International Relations and Sociology 

(2018 Entry)

BA (Hons)

International Relations and Sociology covers key contemporary issues of globalisation, international conflict, human rights, environmental change, social inequalities, and migration and enables an understanding of international organisations such as the UN and the European Union in sociological context.

Combined Honours

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


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International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: LL3F

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Course Overview

International Relations and Sociology covers key contemporary issues of globalisation, international conflict, human rights, environmental change, social inequalities, and migration and enables an understanding of international organisations such as the UN and the European Union in sociological context. In a globalised world, where national borders are ever more porous and flows of money and people circulate with increasing speed, the relationships between countries and other global actors, and the struggles within societies are critically important to study. In this respect International Relations and Sociology is absolutely contemporary because the topics it considers, including European integration, the global political economy, global conflict, development, migration, and environmental and ecological politics, concern the very future of national and international societies.

What will this mean for my future?

International Relations and Sociology provides an invaluable critical lens through which to see and approach the contemporary world, which appeals to many employers. You might work in journalism, the civil service, the European Parliament or as a political or social researcher for an MP or thinktank. You might join international organisations such as aid and development agencies or charity foundations, or mov

Indicative modules

First Year

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Securing Global Order
  • Social Inequalities in a Contemporary World
  • Classical Sociology
  • The Changing World

Second Year

  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • International Organisation
  • Peace, Conflict and Security
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • Globalisation and its Discontents
  • City, Culture, Society
  • Choice of module inside or outside of International Relations and Sociology

Third Year

  • Dissertation
  • Gendering Global Politics
  • Politics of Development
  • Understanding Terrorism
  • Contemporary Democratic Theory
  • Streets, Skyscrapers, and Slums
  • Gender and Consumption-Celebrity
  • Home: belonging, locality and material culture

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.

 

Sociology A minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Sociology modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

At Levels 4 and 5 you MUST take a minimum of 45 credits in Sociology 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 Sociology optional modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of elective modules provided by other disciplines.

 

At level 6 you MUST take a minimum of 45 in credits in Sociology achieved by taking at least three optional modules. 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 Sociology optional modules, modules from your other principal subject, or from the range of elective modules provided by other disciplines.

 

In year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 90 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects.

 

 

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

 

Sociology Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Social Inequalities in the Contemporary World

15

Mediated world

15

Classical Sociology

15

Investigating  Social Issues

15

   

The Anthropological Imagination

15

   

Researching British Society

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

 

Sociology Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Contemporary Social Theory

15

Sociology Work Placement

15

Research Methods*

15

Families and Households: Diversity and

Change

15

   

Health and Society

15

   

Social Movements

15

   

City, Culture, Society

15

   

Witchcraft, Zombies and Social Anxiety

15

   

‘Race’, Racism and Resistance

15

   

Cultures of Consumption

15

   

Globalisation and its Discontents

15

   

Producing Sociological Knowledge

15

 

* Students taking Sociology as one of their combined honours subjects must take the compulsory module in each semester. However, due to significant similarities between the year two Research Methods modules in Criminology, Education, and Sociology, students studying Sociology and Education or Sociology and Criminology must choose only one year two Research Methods module. This can be from either discipline but students are advised to consider this in connection with the ISP module they anticipate selecting in year three. Students should replace the other research methods module with an optional module from either discipline offered in the same semester.

 

Modules - Year Three

Modules - Year Three 

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

 

Sociology Year 3 (Level 6)

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation

30

Home: Belonging, Locality and Material

Culture

15

Gender and Consumption

15

Moving People: Migration, Emotion, Identity

15

The Virtual Revolution: New Technologies, Culture and Society

15

Streets, Skyscrapers, Slums: The City in

Social, Cultural, and Historical Context

15

Sociology of Parenting and Early Childhood

15

Sex, Death, Desire: Psychoanalysis in Social Content

15

The Ecological Imagination: Environment and Society

15

Celebrity

15

Home: Belonging, Locality and Material

Culture

15

Gender and Consumption

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 Sociology in your final year you may study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Dissertation

30

Home: Belonging, Locality and Material

Culture

15

   

Gender and Consumption

15

   

Moving People: Migration, Emotion, Identity

15

   

The Virtual Revolution: New Technologies,

Culture and Society

15

   

Streets, Skyscrapers, Slums: The City in

Social, Cultural, and Historical Context

15

   

Sociology of Parenting and Early Childhood

15

   

Sex, Death, Desire: Psychoanalysis in Social

Content

15

   

The Ecological Imagination: Environment and

Society

15

   

Celebrity

15

   

Home: Belonging, Locality and Material

Culture

15

   

Gender and Consumption

15

 

A selection of the optional modules listed will be offered annually for students in years two and three. Additionally, students are able to select up to two elective modules in each year of study. The elective modules can include modern foreign languages at different levels in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin).

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