The Politics and International Relations degree brings together the broader study of politics and political ideas with the question of how states interact with each other on the global stage. It evaluates the key questions related to transnational issues such as globalization and the environment and the actors engaged in them.
Politics and International Relations is a very dynamic subject, which places a special emphasis on the international and global dimension of politics. In an ever changing world, new challenges are constantly arising – from terrorism and security to climate change and pandemics – and we therefore seek to engage with live issues in the world as they evolve and change over time. We actively encourage debate and discussion amongst our students, encouraging a stronger awareness and appreciation of different points of view.
In doing so, we explore the key ideas, institutions and issues that can help us to understand politics in an international, national and local context. You will be taught by staff who are experts in their field, who will teach you to engage with political research and develop the capacity to be an independent, critically-minded scholar and equip you with transferable skills to take into the world of work.
And study does not just take place in the classroom and the library. We also organise fieldtrips to relevant local, regional and national institutions as well as organising events with guest speakers and practitioners (conditions permitting). Recent visits have included a trips to the UK Parliament, to Brussels, Berlin along with visits and talks from key experts, academics and campaigners.
There are also opportunities available to study abroad as part of our exchange programme and to visit overseas development projects as part of the University’s Global Hope initiative.
Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, interactive and student-led seminars, and tutorials which in your first year typically have no more than 10 students. Regular study skills classes are also provided in the first year to support you in your transition into Higher Education. You also have regular meetings with a supervisor when engaged in your final year research project. In addition, there are local, national and international fieldtrips organised in order to enhance your learning.
In your first year of study there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week which reduces to approximately 10 in your second and third years. You are also expected to spend a number of hours studying independently each week, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments that you may have. Overall, you should expect to spend an average of 40 hours per week devoted to your studies, including taught hours, independent work and group work where relevant.
Assessments are varied and consist of formal exams focusing on lecture topics, and a range of written coursework assignments. You will be given clear, generic and additional assessment criteria at the start of the degree and at appropriate points throughout your studies. In your final year, you will complete a special study or dissertation.
Assessment is regarded as an important aid to learning and the team recognises the importance of providing timely, high-quality, constructive written feedback to you that not only explains the strengths and weaknesses of the particular piece of work but which also makes clear what must be improved in future work. Feedback is provided verbally to the whole year group where possible, to emphasise points of general relevance, usually through weekly skills sessions or tutorials. Should you require it, your tutor’s ‘drop-in’ office hours are an opportunity to gain verbal feedback and discuss your work privately.
The areas of study in the Single Honours degree are stimulating and encompass materials that are relevant to the modern world. We look at theoretical aspects of politics and international relations, consider the institutions and foundations which provide national and international political stability and look at case studies which show the strengths and weaknesses of the application of the theory. You will be taught by staff from a range of different countries, all of whom can bring research specialism and understandings of different parts of the world to bear on the subject areas under consideration.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
Your first year of study introduces you to the key concepts in the study of international relations. You also look at the key concepts, debates and institutions in politics and political analysis.
You will explore the implications and application of political ideas and ideologies, evaluating political institutions and political actors. During your first year, you will also develop the skills and techniques needed for successful undergraduate study, including essay writing, research, and presentation skills.
As part of your first year course you are expected to attend a two-day team-building exercise at our Welsh campus, Plas Caerdeon.
In your second year, you look at foreign policy and the developments and challenges of British international relations and the politics of emerging powers and non-powerful states. You also study debating theories and global issues in international relations, exploring global challenges such as climate change and terrorism.
With your tutor’s guidance, you develop your knowledge of the theories and ideas underpinning modern democracy in Europe and the Americas, its historical development, and the challenges it faces. You will explore the philosophy and methods of international relations, studying the advantages and pitfalls in selected methodological approaches.
You will develop an understanding of democratic development in Europe and the European Union and the challenges posed by contemporary developments, including economic crisis, migration, and the rise of populism.
Finally, you will look at key institutions, organisations and issues in British politics today, with a focus on topics such as where does power lie? How fair if the system or representation? What are the implications of Brexit?
Your final year has a particular focus on security, peace and conflict studies. You will analyse theories and unsettling assumptions, revisiting knowledge and understanding in international relations. You also explore in-depth core institutions and contemporary issues in US politics, for example changing demographics, gun control and the death penalty. Keeping with the US, you also study the development of the Imperial Presidency as a central institution in American politics and foreign policy from Roosevelt to the present day.
Your third year also provides you with the opportunity to explore the major works of key thinkers in the political theory canon, and engage in-depth with the concept of power and its application to political phenomena, which provides you with the intellectual tools to conduct your own analysis of power through reading, discussion and case studies.
In your final year you will complete a dissertation in the Politics and International Relations area. This is a 10,000 word project. You will receive support from a tutor and have meetings on a one-to-one basis. In the main, this is an autonomous project, but you will receive guidance and feedback about its evolution as the academic year progresses.
Careers available for Politics and International Relations graduates include those in government, in international organisations and in policy work. There is a demand for teachers with politics skills and knowledge as well. Many firms and companies look for the general skills that a Politics and International Relations degree gives you – such as conducting analysis, preparing reports, constructing arguments and making judgements.
We encourage both teamwork and independent learning, and develop your communication skills throughout the three years of study. Many students move on to postgraduate Masters programmes and research degrees. We have graduate students who work in parliament in the field of communications, with the civil service and with the NHS and with voluntary bodies. In recent years, we have had students who have gone to work in the field of law, with think tanks and in journalism. We also have students who have entered politics and have contested and won council seats.
Current postgraduate courses offered by Liverpool Hope include:
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
As well as tuition fees, you also need to purchase core textbooks, which we estimate to be around £200. There are also a number of optional national and international fieldtrips throughout your studies, you will be told about the cost of these trips with plenty of notice.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
The International tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are yet to be confirmed. Further details will be available shortly.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
With Foundation year, this degree is only available to study as a Single Honours course.