Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Overview Examine the major issues affecting the world. Discover why nation states rise and fall. Take a closer look at the factors behind international conflict, and learn the role state leaders, NGOs, civil society and activists play in solving these problems. On this BA (Hons) International Relations degree, you'll explore topics like global migration and the rise of populist politics around the world. You’ll learn the skills required to play your part in improving equality and enacting positive change. And after graduation, you’ll be ready for careers in local and national government, security, tech, intelligence, and with international charities and institutions like the UN. Course highlights

  • Learn from staff at our Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), whose research directly impacts government policy
  • Create policy briefing papers offering recommendations to practitioners on major recent international issues, such as the Ukraine Crisis, the 'MeToo' movement, the rise of terrorist organisations and the Arab Revolutions
  • Attend events and talks led by people working in NGOs, local, national and international government, and journalism
  • Go on field trips to locations such as the Houses of Parliament
  • Take part in a simulated ‘academic conference’, where you’ll present a paper that will be discussed with your peers
  • Have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner institutions – including Science Po Strasbourg (France), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and University of Szeged (Hungary)
Optional pathways
  • On this course, you can study history or international development alongside your international relations degree
Careers and opportunities The analytical skills you’ll develop on this course are in demand – your ability to understand complex issues and find solutions to them means that roles across government agencies, NGOs, charities, think tanks and international organisations are all within your reach. And with technology continuing to develop at a frantic pace, there’s an ever-increasing demand for graduates with the knowledge required to ensure new developments are ethical. When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills and cultural experience to work. What can you do with an International Relations degree? Graduates from this degree have gone on to careers in the following sectors:
  • local and central government
  • embassies
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • security services
  • international organisations, like the United Nations (UN)
  • international charities like War Child, Amnesty International or the Red Cross
  • policy research and think tanks
  • media and international business consultancy
  • political risk analysis
  • public relations
  • voluntary organisations
  • management
  • banking and financial services
  • tourism
What jobs can you do with an International Relations degree? Recent graduates have gone on to roles including:
  • director of Language Studies for an international school
  • political researcher, Houses of Parliament
  • assistant to Member of Parliament
  • civil servant, the Cabinet Office
  • senior policy advisor, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • communications officer, House of Commons
  • local government administrator, Government of Jersey
  • public affairs consultant
  • bilingual consultant
  • multilingual project coordinator
  • translator
  • social researcher
  • information officer
  • conference producer
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Subject options

This course offers the following subject options:

  • International Relations with Development Studies
  • International Relations with History


Year 1 Core modules in this year include:

  • Global Development
  • Key Themes in International Relations
  • Political Thought
  • Professional Practice: Skills for Academic and Professional Success
  • The Making of the Global South
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules in this year include:
  • Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations
  • International Thought
Optional modules in this year currently include:
  • A History of US Foreign Policy: From the Great War to 9/11
  • Analysing Foreign Policy
  • Autocracy and Democracy
  • Development and Democracy in Latin America
  • Digital Cultures: Exploring the Digital in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • East Asian States And Societies
  • Empire and its Afterlives in Britain, Europe and Africa
  • Engaged Citizenship in Humanities and Social Sciences - 20 credits
  • Global Security
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • Modernity and Globalisation
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday
  • News, Discourse and Media
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation
  • Professional Experience
  • Space, Place and Being
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  • US Politics
Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response Placement year (optional) On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry. We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year. Year 3 Core modules in this year include:
  • Dissertation / Major Project
  • Security Challenges in the 21st Century
Optional modules in this year currently include:
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
  • Global Health
  • Independent Project
  • International Security in the Asia-Pacific
  • NGOs and Social Movements
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Professional Experience
  • Race, Rights and Development: Global Perspectives on Inequality and Social Justice
  • Religion and Politics in Global Perspective
  • The European Union: A Global Power in the Making?
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through: written exams coursework article reviews essays projects briefing papers individual and group presentations 10,000 word dissertation You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future. The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows: Year 1 students: 25% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 67% by coursework Year 2 students: 35% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 58% by coursework Year 3 students: 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Main Site
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £17200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship. Placement Year and Year abroad fees: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 | EU – £925 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £1900. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to For optional placements or placements abroad, you may be required to pay for additional costs, such as travel costs. These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, ranging from £50 to £1000.
International Relations at University of Portsmouth - UCAS