International Relations and History – BA (Hons) – Bath Spa University Skip to main content

International Relations and History

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Award
BA (Hons) International Relations and History
School/s
School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: IRH or IRH2 (with professional placement year)
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Examine the structures, practices and impact of local and national politics, government ambitions and corporate power.

  • Explore how the world works, from the local to the global.
  • Combine theoretical study with practical application to affect change and make a difference.
  • Learn how to network and create partnerships with others to develop your personal and professional skills.

Our practical International Relations course lets you explore the complexities of the contemporary world through an examination of the mechanisms for, or absence of, international governance; issues around security, economics, and globalisation; and the ways in which we attempt to solve world problems through politics, aid or art. You'll examine the structures and practices of international relations – from the high ideals of the post-1945 settlement to the different realities of local and national politics, governmental ambitions, and corporate power.

International Relations goes beyond concepts of the state and the formal interactions between governments and government agencies. You’ll also consider the interplay of local, regional and international events and perspectives, and the ways in which "international relations" are shaped as much on the ground as they are in the UN Security Council or the International Court of Justice. This might encompass the work of NGOs or the impact of "soft diplomacy", or the interconnected communities of writers, artists and performers and their contribution to campaigns against international inequalities and injustices.


Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place


What you'll learn

Overview

The course has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge, develop practical and professional skills and apply both to contemporary challenges, issues and debates. Learning how to do is as important to us as learning about, and you’ll be able to work on a series of projects which look out from the University and into the city, the region and the wider world. 

You'll develop demonstrable skills and experience, which may include leading a project team, evaluating and acting on alternative responses to a defined challenge, or pitching an idea to one of our many partner organisations, and wherever possible following this through to implementation.

Optional modules will give you the chance to go beyond the formal structures of international relations to the actions taken by individuals and their often profound impact on the ground. For instance, you might examine the role of the arts and culture in shaping international relations, or in informing our perceptions of the world around us, from the artist as activist to the destruction of archaeological sites as an instrument of war.

Course structure

Year one
An interdisciplinary first year introduces you to the study of International Relations and to a wide range of ideas, approaches and concepts which will underpin and inform your work. Throughout, you'll be developing the skills and insight you'll need to apply your learning to solving problems, working with others, developing your own voice.

Year two
There is a focus this year on the mechanisms of foreign policy, intelligence and diplomacy and the connections that come from informal collaborations and creative action - the soft power of art, culture or education.

Year three
Your final project brings together your theoretical and practical knowledge and enables you to apply this in a variety of ways. You'll be able to devise, plan and implement your own piece of work, and set this alongside a wide range of optional modules through which you can develop your knowledge and understanding.

How will I be assessed?

Formal essays, project portfolios, campaign documents and context papers, podcasts and blog posts.

How will I be taught?

You’ll get to grips with your subject through small seminars and workshops.

You can take advantage of the learning support provided across the University, whether to develop your writing skills or to learn how to use new techniques and technologies.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Narratives of Belonging
  • Empires, Nations, Networks: An Introduction to International Relations
  • Worlds of Ideas
  • Thinking Together
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • All Means at our Disposal: Foreign Policy, Intelligence and Security
  • Comparative Cultures and Politics in Practice
  • International Business
  • Education and International Development
  • Peace and Conflict
  • Ecology and Nature 1
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Climate and Society
  • International Journalism
  • Human Rights and International Law
  • Migration: Identity, Belonging, Citizenship and Security
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • International Relations Project
  • Cross-cultural Management in International Business
  • Global and International Education
  • Ecology and Nature 2
  • In Harm's Way: War, Politics and Cultural Heritage
  • Terrorism Studies
  • Cosmopolitianisms: Writing Beyond Borders
  • Culture, Risk and Environmental Justice

Opportunities

Study abroad

We are working on new opportunities to study abroad, through a strong network of existing partners, and on how you can make your study of the world truly global.

Field trips

We study off campus as much as possible, and visits, observational study and fieldwork are integral to all our programmes.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities to work with a number of different employers, external agencies and partners throughout the course, whether through a small project, a longer placement or as a basis for your own research.

Careers

Your course will equip you to think critically, solve problems and to work with others - essential skills for a wide variety of careers, and for the flexible approach to the future that we all need to develop.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You’ll be based at our Newton Park campus. 

