International Relations BA (Hons)
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During this degree, you'll explore development and under development, conflict and conflict resolution, war and terrorism, and globalisation and activism.
This fascinating interdisciplinary degree will help you to become an active agent of change in the international system. You’ll explore the issues the world faces from a number of perspectives – global and systemic, individual and rational, cultural and critical and Western-centric and post-Western. Our interactive seminars and workshop encourage exciting, free and open debate.
Why International Relations at LSBU?
- Wide ranging research interests: global political economy, international human rights, sexualities and society, global sport, human trafficking, sustainability and climate change.
- Our interactive seminars and workshops encourage free and open debate - for you to share ideas and learn from each other.
- Global alumni network: Become part of an 80,000-strong alumni network.
- No.1 London Modern university for Learning Resources (National Student Survey 2016).
- Enhance your employability by taking part in our volunteering programme - and take advantage of optional 'work placement' module.
- Be part of an academic community dedicated to social justice and global responsibility - with inspiring schedule of guest speakers, events, volunteering opportunities and exchange of ideas.
Modules cover an array of enticing topics. You’ll consider issues of equity, ethics, social justice, and global responsibility, as well as learning chief IR concepts, theories and perspectives. Other topics include sustainability and climate change, and citizenship and nationality.
- Introduction to international relations
This module introduces key issues in International Relations. We'll focus on major contemporary global events and processes and explore perspectives and concepts that inform international analysis. The content will respond to real-world controversies and events for the year, such as climate change, humanitarian intervention, the Syrian conflict and the Olympic Games. Assessment: group presentation (30%), blog (30%) and foreign policy briefing paper (40%).
- Revolutions, wars and the making of the modern world
This module introduces some of the major themes and events in modern world history. It begins with an examination of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. It moves on to look at the Industrial Revolution, national unification movements in Italy and Germany in the nineteenth century, Empire, the First World War and the ideologies of Fascism, Nazism and Soviet Communism. It looks at the impact of key historical figures such as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler and their impact on the shape of the modern world. Taught through: weekly lectures, seminars and group debates. Assessment: group work and presentation (40%) and 1,500-word essay (60%).
- Introduction to political theory
You'll be introduced to key ideas and concepts in political theory. These include democracy, freedom, justice and power. These ideas and concepts are explored in the social and historical contexts in which they developed. You'll also be encouraged to explore the way that these ideas and concept have been transformed historically and the manner in which they are mobilised in contemporary political debates.
- Introduction to international relations theory
This module introduces key perspectives in international relations theory, both classical and modern. We'll explore classical thinkers, including Hobbes, Kant and Marx, but our emphasis is on twentieth century International Relations’ thinking. The Realist tradition will be a central concern, but critiques and alternatives will also be analysed. Throughout the module, we'll apply IR theory to real-world developments such as: war and peace, global justice, human rights, foreign policy and diplomacy, nationalism, and revolution. Assessment: logbook (20%), 1,500-word essay (50%) and 1-hr exam (30%).
- War and social change in the 20th century
This module introduces the major themes and events in twentieth century world history from the Second World War onward. It examines contemporary historical events that have impacted society, including the Cold War, decolonisation, Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist revolution, the effect of New Right ideologies in the 1980's, the fall of the Soviet Union and its consequences, globalisation, as well as moves towards European integration and the development of the European Union. You'll analyse the impact of these key events on the shaping of the modern and contemporary world. Taught through: weekly lectures and seminars. Assessment 2,000-word essay (100%).
- North and south: issues of international development
This module explores the political economy of the world’s developing societies in a historical and global perspective by focusing on some of the key processes that have contributed to global inequality. The role of powerful global actors (including the major states and transnational corporations) and of international financial institutions is our central theme, but local, national and international development initiatives will also be explored. Assessment: presentation (20%), 1,500-word essay (30%) and 2-hour exam (50%).
- Global governance, religionalism and the nation-state
This module explores the contemporary multi-layered international system. We'll focus on the complex, dialectical (non-linear) economic, social and political relations between nation-states, regionalisation and globalisation. Regionalisation has emerged across the world, but is most developed in Europe. We'll also explore the role of international organisations in the global system, with particular emphasis on the United Nations system, including international financial institutions. In problematising one-sided arguments about the decline of the state, we'll critically reflect on state power and global inter-dependence in the 21st century. Assessment: international news diary (50%) and 2-hr exam (50%).
