BA (Hons) International Relations

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

An International Relations degree will help you to gain an appreciation of how states, international organisations, and non-state actors interact on the global stage. Supported by knowledgeable and passionate staff, you'll start by looking at the core theories of international relations and their underlying methods. You'll get a broad grounding in a range of topics in global politics such as terrorism, security studies, human rights, internet politics, and many others. The teaching team constantly updates the course content to reflect on the key developments in International Relations.

A wide variety of options means you can pursue your own interests - with increasing levels of flexibility as you progress through the course. In the final year, you will engage more directly with current academic debates and contemporary political developments. You can also choose to specialise in how digital communications affect the global political landscape and graduate with the bracketed degree award of BA (Hons) International Relations (International Relations and Global Communications).

With practical skills training including advanced analytical approaches, and placement and study abroad opportunities, an International Relations degree opens doors to a range of interesting and rewarding career possibilities. 

This course has a Foundation Year available.

*From 2020 onwards, this course will also be available with a placement year option. See ‘Year 3’ in course details below for further information.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Most international relations graduates go straight into employment and/or further study. Previous graduates have gone in to a variety of jobs in the public sector (housing and education departments in councils, the police, the military), utilities, the financial sector, recruitment, journalism, media, non-governmental organisations, charities, development work, teaching, the law and academic research.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2019 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2020 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

Minimum of 104 UCAS tariff points at A2 or equivalent (such as BTEC National Extended Diploma at Level 3 DMM or Advanced Diploma).

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 106 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate points

26

IELTS score required for international students

6.0. with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

In the study of International Relations, politics, historical background, socioeconomic indicators and ideological imperatives are analysed, and cultural, gender and ethnic identities examined. You can study UK politics, political thought and theory, European politics, international relations and security, "issue" politics (for example, politics of hunger, environmentalism or war and peace) and comparative politics.

Year 1 is gives a core grounding to students who may not have studied international relations before, while extending the knowledge and skills of those who have already engaged with international relations, for example at A-level.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Securities and Insecurities in Global Politics

The unit examines specific theoretical perspectives and practical challenges to global security, including the changing role of state, postcolonial perspective on poverty and humanitarian interventions, modern warfare and terrorism.

Case studies in International Relations

This course explores key contemporary issues in the world today and the debates within International Relations about how to address these global political challenges. Issues explored can include: global inequality, human rights, humanitarian intervention, the changing role of state, postcolonialism, modern warfare and terrorism.

Questioning Humanity 2

This unit engages students with “Big Question” debates confronting human society integrating key interdisciplinary concepts and debates essential to critically understanding and exploring our world along with disciplinary specific learning approaches to examining various aspects of past, present and future global societal development. Topics and questions examined can vary year to year.

Questioning Humanity 1

This unit engages students with “Big Question” debates confronting human society, integrating key interdisciplinary concepts and debates essential to critically understanding and exploring our world along with disciplinary specific learning approaches to examining various aspects of past, present and future global societal development. Topics and questions examined can vary year to year.

Approaches to International Relations

This unit introduces you to some of the foundational concepts and theoretical approaches that are employed in the discipline of International Relations. Applying concepts and theories to the world around us is something we do all the time, but quite often we are not even aware that we're doing it. Among other things, this unit will encourage you to reflect on your own use of theory and give you the tools to critically unpick and unpack the underlying assumptions of dominant approaches in the study of International Relations.

Global Emancipatory Movements

Global inequality is one of the largest challenges facing our world today. Approaches to understanding the roots of inequality and how to address inequality are both varied and controversial. We'll explore these approaches in depth and talk about movements aimed at addressing some of the greatest challenges facing our world today.

Global Chronicles: the rise of the International Order

This unit explore some of the key historical events in modern history in relation to the key debates that have dominate the study of International Relations. We will explore the political implications of which historical events are deemed relevant to international relations and how this shapes the way we look at the world. The unit will help students to identify significant continuities and changes in international relations over time.

