Politics and International Relations (BA (Hons))

Nottingham Trent University

For more information about Politics and International Relations at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 13450 per year

All study options

About Politics and International Relations at Nottingham Trent University

This innovative Politics and International Relations degree will allow you to develop a greater awareness of the complexity and connectedness of the political and international processes and theories that shape our lives. You'll examine the contemporary world in which we live at local, national and global levels.

If you have a keen interest in current affairs, international trends and understanding the changing world in which we live, then the Politics and International Relations course at NTU is ideal for you.

Because Politics deals with fundamental issues affecting society globally, it makes an ideal combination with International Relations to create an exciting, stimulating and relevant course.

Why choose this course?

  • Politics at Nottingham Trent University is ranked 4th out of 77 for the number of final year students who are satisfied with the feedback and assessment by lecturers on their course. (The Guardian University League Table 2016)
  • Learn from academic staff who are passionate about their areas of expertise. 100% of BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations full-time students agree that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching. (National Student Survey 2016)
  • You may have the opportunity to study abroad for one term in your second year as part of the Erasmus foreign exchange network and undertake valuable work-based learning.
  • The research of our academic staff feeds directly into the course, which means you'll be learning about the latest issues from world-renowned experts. The team also regularly contribute their thoughts about worldwide events and incidents to the local, national and international media.
  • The course will put you in a great position to embark on careers in local politics and government, NGOs, or other organisations with a stake in national and international political contexts, including the police, financial services, public services, civil services, and journalism.

How you're taught

To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods.

Structured teaching will be delivered through a combination of traditional lectures and seminars. Both lectures and seminars develop subject specific knowledge and expose a wide range of views and perspectives on contemporary issues. Lectures aid skills such as:

  • listening
  • concentration
  • active understanding
  • note-taking.

While smaller group seminars and workshops provide opportunities to develop:

  • reflective discussions
  • problem-solving skills
  • group working
  • analysis
  • debating skills
  • presentation skills.

A number of modules make use of alternative ways of learning in the classroom. These include, problem-based inquiry, flipped classrooms, simulation exercises, group presentations, case studies and film-based discussions.

Tutorials with staff

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one, you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions you'll have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and get feedback about your work.
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on.
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, personal circumstances or your university experience.

Independent study

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout your three years of study, the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to undertake an independent study or dissertation in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors, and if necessary ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Learn from experts

You'll be taught by an enthusiastic research-active team who have specialist knowledge in several regional areas, as well as in contemporary political theory. The courses all draw upon their expertise, research interests and experience, and many have also published textbooks in their specialist area of interest. You will develop specialist knowledge based on the team's expertise in several areas, including political theory, foreign policy, international and global institutions, international relations theory, global political economy, South Asia, Africa, North East Asia, and the Middle East.

In addition to the traditional lectures, tutorials and independent study, you'll also hear and learn from renowned experts and professionals in related fields who are regularly invited to come and talk to our students, providing you with an insight into their specialist knowledge and experiences.

Virtual learning environment

You'll also use our virtual learning environment NOW, which extends the course beyond the classroom. Activities you may be asked to complete include: online quizzes, crosswords, film-screenings and other video resources, mini-reports, online multiple choice tests, mini-essays, case-studies, short written answers (that help build toward longer essays), online question banks, discussion forums, topical question sheets, past exam papers and other online assessment materials.

NOW is a flexible web-based system that allows you to have 24-hour access to module learning materials and reading lists. It allows you to discuss work with tutors and other students, and submit coursework electronically from anywhere in the world.

How will I be assessed?

This course makes use of a wide range of assessment methods to enable us to see a broad and balanced representation of your skills and knowledge. These methods may include: written examinations; coursework based essays; textual analysis; oral presentations; multiple-choice tests; reports; case studies; reviews of academic literature and a final year research-based dissertations.

In response to student feedback, the University have introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Study abroad

You may have the opportunity to spend half of your second year studying abroad with the Erasmus+ foreign exchange scheme. This provides a great opportunity to experience life in another country and gain a new perspective on your subject. Find out more about this exciting study abroad opportunity.

Beyond the course

Broaden your experience, stand out from the crowd, and gain a range of skills that employers are looking for.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students, and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (50%), written (50%)
  • Year 2 coursework (77%), written (23%)
  • Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year1 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (77%)
  • Year2 lectures/seminars/workshops (24%), independent study (76%)
  • Year3 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%), independent study (81%)

Careers and employability

Excellent placement opportunities

Throughout this course you will be developing skills for employability. On the Researching Politics and International Relations Module in Year Two, you will have the opportunity to gain work experience with a number of local and national organisations. You'll also be actively encouraged to participate in voluntary work.

You may have the chance to spend half of your second year studying abroad with the Erasmus+ foreign exchange scheme. You may be able to study in places such as:

  • Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
  • Lille 1 University in France
  • Metropolitan University in Prague
  • Deusto University in Spain.

We are currently looking at expanding our network of partner universities. Please note that these universities are subject to change, and different options might be available from one year to another.

Your career development

This is a major part of the course. You will develop key transferable skills including:

  • communication
  • time management
  • problem-solving
  • teamworking.

You'll also have the opportunity to develop links with relevant organisations and potential employers.

Following graduation from this course, you will be well placed to apply for roles in the private and public sector organisations, including:

  • local government
  • the civil service
  • international aid and development agencies
  • the armed forces or the police.

Private sector organisations are increasingly looking for graduates with an understanding of international and global events and processes too. They are also interested in employing graduates who understand cultural barriers.

Our recent International Relations or Politics graduates have secured roles including:*

  • Business development manager
  • Civil servant
  • Parliamentary assistant
  • Recruitment consultant
  • Youth support worker.

*Latest DLHE survey undergraduate results, 2011-12 and 2014-15.

Our Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability team located on the City Campus. The team are well placed to give you specialist guidance and practical help that will really make a difference to your prospects once you do graduate.


As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings, including:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our brand new School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

Study options for this course

Notes about fees for this course

The tuition fee for UK home students joining NTU in 2018/19 on a full-time undergraduate/foundation degree programme, will be £9,250.

The fee for those who have a year-long placement as part of a sandwich course, or spend a year studying or working abroad will be published here once confirmed.

The University reviews its tuition fees each year. The fees for Home (UK / EU) undergraduate students for 2018-19 are £9250. As a guide and to enable you to plan your finances the current expectation is that the University’s current fee of £9250 per annum may increase for subsequent years of study in line with inflation and as specified by the Government.

Entry requirements

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

For September 2018 entry you will need:

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

Foundation courses
If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements, please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification, please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements, please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements, please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support
If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University, please contact our international team for advice.

University preparation courses
If you do not meet the entry requirements, you may be interested in our pre-Masters or Foundation courses at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), which lead onto this postgraduate or undergraduate degree if successfully completed. NTIC students are based on the City Campus and have access to all the University facilities.

Find out more about university preparation courses at NTIC.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at Nottingham Trent University to prepare for your chosen course:

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