International Relations

BA Hons

  • UCAS Code 6T99
  • Entry Year 2023 or 2022
  • A Level Requirements ABB
  • Duration Full time 3 Years

Overview

Top reasons to study with us

  • 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)

We live in an increasingly globalised world: one in which trade, politics and collaboration takes place across international borders. Studying International Relations at Lancaster will develop your ability to think in global terms – and to understand the nature of the political, economic and environmental challenges that confront us in the twenty-first century.

At Lancaster, a research-led environment will underpin your learning, giving you the chance to explore the complex interactions between key states and non-state actors with experts who are specialists in different regions of the world. We offer an exciting atmosphere to think critically about how conflict and cooperation is influenced by issues of power, law, diplomacy, religion and economics.

By working closely with our academics, you’ll develop the ability to analyse international events, conduct research, and apply that knowledge effectively. Whatever your goals, studying International Relations at Lancaster will equip you to think clearly about the international dimensions of the issues you’ll confront in your future

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 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 cornerstones of your first year is the core module International Relations: Theory and Practice, which explores the challenges that confront states and international organisations in an increasingly global world and introduces the methods and theoretical approaches that we use in the study of International Relations at university level. You will also take two optional modules. We recommend that you choose Politics in the Modern World, which introduces key themes, concepts and events that are important in the study of modern politics at university level. This includes a balance of political practice and theories, in Britain and across the world. 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 (recommended)
  • International Relations and Politics of the Asia Pacific
  • Politics of Development - Latin America
  • Russian International Politics
  • China’s International Relations
  • Contemporary Issues in the Middle East
  • Britain in the World
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Rights
  • Understanding External Intervention in Violent Conflicts
  • Religion and Violence

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.

“Studying International Relations at Lancaster has been an absolute joy. The atmosphere is so welcoming, the academics always kind and generous with their time, and the department always there to offer any support you might need. It is home to an impressive collective of global experts on a wide array of topics within both politics and international relations, and getting the opportunity to engage with them on a daily basis has truly enriched my educational experience. 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 was 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) or a study abroad degree (three years). The placement year degree provides the opportunity for you to develop your employment experience and skills, while via a study abroad degree you can experience living in another country and 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 and you will find further details in the Similar Courses section below.

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).

Extra curricular

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.

Careers

As a graduate of International Relations you may be interested in careers such as Teaching, Journalism, Corporate Planning, Civil Service, in International charities and in International business. We will help you determine your direction and aim to support you in getting there. We do this by offering subject-specific support from academic tutors and careers advisers.

We are home to the Richardson Institute, which undertakes peace and conflict research. In recent years, the Institute has offered around 60 internships per year for students to undertake research projects for external organisations. You can also apply for internships as part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Internship Scheme. Past employers have included Carnegie Publishing, The Dukes Theatre, and the Ethical Consumer Research Association, with roles ranging from marketing and PR to specific research projects with heritage or humanitarian organisations.

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also 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 key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Entry Requirements

Grade Requirements

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.

Other Qualifications

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 ugadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

Course Structure

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.

Core

Optional

Optional

Optional

Fees and Funding

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12-month session, starting in the October of your year of study.

Our Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2023/24 are:

UK International
£9,250 £21,980

Scholarships and bursaries

At Lancaster, we believe that funding concerns should not stop any student with the talent to thrive.

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover the cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses.

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Important information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 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.

Our Students’ Charter

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.