BA (Hons) International Relations (Social Policy) 2022/23

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time

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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

Live Chat

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Course Enquiries - International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

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Overview

Immersive approach

During this degree, you'll explore development and underdevelopment, conflict and conflict resolution, war and terrorism, and globalisation and activism.

In year two, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and awareness of key aspects of social policy, including, for example, how welfare state institutions function across the UK, and a general awareness of different welfare systems operating in other parts of the world as well as appreciating the different normative values and principles which can underpin and shape policy making. In year three students will review, consolidate, analyse, apply, and extend their knowledge and understanding across a wide range of social policy issues as well as engaging critically with different theories, concepts, perspectives and methods presented in teaching and relevant literature. Students will draw on knowledge of research methods to provide informed commentary about the reliability of research evidence used in policymaking.

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.

International Relations student in a lecture

Why International Relations (Social Policy) 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.
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.
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start Date
September
Location

Modules

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.

Year 1

Semester 1

  • International Society: Conflict, Revolution and Empire
    This module examines key moments in international history to introduce some of the building blocks that make up the current international system. The module is concerned with historical events from around the globe and seeks to include perspectives and experiences from the global south. Such events and concepts include the emergence of democracy and the Glorious Revolution, empire building and colonialism, struggles for liberation, such as the Haitian revolution, and 9/11 and the war on terror.
  • Political Ideas in Practice
    This module introduces students to key concepts in political thought and contextualise them in contemporary political events, movements, systems and institutions. These include power, justice, race/racism, rights and equality. These ideas and concepts are explored with reference to the social and historical contexts in which they developed, and students will also be encouraged to explore the way that these ideas and concepts have been transformed historically and the manner in which they are mobilised in contemporary political debates. Part of the module will be devoted to the exploration of the contribution that political theory can make to contemporary issues and controversies.
  • Social Sciences in a Contemporary World: Themes, Concepts and Higher Education Skills
    This module provides an introduction to the study of social sciences and their global significance through an examination of key concepts and approaches to the subject. Each year, the subject matter will explore topical issues, current examples of which include the rise of #BLM, COP26 and climate change and sustainability. The selected issues will form the basis for the development of academic literacy and higher education skills in weekly workshops.

Semester 2

  • International Relations in Theory and Practice
    This module introduces students to contemporary global issues and theoretical perspectives of International Relations that will be further developed during their studies. Each theoretical perspective will be studied alongside a real world issue to illustrate how the theory works, how theory informs our ideas about the world and teach students the usefulness of theories in IR. The content is not fixed, but will be amended each year to reflect innovation in the discipline of IR as well as real-world controversies and events, such as Brexit, the global management of COVID-19, the Global Right and the rise of populist leaders and conspiracies.
  • State, Society and Institutions
    This module engages with political institutions and decision making at local, national and international levels to develop students’ understanding of and engagement with political processes. Key state institutions, and their relations with civil society, are analysed and evaluated. The module also explores democracy and political processes beyond the formal realm, including the role of media and pressure groups in shaping governance and policy making. While the focus of the module is largely national, the impact of the international sphere is also explored.
  • Social Justice in Action
    This module develops students’ understanding of the concept of social justice (as a goal and a process) and its wider implications. The module also encourages students to focus on their interests, motivations, skills and abilities in employability terms and make connections between their studies and their future careers. Central to the module is a career and networking event. This event will provide students with the opportunity to meet and speak with individuals working in organisations concerned with social justice, particularly individuals who have themselves overcome challenges relating to their gender, race, class, age, sexuality, religion etc. Front line staff such as police officers, probation officers, social workers; activists, campaign work, researchers to voluntary sector representatives will be involved. Alumni will also contribute to the event.

