Course Overview

At Swansea University, we believe above all, that the study of International Relations should always open your mind and extend your skills. The BA International Relations provides students with a detailed understanding of the international system, key issues and an appreciation of the global dynamics at work. The twenty-first Century has often been called the Asia-Pacific Century, and with good reason when you consider it is home to the rising power of China and host to trouble spots ranging from nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia to Islamic terrorism in Southeast Asia.

Teaching and Assessment

In order to structure an academically coherent and intellectually rigorous programme, the degree is built around compulsory and optional modules. (Have a look at our module booklet for full information on modules).

The programme is delivered through lectures, tutorials and seminars. You will usually receive nine hours minimum scheduled contact time with your teachers every week. Every degree involves choices, options will be available and if first choices are not secured then the alternative will be as good. Full attendance at lectures, seminars and personal tutorials (personal tutorials are obligatory). All Arts and Humanities programmes include independent learning which requires initiative and hard work. 

We will challenge you with demanding teaching and assessment. Assessment includes essay, coursework and examination, presentations and a dissertation.    

Key Features

  • A UNIQUE STUDY EXPERIENCE IN THE UK! New students who are admitted to our BA programmes will be offered Centenary Graduate Scholarships. The Excellence and Merit scholarships will be available to EU, UK and International students who have completed a full-time three or four year BA programme, achieved a 2:1 or above, and gained a place on a one-year full-time Taught Masters programme in the College.
  • BA students who graduate with a 1st class degree will automatically receive a full tuition fee Excellence scholarship for the MA year.
  • BA students who graduate with a 2:1 degree will automatically receive a Merit scholarship and pay £1,000 fees for the MA year.
  • Students can study Politics modules.
  • Students can have a semester abroad in Hong Kong or the USA.
  • The ‘National Assembly for Wales Internship’ (PO3000) is a Level 3 module open to International Relations students, available during semester one and it can accommodate up to twenty students. The students work for an AM at the National Assembly in Cardiff for one day per week for a semester.  
  • Students have a personal tutor for pastoral support and guidance on issues that may affect their well-being.

Modules

Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 2 (Level 5)

HE Level 5 Degree / HEDip

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PO-203Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Anarchy and Order: Theories in International Relations
PO-222Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Globalisation
PO-232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Empire Strikes Back: American Security Policy in the Post-Cold War Era
PO-239Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Moralities of War and Peace
Optional Modules
Optional Module Choices 

Choose Exactly 60 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select one module from TB1 and two modules from TB2

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
AM-213Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Topics in American Studies II:
AM-232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Issues in American Politics
AM-240Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Paradox of Power: American Foreign Policy
AM-245Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20John F. Kennedy and America
AM-251Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20America in Crisis: Political Culture and Society from the Tet Offensive to the Tea Party
HIH267Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The History of the Mass Media in the United Kingdom
HUA203Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Digital War
HUA206Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Contemporary Wars and Conflicts
HUP201Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Fundamental Issues in Moral and Political Philosophy
HUP202Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Founders of Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant
ML-227Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20War and Conflict in European Film (Modern Languages route)
MS-219Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Studying Digital Media
MS-235Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Media Law
MSP200RSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Public Relations Theory
PO-219Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Global Political Economy: From Mercantilism to Neoliberalism
PO-232Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Empire Strikes Back: American Security Policy in the Post-Cold War Era
PO-234Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Elections and Voting
PO-235Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Human Rights and Global Justice
PO-237Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Latin American Politics through Film
PO-256Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Genocide
PO-281Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20British Politics and Public Policy

Year 3 (Level 6)

HE Level 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
PO-396Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Researching Politics 1
PO-397Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Researching Politics 2 (PO-327)
Optional Modules
Dissertation 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
PO-3000Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20The National Assembly for Wales
PO-395Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Dissertation (PO-325)
Optional Modules 

Choose Exactly 60 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : Select three modules from the list below

