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Politics and International Relations BA Honours

  • UCAS code: L290
  • Full time
  • 3 years

Combine the best of our Politics and International Relations degrees to launch your career with an impressive blend of skills and expertise.

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 flexible degree will train you to understand the political ecosystem within and between individual countries – preparing you to succeed in any career that requires the skilled analysis of complex material and the ability to draw clear-minded, evidence-based conclusions.

You will join a close-knit community of students and staff that creates an environment in which you can flourish. Our academic staff will bring political issues alive for you. Our expertise covers all aspects of politics as a discipline, so you can study a range of topics taught by acknowledged experts in their field.

Starting with a solid grounding in systems of government, political theory and world politics, you can tailor your degree through specialist modules on topics such as inequality and justice, environmental politics, and international security.

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.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

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.

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 what it means to compare political systems as well as a solid grounding in the dynamics of the international system and in political thought. You will start to relate your studies to historical, global, national, and ideological contexts.

By the end of Stage 1, you will be able to identify the factors that shape contemporary events in the world of politics and international relations, with a growing understanding of the interrelationships between the national and the global.


Compulsory Modules Credits
The Westminster System: the UK in comparative perspective 20
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
Politics of Happiness 20

You will build on the skills developed in Stage 1 as you look in greater depth at key issues, organisations, and actors in politics and international relations. You’ll develop critical insight into the relationship between theory and practice and how research methods, including comparative methods, used in the social sciences shape our understanding of both fields.

You will be able to start to tailor your degree to your interests by choosing from a range of optional modules, covering key issues such as security, development and justice.

By the end of Stage 2, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to analyse how problems in politics and international relations are created, defined, and potentially solved.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Becoming a Political Researcher 20
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: Social Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy 20
Optional Modules Credits
Political Geography 20
Career Development for second year students 20
Politics of the Middle East 20
International Institutions and Organizations 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
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
Critical Security Studies 20
Democracy or Dictatorship? What are the differences and how do we analyse them 20
Sex, Gender and Power 20
The Politics of Race 20

In Stage 3, you can begin to specialise in the areas of politics and or international relations 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’ll complete your study with optional modules covering topics across international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. By the end of Stage 3, you will be a keen analyst of international relations who is able to identify, assess, analyse, and evaluate global issues with critical insight and methodological sophistication.

In addition, you’ll complete your study with optional modules covering 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
Cities and World Politics 20
Applied Data Science for Political Research 20
The Politics of Protest in the Middle East 20
Student Exchange : Semester 1 60
Student Exchange (Dissertation students) 40
International Political Thought 20
Political Parties and Elections in the UK 20
Community-based Research in Politics 40
Documentary Film and World Politics 20
Politics of Immigration 20
Politics of Citizenship 20
Apartheid regimes - from the local to the global 20
Gender and Sexuality Politics in the Middle East 20
Public Policy: Theories, Cases, Skills 20
Politics as a Way of Life 20
Public Policy Placement 20
Political Psychology and Experimental Methods 20

Students who did not complete an International Study Year can take one of the following modules (also listed under optional modules) subject to agreeing an
overall selection of modules for the Stage with the Degree Programme Director:

Student Exchange: Semester 1 (60 credits)
Student Exchange (Dissertation Students) (60 credits)

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 will be trained to conduct interviews, 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

Your degree will have a practical real-world focus throughout.

You will 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 as part of your degree. Enrich your experience by studying at one of our partner universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and the USA, among others. Embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities, and graduate as a globally aware professional.

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

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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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