Undergraduate open days 2023
Our summer open days give you Lancaster University in a day. Visit campus and put yourself in the picture.Undergraduate Open Days
Study with experts in British, Russian, and Middle Eastern politics
Study abroad and placement opportunities
2nd in the UK for Research Power in the Research Excellence Framework (2021)
Explore the role played by religion in the flux that characterises today’s geopolitical landscape. You’ll learn about and debate the latest research with our experts. You’ll leave with a unique, interdisciplinary perspective on global problems, ready for a career in policy, diplomacy, or development.
Religion in a world in transition
You’ll gain a grounding in the fundamental concepts and debates in international politics. You’ll learn to view religion in a global context, and explore how it influences the contemporary world. You’ll apply your knowledge to real-world issues which sit at the crossroads of religion and international relations, such as the tensions between tradition and globalisation.
You’ll study in a one-of-a-kind department which combines politics, philosophy and religion under one roof – bringing together expertise from across these fields to deliver a holistic perspective on complex global problems.
Join a strong community
As a member of our departmental community, you’ll have the chance to participate in events and debates attended by key figures in their fields. You’ll be encouraged to attend conferences organised by the Lancaster University China Centre and Security Lancaster,, keeping you up to date with current affairs and helping you to build your network. You might choose to pursue an internship with the Richardson Institute, which could see you develop your research skills on an exciting, real-world project with leading policy and research organisations.
The skills you will develop on this programme are increasingly in demand by employers. Clear communication, the ability to strongly argue your case and a critical approach to thinking are transferable skills that will stand you prepared to take on a number of exciting graduate roles.
What’s more, the expert knowledge you will attain on global religions and international relations will open the door to roles with an international focus.
Some of the careers a Global Religions and International Relations graduate might choose to pursue include:
Many graduates from our department also choose to go onto further study, taking a Master’s degree or PhD.
Find out more about the support the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion offers to improve your employability, and learn about the careers of some of our alumni.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring that you gain a highly reputable degree. We are also dedicated to ensuring that you graduate with relevant life and work-based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award, which offers you the opportunity to complete activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development.
Visit our Employability section for full details.
A Level ABB
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects.
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.
The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.
We will introduce you to some of the central aspects of the discipline of International Relations, providing a firm grounding in the major concepts and debates necessary to understand the modern world of international politics. You will have the opportunity to learn about: the dominant features and power relations of the contemporary global system; the nature of sovereignty and security, their expression and limitations; the real-world problems confronting the international community today.
Areas of study typically include:
+ International Relations Theory: the study of how relations between states can and should be viewed and theorised, Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism and Feminism.
+ Regional Studies: the study of some of the key regions of the world, and the politics of their interactions.
+ International Institutions and Law: the international organisations, customs, and rules that govern inter-state relationships.
+ Global Politics and Belief: the study of how religious and ideological belief can shape international politics and the relation of states.
+ International Crises: the study of pressing issues confronting the international community, such as environmental collapse, technological advance, the rise of non-state actors, and terrorism.
+ International Relations and the Domestic: the study of how the domestic agendas can shape and influence international politics.
Because of the increasing interdependence of the national and global, domestic politics and international relations can no longer be properly understood in isolation from one another. To ensure the best possible foundation for a degree in International Relations, in first year, we strongly recommend you also take Politics in the Modern World.
This module focuses on the international relations of one of the most influential actors in world politics: China. The module explores the key question of when and how China’s actions conform with – and diverge from – various international relations (IR) theories. In the module, you have the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of how China’s foreign policies are made, its relations with its neighbours in East Asia, with international organizations, and with other global powers including Britain. At the same time, you can gain a deeper, more concrete understanding of the uses and limitations of IR theory in explaining global politics.
This module seeks to identify and analyse violent and non-violent conflict behaviour as well as the structural mechanisms that are required to seek peace. In this module we examine various theoretical positions in this regard and their application in managing, preventing and transforming conflicts into situations and outcomes that are more peaceful. We look at both top down and bottom up approaches to peace enforcement and peacebuilding in ongoing conflict locations as well as in many post-conflict settings. In the course of the discussion, we interrogate various intervention strategies such as: the place of nonviolence in peace activism, the concept of just war in imposing a resolution, the role that women play in peacebuilding, global institutions that facilitate peacekeeping, inter-faith debate and dialogue that contribute to addressing religious extremism and radicalism. The overriding question that we examine through the course of this module, is transition from a belligerent world to a more peaceful and harmonious one through cosmopolitan responsibility. The module ends by exploring the ways that seek to reaffirm the ideal of peace in an increasingly volatile and fractured international society.
In the few years that have passed, the Middle East has experienced momentous changes. Most notable of these changes are the so-called ‘‘Arab Spring’’ uprisings, which started in late 2010, and the following consequences of these uprisings on the international relations of the region. Topics include the early emergence of Arab states, origins and sustainability of authoritarian regimes, state types and personality cult, masculinity and constructions of identity and belonging, women’s movements, social mobilization and the Arab uprisings. The module offers you the opportunity to engage with some of the most important themes in the study of the politics of the Middle East and to locate and contextualise them within wider debates and scholarship of international politics
This module examines the domestic and the external sphere of Russian politics. By the end of the module you will have had the chance to develop an understanding of some doctrines of Russian politics and its wide-ranging effects on Russia’s engagement with the EU, the US, NATO, countries in the former Soviet space and the Middle East. We assess Russia’s response to the Arab Spring and its engagement in the conflict in Syria.