With excellent links to nearby Bristol, you benefit from all the advantages of a buzzing, modern city, while being based in a beautiful, rural location just outside Bath city centre.  

You'll have access to excellent facilities including:

Resources

Our Library gives you access to books, academic journals and DVDs and an extensive range of electronic services. It also provides a place for individual study and collaborative work.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026
UK students part time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026
International students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,400
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026
All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You'll already be fascinated by the politics of the modern world and by the connections between people and politics, cultures and communities. You'll be aware of what's happening locally, and of the links between this and the 'bigger picture'. You'll be ambitious, imaginative and highly motivated - you'll want to make a difference for the people and places you care about.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC preferred.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) accepted in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 28 points are required.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

We recommend you read: Jonathan Krause and Thomas Trappe, A Short History of Humanity: How Migration Made Us Who We Are (Penguin, 2021).

Course leader: Dr Richard Stamp
Email: r.stamp@bathspa.ac.uk

Fascinated by the past? Want to make a difference in the present? Develop practical and professional skills with our applied History degree.

  • Develop practical and professional skills and apply them to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.
  • Use your understanding of evidence and your ability to analyse information to solve problems and challenge convention.
  • Explore the next stage in your career - our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers in a wide range of different roles.

Apply your knowledge of History to contemporary challenges, issues and debates. Our innovative History degree has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge alongisde practical and professional skills.

Our History course is inspiring, innovative and compelling. Our Newton Park campus is beautiful, but it’s also a historic resource in its own right and a way into a wide range of historical subjects and approaches – from reading a landscape to analysing the symbols of wealth and power and tracing their international connections.

The nearby cities of Bath and Bristol offer an extraordinary wealth of material for historical study. Bristol, after all, is where the statue of Edward Colston was toppled into the river, and made us all reflect on the ways history continues to shape the present; we need to understand where we’ve been to have a sense of where we might go next.

Develop practical and professional skills

Working collaboratively with a wide range of disciplines, we offer a unique approach to learning in and outside your subject.

You’ll become a confident communicator, able to sift through the raw materials of history and re-present your findings to any audience – on any platform. Yes, you’ll write essays. But you’ll also learn to podcast, tweet, blog, create scripts for film and radio, and adapt your style to suit a range of consumers, including young audiences. We also want you to be able to plan and initiate projects, work with your peers and with our external partners, and make a contribution to our wider community.

Our programmes are taught by people whose research embraces past and present, abstract concepts and physical structures. It crosses continents. You'll analyse big data and tiny fragments of text, and explore objects and images, the rhetoric of power, the gaps in the narrative. 

What can you do with a History degree?

Our research has impact internationally, nationally and locally. Our teaching draws on this and on our work as policy advisors, trustees, fundraisers, advocates, curators, conservators, broadcasters, game designers, web editors, poets. Our graduates go on to do all of these things – and more.


Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place


What you'll learn

Overview

Our practical, applied History degree combines the academic study of history with skill-based modules. You could find yourself learning to write a funding application for one of your modules, pitching ideas to one of our partner organisations for another, and sifting through primary archival sources in a third.

You’ll gain broad historical skills and expertise – how to read historical texts; how to use a wide range of historical sources; how to discuss and debate historical subjects and concepts. You’ll also learn to analyse, process information, make decisions, manage projects, network, collaborate, and work with experts inside and outside the University.

Course structure

Year one
Introductions and foundations: develop your historical skills and follow a broad curriculum which allows you to ask questions, challenge your own assumptions, interrogate evidence, data and opinions.

Year two
Practical, applied, relevant: this year combines the academic study of your chosen topics with the acquisition of professional skills and the application of your knowledge and understanding to a defined problem or idea.

Year three
Achievement, consolidation, creativity: your final project in the third year brings all this together. You’ll identify your own historical questions, develop your proposal and put it into practice. This might be an extended piece of academic writing, but it might also be an exhibition, community project, or the creation of digital resources.

How will I be assessed?

We’ll assess your progress in a variety of ways including essays, research papers, group presentations, projects, portfolios, and reports. There are timed assessments and some modules may have end-of-year examinations.

Our assessment methods allow you to develop and demonstrate different skills. Many of these will help you in the workplace, for example: planning ahead, working to deadlines, and managing priorities.

