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 through the degree, 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 final 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.
Your placement year
You will have the opportunity to spend Year 3 on a placement with a public, private or voluntary organisation in the UK or overseas. This experience should boost your employment prospects and help you to decide on your career direction and the kind of organisation in which you want to work once you graduate. You will be doing a real, responsible job – with all the satisfaction that brings.
Applying for a placement is a competitive process and our Placements Team will support you in finding and applying for a suitable placement. The preparatory modules you will complete in years one and two are designed to give you the best chance of success in both your placement applications and the placement itself.
One of the aims of the placement year is to enhance your understanding of the connections between theory and practice which could benefit your final year of study. Placements provide an exciting opportunity to build up experience and transferable skills, as well as to make contacts with potential employers, which can place you a step ahead in the graduate recruitment market.
The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills.
If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and would continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year. The University offers a range of shorter placement and internship opportunities for which you would be welcome to apply.
“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
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.