The module introduces you to Russia, an actor which gained presence and influence over several issue areas and regions. In this module we aim to prepare you for more extensive analyses of conceptualising Russia as an actor in their future studies
Race has played a central role in shaping the political agendas of many nations around the world – and has acted both as a mechanism of political exclusion and as a form of politicised identity. In this module we critically examine the notion of race, and its connection to the politics of ethnicity, religious identity, and class. We examine the role race has played, and continues to play, in the determination of domestic and international politics. We look at the way in which race is politicised and de-politicised, and consider the nature of various forms of racism that exist in politics.
Religions may take on partly distinctive forms due to the history and traditions of particular regions or modern nation states. Islam is no exception. This module will examine varieties of Islam in a range of modern areas and countries such as Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Britain. It illustrates the socio-political contexts which have contributed to these variations both historically and in today’s world.
This module presents a detailed analysis of the major developments in British foreign policy since 1945. It explains these developments within a global context, offering rival interpretations of Britain’s changing role and status – issues whose importance has been underlined by the debates surrounding the 2016 ‘Brexit’ referendum. The major themes include: the consequences of Britain’s participation in the Second World War; the retreat from Empire after 1945; the ‘special relationship’ with the United States; and the prolonged attempt to redefine Britain’s global role in the context of perceived economic and geopolitical decline.
As the Middle East has long been [and still is] one of the most unstable regions in the world, and it is further bedevilled by strong authoritarian states and pervasive ethnic and sectarian violence, what explains this instability and ongoing tensions? By examining some of the key questions surrounding the study of Middle Eastern politics, this module aims to provide you with a critical perspective of the region’s politics. This module introduces you to an analysis of the history, politics, society, culture and religions of the Middle East with attention to major events in the region.
This module provides you with an opportunity to choose a topic related to some aspect of Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies which particularly interests you, and to pursue it in depth. The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. We encourage you to develop your research skills, and your ability to work at length under your own direction. You submit a 9,000 - 10,000 word dissertation by the end of the Lent term in your third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one's own research and planning and writing a dissertation
The aim of this module is to allow you to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of your choice, within the scope of your scheme of study. The topic will be formulated in dialogue with one or more external collaborator(s) and may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. You will have the opportunity to develop your employability and research skills, and your ability to work independently at length under your own direction with input from external and an academic supervisor. The external collaboration will give you the chance to enhance your ability to reflect on the impact of academic work. One option is to incorporate work done through the Richardson Institute Internship Programme, but you may also discuss other forms of collaboration with their supervisor. The completed dissertation is usually submitted at the start of Summer Term in the third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one’s own research and planning and writing a dissertation.
This module aims to introduce and familiarise you with the interplay between politics, society and religion in the world’s largest democracy, India. At a time when India is emerging as a global power and economic powerhouse despite persistent poverty and various socio-political fissures, a critical balance must be struck in our understanding between its potential and its problems. India offers powerful lessons on the challenges and achievements of democracy in a deeply pluralistic and unequal society. An examination of these issues opens up our conceptual preconceptions about democracy, competing political philosophies, religion, secularism, discrimination, globalization and political mobilization, which tend to be structured by knowledge of Western polities. The particular issues concerning large populations of many different religions and huge social differences offer pathways of understanding to many pressing global issues.
This module examines the changing character of war and security in a time of rapid and disruptive technological and geopolitical change. The module combines analysis of contemporary policy documents with the interdisciplinary insights of intellectuals that have examined how war has changed in the modern age. In this module you are introduced to a range of concepts that are currently significant in the policy debates about the future of war – concepts such as ambiguous war, the gray zone, the third offset strategy and the three block war. While the module is grounded in broader debates from social and political thought about war and modernity, it explores a range of evolving and inter-related case studies that are central to understanding how war is changing: cybersecurity/artificial intelligence; cities and urban war; drones and the future of robotics; climate change and ecological insecurity. Each year we try to bring a guest lecturer from the Ministry of Defence or the FCO to discuss questions relevant to the course – and to discuss how the course can be relevant to a broad range of careers.
The module aims to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the different facets of contemporary Asian conflicts and how international organisations such as the UN, and how Western and Asian governments have attempted to deal with these challenges in recent times. Conceptually, the module will examine the principles of state failure; terrorism, ‘New Wars’, the New Security Agenda, Islamism, nationalism and sub nationalism, international conflict prevention; peace keeping and global governance. Empirically, the module will focus on conflict zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indian Kashmir, the Indian northeast, Chinese Xinjiang and Tibet. Thus, the aim of this module is to provide you with an overview of the security of a region which is now of tremendous global importance.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2023/24 were:
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small college membership fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2022 and 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
In addition to travel and accommodation costs, while you are studying abroad, you will need to have a passport and, depending on the country, there may be other costs such as travel documents (e.g. VISA or work permit) and any tests and vaccines that are required at the time of travel. Some countries may require proof of funds.
In addition to possible commuting costs during your placement, you may need to buy clothing that is suitable for your workplace and you may have accommodation costs. Depending on the employer and your job, you may have other costs such as copies of personal documents required by your employer for example.
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
Our summer open days give you Lancaster University in a day. Visit campus and put yourself in the picture.Undergraduate Open Days
Join Meenal and Vlad as they take you on a tour of the Lancaster University campus. Discover the learning facilities, accommodation, sports facilities, welfare, cafes, bars, parkland and more.Undergraduate Open Days
The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.