- Social research skills 1
In the first half of this module we'll introduce basic issues in research design and methodology. Topics covered include: experimental design and random assignment, formulating research questions sampling and measurement. In the second half of the module you'll learn the basics of statistical analysis and how to use SPSS.
- The environment, sustainability and climate change
This module provides a grounding in the study of the politics of environmental sustainability. The module focuses firstly on the debate on environmental sustainability which includes the challenge by environmentalists that it is a contradiction. Alternative approaches will also be examined including: green theory, the free market and Marxist approaches. The second part of the module looks at increasing global competition for water, food, energy and oil. The politics of climate change and deforestation; transport and tourism; global security and justice will also be covered. The third part of the course focuses on case studies of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability. We'll look into the IPCC; Copenhagen Climate Council; the Fair Trade Movement; Ethical Consumerism and the Environmental Movement.
- Globalisation and development
This module introduces key concepts, issues and theoretical debates in development studies. The module focuses on the developing societies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America and seeks to develop a comparative analysis of the divergent developmental experiences of Africa and the BRIC economies. The module locates the debates and issues that it explores within both an historical and global context and encourages students to explore the inter-dependence of the developed and developing world.
Plus two optional modules from:
- Gender difference and equality
In the past few decades work on gender has been crucial in challenging mainstream sociological thought, and in making exciting and innovative contributions to sociological theory, methodology and policy. This Module addresses equality and diversity by focusing on the issue of gender difference and equality through the study of historical and contemporary debates on a range of topical issues reflecting diversity and equality issues in contemporary British society. Taught through: lectures and workshops. Assessment: 1,500-word essay (50%) and 2,000-word document report (50%).
- Social theory and modern society
The scope of this course is designed to provide a grounding in the study of modernity and an understanding of some of the central assumptions of sociological thought developed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing first on some defining features of modernity, the course combines an examination of some key themes within classical sociological thought such as class, bureaucracy and order, before moving on to consider the relationship between such theorisation and a number of substantive areas of social research and debate. The central section of the course explores the role and meaning of modernist institutions and epistemologies through a case study of the Holocaust. The course concludes with a review of some current critiques of modernity.
- Work placement
This module provides an opportunity for you to work in a setting directly related to your area of study. It will enable you to to explore and reinforce the interface between theory and practice in a professional setting. Voluntary and community sector organisations with a registered charity number and most political organisations are suitable for work placements. However you'll need to meet and consult with your Module Coordinator to identify an appropriate voluntary sector and/or political organisation for you. Taught through: practical on-the-job work experience. Assessment: 1,000-word self-reflective report (30%), 2,500-word critical evaluation and action plan (70%).
- Making identities: citizenship, race and nation
This course aims to examine the processes that have shaped key facets of identity in contemporary societies. It does this by exploring modern sociological approaches to the analysis of three key identities, namely those based on citizenship, race and nation. It seeks to situate the origins and development of the study of these phenomena in the context of debates about the formation of social identities in modern states and societies. By taking notions such as citizenship, race and nation and examining their inter-relationship the Module aims to provide a critical analysis of key sociological debates about the making of social and political identities. An important concern of the course throughout is to explore the changing understandings of 'citizenship', 'race' and 'nation'. This allows you to explore important theoretical questions and debates and encourages you to think critically about their utility for the analysis of specific historical processes and contemporary situations. The module will encourage you to think across the different boundaries of race and nation, gender and sexuality, as well as locality or environment in order to understand the different interrelationships between these forms of identity formation and citizenship in the modern world.
- Contemporary dynamics of the world system
This module explores the structures, dynamics and transformations of world orders and provides students with an understanding of international relations since the demise of the nineteenth-century Pax Britannica. We'll explore successive world orders, analysing the period of rivalry between the major powers (1875-1945), and the era of Cold War bi-polarity and Pax Americana (1945-1990). We'll focus on post-Cold War developments, including the rise of China, the debate on US empire and hegemony, and processes of globalization and transnationalisation. We'll also explore contemporary patterns of international disorder, including the developing multi-polarity and the rise of transnational Islamic activism. Assessment: seminar presentation (20%), 1,000-word book review (30%) and 2-hr exam (50%).
