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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

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.

Our foundation year course is perfect if you want a degree in International Relations but you don't have the standard entry requirements. First we prepare you for your degree during the Foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full undergraduate degree.

What makes this course different

Foundation pathway

Foundation Year

Find out more about our flexible social science foundation pathways leading you to an undergraduate degree in Sociology, Sociology with Criminology, Politics and International Relations, International Development and NGO Management, Psychosocial Community Work ,Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Criminology and Criminal Justice (Cyber Crime)

Find out more
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1st 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)

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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

Globe

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.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

On your International Politics course, you'll ask questions about who gets what at the international level and how decisions are reached when it comes to distributing power, wealth and resources. We will encourage you to develop your own perspective and give you the tools to express your opinions through a variety of formats. 

You'll study theory in modules such as Politics, International Relations, and Global Governance and you'll see it brought to life in fascinating modules such as Gender, Power and International Relations 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 African Politics, Politics of Global Powers, and Rethinking Security.

You'll be taught by authorities in their field such as Dr Aura Lounasmaa, who is an expert on forced migration and gender politics, and has carried out research on women's NGOs in Morocco, migrant access to higher education and political activism in civil society. 

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Knowledge, Skills, Practice and the Self: Mental Wealth

    This module will allow you to acquire tangible evidence to support your employability narrative at interviews as you progress through your academic studies. The module recognises the importance of acknowledging the value of skills, competencies and experience (SCE) beyond academic subject assessment to aid you in securing a job and support your career acceleration. It forms the foundation of the Career Passport pathway in the Communities cluster of the Cass School of Education and Communities, anticipating the more in-depth approach to skills at Levels 4 and 5.

    The focus will be on knowledge of the labour market and the range of individual intelligences and digital proficiency, required for social sciences related employment. The module will consider the relationship between skills, technology and work by introducing you to debates surrounding contemporary work theories. Concepts such as ‘skill’, ‘de-skilling’, ‘re-skilling’ and ‘under-utilisation of skills’ will be explored. You will draw on your own experiences of work and consider how university prepares you for careers in the 21st century, including that of social entrepreneurship; this will include group work and presentation skills. Digital proficiency will enable you to use ICT effectively, encourage technological literacy and reflections on your use of social media and your digital footprint. You will be encouraged to examine personal experience of technologies and how technologies are part of our private worlds - what Sherry Turkle terms ‘the inner history of devices’ and issues related to inequalities and the digital divide. You will develop their emotional, social, physical and cognitive intelligence in preparation for success at Level 4.

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    Exploring Communities as Social Scientists

    This module extends your understanding of local and global communities through applying the sociological concepts of community, identity, place, social memory and migration. It builds on your existing knowledge of the global and local contexts of your future academic study and employment. Cultural capital and knowledge of the complexities of communities will be introduced through topical readings, a guided walk of a London neighbourhood and a visit to a museum that you will prepare for and reflect on, using the key concepts of identity, place, social memory and migration. The module frontloads key academic skills required for university education and consolidates them throughout the module in order to support your learning in other modules at this level and above as well as your future careers.

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    Researching Changing Communities

    The module extends your previous knowledge and understanding of how and why local ‘communities’ change over time. ‘Communities’ will be defined either geographically - such as a territorial neighbourhood/post code or culturally - such as an ethnic, linguistic or religious group. It builds on your experiential knowledge of local and global communities through introducing you to academic and policy-related literature and to sociological concepts, research methods, skills and ethics. The module also consolidates core academic skills valuable in other modules as well as your future career. You will carry out a small, guided research project that will include a semi-structured interview with an individual professionally or socially connected to the ‘community’ combined with secondary research reading academic and policy literature) into the chosen ‘community’. In addition, the research project allows you to engage with and apply sociological concepts studied in all other L3 modules on this programme (for example crime, surveillance, globalisation, as well as core career related modules.).

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    Reimagining the Work of a Social Scientist

    This module brings you into contact with the communities and professional settings that you, as social scientists, may aspire to engage with and/or work within. The module engages you in flipped classroom activities and real-world issues through visits, external speakers and group activities. Through engagement with people who work in social science related fields the module builds your social and cultural capital for future employment and helps you become a flexible thinker. It focuses on understanding inclusivity in the workplace and society. This module will also allow you the opportunity to acquire tangible evidence to support your employability narrative, including preparation for future placements and interviews, as you progress through your academic studies, The focus will be on professional communication skills, team work and industry and community connections. The module will consider the relationship between community action, critical thinking outside the classroom and career aspirations by introducing you to real world settings where social science and social theories are currently applied. It challenges you to think critically about the everyday.

    External visits include group visits to art gallery or a museum, community organisation or an NGO supporting and advocating for people with vulnerabilities and other professional organisations. These visits are followed by guest speakers and lectures which engage you in similar debates. You may also make an independent visit to a court, political organisation or a museum and develop your organisational, independent research and professional communication skills through such visits.

