International Relations and Politics – BA (Hons) – Bath Spa University

International Relations and Politics

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics
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: IRP1 or IRP2 (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.

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.

2022/23 Academic Year

We’ve made some changes to how we deliver our courses in response to the ongoing COVID situation. This is to enable students to get the most out of their studies and university experience and to facilitate an engaging, participative and interactive learning environment, all while keeping our community safe.

We keep our programmes under constant review, and we’ll make sure to let applicants know if there are significant changes to your programme. You can find out more about how the University has adapted its approach on our COVID advice pages, where you’ll also find support and signposting to useful services.

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 BCC-CCC preferred.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 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, including 30 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

If not now, then when?

  • Combine professional skills and opportunities with subject knowledge in an innovative Politics degree.
  • Develop practical and professional skills. Apply both to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.
  • Explore the next stage in your career. Our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers.

Our innovative Politics degree has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge while developing practical and professional skills that you can apply to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.

What do people really mean when they say they’re not 'interested in politics'?

Political action or inaction shapes our lives every day, in ways which are often invisible, or which seem remote or impenetrable. We know that it matters, but we can also feel removed from it: the vast sums of money spent on elections and then nothing seems to change, the narrowness of so much debate and the pointlessness of point scoring, getting power in order to keep it.

We want to try to get under the surface of all these assumptions and ask if it really has to be this way. We want to try to understand the politics of everyday life, as well as the major challenges of climate change, poverty and inequality, the imbalances of wealth and power nationally and internationally, and between elected governments and unelected corporations. Who decides: the local councillor, the member of parliament, or the chairman of the board?

Develop practical and professional skills

Our course draws on a wider range of disciplines, and places the study of politics in historical, cultural and philosophical contexts. You’ll work collaboratively with students in other subjects in your first two years, in order to deepen your understanding and to sharpen your analysis of political ideas, processes and structures.

Explore the next stage in your career

You’ll be able to develop the skills you’ll need in the next stage in your career: how to plan a project, how to measure and evaluate outcomes, how to communicate effectively with different audiences, for different purposes. 


Open Days

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

Book your place


What you'll learn

Overview

Our Politics course takes a creative and collaborative approach to global political issues. Our Politics modules have been carefully designed to encourage you to look across the boundaries between different disciplines.

You'll focus on contemporary change, movements and action. You’ll also explore the historical and philosophical contexts in which political ideas develop, and investigate the social, environmental and cultural impacts of these.

Our perspectives are local and global, and our approach is applied. Understand how the world works, and then take your place in it. You may not become ‘A Politician’ but work in education, the third sector, financial services, health or social care has a political dimension, and demands the skills you’ll develop through your degree.

Course structure

Year one
Introductions and foundations: develop your skills in political thinking, 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 Politics 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 area of study, develop your proposal and put it into practice. This might be an extended piece of academic writing, but it might also be a pitch to a local employer, a community project or the creation of digital resources.

How will I be assessed?

We use a mix of traditional and contemporary assessments, including essays, group and individual presentations, online reports, surveys, projects, practical tasks and exams. You’ll also learn to communicate key messages visually, as well as in words.

How will I be taught?

You’ll participate in a variety of activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, practical sessions, masterclasses and field trips.

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 (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Adventure, Adversity, Austerity: The Politics of Modern Britain
  • Protest and Persuasion
  • Worlds of Ideas
  • Thinking Together: Humanities in the 21st Century

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • The Art of the Possible: Political Analysis and Policy Making
  • The Art of Persuasion: Advocacy for Change
  • Political Ideologies: Thinking in Action
  • Political Institutions and Social Change
  • Digital Humanities
  • Diaspora, Migration and Race
  • Working Together

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Politics Project
  • Issues in World Politics
  • Environmental Politics
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Identities and Inequalities
  • Propaganda, Censorship and Intelligence

2022/23 Academic Year

We’ve made some changes to how we deliver our courses in response to the ongoing COVID situation. This is to enable students to get the most out of their studies and university experience and to facilitate an engaging, participative and interactive learning environment, all while keeping our community safe.

We keep our programmes under constant review, and we’ll make sure to let applicants know if there are significant changes to your programme. You can find out more about how the University has adapted its approach on our COVID advice pages, where you’ll also find support and signposting to useful services.

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

Resources

All modules can be found on our Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva, providing unlimited online access to learning materials such as handbooks, lecture slides, assessment information, discussion boards and other 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 BCC-CCC preferred.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 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, including 30 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).

Programme Leader: Dr Alison Hems
Email: a.hems@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk