Exchange opportunities

We welcome students from across the world to study with us in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

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Studying Politics and International Relations

Students arriving from exchange programs at Sheffield can choose from a variety of courses offered in the Department of Politics and International Relations.  

  • Studying a full academic year. You can choose up to 120 credits per year.  Each semester will need to be 40-60 credits.  
  • Studying a semester.  You can choose between 40 and 60 credits.

Module options for European exchange students

European exchange students are required to select all modules from the Department of Politics and International Relations. Each module is worth 20 credits.

Module title

Module code


Introduction to Comparative Politics POL109 This module examines the utility of the comparative approach to politics with a particular focus on democracies, dictatorships, and semi-democratic regimes. The key features of each regime type are considered and these are used to explain the nature of the comparative method, its strengths and weaknesses. This course also applies a comparative lens to processes such as democratisation, modernisation, and mobilisation. This course will draw on a wide range of examples from democratic, authoritarian, and semi-democratic countries.
Introduction to Western Political Thought POL121 This module provides an introduction to key themes and thinkers in Western political thought. It explores the different meanings of the nature of politics and the political in this tradition. One key theme will be the relation between human nature and politics. This will be explored through a series of deep conflicts between reason and desire, the state and individual, and the public and private. These conflicts are examined through the different visions of politics of a selection of ancient and early modern thinkers. The module will also engage with critiques of the canon of Western political thought itself, in particular from a postcolonial perspective.
Politics and Government of the EU POL206 This module will provide students with a working knowledge of European integration, and of the main institutions of the European Union, including the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Parliament. The module consists of a series of lectures on the history and institutions of the European Union, and seminars to discuss issues raised in the lectures.
The Political Economy of Global Capitalism POL217 This module will begin by providing students with an account of the major theoretical traditions which seek to interpret and explain the global political economy. These are liberalism and interdependence theory; mercantilism, nationalism and hegemonic stability theory; and Marxism, dependency and world systems theory. It then explores different aspects of the contemporary global political economy - finance, development, trade and production - and ends by reviewing the intellectual debate about the meaning of globalisation.
International Relations Theory POL223 This module provides an introduction to international relations theory. The module examines the beginnings of the Discipline and demonstrates how these origins have continued to shape contemporary international relations theory. The module then outlines the key areas of theoretical debate, including Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, Postmodernism, Constructivism, Neorealism, Feminism and Critical Theory
Political Theory in Practice POL234 This module explores key debates in political theory, and the implications of those debates for current political practice. It first examines debates surrounding justice, and what these mean for welfare and taxation policies. It then analyses disputes over the meaning of well-being, and their implications for policies surrounding disability and health. It introduces students to different ideas of toleration, and how these influence laws on free speech. It also explores controversies over multiculturalism, and in particular its impact upon women. Finally, it examines care ethics and its implications for how we value the environment.

Module options for study abroad students

Study Abroad students can get credits from any department in the University (subject to availability and specific module prerequisites), including the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Module restrictions: 

Exchange students are unable to take the following modules:

  • POL120 - Analysing Politics
  • POL229 - Political Analysis: Research Design and Data Analysis
  • Any level 3 modules 

Additionally, there may be additional restrictions based on the demand for modules during the academic year.

Language requirements:

Incoming exchange students must prove proficiency in English to be accepted for study at Sheffield.  Requirements currently are an IELTS combined score of 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in each component).  These requirements may be subject to change.

Contact us for more information

If you have any questions, you can contact Dr Nasos Roussias from the Department of Politics and International Relations:

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1655


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 18 March 2021

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