    Optional Modules
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    Crime, Justice and Surveillance

    This module introduces you to crime and surveillance from sociological and criminological perspectives and offers you theoretical and practical skills and experiences that prepare you for your journey as a criminologist. It considers how surveillance overlaps with many fields, including crime detection and prevention and the management of dangerous spaces and people.  It also offers an introduction to Cybercrime and you will be  asked to produce a public information leaflet that outlines the dangers of the internet. It includes a field trip to see a court in action as part of the teaching for coursework two.

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    Reading the Body Psychosocially

     

    In this module, you will consider the choices you make in relation to your own body and its presentation to others and in so doing will consider how a psychosocial approach to the body embraces choices informed rationally and irrationally. The latter incorporate the personal and political as well as changing attitudes to health and life.

    The human body and the nature of embodiment constitute a critical area of academic research and are central to cultural and social change. In a rapidly changing globalised world the body is a prime terrain of identity formation through popular discourses, surgical interventions, the aesthetisation of everyday life and online practices. At the same time, the commodification of the body, whereby the body becomes fragmented into a series of parts, objectified and represented through the media and promotional culture, is normalised as ‘ideal’. But what of its counterparts: the diseased body; the ageing body; the disabled body or even the monstrous body, the subject of literature and film since Shelley’s Frankenstein and the postmodern turn to vampires and zombies?

    This module adopts a Psychosocial approach (as an integral part of the Social Sciences), whereby the body can be explored as a contested site for the operations of affect, power and identity, and explored via social categories such as gender, race, class and dis/ability. Bringing together sociological and cultural theory with basic concept of Freudian psychoanalysis, this module provides you with a succinct and focused introduction to interdisciplinary thinking within the Social Sciences.

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    Introduction to Digital Sociology

    This module introduces you to Digital Sociology by exploring what it means to be a sociologist in the rapidly developing technological world. It will also introduce you to digital social research methods, asking what issues there are for social researchers in a digital society; what new material is available to social researchers; how social scientists can harness the new tools available to them and how they can navigate through this space in a secure, mindful and ethical way? 

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    Globalisation & Society

    This module introduces you to key issues and debates about globalisation and society.  Knowledge of the complexities of globalisation is introduced through [a] topical readings [b] a guided tour of Parliament [c] a visit to the British Museum that you will prepare for and reflect on, using the key concepts of political economy. As well as the two core visits, the topics are presented and examined through lectures, seminars, workshops and film.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth 1: Knowledge, Skills, Practice and the Self

    The module aims to ground and complement other shared or common level 4 programme modules by providing an introduction to the key Vision 2028 ‘UEL Graduate Attributes’, such as the psychological and physical determinants of human performance that are difficult or impossible to be replicated by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The module takes a psychosocial approach to exploring ‘the self’ in both personal and professional contemporary contexts. The module aspires to provide an intellectually integrative and socially cohesive workshop experience.

    The module will provide an opportunity for students to review their own personal development to date self-reflexively.

    With these ends in mind, the module introduces students to theories of individual and social inequalities and how the latter can inform one’s approach to ‘community businesses ‘that is, all kinds of activities and enterprises run by local people for local people’ https://www.powertochange.org.uk/get-inspired). In the context of understanding the concept of, designing and exploring a community business, students will identify their employment and career aspirations and their personal, professionally relevant skills and potential abilities. Students will learn to develop skills with a psychosocial approach to research by gathering and presenting data in relation to their proposed community project.

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    Politics

    To provide students with an introduction to the language and conceptual tools used by the discipline of politics in the analysis of political practice and public policies.

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    Global Political Economy

    This module will help you to make sense of the complex world facing us today and will demystify economics by thinking about this from political perspectives. It is a crucial foundation for you if you have an interest in global affairs and the module seeks to look backwards to important classical theories, to look at the world facing us today (and in the future) to see whether classical approaches from political economy make sense in global times. You will learn some of the basics of economic theory (not through maths) and will consider key traditions within political and economic thought. Further to this you will develop a good understanding of the contemporary global economy and where it came from, focusing particularly on the post-war period, crisis in the global economy over the past thirty years, and what all of this means for us today. By the end of this module you will have a strong understanding of the three main traditions within political economy and how influential they remain in the key social, political and economic.

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    The Mess We Are In (And How We Got Here)

    In this module we will consider the representation of the present as a moment of crisis. This will include consideration of:

    • Economic crisis, including welfare reform and austerity
    • Political crisis, including democratic deficits and populism
    • Ecological crisis
    • National crisis, including questions of identity, racism and justice
    • Emotional crisis, including links between individual well-being and social structures.