- Diplomacy and conflict resolution
This module examines the historical, theoretical, normative and practical aspects of diplomacy and conflict resolution, Having defined the key concepts, we'll explore a range of approaches to the subject, including political and legal approaches. Our primary focus is on the role of states but we'll consider international institutions and non-state actors, such as NGOOs, too. Key topics covered include: the nature and history and nature of diplomacy, the history of conflict resolution, the processes of conflict resolution including peace-keeping, humanitarian intervention, and responsibility to protect, including a critique of liberal interventionism. Assessment: blog on a recent international conflict resolution effort (50%), presentation (30%), participate in model UN event (20%).
- Crimes of the powerful: states, corporations and human rights
This module explores the phenomena of state crime, corporate crime and the involvement of powerful social forces in human rights abuses. We'll examine the problems involved in conceptualising state crimes and human rights and looks at contemporary crimes against humanity, including in the area of environmental rights. We'll also explore the problems involved in regulating and controlling state crime and human rights atrocities in which states and state officials play a key role. The critical engagement with globalization provides a you with a framework to explore significant contemporary debates and developments. Assessment: 500-word annotated bibliography (20%) and 2,500-word case study (80%).
- Genocide and crimes against humanity
This module explores the history of genocide and crimes against humanity in the twentieth century and beyond. It begins with an introduction to the related concepts of genocide and crimes against humanity before considering a range of events including colonial genocides, the Armenian Genocide, the Nazi ‘Final Solution’, alleged genocides in Cambodia, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as cases of genocide in the twenty first century in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You'll analyse the dynamics of genocide and crimes against humanity in order to shed light upon their origins, characteristics and consequences. Taught through: a mix of lectures and seminars. Assessment: 4,000-word essay (100%).
- Research project (double module)
This Level 6 double module covers two semesters and consists of the research for and completion of an academic project with a 10,000 word limit. You'll choose an IR subject relevant to the study of International Relations in which they wish to specialise, and then undertake and complete the project. During the whole process, from choice of subject to final submission, you'll have the support and guidance of an academic supervisor. Assessment: project proposal (15%) and 10,000-word project (80%).
Graduates are in demand for their skill-mix, including analysis, critical thinking, research, and strong communication skills.
As a graduate you’ll be able to appreciate that problems are often multi-faceted and require thoughtful, creative and logical approaches. Such graduates are highly valuable (in both commercial and Not-for- Profit sectors) because of their ability to contribute to strategic decision making.
Typical careers are:
- voluntary sector project management
- work in NGOs, local and central government
- general commercial businesses
- national delegations at the United Nations
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Dr Budd specialises in International Relations, with interests in international theory, imperialism, and globalisation. His last book analysed neo-Gramscian international relations theory.
Prof. Craig Barker is the Dean of the School of Law and Social Sciences and a Professor of International Law. Appointed in 2015, Prof. Barker has taught extensively in the areas of domestic and international law, as well as international politics. He is a leading international expert on issues relating to diplomatic law.
Dr Matthew Bond is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Course Director of the Sociology undergraduate programme.
Dr Jaya Gajparia is the Couse Director of the Masters programme in Education for Sustainability, an internationally recognised distance learning programme established in 1994. She also teaches on a variety of Undergraduate Sociology courses.
Dr Pine currently teaches modules on 'Revolutions, Wars and the Making of the Modern World', 'War and Social Change in the Twentieth Century' and 'Genocide and Crimes against Humanity'.
Dr Shaminder Takhar is Associate Professor in Sociology specialising in race, gender, sexuality and social justice. She is the research ethics co-ordinator for the School of Law and Social Sciences.
Teaching and learning
You can expect to be taught through a mix of innovative and traditional teaching methods:
- social media
- group work
- policy briefs
- essay writing
Our central London location means that our you can benefit from London’s rich resources:
- British Library
- Imperial War Museum
- Institute of Historical Research
- Wiener Library
- Women’s Library @LSE
- Black Cultural Archive
- A Level BCC or:
- BTEC National Diploma MMM or:
- Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits or:
- Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
Visit UCAS for guidance on the 2018 tariff.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
For full-time courses, please send your applications through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using our code L75. UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.
For part-time courses, you can apply directly to the University.
For more details on how to apply (full-time and part-time) see our how to apply page.
International students can either apply through UCAS or directly to LSBU. See the international how to apply page for details.
Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £13125|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4821||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
|UK/EU fee: £5550||International fee: £7875|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4822||Session code: 1PS00|
|Total course fee:|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually, and additionally the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with inflation up to 4%.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.
Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.
Prepare to start
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our new students pages.
Course Enquiries - UK/EU
Tel: 0800 923 8888
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6100Get in touch
Course Enquiries - International
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189Get in touch
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