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Politics and International Relations BSc


About this programme

The new BSc in Politics and International Relations (commencing 2019) is designed for people who are passionate about politics, and who want to look in-depth behind the headlines to understand the forces shaping today's world. The degree will empower you to assess some of the most pressing challenges of our time, both domestically and globally. Our training will equip you with the tools through which to analyse data, conduct research, and write persuasively.

Programme summary

Politics and International Relations BSc

Degree benefits

    • Learn from world-leading experts in politics and international relations in the UCL Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy, who will teach your classes. 
    • Acquire the knowledge and know-how you need to analyse the major political problems of our time -- and evaluate how we should respond to them. 
    • Link your studies with real-world political developments, both through coursework that engages with current events and by learning from eminent practitioners at our flagship Policy & Practice Seminar Series.

    • Develop a portfolio of skills -- in how to undertake research, analyse data, argue persuasively, and communicate effectively -- valued by employers in both the public and private sectors. 

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The three-year curriculum delivers both structured training in political science, and the opportunity for you to focus on the questions that interest you most. The first year begins by investigating some of the great political challenges in the world today. You will also explore some of the main subfields of politics, including international relations, comparative politics, and political philosophy. During the first year, you will also develop your writing skills, and learn about the use and misuse of data in politics.

The second year begins by deepening your substantive knowledge. You will choose modules from a wide variety of options offered by the department. You will delve deeply into the main methods in political science, learning the skills to do a wide array of research. Additionally, you will engage with practitioners from the world of politics and policy.

Finally, in the third year, you are free to concentrate on the particular subfields, issues, and methods that interest you most, choosing several options from the full array of intermediate and advanced undergraduate modules offered by the department (and, subject to approval, offered by external departments). You will also undertake a final research project on an approved topic of your choosing, culiminating in a dissertation. 

Modules

An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Year One

Core or compulsory module(s)

The compulsory modules for the first year are:

1. How to Argue About Politics

2. Lies, Damned Lies, and Bullshit: Evidence and Inference for Citizens and Social Scientists

3. Analysing World Politics

4. Democracy & Authoritarianism

5. Justice and the Moral Foundations of Politics

You will also take modules in which you explore controversial contemporary political "hot topics" in detail. Topics vary in response to current events. These may include: Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism; Protest & Revolution; Globalisation & Populism; Climate Change: Politics & Policy; Migration; and Gender, Race, & Rights.

Please note that although the exact titles of these modules may change, the content will not. Please check the departmental website for updates on the specific titles of these modules. 

Optional modules

There are no optional modules in year one.

Year Two

Core or compulsory module(s)

The compulsory modules for the second year are:

1. Foundations of Research Design

2. Quantative Methods

3. Qualitative Methods

4. Normative Methods

5. Politics & Policy in Practice

Please note that although the exact titles of these modules may change, the content will not. Please check the departmental website for updates on the specific titles of these modules. 

Optional modules

Optional modules for the second year may include the following or similar. Please note that this list is subject to change -- both removals and additions -- and there is no guarantee that all of these optional modules will run in any given year.  

1. British Politics

2. Comparative Political Economy

3. Authority, Democracy, and Resistance

4. Justice & Public Policy

5. Strategies of Terrorism

6. International Security

7. Politics of the European Union

8. International Development and Public Policy

9. Global Environmental Politics

10. Human Rights and World Politics

11. Global Economic and Social Rights

Year Three

Core or compulsory module(s)

During the final year, the only compulsory module is the year-long final research project, which culiminates in a dissertation.

Optional modules

Optional modules for the third year may include the following or similar. Please note that this list is subject to change -- both removals and additions -- and there is no guarantee that all of these optional modules will run in any given year.  

1. British Politics

2. Comparative Political Economy

3. Authority, Democracy, and Resistance

4. Justice & Public Policy

5. Strategies of Terrorism

6. International Security

7. Politics of the European Union

8. International Development and Public Policy

9. Global Environmental Politics

10. Human Rights and World Politics

11. Global Economic and Social Rights

12. Public Policy

13. Wars and Violence

14. Voters, Public Opinion, and Political Participation

15. Global Justice

16. Conflict Resolution and Postwar Development

17. Managing Government


Your learning

Teaching is usually conducted through lectures and seminars delivered by the teaching staff of the UCL Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy. Lectures are typically accompanied by seminars that enable an in-depth and participatory discussion to the topics each week.

Assessment

Assessment includes essays, problem sets, examinations, presentations, literature reviews, policy briefs, and a final research project, culminating in a dissertation. 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2019/20 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2019/20 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2019/20)
Overseas students
£19,970 (2019/20)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Funding

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.