    The module will introduce students to histories of empire and colonialism in order to understand long-standing processes of expropriation and ecological degradation in the name of progress.

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    International Relations

    The module introduces students to the study of international relations through the study of a range of international issues.

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    Public Policy

    This module provides students with an introduction to the language and conceptual tools used by the discipline of politics in the analysis of public policies, and encourages students to critically reflect upon the government policies that shape the world we live in.

  • Core Modules
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    Global Governance

    The module provides an overview of the theory and practice of global governance, with a particular focus on the structure, functioning and competences of the United Nations. By exploring a whole range of policy dilemmas, alternatives and outcomes, the module will help students to develop a critical understanding of the dominant concerns and possible solutions (at national, regional and global levels). In addition, the module addresses the nature of cooperation and major policy initiatives between the UN and other international organizations. In conclusion, the module will revisit the main problems that global governance has encountered along with proposals for solutions.

    In this module, each session comprises a lecture plus a seminar. The aims of the seminars are to stimulate debate, to provide an opportunity for all students to swap ideas, to explore different theories and policy preferences, to link with the lectures in order to aid understanding of the key topics of the course. The module benefits from a variety of approaches (debates, presentations and group discussions) to explore the issues in global governance.

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    Space, Bodies and Power

    This module introduces students to debates about bodies and embodiment and the exercise of power across spaces. We will discuss practices of surveillance, bordering and the relation of these practices to colonial practices of ordering and to ecological crisis. We will revisit questions of inequality, inclusion and stigmatisation. This will include a consideration of questions of sexuality and sexual rights and disability rights.

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    Mental Wealth 2: Social Enterprise

    This module aims to introduce students to a range of planning and fundraising models and techniques used in the third sector. It will build their competence and confidence in designing and presenting their own projects and fundraising ideas. It will be delivered in collaboration with UEL Enterprise and other partner third sector organisations. This is the second of 3 modules running through the BA (Hons) International Development with NGO Management, which will incrementally build a full set of competencies for work in the not-for-profit sector.

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    Great Power Politics

    The module examines the emergence, success and possible decline of global powers, such as the United States, Russia, China and emerging powers such as India, Brazil and South Africa.

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    Research Methods

    This module explores methods of professional learning, including literature research, practitioner enquiry, action research and ethics.

    Optional Modules
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    Human Mobility and Forced Migration

    This module offers you the skills and knowledge to understand causes, patterns and impacts of migration, including forced migration and displacement. In this module we will develop critical thinking, analytical skills, teamwork skills, group facilitation and active listening skills to explore the diversity of experiences of displacement, diaspora, asylum, and integration. We will use subject-based, digital and life skills in groups to discuss legal regimes governing migration, human rights, reconciliation and peace building and promote social change.

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    Alternative Approaches to Development (Mental Wealth)

    This module introduces students to the understandings of development and the alternative approaches to development deployed in different socioeconomic and cultural contexts. Drawing case studies from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Global North (developed countries), the module examines how comparable development issues are understood, problematized and what mechanisms are adopted to resolve the problems in each situation. The discussions will also critique and focus on ‘what works and why’ in development in different contexts.

    The second half of the module will engage with the theoretical and epistemic foundations, the critiqueand the way forward for global development within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to run from 2016-2030 as the global framework for addressing the root causes of poverty in the Global South and the Global North (developing and developed countries) to leave no one behind. These 17 global goals with 169 targets include the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. UK is a signatory to these goals. A London Scholars’ UEL supported project that maps the SDGs in the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets will be a key resource to demonstrate the application of the SDG framework in the context of UK.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth 3: Placement Reflections

    The Placement Reflections module aims to bring together learning from reading, lectures, coursework and discussions during the first two years, first by applying the skills learned in a real- life work environment, then by reflecting on the Placement experience and relating it to the key concepts and debates in your area of study. To achieve this, you are required to work for at least two days a week for a minimum of 10 weeks (or 20 working days total) as a volunteer for an organisation with a speciality in your area of study. During this time, you should carry out an identifiable project agreed with the host organisation for this Module. The Module Leaders of each programmes will provide guidance and briefings for you on securing a suitable placement.

    During the work placement you are expected to:

    • Improve skills for future employment
    • Engage in “real -life” projects which will enable students to put academic knowledge into practice and place practice into an academic context.
    • Develop key personal and professional skills such as team-working, time management, working under pressure and self-evaluation.
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    Gender, Power and Politics

    In this module you will explore gendered power relations within the political realm of society. You will be engaged in critical examination of the differential inclusion of men and women in the political realm. This will enable you to understand different forms of their political action in their historical and contemporary contexts.

    Each session of this module comprises a lecture and a seminar. Lectures are based on interactive teaching methods and aim to inform, provide evidence and stimulate informed critical debate on a range of key issues relevant for gender equality in the contemporary world. Seminars are designed to further critical debates relevant for this module by providing students with opportunity to swap ideas, explore concepts, policies, and modes of thinking about gender, gender power systems and identities in the modern world.

