Houses of parliament at sunset

International Relations and Politics BA

Department of Politics and International Relations

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry.

Key details

Course description

politics students debating in a British politics seminar in Elmfield building.

This degree will give you a strong grounding in the core skills of political analysis and political theory, whilst placing emphasis on the international dimensions of the study of politics. You'll explore and apply many of the theories to issues such as international trade or climate change.

Our programmes are designed to give you a solid foundation in theory, methods and analytical skills, whilst at the same time offering you the choice to specialise in the subject areas that you find the most interesting, ensuring you get the most out of your degree.

In your first year, you'll be introduced to the key areas of the discipline. We'll support you in making the transition to degree-level study, and provide you with the knowledge and analytical skills you'll use as you progress throughout your time with us.

In year two you'll further develop your existing skills and apply them to real life political questions and issues. By examining different approaches and perspectives we'll help you to become an independent researcher in your own right.

By your final year you'll be ready to carry out your own independent research, with our support, alongside your choice of taught modules. You'll learn about the cutting-edge research we're doing in the department.

Additional options

  • Study abroad - We offer you the chance to study abroad for part of your degree at one of our partner universities, in either your second year or as a sandwich year. Locations include USA, Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore or Canada.
  • Employment experience - You will have the opportunity to undertake a year in employment as a sandwich year. It is a great way to apply the skills you have developed in your degree and to prepare you for employment when you graduate.

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: International Relations and Politics BA
UCAS code: L201
Years: 2021

Core modules:

Analysing Politics

This module is about (1) politics, and (2) how to analyse it. More specifically, it involves (1) understanding how power and truth operate in the contemporary world; and (2) discovering different ways to research these dynamics so to build compelling and rigorous accounts of the political worlds that we find ourselves a part. Students will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, and independent study; and will be assessed on the basis of an essay, a portfolio relating to seminar preparation, and an online multiple-choice test.

20 credits
Introduction to Global Political Economy

This module provides an introduction to global political economy (GPE). It covers key mainstream and critical theories and considers critically what GPE is. Following this, the main focus will be on sketching the outlines of the global economy (past and present) by considering particular commodities. This provides a novel way to introducing the student to the major processes of global trade, finance and production. It also considers the political economy of race, class and gender as core theoretical themes that interweave the empirical examination of the global political economy, from roughly 1500 through to the 21st century.

20 credits
Introduction to International Relations

This module will introduce students to the discipline of International Relations (IR) and therefore the study of global politics. IR is a complex, multi-level and multi-actor field whose terrain spans global to individual issues. To provide a comprehensive introduction to IR, the module will focus on two questions: 1) What is the subject matter of IR? And 2) What is the unit of analysis? Structuring the module as such will introduce students to key debates in IR and provide a broad overview of the subject matter (from global governance to individual activism) and different actors (from the UN to terrorists).

20 credits
Introduction to Western Political Thought

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.

20 credits

Optional modules:

British Politics

This module will introduce students to key concepts and debates in British politics through an examination of post-1976 British political history. Each lecture will take as its starting-point one day in recent British history and will describe what happened on that day and what happened as a result of that day. Each of the seminars will then follow that discussion: paying particular attention to concepts and ideas within the study of politics which can help us make sense of those events.

20 credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics

This module examines the utility of the comparative approach to politics in an era of the proclaimed 'end of history' and 'global convergence'. It examines executives in a number of political systems. It focuses on 'constitutional engineering' by examining the effect that electoral and party systems have on the structure of executive authority and the types of executive commonly used in political systems. These are presidential, prime ministerial and mixed systems. It considers what is meant by 'strong' and 'weak' executives. The cases examined are: US presidency, Brazilian presidency, UK prime minister, German Federal Chancellor, Russian presidency and the French presidential system.

20 credits


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's 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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

Our lectures and seminars are structured in a variety of ways to ensure a rich, interactive learning experience that you can take with you in your future career. You'll create websites, videos and podcasts as part of your group work to enhance your digital skills. Other uses of digital learning, such as interactive polls, allows collaboration during lectures and seminars, and we use skype so that external speakers can interact with our students.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

We have over 45 specialists in the key areas of politics and international relations working at the cutting edge of the discipline on issues such as: Brexit, transgender politics, animal rights, environmentalism, populism and Middle East Politics. This research directly shapes and inspires what you're taught on all levels of our programmes.

Assessment

We use different assessment methods throughout our courses this varies between modules. Examples include:

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Dissertation
  • Short forms of written assessment
  • Projects
  • Book reviews
  • Policy reports
  • Oral presentation and group work

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
AAB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB

A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB + B in the EPQ; ABB + B in Core Maths ABB + B in the EPQ; ABB + B in Core Maths

International Baccalaureate | 34 33

BTEC | DDD DDD

Scottish Highers | AAAAB AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA B + AB

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject (Business Studies/ Management, Humanities, Law, Social Sciences) with Distinctions in 36 Level 3 credits and Merits in 9 Level 3 credits. 60 credits overall in a relevant subject (Business Studies/ Management, Humanities, Law, Social Sciences) with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits and Merits in 15 Level 3 credits.

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • BTEC relevant subject areas required are either Applied Law, Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Personal and Business Finance, Applied Psychology, Applied Science or Environmental Sustainability. No other subjects are accepted.

  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C or equivalent

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Department of Politics and International Relations

We are proud to be one of the UK's leading departments for research and teaching in politics and international relations.

We have over 50 specialists in the key areas of politics and international relations working at the cutting edge of the discipline on issues such as: Brexit, transgender politics, animal rights, environmentalism, populism and Middle East Politics. This research directly shapes and inspires what you're taught on all levels of our programmes.

We were the first department to pioneer the 'Parliamentary Studies' undergraduate module that's accredited and co-taught by the House of Commons.

Department of Politics and International Relations students are based in Elmfield building, but we timetable teaching across the whole of our campus.

Teaching may take place in Elmfield, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space. Many of the University buildings are close together so it’s easy to walk between them and it’s a good way to get to know the city.

Department of Politics and International Relations

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


Department of Politics and International Relations

UK top three for research

Research Excellence Framework 2014

UK top 10 for politics

The Complete University Guide 2020
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Our politics and international relations courses are ranked 7th in the UK

The Complete University Guide 2020


Graduate careers

Department of Politics and International Relations

A politics degree from Sheffield can set you apart from everyone else. You'll have many opportunities across all levels of your course to add valuable work experience and transferable skills to your CV.

Our degree programmes are designed so you can tailor your course to your own interests and career aspirations. They also provide a foundation to go on to work in a wide range of professional, political and administrative organisations across the world, in local, national, and international government, the charitable sector, education, the media, public relations, research and the private sector.

Work experience student stood outside westminster

Beth Miller

Beth Miller BA International Relations and Politics

"The academics in the Department are also some of the best in the country; it was great to know the people teaching were setting the agenda in their field."

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022