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BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

Course overview

Start date

September 2017

Subject area

Social Sciences





On campus

Course summary

Do you want to make sense of the post-truth world, encapsulated by events such as Brexit and the US Election? Are you interested in understanding how global powers interact, both in times of war and peace?

Would you like to know more about international organisations and their capacity to control and shape development around the world? Do you want to learn about political participation and become an active citizen, so that you can contribute to policy-making processes?

If you answer 'Yes' to any of these questions, then our International Relations course is for you.

Global politics has become increasingly turbulent, foundations and systems are being shaken, and relations between nations are being shifted and tested. There is a new demand for experts who are able to understand and work in this new political arena. With our innovative Politics and International Relations course we can equip you with the skills and knowledge to play an active role in this new world.

There has never been a more pressing and fascinating time to study and make a career in international politics.

UCAS points


Course options


UCAS code


UCAS points

Less points?

Course options

Degree + Foundation year

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

Get in touch


in London for student satisfaction

An incredible endorsement from our own students, who rated us top in London and 4th in the United Kingdom for student satisfaction. (Complete University Guide, 2018)

Global study

Learn with students from all over the world through our vibrant, international community at UEL, as well as benefit from excellent study abroad opportunities in Brazil, USA, Australia, Sweden and Norway

Study what's happening right now

Brexit, Trump, North Korea, are all topics that change at a blistering pace, and we are right on top of it and provide you with the tools to analyse and critique current affairs, significantly aiding your employability when you graduate. 

Enquire Visit UEL

Ngalazu Phiri

International Politics (now Politics and International Relations), BA (Hons)

Studying International Politics at UEL has opened many doors for me. While studying, I did internships with London Citizens and Movement for Change. This gave me opportunity to build a network and develop practical skills. I’m currently working as a community organiser for London Citizens.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
Extended Diploma (QCF) or Diploma (QCF)
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and maths (See below for accepted equivalences)


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.


Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

We will also consider the UEL New Beginnings pre-entry course

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).

Level 2 equivalences such as Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths, Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

On your International Politics course, you’ll ask questions about who gets what at international level and how decisions are reached when it comes to distributing power, wealth and resources.

You’ll study theory in modules such as Political Philosophy, International Organisation and Global Governance and you’ll see it brought to life in a fascinating modules such as Women, Power and Politics as you investigate how global political change has come about.

You’ll also find modules to develop your particular interests or passions in politics such as War Revolution and Upheaval in Twentieth Century Europe or Islam and Society.

You’ll be taught by experts in their field such as Dr Branislav Radeljic, who has written books on conflict in the European Union, both from the point of view of the former Yugoslavia and the impact of Islam on EU policy.

Is there even going to be an EU in the future? This is an example of the topics our students debate in their third-year seminars.

What you'll study and when

If you don’t meet the entry requirements for a bachelor’s degree, you can study this course as an ‘extended’ four-year programme. You’ll begin with a foundation year, which will prepare you for a successful transition to the degree course a year later.

By the end of the degree you’ll gain the same qualification as those obtaining direct entry to the course but you’ll take one year longer to complete your studies.

Key Themes and Debates in Social Sciences (Core)
Academic Literacy and Research for Social Scientists (Core)
Reading the World as a Social Scientist (Core)
Globalisation and Social Movements (Optional)
Who are you? Reading the body Psychosocially (Optional)
Game Changers in Sociology (Optional)
Crime, Surveillance and Society (Optional)

Making a Social Scientist (Core)
Politics and Public Policy (Core)
International Relations (Core)
Global Political Economy (Core)

Research Methods in Social Sciences (Core)

Depending on which pathway you take, the following modules may be core or optional:

Postcolonial Politics
Global Governance
Conflict Resolution
Community Organising


Dissertation (Core)
Work Placement (Core)

Depending on your pathway, these modules can either be core or optional:

Politics of Global Powers
EU Politics
Gender, Power and International Politics
Conflict Intervention and Development
Public Relations, Promotion and Media

How you'll be assessed

The year of study is divided into two terms. If you’re a full-time undergraduate you’ll study three modules per term, each of which we assess with two pieces of coursework. Coursework is made up of essays, book reviews, presentations and project work.

Course specification Foundation Year Specification

How you'll learn

You’ll be based at our waterside Docklands campus, where we’ll teach you through a combination of lectures and small group seminars. Our emphasis will be on bringing international politics alive.

Your tutors, headed by Dr Timothy Hall, want to ensure that you progress from theory to practice during your three years on the course.

Dr Hall is leading a research programme that aims to create a Living Wage zone in the London Borough of Newham. Our students are helping on this community-based project, which follows a similar project in Westminster in 2012, to which UEL students also contributed. 

Our department has developed innovative teaching methods. For example, we teach the third-year Community Organising module as an intensive one-week summer school with a 100-hour field placement within a community organisation.

We’ll encourage you to adopt a critical approach to the subject, to challenge the assumptions about how international politics operates and how it is depicted in the media.

In your third year, you’ll take a dissertation module. This will allow you to study an aspect of international politics that you've found particularly stimulating in greater depth. It will also enable you to develop and shape your own area of expertise.

“We are in the laboratory of east London, says Dr Hall. “Many research projects are focused here, so students will be out in the field when they come here.”

Your future career

You’ll develop a range of skills, knowledge and insights that you can transfer to careers in public bodies such as central and local government, pressure groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or community organisations.

Your tutors place a strong emphasis on role-playing and simulation of real-life situations throughout the course. These will allow you to step into the world of work with confidence.

The variety of roles into which University of East London graduates go into is as wide as it is interesting. You could decide to move into the not-for-profit sector as a community organiser, a case worker or a civic engagement officer.

Or how about becoming a project manager or a campaign organiser? Equally, you’ll have gained the skills necessary to land a job as a communications officer or to specialise in research.

Not only is UEL at the forefront of research, it’s also pioneering new fields of study. Among the many postgraduate courses on offer for those who decide to stay with us is the innovative Refugee Studies MA course – the first of its kind in the country.

Kathryn Perera, chief executive of Movement for Change, can vouch for the rich opportunities available to our undergraduates.

“Studying international relations at UEL offers students the opportunity to access state-of-the-art political training and work with inspiring mentors,” she says.

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  • BA (Hons)

    Politics and International Relations (with Foundation year)


Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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