School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) International Relations with Politics with Foundation

Learn how to critically debate political processes while gaining an in-depth knowledge of the relationships between nations and processes of globalisation and global governance. You’ll be immersed in investigating how the international world works, and as an informed, critical graduate your skills will be in demand, giving you employment opportunities with organisations across the globe.

The course starts with a foundation year 0, specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in higher education, including critical thinking and research skills, and the knowledge and understanding of key facets of international relations and politics.

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Careers with this subject

Where could your degree take you?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with an international relations with politics degree and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

Careers and further study

Key features

  • Focus on the diversity of the international world, in particular, post-1945 developments and the processes of globalisation. These twin themes will be reflected and addressed in sessions on the international political economy, international security and the third world.
  • Explore the evolution of politics internationally. Debate contemporary worldwide issues, current affairs and major political events. Ask those difficult questions about war, hunger and poverty in the developing world.
  • Travel the world through our international student exchange programme. From the Czech Republic and Poland to Canada and the USA, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to gain insights into international relations worldwide.
  • Be inspired by teaching rooted in research. Our staff are leading experts in their fields; areas of expertise include a popular protest in the Middle East, British and American foreign policy, development in Africa, global environmental politics, security studies and the politics of the European Union.
  • Engage with contemporary international issues and take part in exclusive events, film screenings and lectures, through the student-run Politics and International Affairs society (PIA Soc).
  • Benefit from a course which received excellent ratings for teaching and student satisfaction, with 92% of students agreeing that staff have made the subject interesting.*NSS 2020.
  • Differentiate yourself in an international sector with industry experience. As journalists, politicians' assistants, and public affairs consultants, our graduates have gone on to work for the European Union, United Nations and UK Civil Service.
  • Investigate daily headlines. Discover the international and political ideas that influence society. Emphasise the diversity of the international world where traditional approaches will be measured against new ways of looking at how the world works.

This course is an integrated part of the BSc (Hons) International Relations with Politics degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of one of the following degree programmes:

BSc (Hons) Criminology
BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology
BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
LLB (Hons) Law
LLB (Hons) Law and Criminology
BSc (Hons) Politics
BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations
BSc (Hons) International Relations
BSc (Hons) Sociology
Course details
  • Year 0

  • In this year, you’ll experience a supportive environment to assist in the transition to successful study in higher education. You will learn about academic writing, critical thinking skills and begin to develop your research skills, as well as develop your knowledge and understanding through an introduction to key aspects of international relations and politics, and other relevant areas of law and social science.

    Core modules

    • Work & Employment in the 21st Century (LCG004)

      This project-based module provides students with an opportunity to explore in depth the nature and characteristics of an employment sector that is of direct relevance to degree-level education in law and/or social science subjects such as criminology, sociology, politics and international relations.

    • Social Justice (LCG005)

      This module provides students with an introduction to key thinkers, ideas and controversies that have shaped Western societies in the modern period.

    • Crime and Deviance (LCG006)

      This module will introduce students to the main institutions and processes of the legal system and criminal justice in England and Wales, while developing key transferable skills related to the study and practice of law and criminal justice.

    • Human Rights (LCG007)

      This module will introduce students to a foundational sociological understanding of the structure and organisation of society; and to the main institutions of domestic and international government, and the theories and concepts used by political science to study them.

  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you’ll investigate daily headlines and topical news, discovering the international systems and political ideas that shape them. Explore the main concepts and theories of British and European politics, and study contemporary issues, current affairs and major political events in context. You’ll cover topics including international institutions and regimes, sovereignty to global governance and contemporary international relations as well as gain vital research techniques.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year, you’ll immerse yourself in international political economy, investigate leading theories and analyse global systems. Explore the concepts of national and human security, and develop your knowledge of politics with topics including Britain and the EU, modern liberal democracies, political analysis and strategy and public policy. You can also choose to visit the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada or the USA with our international student exchange programme.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you’ll undertake a comprehensive piece of research under expert supervision. You’ll also deepen your knowledge of politics and international relations by studying a range of modules focusing upon areas such as the Middle East, the developing world, the US, and British politics, as well as themes such as foreign policy, trade policy, security, and environmental politics.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc International Relations with Politics with Foundation programme specification 6755

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
PPP-MMP in any subject. 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

International Baccalaureate
24-25 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4, Standard Level = 5.

If overseas and not studying English within IB – Must have IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

Access courses
Pass access course (any subject) plus GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4 or above or equivalent.

New Irish Highers: Achieve Irish Leaving Certificate with 32-48 UCAS points.

GCSE’s or equivalent: Maths and English at Grade C/4 or City and Guilds; Key Skills Level 2 will be considered on an individual basis.

Mature students with appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply. For those who do not meet the requirements, please enquire for further details. We encourage any candidate who is unsure about the suitability of their qualifications or experience to contact Admissions in the first instance, who will then liaise with the Admissions Tutor and Programme Lead.

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

"At Plymouth we don’t just focus on understanding, we hone in on your critical thinking, helping you build a portfolio of skills that allows you to shape change."

Watch lecturers James Goulbourn and Dr Shabnam Holliday talk about what you'll study and the skills you'll learn from our politics and international relations courses at Plymouth. Second-year student Josh talks about his experience of studying politics at an exciting time for global political change.

Let our graduates inspire you

International Relations and Politics Internship Programme

James Lord – Working in Westminster as a Parliamentary Assistant

This internship was far more than making tea. I was treated as a member of staff, included in meetings and my opinion sought on the issues of the day.
Find out more about James' internship

Sophie Smith – Working on midterm campaigns in the USA

I am taking two modules that focus on American policy and politics this year and I’m sure I can apply so much of what I have learnt. Thank you to the department for allowing me to have this opportunity.
Find out more about Sophie's internship

Politics and International Affairs Society (PIASOC)

Do you relish a heated debate? Join the Politics and International Affairs Society and you’ll benefit from unique film screenings, guest speakers and social events. PIASOC welcomes everyone! Whether you study politics/international relations or just have an overall interest in the political world. PIASOC aims to increase the students understanding of the political world through talks, socials, and workshops.

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* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.