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Foreign Policy Analysis
    This module introduces students to the study of decision-making in international relations and foreign policy case-studies. It looks at how international, domestic and individual pressures shape the decisions leaders make toward other states, regional and non-state actors. The module will discuss conceptual matters, gradually building a toolkit of theoretical approaches that explain how foreign policy is imagined and implemented. Later the module works through a series of detailed case studies, covering the foreign policy of key international actors and regions like the US, the UK, the EU, China, Israel and Latin America.
  • Social Research Methods
    This module introduces students to key concepts, methods and techniques used in social research. Students learn how to evaluate the methodological choices of researchers and to conduct their own social research. Students are introduced to both qualitative methods in the first half and quantitative methods in the second half. Within each half the module focuses on evaluative criteria (e.g. ethics and measurement validity) for social research, data collection methods (e.g. qualitative interviews and surveys) and data analytic methods (e.g. grounded theory and statistical methods).
  • Contemporary Policy Making
    This module introduces students to social policy, covering the mechanisms, actors, and organisations involved in policymaking. It will look at the frameworks within which policy makers act. The module will encourage students to apply and develop their understanding of policy through following contemporary social policy issues as they unfold during the module.  Students will analyse and critique the developments in their areas of interest during the course of the module.  By engaging with policymakers and policy processes, students will gain practical experience of seeking to make and shape policy.

Semester 2

  • Contemporary Issues in International Development
    This module will provide a comprehensive and detailed introduction to the international development, and the contemporary challenges facing developing countries. It draws on innovative real world examples, addresses multiple perspective on development – such as gender -  and engages with development practitioners throughout the module to provide students with cutting edge, industry relevant, knowledge. Topics will vary from one year to the next to maintain contemporary relevance, but contemporary topics covered include poverty reduction; climate change and the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent events. The course also assesses the main development strategies followed by selected middle and low-income countries, with detailed case studies drawn from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
  • Working in the Social Sciences
    This module provides an opportunity for students to work in settings related to their studies and, more generally, gain meaningful workplace experience in which to apply their social scientific learning. It will also reinforce their studies through the application and integration of relevant workplace experience into the academic context. Voluntary and community sector organisations, charities, academic research and most political organisations are particularly suitable for work placements, although much can also be learned from placements in commercial settings. Students who do not secure a formal external placement will form groups to work on an applied project related to LSBUs 9 identified UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Plus optional modules from:

  • Environmental Justices, Sustainability and Climate Crisis
    This module addresses the social and political dimensions of ecology. It examines defining features of the concept of (environmental) sustainability, introducing various political perspectives. We will see how local and global environmental risks demand new forms of urban, national and international governmentality. The module will discuss how societies affect and are affected by changes in the natural environment. Finally, we will engage with how climate change impacts on our understanding of time, including how we imagine the end of the world. Throughout the module, we will research and look at the activities of organisations and movements involved in environmental sustainability.
  • Political Ideologies
    This module explores what is meant by ‘ideology’ in academic debate as well as in concrete political and social settings. While considering the challenges inits definition it aims to encourage students to reflect upon the relevance and importance of ideology as an organising principle in contemporary societies across the global north and south. The module will enable students to understand and analyse different political arguments in their wider contemporary national and international context ideological context and gain nuanced understanding of the of the cultural, and social embeddedness of political actions, discourses and rhetoric.
  • Rising Powers and World Order
    This module explores the key features of world orders, and the transitions between them, since the demise of Pax Britannica. It analyses the period of rivalry between the major powers (1875-1945), and, in particular, the era of Cold War bi-polarity and Pax Americana (1945-1990). Post-Cold War developments, including the rise of China and the debate on US empire and hegemony, are a major focus of the module. Contemporary patterns of international disorder, including the developing multi-polarity, are also explored. The debate on the conditions for the break-through of rising powers will be addressed throughout the module.

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Research project (double module)
    This level six double module covers two semesters and consists of the research for and completion of an academic project with a 9,000 word limit. Each student chooses a subject relevant to the study of International Relations in which they wish to specialize, and then uses the skills and knowledge that they have accumulated and developed through modules studied at previous levels to undertake and complete the project. During the whole process, from choice of subject to final submission, each student will have the support and guidance of a supervisor allocated for this purpose.
  • International Security
    This module introduces students to the study of international security at Level 6, covering a wide spectrum of security issues, including the causes and consequences of civil wars for IR, the impact of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and the idea of ‘culture wars’. The second part of this module offers a detailed grounding in the theory and practice of international security by exploring conceptual matters in (critical) security studies such as the debate between ‘narrowing’ or ‘widening’ the scope of security. One of the central aims of the module is to encourage students to historicise and think critically about contemporary constructions of ‘security’, somehowagainstthe narrower field of ‘strategic studies’, concerned with particular weapons systems and their use in particular wars.
  • Social Justice and Social Policy
    This module will take an in depth look at some of the most significant issues in contemporary British Social Policy in recent times. It will use in-depth case studies, which chart the development of and previous attempts to solve policy issues, before looking at the current state of the field and future needs. Students will be able to develop detailed knowledge of areas of interest to them, and use this to deepen their knowledge of policy processes. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to place the case studies within the context of social justice and British society.

