Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

Politics and International Relations

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: L290

What you'll study

First year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • British Political History since 1945

    This module details the political history of the UK after World War Two. From Eden to the EEC and from Wilson to the 'Winter of Discontent', encounter the people, ideas and policies that have shaped modern Britain.

  • Introduction to International Relations

    You’ll develop an understanding of the theories that have been developed to advance our understanding of the way in which politics operates on a global level, and of the ways in which the field of International Relations is expanding today.

  • Introduction to Comparative Politics

    This module introduces you to comparative politics as an approach to studying states. It combines a thematic assessment of key features of modern states (which provides the basis of comparison) with a country-by-country study: allowing you to begin making comparisons.

  • Introduction to the Politics of the World Economy

    Explore how politics defines the power map of the world's economy and provides the constitution for markets. We'll introduce you to the principal ideas, institutions, policies and institutions which shape the politics of the global economy.

  • Introduction to War and Politics

    This module covers the causes and conduct of war in the modern period. It charts the development of warfare from the First World War to ongoing conflicts in our own time. Along the way, you'll discover why the Allies won the Second World War, why the United States lost in Vietnam, how nuclear weapons affect international security, and how counterinsurgency and counterterrorism work.

Optional modules

  • Philosophy, History and Ideology

    Learn how to analyse the structure of contemporary political ideologies. And discover to assess the historical interrelations between key philosophical concepts and their political implications.

Second year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • International Relations Theory

    Examine the current state of International Relations theory, beginning with an analysis of Realism.You will analyse the theoretical aspects of complex inter-, intra- and trans-state security issues, before asking whether we are currently witnessing a ‘return to geopolitics’ reminiscent of the Cold War era.

  • The Global South and Development

    An overview of the challenges of development for the Global South, including major debates on development issues in academia and policy circles. You'll explore issues such as equality, income distribution, gender, role of states and markets, and democracy in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

  • Paths of Research

    Discover the full range of research techniques and skills used in the academic study of politics. This module introduces everything you'll need for conducting research in your own area of interest within the field of politics, from statistical analysis to using texts.

Optional modules

  • Understanding America

    This module will provide you with a general introduction to the political culture and institutions of the United States, and the environment in which those institutions operate. You'll learn about the USA’s international role and behaviour and the complex relationship between the domestic and international aspects of American politics.

  • Understanding the European Union

    Learn about the history and politics of the European Union. You'll assess the EU's main actors, such as the European Council, Council, Commission and European Parliament, and its core policies, the European Single Market, Economic and Monetary Union, environmental policy and the Common Foreign and Security Policy, as well as the implications of Brexit.

  • Terrorism, War and Ethics

    Explore the history, evolution and political and legislative impact of terrorism, as well as ethical arguments around it. You'll uncover the history of terrorism and learn about violent political groups from the 19th century to the present day.

  • Understanding China

    This module examines the economic transformations of contemporary China in a historical, cultural and political context. You'll evaluate the major issues and challenges facing the People’s Republic of China.

  • The Politics and Philosophy of the Environment

    How should we think about the environment? And how should we act towards to it? You'll study environmental attitudes, the politics and ideology of environmentalism, its ethics and philosophy, pressure groups and political parties, and the principles of environmental policy.

  • Ethnic Conflict Resolution and Peace Building

    Engaging theoretical concepts and empirical cases, this module analyses ethno-national conflicts, their resolution and the challenges of post-conflict peace building. It examines cases such as Israel-Palestine Conflict, Northern Ireland peace process, Darfur Crisis, the Kurds question, and Tamil-Sinhalese conflict.

  • Global Challenge

Final year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core module

  • Long Dissertation

    Develop a specialist subject. Research and write a 12,000 word dissertation with academic supervision. A module of independent study.

Optional modules

  • European Union Politics and Institutions

  • Intelligence and National Security

    The intelligence agencies (MI5, MI6, GCHQ, CIA, NSA) are constantly working in the background to provide security for the nation state. But how exactly does intelligence work? In this module you'll learn how intelligence is produced, how it is used, why sometimes intelligence failures occur (such as 9/11), and how democracies monitor and regulate these covert organisations.

  • Dangerous Minds

    Study the fascinating relationship between ideas, the people who promote them, and political practice. From Plato, to Machiavelli, Gentile, Heidegger, Schmitt, and Strauss, explore just how influential and dangerous ideas can be.

