2023/24 entry

BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics with Foundation Year

Start date:
Study mode:
Full time
Course duration:
5 years, 4 years
Mt Pleasant
UCAS code:
Points required:

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
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 admissions

Send a message >

Why study International Relations and Politics with Foundation Year 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

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.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the International Relations and Politics honours degree programme yet. Once you pass the Foundation Year (level 3) you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

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

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.

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.

Go abroad

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: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

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.

Level 3

Core modules

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Investigating Liverpool
20 credits

This module provides you with the necessary skills to develop a research project on the Liverpool City region from your particular subject perspective. You will explain academic research methods, write a coherent piece of academic work based on an understanding of Liverpool, and locate relevant research to support your project. The module will help you to develop an independent approach to learning.

War: Conflict in the Arts and Humanities
20 credits

This module introduces you to key themes and perspectives in the Arts and Humanities through the cross-disciplinary study of representations of, and responses to, war. It will include regular assessment tasks in order to support a structured approach to learning.

Peace: the Pursuit of Harmony in the Arts and Humanities
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understandings of society at peace through a multi-disciplinary approach in the arts and humanities. The assessment tasks will enable you to focus on a subject area which will facilitate your selection of a pathway for Level 4.

Thirteen Days: the Cuba Missile Crisis in Retrospect
20 credits

This module will broaden your understanding of the Cuba Missile Crisis and wider issues connected with the Cold War. It will provide you with the opportunity to engage with a variety of sources and historical tools to better understand the past.

Introduction to International Relations and Politics
20 credits

This module is designed to help you understand the world in which we live in today. This module 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.

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.

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.

Communicating Politics and Protest
20 credits

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.

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.

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.

British Politics: Continuity, Change and Crisis
20 credits

The Scandinavian Dream: Nordic Politics, Culture, and Society
20 credits

From the Confucian World to Chip War: Politics and Development in East Asia
20 credits

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.

Sandwich Year - International Relations and Politics
120 credits

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.

Study Semester Abroad International Relations and Politics
60 credits

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.

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.

Aesthetics and Politics
20 credits

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
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.

The Politics of War and Organised Violence
20 credits

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.

Securing Spaces: Security and Places in the Modern World
20 credits

Comparative Nationalism, Secession and the Politics of Territory
20 credits

Fear and Loathing: the politics and aesthetics of aversive emotion
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

The International Politics of Development at the Regional Level
20 credits

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.

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.

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.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 72

Qualification requirements

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


  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: DM if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMP if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS Tariff points when combined with other qualifications

Access awards

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: At least 24 Merits and 21 Passes, or any other combination that equates to 72 UCAS Tariff points in a relevant subject

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 72 UCAS Tariff points

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 72 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum of 20 points from Ordinary Level

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

T levels

  • T Level requirements: 72 UCAS Tariff points in 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.

International requirements

Further information

  • 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.

International entry requirements

Find your country

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.