International Relations (2016 Entry)

Course type: Single Honours, Dual Honours, Major.
Entry requirements: Read more about entry requirements
Typical offer:BBB or ABC
Tuition fees: Read more about tuition fees
Duration and mode of study: 3 Years/ 4 years with placement, Full time
Location of study:Keele University campus
Subject Area: Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Clearing 2016 entry requirements

 
Clearing hotline: 01782 733000

Course Overview

International Relations is not merely the study of current affairs or foreign places: it is a distinctive way of looking at the world that will enable you to understand complex global political events. The study of International Relations covers key issues of conflict, human rights, environmental change and globalisation, and provides a solid understanding of international organisations such as the UN and the European Union. It also develops a range of analytical skills to help you interpret and explain the processes at work in unfolding current events. In a world of complex interdependence, such skills are of increasing relevance to many areas of business, industry and government.

Keele has long been known as a pioneering centre of International Relations scholarship, as it was one of the first universities in the UK to offer a degree in the subject in the 1970s. Today, you will find one of the principal concentrations of International Relations specialists in the UK, and our current staff have internationally recognised teaching and research expertise in the areas of security studies, international history, international political economy and development, regional politics of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, feminist and postcolonial approaches to global politics, and political and International Relations theory.

Single Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of single honours International Relations. 

First year 

Core modules: 

  • Introduction to International Relations 
  • The Changing World: International Relations since 1945
  • Securing Global Order
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy

Elective modules: 

  • Why Politics Matters
  • British Politics Since 1945
  • Contemporary Political Issues and Debates
  • The Politics of Sustainability
  • Modern Democracy
  • Justice, Authority and Power
  • How to Think
  • Environmental Ethics

Second year

Core modules: 

  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Peace, Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice

Optional core modules: 

  • International Relations of Eurasia
  • U.S. Government
  • German Government and Politics
  • Balkan Politics
  • British Government and Politics
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • The Politics of the European Union
  • The Practice of Politics
  • Power to the People
  • Russian Politics and Society
  • Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy 

Third year

Optional core modules: 

  • Arms Control and Disarmament 
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations 
  • The Modern Middle East: Conflict, Competition and Cooperation
  • The Global South
  • The Left in Modern Politics
  • Feminist Theory
  • The U.S. Presidency
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • Communism and Post- communism in Eastern Europe
  • Russia and Europe: Hopes for Partnership, Legacy of Confrontation
  • Party Systems and Elections
  • Policing International Order
  • Proliferation
  • The Other Middle East: Power, People and Politics
  • The Northern Dimension: Resources, Environment and Security in the Arctic
  • The Falklands War 1982
  • The Extreme Right in Western Europe
  • Human Rights: Concepts, Norms and Identities
  • Sustainability and Social Justice
  • Urban Politics
  • Environmental Politics in the US
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Dissertation  

Dual Honours

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of dual honours International Relations. 

First year

Core modules: 

  • Introduction to International Relations 
  • Securing Global Order

Elective modules

  • The Changing World: International Relations since 1945 
  • Why Politics Matters
  • British Politics Since 1945
  • Contemporary Political Issues and Debates
  • The Politics of Sustainability
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy
  • Modern Democracy
  • Justice, Authority and Power
  • How to Think
  • Environmental Ethics 

Second year 

Core modules: 

  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Peace, Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice 

Elective modules: 

  • International Relations of Eurasia
  • U.S. Government
  • German Government and Politics
  • Balkan Politics
  • British Government and Politics
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • The Politics of the European Union
  • The Practice of Politics
  • Power to the People
  • Russian Politics and Society
  • Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy

Third year 

Optional core modules: 

  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations 
  • The Modern Middle East: Conflict, Competition and Cooperation
  • The Global South
  • The Left in Modern Politics
  • Feminist Theory
  • The U.S. Presidency
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • Communism and Post- communism in Eastern Europe
  • Russia and Europe: Hopes for Partnership, Legacy of Confrontation
  • Party Systems and Elections
  • Policing International Order
  • Proliferation
  • The Other Middle East: Power, People and Politics 
  • The Northern Dimension: Resources, Environment and Security in the Arctic
  • The Falklands War 1982
  • The Extreme Right in Western Europe
  • Human Rights: Concepts, Norms and Identities
  • Sustainability and Social Justice
  • Urban Politics
  • Environmental Politics in the US
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Dissertation 

Major Minor

Below is an indicative range of modules you could study as part of major honours International Relations. 

