migrants have changed over time. We will examine how different forms of migration are governed at state, regional and global levels and the motivations for and effectiveness of practices and policies used by states and non­state actors to manage, control, or protect migrants.

Radical Political Thought

The module will aim to address a range of crucial political and philosophical themes and issues at the heart of contemporary radical political thought, including Marxism/post­Marxism and Anarchism/post­Anarchism. Key thinkers to be explored include Althusser, Laclau and Mouffe, Geras, Badiou, and Žižek. Key questions will include: To what extent are the ‘problems of Marxism’ insurmountable for its reform? Is ideology a permanent aspect of human existence? Can a revolutionary ethics address the issue of ‘dirty hands’? How does desire motivate politics? Can we imagine a world free of ‘the state’? Is social clear still relevant for emancipatory politics? How important is the ecological ‘crisis’ for our understanding of radical politics? Can we imagine a world ‘beyond capitalism’? Is the ‘idea of communism’ dead?

Other modules which may be offered in the final year include:

  • Australia and New Zealand Politics
  • Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes
  • Central and Eastern Europe after Communism
  • Conflict Resolution in the Balkans
  • Dirty Hands
  • European Security
  • Nationalism Ethnicity and Minority Politics
  • Political Extremism
  • Politics and Presidents
  • Politics and Popular Culture
  • Political Leadership
  • Political Practice
  • Powersharing
  • Science Policy risk and Regulation
  • The politics of (outer) space 

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. A high proportion of our students also go on to study at postgraduate level in the UK and internationally.

The skills I have acquired while studying at Christ Church have undoubtedly shaped and steered my professional life. The continuous support of the department staff, the teaching methods and materials and the thirst for knowledge that the lecturers have managed to transfer to us have been vital in my development. Critical thinking, research, communication skills and the ability to distinguish amid many details the most relevant ones – just the tip of the ice­berg of many aptitudes acquired under the close guidance of the department that have been appreciated by my employers.

Carmen Manea, Global Politics graduate

Throughout our degree programmes we include opportunities for students to develop and enhance their workplace skills alongside deepening understanding of the subject material. You will engage with practitioners, alumni, careers advisors and a variety of speakers.

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.

William Hartley
We encourage, support and facilitate student work experience at all levels. Many of our students have used their own initiative to achieve positions working for MPs, MEPs, and the UN. For the past few years we have been working closely with the Parliamentary Outreach team at Westminster and several of our students have benefitted from placements with the team, fully supported by our programme. We also offer short term employment opportunities to our students as researchers on academic projects.


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

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900

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

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and mid-course 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.

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 wherever possible. 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. 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.

As you progress through your degree you will your critical thinking skills will become sharper as you develop a deepening appreciation for the complexities and nuances of political debate, an arena of intellectual enquiry which is permanently and necessarily open to challenge and critique. There may be no obviously correct answers to many of the political questions of our times, but there are many interesting ways to investigate them and to think about the underlying issues which are too often overlooked or taken at face value. 

In the foundation year (Level 0) you will study core concepts, theories and issues in the social sciences. These modules are studied alongside a study skills programme which will prepare you for studying at undergraduate level. Completion of the foundation year permits students to progress to Level 4. Once enrolled on the undergraduate degree there is a rich menu of exciting core and optional modules.

In the second year (Level 4) all students will follow a common core of six 20 credit modules which provide an overall foundation for the course as a whole, introducing basic concepts, key subject matter for all degree programmes integrating European Politics, International Relations and Politics. The importance of knowledge and understanding of political concepts, International Relations theories, and European institutions will be emphasised to all students and taught with specific focus on the acquisition of university level study skills. This will give you a broad introduction and will allow for an informed choice to be made at the end of your first year regarding pathways for years two and three.

In the third year (Level 5) there will be two compulsory 20 credit modules. All other modules are mapped against the module outcomes and against subject benchmarks. These include research modules and subject specific modules. During your second year it may also be possible to spend time studying abroad at a partner institution abroad. 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. 