Developments in Politics 2

This unit explores contemporary political developments in Britain, Europe and the wider world. Content will vary from year to year and can include; post-war British politics, the organisation of the European Union and its impact on the member states citizens; Global democratic transitions world-wide, and contemporary democratic structures.

The second year offers optional units to allow you to pursue your interests, while developing the core grounding built up in Year One.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

International Relations Theory 2

In this unit we'll explore key assumptions underlying theories and talk about the political implications of choosing one theory over another. We will explore contemporary deployments of IR theory to gain an in-depth understanding of what the various theoretical traditions are producing in the field of research now. This unit will culminate with a discussion about the purpose and relevance of theory with you encouraged to develop your own theoretical position.

Asking Questions and Finding Answers: Methods and Approaches to IR

The unit looks into the philosophy of social science and how debates about the study of international relations change the kind of questions we ask and the approaches we use to find responses to those questions. The unit will examine the utility of a variety of methods and approaches starting with training in how to use and critique statistical methods, through game theory, feminist approaches and t narrative approaches. The unit will culminate by asking you to reflect on what you think should be the point of studying international relations.

International Relations Theory 1

This unit will examine the development of International Relations Theory throughout the twentieth century. The unit will look at the historically dominant traditions of realism, liberalism and Marxism and then explore contemporary critical theories such as feminism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism and social constructivism. The unit will focus on key debates between theories and connections to the historical development of the field of International Relations.

Manufacturing reality: Social Construction of Security

The unit will analyse the processes and factors that shape public perception of security. In this unit, we will discuss why our understanding of security and insecurity varies through time and space. The unit will look at the role of media, propaganda, and ideology in social construction of security.

Option Units

Engaging the Humanities and Social Science: Interdisciplinary Learning and Practice

This is an innovative cross-departmental unit which provides an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary context alongside other students from a range of undergraduate programmes within the Humanities part of our Faculty.

American Empire

This unit combines an introduction to the US federal government and its institutions, processes and policies with an examination of US foreign policy since the Cold War. It includes the US Constitution, Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court; parties and elections; recent political history and key contemporary issues; American policy from the height of the Cold War to the present day.

War, Violence and the Democratic State

The unit aims to provide an understanding of the ethical dimensions of war and politics through an examination of persistent moral problems and dilemmas concerning war, violence and political obligation. Topics considered include pacifism; the concept and criteria of a ‘Just War’; humanitarian intervention and the development of international law.

Politics of the Arts
This unit will explore links between art and politics in a thematic way focusing on the artist as witness to, activist in or victim of political events. It will make reference to a wide range of international art, design and cinematic movements.
Political Theory
A unit that introduces you to the main figures in Political Theory between Machiavelli and Marx, and focuses on their leading ideas. The unit covers the following thinkers and their leading ideas; Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx.
Modern British Politics

The unit will provide you with an understanding of the changing character of politics and society in Britain since 1980. It focuses particular attention on debates surrounding the role of the state, the economy, the organisation of industry and the role of factors such as the media and pressure groups within the political process.

From 2020 this course will offer a placement year option which can be taken up in Year 3. Where a placement is not undertaken you will study the following final year units. The optional units below are indicative of the type of units that will be available.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Contemporary Political Issues 1

This unit will teach students how to design and propose a research project, evaluating questions of ethics, funding, impact, research relevance and methodologies. The unit also has integrated placement and work experience opportunities. The unit has a bespoke structure designed to incorporate tailored bracketed awards linked to Politics, International Relations, Political Communication, and Public Policy.

Contemporary Political Issues 2

The unit consists of a series of case studies informed by current research interests and findings of the politics and public policy teams. The case studies have a special focus on questions related to theory and/ or methods in politics, International Relations, political communication, and Public Policy. The unit has a bespoke structure designed to incorporate tailored bracketed awards linked to Politics, International Relations, Political Communication, and Public Policy.

Option Units

What's Going On? African-American Politics, Music and Culture

This unit focuses on the politics of the African-American community in the latter half of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  It examines these politics especially as they have been mediated by various forms of cultural production: books, films and popular music.  As well as standard teaching methods, students will be presented with film, video, and audio material.