  • The Reunified Germany in the New Europe

    This module assesses the reunified Germany and its role in the new Europe. You will learn about the Federal Republic of Germany's core political actors (e.g. political parties and the government), and its main policies (e.g. economic, immigration, environmental, European Union and foreign policies) as well as whether liberal democracy has been firmly established in Germany.

  • The World We’re in: Globalisation and Democratic Governance in Practice

    Explore the politics of globalisation, global governance and provision of global public goods for human development. You'll look at issues such as security, prosperity, financial stability and sustainability through case studies of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Economic Forum, and World Trade Organization.

  • Being Great

    Gain an understanding of the role that Great Powers play in international politics and of how their existence and role serves to challenge some of the central tenets of traditional International Relations thinking. At a time of major shifts in global power, it will enable you to make sense of some of the key issues of contemporary international politics.

  • Small Wars from Malaya through Ireland to Iraq

    Insurgency and how to beat it is one of the most pressing problems or our time. Study the problem in cases studies from the end of empire to the latest insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Contemporary Political Philosophy

    How should we reason about justice, equality, liberty and democracy? You will explore ways of thinking about these topics through critical readings of leading contemporary political philosophers.

  • BRICS: Emerging Powers in International Affairs

    Develop your theoretical and empirical knowledge to understand and comparatively examine the challenges facing the five emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the shifting power structures of international affairs.

  • One-Trimester Internship

    Take the opportunity of applying your degree learned knowledge in a real working environment provided by one of our unique internship opportunities: and enhance your chance of getting a job at the same time.

If you opt for the One-Semester Internship, you'll have access to our exclusive seminar series presented by senior parliamentary officials including Black Rod, the Speaker, the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Clerk of the House of Commons.

"I'm currently being taught by Lord Norton of Louth, so I'm being taught by people who are actually currently sitting in the House of Lords."

Lucy Dunwell Watch video

More about this course

Explore the themes and issues which drive 21st-century world politics. Our Politics and International Relations degree takes you behind the headlines to gain expertise in international affairs, focusing on conflict and war, wealth, poverty and inequality, international law, international relations theory and international organisations. What distinguishes politics programmes at Hull is the opportunity to apply your studies to the real world. We have an established programme of internships with public and private organisations, including a challenging three-month placement at Westminster. Here you'll have the opportunity to work with a parliamentarian who shares your interest in international relations, perhaps a member of the Foreign Affairs or International Development Committee. Alternatively, you can choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, Hong Kong or North America.

This is an intellectually demanding programme, taught by staff who are globally recognised for their research in a variety of areas. This is reflected in the modules you study, and in the flexibility of the degree. The range of modules means that you can tailor the course to suit your interests and career aspirations.

Teaching and Learning

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Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps


The largest Westminster placement scheme in the UK, with unmatched access to MPs.

Our graduates are so numerous at Westminster and Whitehall, they’ve become known as the 'Hull Mafia'

You could visit Brussels as part of your degree and see the inner workings of the European Union.

Our expert staff are recognised globally as contributing to the cutting-edge of political research.

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 112 points. Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications 

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 28 points.
  • Access to HE Diploma: pass with minimum of 45 credits at merit.

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

At a glance

For this course, you'll need...

112 UCAS points

Points can be made up of a variety of qualifications. Calculate your points here.

We welcome a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not be listed.

Many of our courses offer a Foundation Year for applicants without the qualifications for direct entry on to the degree.

If you have any questions about our entry requirements or the tariff, please contact admissions or call 01482 466100.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation.

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.


Future Prospects

This course can lead to a career in political consultancy, the media, the Civil Service, public relations, political parties, parliament and charities.

Some of the posts currently held by our graduates include: Senior Communications Advisor • International Committee of the Red Cross • Geneva • Foreign Correspondent • Corporate Risk Analyst • Head of the Asia Programme • Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies • Special Advisor at 10 Downing Street • Account Executive at Citigate Public Affairs • Researcher for Jonathan Dimbleby Programme at LWT.

You can also choose the pathway to further study and training; our graduates have gone onto study Masters courses in both Political and Historical Research, International Relations and Global Politics. There's the further option of becoming a member of our Graduate Association, which will notify you of interesting news and events occurring in the world of politics. You will also receive an annual copy of the Graduate Directory, which is an excellent tool for networking, particularly in the early stages of your career.