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Undergraduate course

Politics and International Relations BA (Hons)

Explore the global political landscape and confront urgent international concerns.

Student reading in the library

In an increasingly globalised world, politics and international relations tackle pressing contemporary issues such as state power, international security, human rights and global justice.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L220
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

The York St John Experience

Course overview

This degree will introduce you to the major historical and contemporary figures, institutions, events and processes behind national and international politics. You will also learn to analyse these processes using the theories and concepts that form the basis of these academic subjects, engaging with the latest research in these areas. While you will also learn about regional and national politics, in choosing to combine Politics with International Relations you will take a largely global perspective.

Some of the topics you will investigate include:

  • Democracy and authoritarianism
  • Political parties
  • Political economy
  • International security
  • International organisation and the future of global cooperation
  • How states interact with each other, and the changing role of the state
  • How states respond to collective dilemmas such as inequality, global health and threats to national security.


You will learn to explain the historical drivers of social change and analyse the current political landscape. You will be prepared to understand and respond to the challenges which will shape our political future.

There are many ways you can explore this subject beyond the classroom. You have the opportunity to:

  • Take part in local, national and international field trips
  • Undertake a work experience project
  • Study abroad in your second year
  • Hear from visiting speakers with many different specialist areas of expertise.
  • Attend conferences, seminars, workshops and events.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are st­udying full time or part time. You must study at least 1 module from each subject every semester.

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


  • Introducing Politics: Key Concepts and Skills (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Comparative Politics (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Understanding World Politics (20 credits, compulsory)
  • UK Politics: Tradition and Change (20 credits, compulsory)
  • International Security (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Aid, Inequality and Development (20 credits, compulsory)

Year 2


  • International Relations: Theory and Practice (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Democracies (20 credits, optional)
  • International Political Economy (20 credits, optional)
  • Contemporary Security Challenges (20 credits, optional)
  • Political Analysis: Theory and Method (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Practical Politics (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Political Parties and Politicians in the UK (20 credits, optional)
  • Participation and Engagement: Elections and Beyond (20 credits, optional)
  • Area Studies (20 credits, optional)

Year 3


  • Hived Out, Hived In: Delegation in the Modern British State (20 credits, optional)
  • Authoritarianism (20 credits, optional)
  • The Political Economy of Crisis (20 credits, optional)
  • The Politics of Global Health (20 credits, optional)
  • Intervention, Peacekeeping and the Responsibility to Protect (20 credits, optional)
  • Gender, Security and Conflict (20 credits, optional)
  • Technology and Visual International Politics (20 credits, optional)
  • International Ethics and Global Citizenship (20 credits, optional)


Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching styles and settings to support your learning. This will include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Events
  • Field trips

Alongside your timetabled contact time, you will be expected to study independently. You will need to read around your subject and engaging with various academic resources. This will ensure that you get the most out of your degree, as well as building valuable time management skills.


You will be assessed entirely through coursework, with no exams. We are committed to authentic, relevant assessment. Authentic assessments mean your work is kept relevant and reflects workplace tasks or further study.

  • Essays
  • Portfolios
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Video presentations
  • Posters
  • Group reports
  • Book/article reviews
  • study reports.

Feedback is essential in identifying what you have done well and how you can improve. You will receive detailed feedback on your final assessments for each module, as well as on formative assessments which help you to improve as you learn.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

104 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 202 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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