2022/23 entry

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

3 years

UCAS code:


Points required:



Mt Pleasant

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
International (full-time):
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175


International enquiries


Send a message >

Why study International Relations and Politics at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • Develop your own political voices and choose how to actively engage with world affairs
  • Hear from experts and practitioners in the field of International Relations
  • The option to study abroad for either a semester or a year with one of our overseas partners
  • The option to do a year-long work placement in an international-related organisation
  • Participate in field trips to visit and understand the complex workings of institutions and think tanks
  • Join a highly motivated and research active academic community
  • Attend the Perspectives in IR research seminar series
  • Learn a language online through Rosetta Stone

About your course

This innovative degree will provide a grounding in international relations theory while examining in-depth issues of enduring international significance. In examining the challenges the world faces today, we will encourage you to develop your own opinions and actively engage in politics.

The degree takes an expanded definition of what is International Relations and covers a range of subjects from economics, politics, law and culture to examining the actions of international organisations, nation-states and non-state actors. It provides you with an essential grounding in international relations theory and a range of specialist modules, which examine in-depth issues of enduring international significance, such as conflict, state-building, and the role of multilateral organisations.

​To develop your knowledge and interest in the varying topics and roles that people do, we will hold and attend regular events and workshops with practitioners and experts.

WATCH: a short video with programme leader, Dr Matthew Hill talking about the International Relations and Politics degree

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)


  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.


Typically, students who study the BA will be progressing from their A Levels in history and politics.

This programme aims to enhance your career prospects in a range of international relations related fields such as in the government and non-government sectors. It is why you will meet practitioners, go on field trips, and have the opportunity to gain work experience in the field.

​If you are interested in studying international relations further then this BA will provide a solid basis for applying to do an MA in the subject.

Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 4

Core modules

Introduction to International Relations and Politics
20 credits

This module enables you to understand the world in which we live today. It provides a solid grounding in the study of international affairs through the varying theories that have been developed throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries. Through discussing these theories, we also examine how they have informed the international system and the institutions and practices that operate within it. 

Understanding the Theories Behind Politics
20 credits

Theory is an important tool in understanding why and how we act, whether it be as an individual or a group. This module encourages us to think about the different ways in which we have attempted to understand the relationship between the human, state and society. All too often our understanding of these theories are driven by Western political thought. Whilst an essential component, this module will also explore non-Western thoughts on this relationship in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of humans and the world in which we live.

Comparative Politics
20 credits

In order to understand how the state engages with other actors at the international level it is essential to understand how the state functions. It is driven both by theory and practical examples. In this module you will examine the various political models and how they operate in practice. How does China, for example, operate in the space between authoritarian rule and democracy? Does China's political model offer stability and an example for other states to follow? Can a state lose its democratic identity as well as gain one? These are all the kinds of questions that arise when comparing different political systems, states and societies with each other. 

Researching International Relations and Politics
20 credits

This module provides you with the necessary skills and tools to analyse academic research on international relations and politics. A skills specific session will be incorporated in this module.

Being Politically Engaged
20 credits

By providing you with an understanding on how you can engage with the world, this module helps encourage your political development. It is not the purpose of the module to tell you what to believe in but it is responsible for showing you how you can advocate your political positions. This module brings in activists, experts and scholars to discuss how they are involved in politics in order to give you a grounding of the different ways in which you can engage with your own politics.

International History and State Formation
20 credits

The state in international affairs is an essential component to the study of International Relations. This module will guide you through its development in Europe from the 17th Century to the present day. We will explore how the state operated during this period, and question why it has been so resilient an entity for human organisation. We will also examine the impact of the end of the Cold War along with how subsequent thinking has led to significant changes in how the state and its power are understood by the international community. 

Level 5

Core modules

Debating International Relations Theories
20 credits

In the first year of your degree you would have examined the different theories that are applied in International Relations, and how they were developed. Whilst you would have touched on how these theories formed and how they disputed each other, this module goes into the controversies in further detail. Structured around the 'Great Debates', this module provides greater insight into the theories that help inform our understanding of the world.

Research Paper in International Relations and Politics
20 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of a particular topic in International Relations and Politics, and enables you to develop the necessary research skills in preparation for your Level 6 dissertation.

Optional modules

International Politics at the Regional Level
20 credits

This module enables you to focus on a particular region of the world based on what is of particular interest in the year of delivery, and contingent on the research expertise of the instructor.

Colonial Africa, 1880-1994
20 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce you to modern African history in order to develop an understanding of colonial rule and decolonisation in Africa.

Politics and Popular Culture
20 credits

This module enables you to explore politics and popular culture as a sub-field that articulates the ways in which politics is understood through popular culture. It demonstrates how theory as a means of making sense of the world impacts upon the everyday. It provides you with an opportunity to take ownership over your learning process through student-led seminars, guided by preceding interactive lectures.

International Organisations
20 credits

This module enables you to explore the roles and relations of international organisations through a thematic approach. This will allow you to engage with key organisations focussing on broader themes of international politics, such as aid and development, health, security and the environment. This approach will allow you to engage with core debates and explore the roles of a multitude of organisations.

A Bitter Resurgence: China into the Modern World (1894-1992)
20 credits

This module is designed with the understanding that our extant historical knowledge (which is implicitly Eurocentric) needs to be globalised. It means that non-western history should be better weighted and given due attention rather than seen as a passive receiver of western impacts. It emphasises a lot on the multiplicity of actors in the making of Chinese history and, more importantly, their connections and complex relationships.

Level 6

Core modules

Research Project in International Relations and Politics
40 credits

The dissertation is an independent research project. Working under the direct supervision of a research-active member of staff, you will produce an extended piece of original independent research which will draw upon the latest developments in your field and demonstrate your in-depth knowledge. It will further enhance key transferable skills developed from the Level 5 Research Paper in International Relations and Politics, such as project management, effective research skills, effective communication, critical analysis and high-level evaluation of data, as well as professional time-management.

Optional modules

Non-Western Political Theories
20 credits

This module is designed with the understanding that our extant historical knowledge (which is implicitly Eurocentric) needs to be globalised. It means the non-western world should be better weighted and given due attention rather than seen as a passive receiver of western impacts. It emphasises a lot on the historically situated forces in the making of non-western world of ideas and, more importantly, their connections and complex relationships.

The International Politics of Development
20 credits

This module enables you to study the interplay between development and International Relations. It will also encourage you to take a critical look at the pragmatic issues in global governance. 

Ten Great Books in International Politics
20 credits

This module familiarises you with the classics of the discipline and prepares you for your dissertation. Success in this module will form a solid grounding for your literature review of the dissertation and strengthen your ability in understanding International Relations theoretically. Close reading of key texts will be an essential part of the learning activities.

Politically Engaging with the State
20 credits

This is a practical module designed to enable you to engage with the state apparatus through submitting written evidence to an International Relations-related UK Parliament Select Committee. It also educates you on the state political process and supports the development of your political positions.

US Democracy Promotion in the Contemporary Era
20 credits

This module provides you with a critical reflection on the application of democracy promotion by successive US governments, and questions whether democracy promotion as employed by the US delivers democracy.

Sport, Crime and Politics: Critical Sociological Analyses
20 credits

This module adopts various sociological and critical criminological approaches in the understanding of sport in contemporary societies. You will look at issues relating to recent transformations, prejudices and cultural cohesion in the world of sport, focusing in particular on developments relating to issues such as racism, nationalism, globalisation and gender prejudice. The module will also be centrally concerned with the transformation of sport in the light of ongoing changes to a consumerist society.

Laws of War
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the historical development of the laws of armed conflict and engage in historical debate on the success and failures of the international humanitarian law regime. You will also understand the relationship between societal change, mass culture and the practice of war.

The United Nations and International Security
20 credits

The role played by the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security is both an interesting and controversial issue. In light of much recent international conflict, the module is very topical and likely to evolve constantly with changes in the international political climate. The module adopts an interdisciplinary approach, considering not only the legal rules which govern UN activity, but also the impact of political factors upon the work of the UN. The module is likely to be of special appeal to those with interests in international affairs, politics or history.

Body Politics: Gender, Sexuality and Society
20 credits

In this module you will explore sociological and feminist debates around the body, gender and sexuality. You will engage with ideas which challenge the normative representations and 'taken for granted ideas' around body shape and image, gender and sexualities. It covers topics such as body modification, beauty, pornography, sex work, trans* identities and violences against the body.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

The aim is to give you as much insight into the world of international relations as possible and this is best achieved through a mix of academic discussion and real-world experiences.

Work-related Learning

This degree is focused on helping you to develop first-rate skills in communication and critical analysis, which are highly valued by employers.


Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

​From the moment you begin your studies at LJMU, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will meet with you one-to-one to discuss course-related issues, monitor your progress and help you to put your career plans in place.



Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

Teaching is a combination of class discussions, lectures and workshops with core academic staff and invited practitioners, experts and guest lecturers. The aim is to give you as much insight into the world of international relations as possible and this is best achieved through a mix of academic discussion and real-world experiences.

​The aim in all the assessments is to test your understanding of international relations and politics. We all learn in different ways, and our assessments are a mixture of essays, essay plans, presentations and research project.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Matthew Hill

Dr Matthew Hill

Programme leader

Matthew joined Liverpool John Moores University as a Senior Lecturer in US History and International Relations in April 2014. Prior to LJMU, Matthew was a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University working as the Course Convenor for the MA in International Relations. Prior to that, he worked as a Lecturer in US Politics at the School of Advanced Study, University of London where he taught on the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. He was also the principal investigator for two US-based research projects on UK-US Relations In An Age Of Global War 1939-1945, which examined official UK perspectives towards the US, and examined Women and US Foreign Policy, where he interviewed predominantly women involved, and affected by US foreign policy. Matthew was also a lecturer in politics at De Montfort University, Oxford Brookes University and Cardiff University. He completed his Ph.D. on US democracy promotion in Bosnia and Afghanistan under Presidents Clinton and Bush, and his MA was in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

This is an ideal course for people who wish to develop their own political voices and choose how to actively engage with world affairs.


What you can expect from your School

The School of Humanities and Social Science offers an ideal environment in which to expand your knowledge and horizons. Situated on Mount Pleasant in the new ‘Knowledge Quarter’ of Liverpool, the School is home to five subject areas: English, History, International Relations, Sociology, and Media, Culture & Communication. It has a lively programme of cross-disciplinary research seminars, conferences, visits from international scholars and public events. Research from the School is recognised nationally and worldwide.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 112

GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:

  • Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
  • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
  • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
  • Higher Diploma in Maths/English
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/English
  • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
  • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: BBC
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* required or 112 UCAS Tariff points if studied in combination with other Level 3 qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM required or 112 UCAS Tariff points if studied in combination with other Level 3 qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Yes
  • Further information: At least 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits, or any other combination that equates to 112 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 112 UCAS Tariff points from Composite Parts and in combination with other Level 3 qualifications

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS Tariff points with maximum 20 points from Ordinary Level

Alternative qualifications considered

​Mature applicants will be considered on an individual basis. These applicants may be required to submit an essay and/or attend an interview, and should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience.

International applicants will be considered in line with UK qualifications. Any applicant whose first language is not English will be required to have IELTS 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in each component) or acceptable equivalent. If a prospective student does not have the required English language scores then LJMU has 6, 12 and 20 week of English training programmes (https://www.ljmuisc.com/programmes/presessional-english) that students can enrol on in order to improve their language skills to a sufficient level to enable them to enrol on the BA. The programme takes place in the summer before the BA starts.

Will I be interviewed?

No interview required


6.0 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

Can this course be deferred?


Is a DBS check required?


International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.