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International Relations BA Honours

  • UCAS code: L250
  • Full time
  • 3 years

Expand your career horizons with a degree that explores the complex interplay of political interests around the world.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024-25

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £21000

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: AAB
  • IB: 34 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

This degree will give you a global perspective on the ideas, actors and structures that shape our world, and train you to reach well-informed conclusions on complex issues – an ability prized by employers around the world.

You will be taught by acknowledged experts in the politics of Africa, China, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and the Americas. You can choose to enrich your experience by studying at one of our partner universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and the USA, among others.

Choosing from a range of specialist modules, you can tailor your degree to cover particular nations, international organisations, security and foreign policy, and international political economy. You'll become a keen analyst of international relations, able to identify, assess, analyse, and evaluate global issues with critical insight and methodological sophistication.

Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

You will gradually develop the critical thinking, research, and communication skills required to study international relations and become an informed and engaged global citizen. You’ll gain an understanding of power and inequality, the development of the contemporary international system, and different ways of understanding global political dynamics. You can also start to relate your studies to historical, national, and ideological contexts, with optional modules in areas like comparative politics and political theory.

By the end of Stage 1, you will be able to identify important political dynamics that shape contemporary events in international relations and contribute to the (in)security of the world.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Key Concepts in International Politics 20
Becoming a Political Analyst 20
Order and Disorder: The Shaping of the 21st Century 20
Power and Inequality 20
Optional Modules Credits
Interconnected World 20
The Westminster System: the UK in comparative perspective 20
Politics of Happiness 20
Comparing Cultures 20

Stage 2 will build on the skills developed in your first year as you look in greater detail at key issues, organisations, and core sub-fields of international relations.

You’ll develop critical insight into the relationship between theory and practice and how research methods used in the social sciences shape our understanding of world politics.

While the theme of security features prominently in your programme, a suite of optional modules will allow you to further focus on different political national political contexts in more depth as well as explore important political and ethical positions in political theory. By the end of Stage 2, you will have the knowledge and skills to connect ways of defining problems in international relations and potential solutions offered to them with political dynamics, theoretical perspectives, and methods of analysis.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Becoming a Political Researcher 20
Optional Modules Credits
Political Geography 20
Career Development for second year students 20
Politics of the Middle East 20
Government and Politics of the USA 20
The Politics and Policy of the European Union 20
Power and Poverty in the Global Economy 20
British Politics: State and Society 20
A Global History of Political Thought 20
Political Violence and the Modern State 20
The Politics of Africa: Africa's place in Global Politics 20
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: Social Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy 20
Politics Work Placement 20
Critical Security Studies 20
Sex, Gender and Power 20
The Politics of Race 20
International Organizations and Diplomacy 20
You only take the following module if you are studying abroad:
Student Exchange: Semester 2

In Stage 3, you can begin to specialise in the international relations topics that are of interest to you. As a part of this you will undertake a significant piece of independent research that harnesses your subject knowledge and the research skills you’ve developed throughout your degree.

You will also study a number of optional module that cover topics across international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.


Optional Modules Credits
Geopolitics 20
Career Development for final year students 20
Advanced Career Development module 20
Final Year Dissertation 40
Final Year Project: Semester 1 20
Final Year Project: Semester 2 20
The Ethics of Killing 20
Political Leadership in Britain 20
Urban International Politics 20
Applied Political Research with Quantitative Methods 20
The Politics of Protest in the Middle East 20
Student Exchange : Semester 1 60
Student Exchange (Dissertation students) 40
International Political Thought 20
Community-based Research in Politics 40
UK Parliamentary Studies 20
Politics of Immigration 20
Mexican Politics: Authoritarianism & Democracy 20
Politics of Citizenship 20
Global Apartheid Regimes 20
Global Justice: Global Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy 20
Public Policy: Theories, Cases, Skills 20
Politics as a Way of Life 20
Public Policy Placement 20
If you did not undertake the Student Exchange: Semester 2 module in the previous Stage, you may be able to take one of the following modules ( if you are studying abroad):
Student Exchange: Semester 1
Student Exchange (Dissertation Students)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You will benefit from our strong focus on teaching quality. This translates into engaging modules, delivered through a stimulating variety of lectures, seminars, teamwork activities, research projects and simulation exercises.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Case studies

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Interviews

  • Portfolio submission

  • Projects

  • Reflective report/journal

Skills and experience

Practical skills

You'll learn to conduct interviews, and evaluate surveys and statistics. You'll get training in R, a world-leading free statistical software that helps you to understand data, analyse trends, and make informed recommendations.

Business skills

You'll enjoy many opportunities to boost your employability, starting with an induction week careers session dedicated to politics. You will also be able to put your learning into practice further by conducting real-world political research for a local organisation (including Newcastle City Council) in Stage 3.

Research skills

In Stage 3, you will have the chance to produce a dissertation or report based on a piece of your own independent research. You will be given hands-on training in advance on the design, methodology and implementation of your research, including both qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques.


Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year, and your degree title will show you have achieved the placement year. A work placement is not available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You may choose to spend semester 1 or the full academic year of Stage 3 on an international exchange at a partner institution.

Find out more about study abroad

Facilities and environment


You'll be based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology's Henry Daysh Building, which has recently undergone a £60-million refurbishment.


You will have one-to-one academic and pastoral support from a personal tutor and from a student.

A tutor in the department has twice won a student-nominated award for pastoral care in recent years. 

Your future

Upon graduation you'll be able to think critically, assess complex material and data, carry out research, and construct well-informed arguments.

Our graduates have used these skills to progress into careers in politics, economics, and international relations, for employers such as:

  • the Houses of Parliament
  • HM Treasury
  • local government
  • the Civil Service
  • inter-governmental organisations
  • public affairs consultancies

Others have applied their skills with equal success in industries such as:

  • media
  • law
  • business and finance
  • management consultancy
  • education and academia
  • human resources
  • marketing

Read what our graduates have to say about studying Politics at Newcastle University

Employability at Newcastle

96% of Newcastle University graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 85.5% in graduate-level employment or further study.

Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).

Make a difference

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Careers support

You'll benefit from targeted careers support throughout your degree. In your induction week, you'll explore potential career paths.

In Stage 2, you can apply for a work placement with a local political party or charity. In Stage 3 you can boost your prospects by conducting policy research on behalf of a local community organisation.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2024 entry.

International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

Qualification: BA Honours

Home students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


International students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.


Find out more about:

Open days and events

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

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