The interwoven nature of the relationship between politics and world affairs is fascinating and is at the centre of this degree programme. The course at Lancaster University is taught by lecturers who are passionate about their specialisms and bring their latest research and examples of the most topical issues into their teaching.
The degree covers a very wide range of topics and, as you advance into years two and three, you increasingly have the opportunity to tailor the degree to your own interests by choosing from a wide range of modules. You will find that the core topics we offer are typical of most Politics and International Relations degrees in the UK. An important difference however is that we also offer modules in many areas of specific and topical staff expertise concerning government and politics in Britain, Europe and the world, as well a range of other relevant optional modules due to the interdisciplinary (Politics, Philosophy and Religion) nature of our department.
The two cornerstones of your first year are the core modules Politics in the Modern World and International Relations: Theory and Practice. Each of these introduces key themes, concepts and events that are central to the study of politics and international relations at university level. These include a balance of practice and theory, domestic and global, and state and society. You will be able to choose a third module from a range of subjects that complement your studies.
In the second year and third years you will be able to choose from a broad range of options. These are just some examples of the many modules we offer:
- International Relations, Security and Sustainability
- International Relations and Politics of the Asia Pacific
- Russian International Politics
- China’s International Relations
- Britain in the World
- Contemporary Issues in Human Rights
- Religion and Violence
- Contemporary Issues in the Middle East
- Politics of Global Danger
The options available in any given year vary depending on our latest research, student feedback and topical concerns. You will find further information about modules in the Course Structure section.
In your final year, you have the opportunity to undertake a sustained investigation of a specific subject that interests you via the dissertation option.
“The Department has been a fascinating, welcoming and supportive environment from the beginning of first year to the end of final year. It is staffed by a diverse and friendly team that are always on hand to assist in matters, academic or general, whenever you need help. Lancaster offers a wide and varied range of modules throughout the degree which are taught with up-to-date research and essential critical insight.”
Ben Crumpton, BA (Hons) Politics and Philosophy
“I have just completed the Richardson Institute internship programme. The skills I have gained through this experience will prove invaluable later on in my career. It gave me the opportunity to develop practical research skills and data processing knowledge. It was also a good chance to network with people from various organisations engaged in the international security, development, and humanitarian fields.”
Bianka Venkataramani, BA (Hons) Peace Studies and International Relations
Placement Year and Study Aboard options
You can also study Politics and International Relations as a placement year degree (four years) which provides the opportunity for you to develop your employment experience and skills. Alternatively, there is the opportunity to opt for you to study abroad for a year and experience living in another country while studying your subjects from a different perspective. Our current partner universities are located in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the USA. Both options are valuable additions to your CV.
Short work and study experiences
We are home to the Richardson Institute for Peace Studies, which undertakes research into issues around peace and conflict. In recent years, the Institute has offered around 60 internships per year for students to undertake research projects for external organisations such as NGOs, think tanks, charities and faith based organisations. These internships are a terrific opportunity to undertake fascinating and rewarding projects, develop employability skills, build your professional network and enhance your CV.
You can also apply for placements and internships through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Past employers have included Carnegie Publishing, The Dukes Theatre, and the Ethical Consumer Research Association, with a range of roles available.
The University usually offers a variety of short overseas trips during vacation periods. In recent years these have included business, academic and cultural excursions during trips to Malaysia, India, Ghana, China and the US (New York and Boston).
We are a lively department and several staff are involved in national and international advisory groups and our students benefit from these connections. We have extra-curricular events such as conferences, talks and seminars taking place throughout the year.
Our students take part in the many clubs and societies that are supported by Lancaster University Student’s Union. There are many international societies representing different countries, as well as the Politics Society (which is independent of any particular political leaning), societies for all main UK political parties, debating society, InterVol and many more. There are regular events, debates, trips and high profile visiting speakers, which provide numerous ways to get involved and meet other students who share your interests.