In the final year the Individual Study (IS) (40 credits) is normally compulsory for single honours students. This is often seen as the culmination of your learning experience in Politics, drawing upon the knowledge and skills developed throughout the degree. This is a significant piece of independent research, where you may select a topic of special interest. 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. 

Your choice of the other four modules (all 20­credit) is guided by your interest, experience and career plans. Combined honours students are advised to take a 20 credit Individual Study as long as they are not doing so in another subject.

The selection process for final year modules will start early in the third year where you will consider progress and interest with your personal tutor. This will be a ‘pre­selection’ meeting in which your preferences and abilities are assessed. The options week will build on this pre­selection exercise in terms of the modules available for student selection. Please note, not all final year optional modules will be available every academic year.

Academic input

Our lecturers are committed to innovative and engaging approaches to teaching. We have excellent teaching (Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) and academic (PhDs in Politics or International Relations) qualifications. Combined with a predominant focus on high quality learning and teaching activities, our staff are also research active, publishing specialised research in high ranking journals and presenting work at international conferences.

Dr Amelia Hadfield currently holds a prestigious Jean Monnet Chair and runs CEFEUS, our new Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies. Dr Mark Bennister works closely with the Parliamentary Outreach team at Westminster. He is one of the first academics to receive an academic fellowship in the new House of Commons Fellowship Scheme and runs our innovative module ‘Parliamentary Studies’.


Our staff are all engaged in work with academic and professional bodies: Dr Andre Barrinha is the co-founder and co-convenor of the BISA European Security Working Group. Dr David Bates co-convenes the Marxism specialist group at the UK Political Studies Association (PSA) and is on Standing Committee of The European Review of International Studies (ERIS). Dr Mark Bennister co-convenes the European Consortium on Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Elites and Political Leadership. He is also a steering member of the Public and Political Leadership Network (PUPOL). Dr Hadfield works with a variety of academic associations in and beyond Europe, including UACES, ECPR, ISA and the Higher Education Academy, UK. Dr Soeren Keil is a member of the Programme Board of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) and an Executive Committee Member of the Comparative Federalism and Multi-Level Governance group of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). Dr Philipp Köker is actively engaged in the ECPR Standing Group on Presidential Politics and is co-editor of the ‘Presidential Power Blog’. Dr Demetris Tillyris co-convenes CIAP: Conference for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics.

Drs Hadfield, Keil and Lieberman engage in work with UACES – the professional body for European Studies. Outside CCCU, our staff are also active in public outreach work. Dr Soeren Keil and Dr David Bates are Trustees for Samphire, a charity formerly known as the Dover Detainee Visitor Group, providing expert input on this important issue. Dr Keil is also currently involved as an adviser in the peace processes in Myanmar/Burma and Syria.

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, final year dissertations and research projects. These will evaluate your acquisition of relevant knowledge and understanding and the development of academic style and practical skills.

Our aim is to ensure that assessment caters for a range of students’ requirements. Throughout the programme, a strong emphasis is placed on regular feedback in order to provide you with the opportunity to enhance your performance.

“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.”

The Politics and International Relations degrees are enhanced by our links with local, national and international politicians and policy makers. We arrange a speaker series entitled ‘Making Politics Matter[LC1] ’ which allows students to engage with a variety of high profile speakers each year.

External funding from the European Commission’s Jean Monnet programme for European political study supports our Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies, our Jean Monnet Chair (Dr Amelia Hadfield) and our Jean Monnet modules. This allows us to take students on fully paid visits to sites of European interest: these have included 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 has the support of the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Speaker and the management boards of both Houses.  Lecturers have presented work in Parliamentary committee meetings and students are encouraged to attend meetings and tours whenever possible.

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. Graduates working for lobby groups and think tanks have been 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.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

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

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • L257 International Relations (4 years with Foundation)

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • Applicants should have 32 UCAS Tariff points although those without formal qualificiations will be considered.




Last edited 08/02/2019 10:33:00

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Last edited: 08/02/2019 10:33:00