Semester 2

  • Research Project (continued)
  • Diplomacy and  Conflict Resolution
    This module examines the historical, theoretical, normative and practical aspects of diplomacy and conflict resolution. Having defined the key concepts, the module explores a range of approaches to the subject, including political, economic and legal approaches. Whilst the module considers the role of traditional actors, such as states and international institutions, this also closely examines a broad range of actors (e.g. civil society and youth) and approaches (e.g. memory, arts and local justice responses). Key topics covered include the nature, practice and history diplomacy and conflict resolution, and of mechanisms aligned with this, such as peace accords, negotiations, humanitarian intervention, peacebuilding and transitional justice.
  • Challenges in Global Social Policy
    This module will take an in-depth look at some of the most significant issues in contemporary British Social Policy in recent times. It will use in-depth case studies, which chart the development of and previous attempts to solve policy issues, before looking at the current state of the field and future needs. Students will be able to develop detailed knowledge of areas of interest to them, and use this to deepen their knowledge of policy processes

Employability

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:

  • teaching
  • voluntary sector project management
  • work in NGOs, local and central government
  • general commercial businesses
  • national delegations at the United Nations

Employability Service

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.

Placements

Students will complete a work-based learning module as part of their second year where they will complete an optional work placement or take part in other forms of work-based learning. In the past, our students have volunteered with charities and criminal justice agencies, with local authorities, on programmes ranging from rehabilitation of offenders to victim support and campaigner groups. Through these, students contribute to real world situations linked to their subject of interest. In many cases, students maintain a relationship with the organisation they volunteer for. Placements ground a student's experience, provide confidence and bolster a CV immeasurably.

Our students have taken up work placements at:

  • Chance UK – a unique early intervention mentoring organisation who provide adult volunteer mentors to work with children aged 5-11 years at risk of developing anti-social behaviour in later life.
  • Kairos in Soho – a pan-London LGBT Community Development Organisation.
  • The Naz project London – a sexual health organisation that works to mobilise Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in relation to HIV and other sexual health concerns.
  • Richmond Advice and Information on Disability (RAID)
  • Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS)

Teaching and learning

You can expect to be taught through a mix of innovative and traditional teaching methods:

  • social media
  • blogs
  • presentations
  • group work
  • policy briefs
  • essay writing
  • dissertations

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

Personal Academic Tutoring

As an undergraduate Law and Social Science student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first semester at LSBU.  The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.

Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.

Entry requirements

  • 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 entry tariffs.

Advanced entry

If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.

How to apply

International students

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Home/EU applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start date
September
Application code
VL250
Application method

Accommodation

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.

Finance

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.

Home/EU postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system.

Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

International applicants should use our international application system. Full details can be found on our How to apply section for international students.

See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 127 KB).

Considering your application

Your application will be circulated to a number of potential supervisors who will look at your academic qualifications, experience and the research proposal to decide whether your research interest is something that could be supervised at LSBU.

There will also be an interview either by telephone or at the University. If you are successful you will be offered a place on a course and informed of the next enrolment date. The whole process normally takes between six to eight weeks, from receipt of your application to a decision being made about your application at the School.

Prepare to start

Applicant events

After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.

Enrolment

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 Enrolment pages.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.

Enrolment

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 Enrolment pages.

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.

Full-time

BA (Hons) International Relations FT - Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT

The fee shown is for entry 2021/22
UK fee: £9250International fee: £14900
AOS/LSBU code: 4821Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK £27750
International £44700

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 and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 201 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Scholarships

We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 201 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations; read notices of PhD studentships.

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

Order a prospectus

Course Enquiries - International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch

Live Chat

Due to COVID-19, call waiting times may be longer than usual. Any questions? Use the green bubble on the bottom right hand corner to start a live chat with us

Chat with a course student

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  • School of Law and Social Sciences