International Relations (IR) covers the broad themes and theories associated with the study of IR such as the state system, development, security, conflict and globalisation. It also draws on the School’s distinctive expertise in a number of areas which include British, French, European, American, Latin American, African and Middle Eastern Politics. You will undertake the historical study of IR, from the 1870s including the ‘scramble for Africa’, through to the Cold War, the origins of the war on terror, the financial crisis and the Arab Spring. You will learn how to apply these theories and reflect on their relevance through the use of both historical and contemporary examples.
Year abroad option
This programme can also be taken with a year abroad at one of our partner universities which takes place in the third year of your programme. You will be able to explore the relationship between international and comparative politics, as well as examine the international politics of specific regions. Studying a year abroad will help to expand your knowledge of another culture and even learn a new language. All teaching is delivered in English. Please note that entry requirements vary for the year abroad programme. Click here to find out more.
Why study International Relations at QMUL?
We’re an expanding School and pride ourselves on the friendly and informal approach of our great teachers. You’ll get one-to-one supervision for your dissertation and our small seminar groups are all led by academic staff. You will learn from academics at the cutting-edge of their fields, who are contributing to our understanding of the subject. Our staff have diverse research interests, and this is reflected in the choice of modules available to students.
There are huge benefits to studying politics in London, with national political institutions, party headquarters, high-profile international organisations and think-tanks all based here. At QMUL, we exploit our location to the full, inviting a range of high-profile and inspiring speakers to the campus.
QMUL is also home to the Mile End Institute, a major policy centre. Drawing on its unique location within a Russell Group University situated in London’s East End, it brings together policymakers, academics and diverse local communities to address the major political challenges in the UK. They hold a number of exciting and engaging events throughout the year that are open to students. Recent speakers at the Mile End Institute include Nick Clegg, Diane Abbott and Michael Heseltine.
- Thinking Politically: Introduction to concepts, theories and ideologies
- Political Analysis
- Introduction to International Relations
- Introduction into Politics
Optional modules (choose one):
- Background to British Politics
- Global Histories
- Module from another School within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
- International Relations: Theories and Contemporary Issues
At least two from the following;
- War and Security in World Politics
- Global Governance
- International Politics of the Developing World
- Modernity: Theories of State, Economy and Society
- Choose from options from within the School or another School within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Year 3 (for students on the BA International Relations with a year abroad)*
You will embark on a year abroad at a carefully selected partner university. You will choose your modules with the help of QM advisors. Although these modules will be non-credit bearing, you will need to pass them in order to progress to the next stage of the programme. You are encouraged to study the local language, but your studies would not depend on it. All teaching will be delivered in English.
- The International Relations Research Project
Plus options from within the School (see below) or another School within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Analysing Public Policy
- Globalisation: Issues and Debates
- US Foreign Policy
- Gender and Politics
- The Politics of the Post-Colonial Middle East
- Latin American Politics
- Nationalism & Ethnicity in International Relations
- Africa and International Politics
- Parliamentary Studies
- Race and Racism in World Politics
- Parliamentary Studies (Internship)
- Radical Politics
- Utopia and Dystopia: Political, Economic and Literary Dreamworlds
- The Political Economy of South East Asia
- Political Violence and Liberal Modernity
- Global Ethics
- The European Union
- The Political Life of Security Methods
- Justice in a Global City
- Subject, Citizen, Mass: Thinking Selfhood in the Modern Age
Click here to view modules from the School of Politics and International Relations
QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions to read more: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/prospective/termsandconditions/
*If your third year is spent studying abroad, you will pay a reduced tuition fee to QMUL, currently 15 per cent of current undergraduate fees. (For guidance, in 2016/17, Home/ EU students paid £1,350; while international students paid 50 per cent of that year’s tuition fee for their programme). Please note: you will not pay a fee to the host university while abroad, but you will be expected to cover your accommodation costs.
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades ABB at A-Level. Excludes General Studies and Critical Thinking.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.|
|EPQ||Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
2017 Entry requirements
BA International Relations L250 BA (Hons) 3 years
Typical grades required: ABB at A-Level
Excluded subjects: General studies and critical thinking.
Subjects and grades: 32 points overall, with 6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects.
BA International Relations with year abroad L25Y BA (Hons) 4 years
Typical grades required: AAB at A-Level
Excluded subjects: General studies and critical thinking.
Subjects and grades: 34 points overall, with 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects.
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (email@example.com) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
As a student at QMUL, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at QMUL.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Students are assessed by a combination of coursework and exams. A few modules are assessed by coursework only. If a module is assessed by means of coursework alone, this is usually in the form of a research project or dissertation, and the tutor project supervisor offers guidance and support in the researching and writing of this piece of assessment.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Graduates from the School of Politics and International Relations go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering sectors such as government, charities or public affairs, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into roles such as policy research, law, campaigning or a wide range of opportunities in the commercial arena.
The national 2015 destination survey confirmed that 94% of our graduates were in employment or study six months after graduation and 96% of these were already working or studying at graduate level. Our graduates have an average earning power of £24,000 six months after graduation.
The broad range of skills gained through this course, coupled with significant opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers with organisations such as:
- European Union
- Spanish Diplomatic Mission to the UN
- Hungarian Embassy
- Warburg Institute
- Heart for Change
In today's competitive jobs market, employers expect graduates to have a range of skills and work experience. Being based in London is a distinct advantage, and at QMUL we have designed programmes of careers support to help you take advantage of our capital location.
Alongside your studies, you'll have opportunities
- attend networking or industry events
- apply for internships in your ideal area of work
- volunteer with local or national charities
- work part-time.
And there's plenty of day-to-day support too. Whether you need help with writing a CV, developing your interview skills or planning further study once you graduate, we have teams of advisers on hand to give you the advice and support you need. Visit: www.careers.qmul.ac.uk and qmsu.org/volunteering
Learning a language
Even if you're not studying a language as part of your degree, you can still develop these skills by signing up for a course in QMUL's Language Centre. Choose from: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Japanese or Spanish.
Name: Constantin Gouvy
Studied: International Relations, 2015
Currently: Coordinator of the Global Affairs Policy Taskforce at 1989 Generation Initiative
What do you do in your job?
Broadly speaking, my role is to oversee and manage the work of the foreign policy unit. I am responsible for the quality of the organisation’s policy output on global affairs, and the presentation of these reform proposals at the European Parliament. This means bringing the voice of the European youth to EU policy-makers; translating it into innovative and concrete policy reforms that are presented in Brussels. This is a very exciting project to be a part of in the aftermath of the UK referendum on Brexit.
How have your studies at QMUL helped your career?
Studying at QMUL has been key in shaping both my academic interests and professional goals. I was drawn to IR for some years before starting my degree, but it was thanks to challenging discussions with bright fellow young scholars and the advice of dedicated, approachable and supportive teachers that I was able to develop an expertise that builds on my strengths.
What’s more, the student life at QM helped kickstart my career and bridge the gap between studies and practice. In my second year, I joined ‘New Turn’, a University of London-wide non-partisan organisation that aims to tackle youth disenfranchisement and was initially launched at the School of Politics and IR.