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Programme Structure

Year 1

Your first year will include 'Introduction to Politics and International Relations' 'Political Thinkers' and 'Fundamentals: Politics and International Relations'.

Through these courses, you'll examine conceptual issues, such as the state, sovereignty, legitimacy, democracy, and power. You'll examine how these concepts work both in domestic political systems and internationally. Additionally you'll take the opportunity to explore and analyse the different institutional arrangements and democratic practices in various countries around the world, including the UK, France, Germany, Russia and South Africa. The Fundamentals course aims to equip students with core learning skills (including critical thinking, critical reading, research, writing and communication skills) necessary for the study of Politics and International Relations and will provide a forum for subject-specific learning and community building.

You'll also select four additional courses either from within the School of Social and Political Science or from across the university based on your own aims and interests.

Year 2

In your second year, you'll study 'International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond', 'Comparative Politics in a Globalized World' 'Introduction to Political Data Analysis' and 'Fundamentals 2: Politics and International Relations' .

You'll develop an understanding of international institutions – such as the UN, WTO, and EU – and will make sense of the history and practice of international relations. You'll also study influential theorists such as Hobbes and Marx and their ideas about human nature, social conflict and the role of the state. The Fundamentals course will build on skills developed in fundamentals 1, developing skills for the transition to Honours, including advanced academic reading, identifying research questions, developing arguments, and effective academic writing.

In addition, you'll select courses in outside subjects: these may be follow-ups to subjects taken in first year courses, or they may be new subjects.

Years 3 and 4

The Honours years (3rd and 4th year) will allow you to specialise in your chosen discipline. The third year is a combination of compulsory and optional courses. Compulsory courses include courses examining approaches to the study of politics, global justice and citizenship, and the study of politics in comparative perspective. You will also choose from a wide range of optional courses.

In 4th year, you'll have the opportunity to pursue further optional courses. You will also complete an in-depth research project, in the shape of a 10,000 word dissertation, on a topic of your choice, under the guidance of a supervisor.