International Relations and Philosophy 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

International Relations and Philosophy have a shared concern of a wide range of contemporary issues, such as climate change, genetic engineering and global inequality. Both subjects are interested in issues about government, social structures, power, justice and the relationship between the individual and the state.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: LVF5

View entry requirements

Course Overview

The clarity and precision in analysis provided in training in philosophy complements the wide-ranging concerns of international relations, many of which have profound ethical implications of the kind dealt with in moral philosophy.

Keele has been one of the most renowned centres for the study of Philosophy and International Relations in England. These subjects will explore issues of conflict, human rights, environmental change, globalisation, critical thinking and developing the use of sound arguments while detecting fallacies and other argumentative weaknesses.

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 business. Many graduates from this combination progress to further studies.

Indicative modules

First Year

  • The Changing World: International Relations Since 1945
  • Securing Global Order
  • Ten Problems of Philosophy
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Moral Philosophy

Second Year

  • Peace, Conflict and Security
  • International Relations of the Environment
  • Freedom and Equality
  • The Pursuit of the Good
  • Philosophy of the Mind
  • Epistemology and Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Contemporary International Relations Theory

Third Year

  • Arms Control and Disarmament
  • Feminist Theory
  • The US Presidency
  • Policing International Order
  • Modern Middle East
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Rorty and the Mirror of Nature
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Dissertation

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

Students may choose to study elective modules which are offered as part of other programmes in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the University. These include:

  • Modules in other subjects closely related to International Relations.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as  History
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for Academic Purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin).
  • Free standing modules related to the development of graduate attributes, student volunteering, and studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme.

 

International Relations Each year you MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in International Relations. In years 1 and 2 this is achieved by taking two compulsory modules and one optional module. You must also take a minimum of 45 credits in your other principal subject. Your remaining 30 credits may be selected from the list of International Relations optional modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of elective modules provided by other disciplines.

 

Philosophy Each year you MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in Philosophy. In years 1 and 2 this is achieved by taking two compulsory modules and one optional module. You must also take a minimum of 45 credits in your other principal subject. Your remaining 30 credits may be selected from the list of Philosophy optional modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of elective modules provided by other disciplines.

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

International Relations Year 1 (Level 4)

The two compulsory First year modules provide students with a thorough grounding in the study skills needed for International Relations and an introduction to the nature and scope of International Relations as a discipline. They expose students to the various traditions or schools of thought that have tried to make sense of international politics and familiarise them with many of the problems addressed by, and concepts employed in, the discipline of International Relations. These include war and peace, order and intervention, the balance of power, diplomacy and international organisation, territoriality and the sovereign state, equity and justice, territoriality and governmentality.  International Relations students may also learn about the workings of the global political economy, gain a solid background in the main developments in international history throughout and beyond the Cold War, or examine aspects of the study of Politics.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Introduction to International Relations

15

The Changing World: International Relations
Since 1945

15

Securing Global Order

15

Introduction to Global Political Economy

15

   

Why Politics Matters

15

   

Justice, Authority and Power

15

 

Philosophy Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

10 Problems of Philosophy

15

Ancient Philosophy

15

How to Think

15

Continental Philosophy

15

   

Moral Philosophy

15

   

Justice, Authority and Power

15

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

International Relations Year 2 (Level 5)

In the second year students build on the foundations laid in the first year. The two compulsory modules cover core aspects of contemporary international politics: the roles and functions of international institutions, organisations and regimes in mitigating anarchy; the contending perspectives on international relations and contemporary developments in theoretical approaches to the IR discipline. Students have the opportunity also to study a number of specialised aspects of International Relations such as the International Relations of Eurasia, the Modern Middle East, African Politics or the Politics of the European Union or to take modules offered in the Politics programme. They may also take the Work Experience module offered by the School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Contemporary International Relations
Theory

15

The International Relations of Eurasia

15

International Organisation: Mitigating
Anarchy

15

The Politics of the European Union

15

   

African Politics

15

   

The Modern Middle East

15

   

US Politics

15

   

Russian Politics and Society

15

   

Electors, Voters and Public Opinion

15

   

Environmental Politics and Policy

15

   

British Government and Politics

15

   

Freedom and Equality

15

   

Why Policy Changes

15

   

The Practice of Politics

15

   

Work Experience in Politics, International
Relations and Philosophy

15

 

Philosophy Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

Pursuit of the Good

15

Philosophy of Religion

15

Epistemology and Metaphysics I

15

Philosophy of Mind

15

   

Philosophy of Science

15

   

Freedom and Equality

15

   

Work Experience in Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment

15

 

 

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

 

International Relations Year 3 (Level 6)

In the third year students deepen their knowledge of selected topics in International Relations by choosing to study two or more modules in a range of subjects which vary from year to year but reflect the specialist expertise and active research interests of members of staff. Students taking Combined Honours International Relations may choose to write a research dissertation in International Relations, working under the guidance of a Supervisor who is a member of the academic staff of the School with expertise in the topic chosen by the student.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

None

 

Dissertation in Politics and International
Relations

30

   

The Northern Dimension

15

   

Proliferation

15

   

The Missing Dimension

15

   

Politics of Development

15

   

Israel-Palestine: Key Debates and Issue

15

   

Policing International Order

15

   

Britain and War since 1945: War, Cold War
and Society

15

   

Gendering Global Politics

15

   

Understanding Terrorism and Counter-
terrorism

15

   

Russia and Europe

15

   

The Extreme Right in Western Europe

15

   

The Left in Modern Politics

15

   

Debating the Future of the European Union

15

   

Environmental Politics in the USA

15

   

Modern Russia

15

   

Environmentalism, Environmental Movements and Protest

15

 

Philosophy Year 3 (Level 6)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

None

 

Dissertation in Philosophy

30

   

Philosophy of Art

15

   

Rorty and the Mirror of Nature

15

   

Epistemology and Metaphysics II

15

   

Great Philosophers of the 20th Century

15

   

Philosophy of Language

15

   

Metaphysics

15

 

Modules - Year Four

If you choose to specialise in International Relations in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation in Politics and International
Relations

30

The Northern Dimension

15

   

The Missing Dimension

15

   

Politics of Development

15

   

Israel-Palestine: Key Debates and Issue

15

   

Policing International Order

15

   

Britain and War since 1945: War, Cold War
and Society

15

   

Gendering Global Politics

15

   

Understanding Terrorism and Counter-
terrorism

15

   

Russia and Europe

15

   

The Extreme Right in Western Europe

15

   

The Left in Modern Politics

15

   

Debating the Future of the European Union

15

   

Environmental Politics in the USA

15

   

Modern Russia

15

   

Environmentalism, Environmental Movements and Protest

15

 

If you choose to specialise in Philosophy in your final year, you will study the following modules:

 

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional Modules

Credits

Dissertation in Philosophy

30

Philosophy of Art

15

   

Rorty and the Mirror of Nature

15

   

Epistemology and Metaphysics II

15

   

Great Philosophers of the 20th Century

15

   

Philosophy of Language

15

   

Metaphysics

15

 

In addition to the programme-approved elective modules listed in this table, students may choose to study modules that are offered as part of other programmes in SPIRE and across the University. These include:

 

  • Modules in other subjects related to Philosophy such as Psychology and Sociology.
  • Modules in other subjects in which they may have a particular interest such as English, History, Politics, International Relations, or the Environment.
  • Modules designed to help students for whom it is not their first language to improve their use of English for academic purposes.
  • Modern foreign languages modules at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.
  • Elective modules related to student volunteering, studying abroad as part of the University’s exchange programme, employability skills and personal development.

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az