Course options

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Course summary

The rise of China as a superpower, the storming of the US Capitol, the international responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, COP26 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. What ties all these events together? Our BA Global Politics and International Relations provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to give an answer to this and many more questions that are at the heart of concerns about international politics today. The course focuses on political changes that are sweeping the globe, transforming politics across countries and regions, as well as relations between states in the international system. Yet today is not the first time in human history that global political relations have undergone such extensive change, and an important aspect of the degree is the goal of understanding this history, and particularly the history of the modern world. Without this political-historical understanding, we cannot make sense of the momentous developments we see around us. On this course you will receive a grounding in the key concepts and theories that inform the study of global politics and international relations. You will study the core institutions and process of the international political and economic system, as well as the challenges that are posed by the central political problems of the present, including climate change, transformations in the nature of warfare, as well as social conflicts and exclusions centred around class, gender and race. Our academics are outstanding researchers in the fields of international relations, international political economy, political and historical sociology, political theory, public policy, and the study of countries and regions such as Britain, China, the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and East Asia. They publish their research in major academic journals and widely read books. In other words, in Birkbeck’s Department of Politics you are taught on the basis of new knowledge generated by those who teach you. These academics engage not only with the wider public by publishing articles in newspapers, contributing to TV and radio programmes, and writing blogs on political analysis websites, but also engage with politicians and others who play a key role in today’s political landscape. If you opt for the Foundation Year route, this will fully prepare you for undergraduate study. It is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree. Highlights

  • Birkbeck is a distinguished centre of research and teaching excellence in politics. Our central London location puts us at the heart of the UK's political life and at the centre of academic London.
  • Our Department of Politics is over 40 years old and has a reputation for the excellence of its teaching and its internationally significant research.
  • Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.
  • Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T.S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.
  • Our courses are designed to encourage independent thinking and hone your argumentative, analytical and critical skills, while our teaching uniquely moves across the boundaries between subjects, encompassing, among others, economics, history and sociology.
Careers and employability Graduates can pursue career paths in national and international government, pressure groups, journalism and research. Possible professions include:
  • civil service fast-streamer
  • journalist
  • diplomatic services operational officer
  • social researcher.

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Coursework and examination.


How to apply

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential. FOUNDATION YEAR DEGREES Our 'with Foundation Year' route is designed to give you extra support as it provides you with an additional year (full-time) or two years (part-time) of supported study. This is an ideal route if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you did not achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree. Once you successfully complete your Foundation Year studies, you will automatically advance onto the main degree. ALTERNATIVE ENTRY ROUTES Students achieving more than 50% in modules taken as part of Birkbeck’s Certificate of Higher Education in Politics and International Studies are normally given entry to the degree, and the modules taken can be credited to the degree.


English language requirements


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
90%
Student satisfaction
55%
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
95%
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £16020 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Global Politics and International Relations at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS