BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics
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
Why study International Relationships and Politics at LJMU - YouTube
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
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.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
News and views
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What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.
Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules may also be 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.
Introduction to International Relations and Politics
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.
International History and State Formation
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.
Understanding the theories behind politics
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.
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.
Being Politically Engaged
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.
Communicating Politics and Protest
This module introduces you to a range of techniques for the analysis of political activism and political communication. It pays particular attention to new and emerging methods of communicating information on a variety of social and digital media platforms. It will look at key moments during the development of social media and net platforms such as the Arab Spring, and the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. The module will assess how online and social media have transformed political communication and empowered grassroots activists to become involved in major political issues.
Debating International Relations Theories
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
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.
The Scandinavian Dream: Nordic Politics, Culture, and Society
From the Confucian World to Chip War: Politics and Development in East Asia
Weekly lectures will provide background and contextual setting against which students will consider a range of primary source material in seminars. The seminars will provide a structured framework where sources will be dissected by students and used to stimulate discussion and debate.
International Politics at the Regional Level
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.
Study Semester Abroad International Relations and Politics
The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Study Year Abroad International Relations and Politics
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Sandwich Year - International Relations and Politics
The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.
Politics and Popular Culture
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.
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.
British Politics: Continuity, Change and Crisis
Research Project in International Relations and Politics
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.
Body Politics: Gender, Sexuality and Society
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.
The International Politics of Development at the Regional Level
This module is designed to familiarise students with debates surrounding the international politics of development. We live in an international system deeply divided in terms of national income and access to basic human welfare. This module aims to explore the politics behind why certain regions are rich and others poor. It does so by narrowing its focus onto a specific region of the world and examines the historical and contemporary factors shaping its economic development (or underdevelopment). In this module, students will examine key theories of development from the fields of international politics, political economy and development studies and the points of contention between them. It will then apply these empirically to explore different themes and case studies related to the development trajectory of a specific region of the world.
Non-western Political Theories
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.
Aesthetics and Politics
This module enables you to explore the nexus between literature, popular culture and mass communication and their political aspect which enables its interdisciplinary dimension. You will be led to read literature and films closely and relate the political-aesthetic aspect to your daily experiences.
US Democracy Promotion in the Contemporary Era
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
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.
The Politics of War and Organised Violence
Securing Spaces: Security and Places in the Modern World
Comparative Nationalism, Secession and the Politics of Territory
Fear and Loathing: the politics and aesthetics of aversive emotion
This module will begin by examining major philosophical and theoretical approaches to the study of emotions. Thereafter the module will examine a series of case studies in aversive emotions such as fear, hate, anger, and disgust. By the end of the module, students will have a strong understanding of the ways in which we might approach the analysis of emotions, and will have covered a range of contemporary cases allowing them to unpick the politics and aesthetics of aversive emotion.
Britain, Brexit, Europe and the Media
This module highlights the relationships between politicians and the media and the role of the media as a primary space for political agenda setting. The module will look at the political structures in Britain, including what devolution has meant for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will encourage you to engage closely with the political economy of the news media in Britain and the role that it plays in political communication. It will address the historically often jingoistic and patriotic nature of the English-based national news media and how that led to the grotesque caricatures of other nationalities and identities from the 19th century onwards. This ultimately led to the Euro-sceptic tradition in British newspapers which developed from the 1980s, just a decade after Britain had entered Europe, to the heated media and public debates leading up to Britain’s exit from the European Union following the Brexit referendum of 2016.
International Law, Peace and Security
This module provides you with an understanding of the history, nature and operation of international law and the actors and bodies involved in the development and enforcement of international law. It encourages reasoned, critical analysis and debate of contemporary issues within international law, with particular reference to the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security.
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.
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.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Matthew Hill
Dr Matthew Hill
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.
Where you will study
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.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 112
GCSEs 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
- Welsh GCSE in Maths or Numeracy
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- 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
- 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 acceptability: Yes
- Further information: At least 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits, or any other combination that equates to 112 UCAS Tariff points
- 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
- 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
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- T Level requirements:
112 UCAS Tariff points from a related subject
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
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.
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.
Reduced offer scheme
As part of LJMU’s commitment to widening access we offer eligible students entry to their chosen course at a reduced threshold of up to 16/8 UCAS points. This applies if you are a student who has been in local authority care or if you have participated in one of LJMU’s sustained outreach initiatives, e.g. Summer University. Please contact the admission office for further details.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
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.
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