Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


International Relations and Politics (BSc Econ)

  • L290

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

This programme focuses on the interaction of states, international alliances, non-governmental organisations and multinational companies in an increasingly globalised world. You will have the opportunity to study major issues in global politics, such as the politics of international security and the role of human rights in the world today. You will learn how to analyse the behaviour of key international actors and how they address some of the biggest challenges facing today’s world.

In your first year you concentrate mainly on core modules, while in your second and third years you choose from among a wide range of option modules. You must study a certain number of international relations modules, but beyond this the full range of Politics modules is available.

For employers this degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and governance at national and international level, plus associated intellectual and communications skills, that will be of value whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. Graduates are especially well-placed to seek careers with an international dimension not only in government but also in international governmental organisations, transnational companies, and international non-governmental bodies. A further alternative is to go on to postgraduate studies.

Key Facts

UCAS Code L290
Duration 3 years
How to apply


Typical places available The School admits around 100 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 545
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB excluding General Studies
Admissions Tutor Dr Jonathan Kirkup
Tel Number 029 2087 6102
Email address
School website

The Politics and International Relations degree programme at Cardiff takes three years to complete.

The first year is an introductory year. It is the results of the second and final years of study that determine your degree classification. The degree is made up of compulsory modules as well as optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to reflect your specific interests. A particular feature is the option of writing a dissertation in your final year. This is highly regarded by employers because it indicates that you can do original research.

Year 1

We offer six Politics modules in Year 1. Four of these are compulsory:

The other two are available as options:

Alternatively, you can choose option modules from other academic subjects, such as History and Philosophy. This gives you the opportunity to pursue existing academic interests or explore new areas.

Year 2

You take six Politics modules. Note that the list of modules below are indicative only and that modules may vary from year to year.

Final Year

In your final year you get the opportunity to choose from a further set of modules, including the option of doing a dissertation.

Lectures provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. These are outlined in course syllabi.

Seminars provide an opportunity to ask questions and discuss key ideas in a small group environment. Their purpose is to assist you to integrate the information and ideas you receive from lectures and readings and to explore issues critically and in depth. Seminars are kept small and usually average between 12-15 students. This is designed to give you ample opportunity to participate and to provide close contact between you and members of the academic staff.

Different seminar formats are used. Set questions and readings form the basis for discussion by directing your attention to relevant aspects of the subject matter and to various types of sources of information. Giving presentations develops your capacity to gather, organise and synthesise relevant information and ideas and to communicate these in a logical and concise manner. Tutor-led and student-led discussion hones logical skills and gives you practice in applying different concepts, theories and methods to the subject-matter at hand. It also exposes you to different interpretations of political ideas and events. Group problem-solving helps to develop collaborative skills.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Prior advice and written feedback (for essays) are used to help you understand what is required.


The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and thereby develop your capacities to apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political questions; acquire detailed knowledge about a particular area of politics; use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material; and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Pastoral Care

You will be allocated a personal tutor for the entire period you are at the University. Personal tutors are members of the academic staff who are available to students seeking advice, guidance and help.

Politics at Cardiff School of Politics and International Relations received excellent ratings for both teaching outcomes and teaching delivery in the National Audit of University Teaching Quality.

Typical A-level Offer AAB excluding General Studies
Typical WBQ Offer Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a Grade A in the Core and grades AB at A-level.
Typical Int Bacc Offer

Considered on individual merit

Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

For employers a degree in Politics and International Relations means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and governance at national and international level that will be of value whether you work in government or in the private or voluntary sectors. It also demonstrates that you possess highly developed intellectual and communications skills.

The degree prepares you for careers in a wide range of fields. These include journalism, broadcasting, local government, management, publishing, law, accountancy, education, the voluntary sector, policy research and consultancy, and the civil service. Business firms are interested in recruiting Politics graduates due to the fact that firms have frequent dealings with government. Politics and International Relations graduates in particular are especially well-placed to seek careers with an international dimension not only in government but also in international organisations, transnational companies, and international non-governmental organisations.

What this means is that graduates with a good degree in Politics and International Relations are valued by a wide range of employers. Among the employers of recent graduates are political parties, local government, private companies and non-governmental organisations. Another option is to go on to postgraduate study.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Jonathan Kirkup  

Telephone: 029 2087 5036 



School Website:

More information

Politics and International Relations