First year

Core modules: 

  • Introduction to International Relations 
  • Securing Global Order

Elective modules: 

  • The Changing World: International Relations since 1945 
  • Why Politics Matters
  • British Politics Since 1945
  • Contemporary Political Issues and Debates
  • The Politics of Sustainability
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy
  • Modern Democracy
  • Justice, Authority and Power
  • How to Think
  • Environmental Ethics 

Second year 

Core modules: 

  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Peace, Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice 

Elective modules: 

  • International Relations of Eurasia
  • U.S. Government
  • German Government and Politics
  • Balkan Politics
  • British Government and Politics
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • The Politics of the European Union
  • The Practice of Politics
  • Power to the People
  • Russian Politics and Society
  • Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy

Third year 

Optional core modules: 

  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • The Missing Dimension: Conspiracies, Spying and International Relations 
  • The Modern Middle East: Conflict, Competition and Cooperation
  • The Global South
  • The Left in Modern Politics
  • Feminist Theory
  • The U.S. Presidency
  • The European Union and Eastern Europe
  • Communism and Post- communism in Eastern Europe
  • Russia and Europe: Hopes for Partnership, Legacy of Confrontation
  • Party Systems and Elections
  • Policing International Order
  • Proliferation
  • The Other Middle East: Power, People and Politics 
  • The Northern Dimension: Resources, Environment and Security in the Arctic
  • The Falklands War 1982
  • The Extreme Right in Western Europe
  • Human Rights: Concepts, Norms and Identities
  • Sustainability and Social Justice
  • Urban Politics
  • Environmental Politics in the US
  • Protest and Social Movements
  • Dissertation 

Course workload

This contact time measure is intended to provide you with an indication of the type of activity you are likely to undertake during your programme. The data is compiled based on module choices and learning patterns of students on similar programmes in previous years. Every effort is made to ensure this data is a realistic representation of what you are likely to experience, but changes to programmes, teaching methods and assessment methods mean this data is representative and not specific.

Undergraduate courses at Keele contain an element of module choice; therefore, you will experience a different mix of contact time and assessment types dependent upon your own individual choice of modules. The figures below are an example of activities that you may expect on your chosen course by year/stage of study. Contact time includes scheduled activities such as: lecture, seminar, tutorial, project supervision, demonstration, practical classes and labs, supervised time in labs/workshop, fieldwork and external visits. The figures are based on 1,200 hours of student effort each year for full-time students.

First year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 18%
  • Guided independent study – 82%

Second year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 18%
  • Guided independent study – 82% 

Third year

  • Scheduled learning and teaching activities – 15%
  • Guided independent study – 85%

Skills and Careers

What will this mean for my future? 

This course provides an invaluable lens through which to see and approach the world, which appeals to many employers. You might work in journalism, the civil service or the European Parliament or as a political researcher for an MP or thinktank. You might join international organisations such as aid and development agencies, charity foundations or businesses. About 25% of graduates from this course study for higher degrees. Some of our well-known graduates include Laurence Mann, the political private secretary to David Cameron, Farah Faisal, Higher Commissioner for the Maldives, and Paul Rimmer, Director at the Ministry of Defence.

Visit our Careers pages (new window)

Codes and Combinations

Codes and Combinations

Students are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) (BA Hons) if their two principal courses are in humanities and/or social science subjects.

All students who study a science subject are candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science (with Honours) (BSc Hons).

can be combined with:

For overseas students who do not meet direct entry requirements, we offer the opportunity to take an intensive International Year One in International Relations and Politics leading to second year degree entry.