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
AM-300Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Power and Protest in American Political Culture
AM-330Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20America and the Bomb
AM-331Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The American Presidency: Leadership and Power
AM-338Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Clear and Present Danger: Terrorism and America
HIH3215Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Media and Society in the 1930s
HIH396Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20From Machiavelli to Mussolini: Government and society in Western political thought
HUA300Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Rise of Brazil
HUA301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Gunfighter Nation: the West in History, Mythology and Fiction
HUA305Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20The Spanish Civil War - Its Origins, Course and Legacy
HUA306Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20The Aftermaths of War
HUA308Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Real War, Imagined War: War in Literature, Art and Cinema
HUA309Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20The Russian Civil War
HUP301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Religion, Science, and Superstition
HUP304Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Philosophy and the Social Sciences
MS-302Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Media, Gender and Sexuality
MS-306Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Digital Futures
MS-309Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Online Journalism
PO-3110Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Visions of Democracy
PO-3117Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Politics and International Development
PO-3121Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Parliamentary Studies
PO-3316Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Shadow Wars: US Presidents and covert action from the Cold War to Obama
PO-345Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Contemporary Political Economy: Competing Perspectives on Global Capitalism
PO-392Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Contemporary Security
POA301Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Dissertation in Parliamentary Studies

Description

We teach Single Honours degrees in International Relations and an extensive range of Joint degrees so that you can combine your study with other Humanities subjects, with Social Sciences, or with a Language. Our degrees provide you with the essential skills to help you make sense of the complex, fast moving world in which we live; to think on your feet and consider issues and events from a wide variety of perspectives.

In the first year, our modules provide an exciting and comprehensive introduction to the key concepts and issues that will help you make sense of International Relations . In the following two years, you can choose from a wide range of specialist modules and have the option of writing a specialised, supervised Dissertation on a topic of your choice. You also get the chance to take our unique and popular teamwork module Researching Politics, and to do an internship at the National Assembly for Wales or a work-placement module.

Entry Requirements

All applicants receive individual consideration. Our preferred offers for UK applicants are BBB-BBC at A-level. However, flexible offers are made on review of the application form, after taking into consideration the subjects studied, predicted or achieved grades, reference and personal statement.

For candidates offering the International Baccalaureate, a typical offer would be 32-30 points. We ask for Welsh Baccalaureate plus BC at A-level. Access candidates should have 15 Distinctions and 18 Merits. Candidates studying for American qualifications should have a minimum of 550 in each part of the SAT reasoning and subject tests (or 1650 overall). We require a minimum IELT score of 6.0.

Have a look at our Country pages for International qualifications.

How To Apply

EU/UK candidates apply here.

International students apply here.

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2016/17 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BA (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £13,650

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3% for International students and at the capped fee rate as set by the UK Government for UK/EU students.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

There are additional costs for study abroad. Find out more here.

Student Quotes

"My degree is fantastic. I have learnt so much about international relations and developed valuable essay writing skills. The IR Professors are very helpful especially when I need help as English is not my native language. I would say that so far my experience as a student in IR is self-fulfilling and very interesting and Swansea University is the right place to study this course. After graduating, I intend to study an MA in international affairs. My dream would be to work for the UN."

Salma El Hankouri

Research

The Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) brings together academics, postgraduates and visiting national and international scholars to create a rich and vibrant research environment geared to international excellence and impact.

Employability and Careers

92.9 per cent * of Politics and International Relations Single and Joint Honours Graduates from Swansea University  are in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

Graduating with an internationally recognised degree in Politics and International Relations will put you in a great position to succeed in a wide range of careers. You will gain excellent oral and writing skills and you will learn to present your ideas in a range of formats. You will also develop strong research and analytical skills and the ability to problem solve and make informed decisions. Our programmes include various forms of assessment, teamwork through seminars, tutorials and group presentations and an independent study - dissertation module. You will learn to manage your time and workload effectively. All of these skills will ensure you can compete very successfully in the employment market.

Our students have progressed to a broad range of work sectors including education, marketing, government, research and events management, working for organisations such as:

  • Westminster Forum Projects
  • Labour Party
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers

Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:

  • MA Development and Human Rights
  • MA International Relations
  • MA International Security and Development
  • MA Politics
  • MA Public Policy
  • MA War and Society

*First–degree Swansea University graduates of Politics and International Relations. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

Student Video

IR