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    Applied Research Project in Social Sciences

    This module allows students to apply their understanding of key social scientific theories and concepts as well as issues and methods in social and community work to a research question of their choice. The module introduces necessary research and evaluation tools and methods and ethical procedures, data collection and analysis methods and starts students on their journey to becoming independent researchers. Students will complete an independent research project or an evaluation of a project they have been involved with through placements, volunteering or work experience. Students receive support and guidance throughout the independent research and are encouraged to reflect on the methodological, ethical and theoretical issues that students face in the course of their research experience.

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    European Politics

    The module examines the trends in post-WWII European politics, with a particular focus on the European integrationist project. More precisely, it looks into the theories of European integration, institutional structure of the EU, policy-making processes and the state of current affairs across the EU, such as Brexit and the rise of populism. By exploring the aforementioned aspects, the module will help students to develop a critical understanding of the different stages of the development of the EU.

    In this module, each session comprises a lecture plus a seminar. The aims of the seminars are to stimulate debate, to provide an opportunity for all students to swap ideas, to explore different theories and policy preferences, to link with the lectures in order to aid understanding of the key topics of the course. The module benefits from a variety of approaches (debates, presentations and group discussions) to explore the issues in global governance.

    Optional Modules
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    African Politics and Development

    This module will provide you with a thorough introduction to African politics and the place of the continent in global affairs today. African political and economic systems are introduced and critiqued, supported by evidence from across the continent. This module will consider the relevance of important political concepts within African contexts and aligns these with relevant social theories from African and non-African theorists alike.

    You will learn through different case studies each week, focusing on one or more African country in order to bring the political theories and concepts to life and to compare and contrast their relevance within different national contexts across the African continent. The development implications of political and economic realities will be discussed, in order to ensure that you understand the importance of this notion in African contexts and how difficult it has been to achieve.

    During the course you will write and publish a blog focusing on a political issue facing one or more African countries and you will also act as a reviewer to the blog that another student has written, prior to submission. These blogs will then be uploaded onto the module website for consumption by the public. You will also complete one section of a country report as part of a student group and collectively you will produce a detailed report about a given African country, considering the political, economic, security, humanitarian and development situation. Sections will be written separately but then co-edited to create a coherent overall piece. On completing this module, you will have both a blog and a country report which will be available online and can be shared with potential employers in future. The skills that you develop, coupled with the in-depth regional knowledge, will prove to be priceless.

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    Conflict Intervention and Development

    To examine the causes and consequences of the proliferation of internal armed conflicts since the last decade of the 20th century, often referred to as complex political emergencies. To engage critically with current conceptual debates on different forms of intervention - particularly emergency aid and military intervention, that characterise so-called New World Order. and, through detailed case studies, different forms of intervention – particularly emergency aid and military intervention - in the post-Cold War order. To provide a critical assessment of these interventions, by focusing on different case studies, and by relating these to contemporary debates around notions of humanitarian assistance, transitional justice and global community.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You'll be taught by staff with relevant experience and practice to ensure you learn from real-life experience and research. We offer dual delivery which combines traditional on campus face-to-face teaching and online teaching simultaneously, allowing you to interact as if you were there in person. You can move smoothly between online and on campus teaching subject to your individual timetable (and health requirements). Students can interact and collaborate in person and online in any of these live-streamed sessions. Live-streamed sessions will also be recorded, so you can login when you want, playback and watch from the comfort of your home and whilst on the go.

When not attending timetabled lectures you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, Microsoft Teams and Moodle.

We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7. 

Students are supported with any academic or subject-related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students. If you need support with certain skills such as academic writing, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments will help you to achieve your potential. 

You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses. Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. 

We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning. 

UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs).Your overall workload consists of class and online tutor led sessions, individual learning, practical activities. 

Our aim is to prepare our students for a broad range of careers, so that they can make amazing contributions to their communities. When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at UEL and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer. 

Class sizes: 25

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

Coursework will include, research-based assignments essays, video presentations and a research dissertation.  

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: Coursework 100%
  • Year 2: Coursework 75% Exam 25%
  • Year 3: Coursework 75% Exam 25%

Assessment tasks are mainly spread across the year to make the workload manageable. Assessment methods include group works and individual work including essays, presentations, case studies, professional development and practical activities depending on the nature of the course. All grades count towards your module mark. More details will be included in the student handbook and module guides.

Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL's assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Stephen Hobden

Stephen Hobden is a Reader in the School of Education and Communities.

See full profile

Aura Lounasmaa

Dr Lounasmaa is a Lecturer in Social Sciences and the director of the Erasmus+ funded Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) course.

See full profile

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

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.

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

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.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.