Popular combinations

International Relations and Politics

International Relations and Politics are closely related, sharing several important concepts and many practical concerns, such as global inequality, climate change, globalisation, human rights and security. Both disciplines address issues concerning government, power, justice and the future of political community at various levels.

International Relations and Philosophy

Questions of International Relations often conceptually overlap with questions of political and moral philosophy, and there is a shared concern between the two disciplines with a wide range of contemporary issues, such as climate change, genetic engineering and global inequality. Both are interested in issues about government, social structures, power, justice and the relationship between the individual and the state. The clarity and precision in analysis provided by training in Philosophy complements the wide-ranging scope of International Relations concerns, many of which have profound ethical implications of the kind dealt with in moral philosophy.

Single Honours, Major and Foundation course information

International Relations with Foundation Year: L2L3 View KIS Stats

Full Unistats data is available at unistats.direct.gov.uk (opens new window)

Study abroad

For those taking a dual honours course it may be possible to choose an International Year as part of your degree resulting in a 4 year course.

On the International Relations programme you have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in your second year studying at one of Keele’s international partner universities. Exactly which countries are available depends on the syour choice of degree subjects. An indicative list of countries is on the website Partner Universities however this does not guarantee the availability of study in a specific country as this is subject to the university’s application process for studying abroad.

No additional tuition fees are payable for studying abroad but you do have to bear the costs of travelling to and from their destination university, accommodation, food and personal costs. Depending on the destination you are studying at additional costs may include visas, study permits, residence permits, and compulsory health checks. You should expect the total costs of studying abroad to be greater than if they study in the UK, information is made available from the Global Education Team throughout the process, as costs will vary depending on destination. 

Find out more about the course

Our Course Information Documents (CIDs) are designed to give you all of the details you need to make an informed decision about what and where to study.

Single Honours Course Information Document (PDF) Dual Honours and Major Minor Course Information Document (PDF)

2017 Entry details

Our full course information for 2017 entry is yet to be finalised. We may make changes to our course content from year to year in order to keep pace with current research and innovation.

Our typical offer for 2017 entry for single honours International Relations is ABB, and for dual honours International Relations is BBB/ABC.

Here is a list of indicative modules for 2017 entry:

First year

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • The Changing World: International Relations since 1945
  • Securing Global Order
  • Introduction to Global Political Economy

Second year

  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Peace Conflict and Security: Theories and Practice
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • The Politics of the European Union

Third year

  • Dissertation
  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • Feminist Theory
  • The U.S. Presidency
  • Policing International Order
  • Proliferation
  • Modern Middle East

It is important that you read the information at Terms and Conditions which explains how and why we might need to make changes to the educational services that we provide.

Georgie Fitzgibbon

Georgie Fitzgibbon

"The wide range of modules on offer and the flexible degree programme allows you to discover what interests you most, and the tutorials provide the opportunity for depth of study."

BA (Hons) History AND International Relations (2013)

Duncan Weaver

Duncan Weaver

"The mixture of lectures and seminars makes your first year particularly interesting. Lectures gave a great deal of breadth, covering a wide range of topics within the modules."

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics (2010)

Sarah Palmer

Sarah Palmer

"I have particularly fond memories of my time within the SPIRE community at Keele, and believe that both my academic and personal development during that time was especially formative. "

BA (Hons) International Relations & International History (2007) and MA Diplomatic Studies (2008)

Pete Wright

Pete Wright

"I had greatly enjoyed my undergraduate course, and wanted to delve a little deeper into the subject, and to continue to play for the University hockey team."

BA (2004), MA International Relations (2005)

Oliver Williams

Oliver Williams

"Studying International Relations at Keele not only helped me to understand the theory, but also how it relates to real life situations across the world."

BA (Hons) Criminology and International Relations (2008)

Ollie Ringguth

Ollie Ringguth

"The small class sizes at Keele were extremely beneficial and allowed for high levels of interaction and some very informative debates."

BA (Hons) International Relations (2010)