Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Politics and International Relations (with a Language) (BSc Econ)

  • L292

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

This programme is the same as the regular Politics and International Relations degree apart from giving you the opportunity to study a foreign language as well. The ability to communicate fluently in a foreign language is a considerable asset for those seeking careers in the international arena.

Like its non-language counterpart, 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 on core modules plus your language. In your second year you choose from among a wide range of option modules as well as continuing your language study. Your final year consists exclusively of optional modules. You must study a certain number of international relations modules over the course of your degree, 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 levels, plus a foreign language, 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 organisations, transnational companies, and international non-governmental bodies. A further alternative is to go on to postgraduate study.

Key Facts

UCAS Code L292
Duration 3 years
How to apply


Typical places available The School admits 100 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 545
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB (With an A-level or equivalent in any modern language)
Admissions Tutor Dr Jonathan Kirkup
Tel Number 029 2087 5406
Email address
School website

The Politics and International Relations (with a language) 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. There are some compulsory modules, including language modules, and you need to study a certain minimum number of international relations modules, but beyond this you can choose from the full range of Politics modules. 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

You take four Politics modules:

Plus one pair of Language modules from the following pairs of modules as appropriate:

  • German Language (Advanced or Beginners) and Introduction to German History and Culture
  • Italian Language (Advanced or Beginners) plus Modern Italy: Birth of a Nation
  • Contemporary French Language or Beginners French, plus Modern France
  • Spanish Language (Advanced or Beginners) and Introduction to Hispanic Studies (Advanced or Beginners)
  • Two Japanese modules (to be confirmed)

Year 2

You take five Politics and one Languages module. Note that the lists of modules below are indicative only and 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. 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.

Language Teaching is aimed at developing near native level fluency and accuracy in all areas of language learning (listening, reading, speaking and writing). Classes are small, take advantage of the latest language learning methods and technologies, and are mainly taught by native speakers. The year abroad consolidates language skills and develops further valuable intercultural communication skills via interaction with native speakers in the context of work or study.

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 so develop your capacity to undertake research and communicate its findings, qualities increasingly prized by employers.

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.

Typical A-level Offer AAB including a modern language (excluding General Studies)
Typical WBQ Offer Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a Grade A in the Core and grades AB at A-level, including a modern langauge.
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 this degree means that you have an excellent understanding of politics and government at national and international level, as well as a foreign language, 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.

This 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 with a foreign language 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:

School Contact

Name: Dr Jonathan Kirkup  

Telephone: 029 2087 5036 



School Website:

More information

Politics and International Relations