Independent Project

This unit enables you to complete an extended piece of work which develops your research skills and ability to analyse academic sources and empirical findings in an area of your own choosing. 

Contemporary Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Political legacies of colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa, the concept of `Unity' and `Diversity' in Islam, political Islam and its influence in current politics, relations between the Islamic World and the West, in particular in relation to recent conflicts, enabling students to consider significant issues about unity and diversity, whilst gaining knowledge of major current events, and learning how to assess their validity.

Political Theory since 1918

This unit will consider the thought of leading political thinkers since the First World War, focusing on Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. The unit explores issues such as how to define the political (Arendt and Schmitt), forms of capital (Bourdieu) and the nature of social control via disciplining techniques (Foucault).

Latin American Politics

This unit offers both a historical background to, and analysis of, contemporary Latin American politics. The unit is in 2 sections -the first offers discussion of the institutions, processes and key factors which influence Latin American politics and the second offers in-depth analysis of individual Latin American countries.

Britain and World Politics since 1918
This unit focuses upon Britain's changing role and influence in world politics. It examines the major events and issues by which foreign policy has been defined. Chronology is modulated by key foreign policy concepts.

From 2020 this course will offer a placement year option. If you complete a placement in Year 3 you will study the following final year units in Year 4. The optional units below are indicative of the type of units that will be available.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Contemporary Political Issues 1

This unit will teach students how to design and propose a research project, evaluating questions of ethics, funding, impact, research relevance and methodologies. The unit also has integrated placement and work experience opportunities. The unit has a bespoke structure designed to incorporate tailored bracketed awards linked to Politics, International Relations, Political Communication, and Public Policy. 

Contemporary Political Issues 2

The unit consists of a series of case studies informed by current research interests and findings of the politics and public policy teams. The case studies have a special focus on questions related to theory and/ or methods in politics, International Relations, political communication, and Public Policy. The unit has a bespoke structure designed to incorporate tailored bracketed awards linked to Politics, International Relations, Political Communication and Public Policy.

Option Units

Independent Project

This unit enables you to complete an extended piece of work which develops your research skills and ability to analyse academic sources and empirical findings in an area of your own choosing. 

Contemporary Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Political legacies of colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa, the concept of `Unity' and `Diversity' in Islam, political Islam and its influence in current politics, relations between the Islamic World and the West, in particular in relation to recent conflicts, enabling students to consider significant issues about unity and diversity, whilst gaining knowledge of major current events, and learning how to assess their validity.

Political theory since 1918

This unit will consider the thought of leading political thinkers since the First World War, focusing on Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. The unit explores issues such as how to define the political (Arendt and Schmitt), forms of capital (Bourdieu) and the nature of social control via disciplining techniques (Foucault).

Latin American Politics

This unit offers both a historical background to, and analysis of, contemporary Latin American politics. The unit is in 2 sections -the first offers discussion of the institutions, processes and key factors which influence Latin American politics and the second offers in-depth analysis of individual Latin American countries.

Britain and World Politics since 1918

This unit focuses upon Britain's changing role and influence in world politics. It examines the major events and issues by which foreign policy has been defined. Chronology is modulated by key foreign policy concepts.

What's Going On? African-American Politics, Music and Culture

This unit focuses on the politics of the African-American community in the latter half of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  It examines these politics especially as they have been mediated by various forms of cultural production: books, films and popular music.  As well as standard teaching methods, students will be presented with film, video, and audio material.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment
Optional foundation year

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy

Our Department of History, Politics and Philosophy offers programmes of study alongside a thriving research culture, emphasising a student-centred approach to learning.

With interdisciplinary strengths in many areas, the department takes pride in its approach to research-led teaching and being able to provide opportunities for students to work with academics at the forefront of their disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £15,000 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £15,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international students: Part-time fee: £3750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

Students normally do not incur additional core costs for field or Erasmus trips. These are optional depending on unit choice. Students on placement may need to provide travel costs dependent on choice of placement.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

L250

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

Full-time applications through UCAS

Part-time applications - download an application form at www.mmu.ac.uk/applicationform

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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