Remember that you’ll be devising your own projects and research questions, giving you the freedom to develop your own expertise, supported by your tutors, our partners and your peers.

How will I be taught?

You’ll get to grips with your subject through lectures, seminars, workshops, and individual tutorials.

You can take advantage of the learning support provided across the University, whether to develop your writing skills or to learn how to use new techniques and technologies.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Europe and the World I: Encounters and Perspectives
  • Europe and the World II: Revolution, Nationaism and Modernity
  • Worlds of Ideas
  • Narratives of Belonging
  • Protest and Persuasion
  • Thinking Together: Humanities in the 21st Century
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • The Practice of History: Archives, Analysis, Evidence
  • History Matters? The public, Politics and the Past
  • How to do Things: Objects, People and Place
  • Presenting the Past
  • People, Politics and Belief in Early Modern Britain
  • Modern Empires and Global Exchanges
  • Diaspora, Migration and Race
  • Digital Humanities
  • Working Together
  • Transformative Communities
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • History Project
  • Conflict and Community: The Politics of Heritage
  • The Past as Professional Practice: Archaeology, Museums and Heritage
  • The City in Global Contexts
  • People, the Past and the Environment
  • Nation and Race in the Early Modern Atlantic World
  • Propaganda, Censorship and Intelligence
  • Suffrage, Status and Society
  • From Decolonisation to Globalisation
  • In Harm's Way: War, Politics and Cultural Heritage

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Fieldwork

Depending on your module choices, you’ll visit Stonehenge, Avebury, Bristol Harbour, M-Shed, major national museums and galleries such as Oxford’s Ashmolean or the V&A, and hidden gems such as the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes or Dyrham Park, just outside Bath.

Linked to our teaching, trips change from year to year. But our location in the heart of the Bath and Bristol cultural area means you you can learn outside the seminar room. We have The Holburne MuseumRoman Baths and Brunel’s SS Great Britain right on our doorstep.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Placement modules prepare you for the world of work. We have an extensive network of partners across local, regional and national organisations, and can help you make the most of the opportunity to work with them.

You'll be able to work on projects with our partners in the city and region. This might involve research in a historic house, oral history projects, or devising public events and exhibitions. Through these projects, you’ll work collaboratively, manage your time, develop project management skills, and prepare for a future career.

Careers

If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a History degree, the answer may surprise you. Yes, you could become a historian or a teacher, but we prepare you for so much more.

The transferable skills you’ll gain on this course will prepare you for a career that demands confident communication at all levels. This could include curation for museums and heritage organisations, or work in the public and social services, the charitable sector, or the NHS. You’ll be well-equipped for project management, education, and events management. You may also choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Our graduates have gone into such areas as financial services, the police force, and management training schemes with major retailers, as well as worked for the National Trust, Bristol Old Vic and the Southbank Centre.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our campus is a historic resource in its own right. You’ll be based mainly at our Newton Park campus. Our campus buildings – which include a period manor house, gatehouse, keep, and state-of-the-art learning and performance facilities – are set in an eighteenth-century landscape complete with lake and pavilions.

With excellent links to nearby Bristol, you benefit from all the advantages of a buzzing, modern city, while being based in a beautiful, rural location just outside Bath city centre.  

You'll have access to excellent facilities including:

Resources

In addition to the Library and online access to secondary and primary resources, we draw on the University’s own archive, other archives and museum collections, and the campus itself in our teaching.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026
UK students part time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026
International students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,400
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026
All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You’ll have a passion for the subject, a curiosity for the sources of things, and how they inform our present, a commitment to finding out more, and a willingness to try new things. You may already have some great ideas about what you like to do and where you’d like to focus. Or you might want to look at historical topics in new ways, and explore aspects of the past you haven’t encountered before.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC usually including a Grade B in History or a related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 28 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in History or a related subject at Higher Level.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

We encounter the past every day, in news stories and current events; in political speeches and parliamentary debates; in the places around us. You can get ahead simply by listening, looking, and thinking about all of these. If you’d like to do some reading as well, here are some suggestions:

  • Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel, 1997
  • Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, 2015
  • Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, 2014

Programme Coordinator: Dr David Coast
Email: d.coast@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk