School of Society and Culture

BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations

UCAS tariff 104 - 112
UCAS course code LL25
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Understand the roles of democracy, freedom and security in the 21st century near the site of the 2021 G7 Summit. Our programme is not just about helping you understand politics and international relations; it's about building your critical thinking to empower you to be part of a change. Hone your skills with our unique practical assessments that immerse you in mock-ups of real-world scenarios. Our students have gone on to key policy and political roles locally and nationally.

Unlike other courses, your degree at Plymouth really is what you make it. From your second year, you can choose to take optional modules taught across different degrees within the School of Society and Culture, developing your knowledge of how the law impacts international relations or unpicking major political events of the past with a module in history. Learn from hands-on, research-active staff who are leaders in their subjects and who can connect you to parliament and major NGOs.

Politics and International Relations
Call our Clearing hotline: 0333 241 6929

Contact us today to discuss your options and secure your place on one of our courses with vacancies this September.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of fields. We have students who have gone on to work at the United Nations, in Parliament and across the Civil Service. Our graduates have also become active in a variety of political parties and groups, helping to coordinate and manage campaigns and make their mark in local and national politics.

Assessments for our course don’t rely on only testing knowledge and understanding, but critically applying what you know in a way that enables you to take meaningful skills into your future careers. Whether this is via simulations, targeted writing or work based learning, we offer the opportunity for you to develop skills that you can take on into your future.

Where can your degree take you?

Key features

Challenge and expand your world view. Ask the difficult questions about environmental crises, war, or development in the global south. Debate contemporary worldwide issues, current affairs and major political events. Explore the evolution of democracy and the international system.

Learn from experts. Be inspired by teaching rooted in research. Work closely with engaging and experienced staff that are leading experts in their fields; areas of expertise include popular protest in the Middle East, NATO and security studies, the politics of China, global environmental politics and the politics of the European Union.

Broaden your horizons. 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.

Design your degree. Integrate innovative modules from across the School of Society and Culture, focussing your degree on areas that interest you and making your degree your own.

Connect with the political environment. Our field trips and guest speakers will help you connect more directly with the world of politics at home and abroad.

Enhance your skills. Build practical skills to take into your future through varied and innovative assessments.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Investigate the most pressing issues facing our world, where they have come from and the international systems and political and economic ideas that shape our contemporary world. You’ll explore the evolution of politics, current affairs, climate crises and major political events in historical and regional contexts.

    By the end of year one you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to help you thrive in your degree programme, having gained vital research techniques and analysed the relationship between politics and international relations via innovative and engaging forms of assessment.

    Core modules

    • Democracy and Democratization (PIR4001)

      This module provides the foundation for the study of democracy and democratisation in politics and international relations, with a focus on competing theories of democratic governance and how these can be applied in a critical analysis of political practices and institutions both within states and in transnational global governance.

    • Discovering World Politics (PIR4002)

      The team-taught immersive module introduces students to key concepts and contemporary issues in the fields of Politics and IR and provides them with the necessary skills and tools to write essays and engage with academic debates.

    • Imagining World Order (PIR4003)

      This module introduces the essential terms, concepts and processes of international relations analysis. It describes the main features of the international system since its evolution from the Treaty of Westphalia, continuities and discontinuities with earlier international systems, plus the move from state sovereignty to global governance in the contemporary context. It also introduces the primary theories of international relations analysis, whilst putting their emergence and development into historical context.

    • Comparative Democracies (PIR4004)

      This module introduces students to the key themes involved in the study of democracies. It examines each of these topics within a comparative framework. The application of the key themes will be achieved through the medium of theoretical approaches and case study application.

    • International Relations Since 1945 (PIR4005)

      This module provides an introduction to the historical development of the international political system since 1945. It provides a crucial background to the major processes and actors that have shaped the contemporary international system.

    • One Planet? Society and Sustainability (SOC4003)

      This module addresses some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century from a variety of ideological and political perspectives. Through real-world case studies and critical reflection of lived experiences, we explore and debate the complex, interdependent processes underpinning sustainability and global inequality and insecurities. You develop an understanding of key drivers and public policy impacts and consider future alternative scenarios. The emphasis is on active, collaborative, learning via field trips and debates.

    • Stage 1 Placement Year Preparation (SSC400)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

  • Year 2

  • Immerse yourself in the issues that you care about in the world and use your newfound knowledge and skills to analyse global systems. Learn how to do foreign policy analysis and explore concepts of national and human security, identity and global political economy. You will explore contemporary debates and develop a critical mindset, evaluating evidence and scrutinising arguments to take your knowledge further in ways that you can apply in your future career.

    Or you can put your global mindset into practice, studying abroad with our international student exchange programme.

    Core modules

    • Stage 2 Placement Year Preparation (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

    Optional modules

    • The Longest War; Britain, Ireland and the Troubles 1949-2006 (HIS5003)

      This module looks at the complex relationship between Britain and Ireland in the later part of the twentieth century up to present day. It has a special focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland. Students will look the impact of the Troubles on both societies; and study in depth the peace process.

    • The Politics of the European Union (PIR5001)

      This module introduces students to the history, structure, tensions and potential future development of the European Union. It examines these within the context of theories of democracy and power. There is a specific focus on the unique supranational element of the EU and the multilevel politics involved. It also offers case studies of key policies and the experience of specific states within the EU. Furthermore, Brexit and the process of leaving the European Union is covered.

    • Global Governance and the United Nations (PIR5002)

      This module explores the transformation of political community in the 21st century through the prism of international institutions such as the United Nations. The module offers an overview of international institutions and considers various theoretical approaches to understanding the resulting regimes of global governance. The aim is to evaluate the nature of ‘governance’ in world politics.

    • Foreign Policy Analysis (PIR5003)

      This module introduces students to the various theories of foreign policy analysis, explores the processes of decision making in different national contexts and then examines a series of important case studies. The aim is to investigate how foreign policy decisions are made, why some policies are chosen and not others, and how states people can be held accountable for their actions.

    • Non-Democratic Regimes (PIR5004)

      This module supplements our first stage modules on ‘democracy and democratization’ and ‘comparative democracies’ by introducing students to the study of political systems that commonly fall under the title ‘non-democratic’ and their social and political origins.

    • Democracy in the UK: An Introduction to British Politics (PIR5005)

      This module presents an introduction to a basic understanding of how governance and democracy is organised in the United Kingdom. We explore the post war history of the UK, its evolving constitutional settlement, political institutions, regions, political parties, and devolution. We apply theoretical notions of democracy to the empirical reality of political life in the United Kingdom in the present day, against the backdrop of declining trust in institutions and eroding political engagement.

    • Comparative Politics of the Global South (PIR5006)

      This module takes a comparative approach to politics in the Global South. Students will be introduced to the creation of postcolonial state systems and asked to explore postcolonial state and nation building. Focus will be given to how states generate and maintain legitimacy using contemporary case studies. The module will critically engage with concepts such as democracy and developmentalism; and consider the relationship between legitimacy and state building.

    • Global Political Economy (PIR5007)

      This module analyses how the governance of international economic affairs has developed from the Mercantilist expansion of early modern Europe to the present day. It introduces four alternative approaches to the study of IPE. It presents the leading historical narratives of the evolution of the modern world political economy, and then investigates its development since 1945.

    • International Security Studies (PIR5008)

      This module considers the issue of security in contemporary international relations. It examines a variety of different security concepts from deterrence and the security dilemma to arms control, peacekeeping, terrorism, regional security complexes and governance. It then seeks to relate these to practical examples from world politics.

    • Race, Nation, Empire: Understanding Identity and Belonging in the UK (SOC5002)

      This module explores how intersecting ideologies of racism, nationalism, and imperialism relate to contemporary struggles over identity and belonging in the UK. In doing so, the module seeks to provide students with a critical understanding of the ideological bases of some of the most urgent issues facing British society today, including: the fracturing of the UK after loss of empire; the racist backlash against postcolonial migration; and, the rise of English nationalism and the vote for Brexit.

  • Optional placement year

  • Undertake an optional placement year where you can build a number of key employability skills. Put theory onto practice, get a taste for your chosen career and expand upon your professional network.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking a 48-week optional placement year. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • In your third year, you’ll do comprehensive research on a topic of your choice with expert supervision that helps bring together the skills developed on your journey so far. You’ll deepen your knowledge of politics and IR by studying topics including NATO, the media, understanding conspiracies and post-truth politics, environmental politics, the politics of the USA, the Middle East, the EU, or Africa. Or you can make your degree your own, choosing modules from across our school that interest you the most.

    By the end of your degree, you will be making your mark, ready to be a part of the change.

    Core modules

    • Dissertation in Politics and International Relations (PIR6000)

      This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their attainment of the aims and objectives of the Honours Programme. It requires the design and execution of a dissertation of 12,000 words in the field of political science, together with the submission of a 2,000 word formative Literature Review detailing the aims and objectives of the dissertation together with a consideration of the extant academic literature in the field of the research question.

    Optional modules

    • Different Ways of Knowing: The Anthropology of truth, post-truth and conspiracy (ANT6002)

      This module explores the nature of knowledge and truth from a cross-cultural perspective. How do ideas of truth differ culturally, and change over time? How do people produce, guard, and destroy knowledge? After an introduction to phenomenology and ontology, students will be able to engage with different systems of truth and knowledge - from oral history, to scientific debate, to prophecy and conspiracy.

    • Modern Japan: Transforming Empire and Identity at the Edge (HIS6012)

      This module is an introduction to the major themes of political, social and economic development in Japan, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

    • Work Based Learning in Politics or International Relations (PIR6001)

      This module provides students with opportunities to gain practical insights into the workings of organisations whose role and function have clear relevance to the focus and subject matter of their undergraduate degree in Politics or International Relations, and to link such insights to their acquired knowledge and understanding of social science theories and concepts. In addition the module will prepare students for the graduate job market and encourage their autonomous engagement in personal development planning.

    • NATO after the Cold War and Beyond (PIR6002)

      This module proposes to study the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from a theoretical as well policy point of view. The aim is to investigate the relevance of NATO in the 21st century by looking at how NATO survived and developed in the aftermath of the Cold War as it appeared to have lost its original purpose of containing the Soviet Union. By looking at key developments within NATO in the post-Cold War period, this module also looks at the challenges which NATO has faced and overcome but it also critically reflects on the contemporary relevance of NATO.

    • Africa in the International System (PIR6003)

      This module provides an introduction to African politics, examining the historical, economic and socio-political developments of over fifty states with a strong regional emphasis, and a particular focus on political economy, state-society relations, foreign policy and conflict analysis. The module’s regional focus allows comparison between different approaches to international relations. It also seeks to provide the tools to analyse and understand what is going on in Africa today.

    • Europe in the World (PIR6004)

      Europe includes the European Union (the world’s major trading bloc and its most integrated regional institution) as well as many states of importance in their own right. This module takes a holistic look at the EU’s role in the world and the link between its economic and political presence. Furthermore it analyses the role of individual European states (inside and outside the EU). Apart from the policies and strategies of European actors vis-à-vis Russia, the US, China and countries in the Middle East and Africa it will also cover these states’ opinions of Europe and the European Union.

    • The Politics and International Relations of the Middle East (PIR6005)

      The module introduces students to international relations in the Middle East. It equips them with the analytical skills to examine the Arab-Israeli conflict, Gulf conflicts, and the impact of the Arab Spring on regional politics.

    • The Politics of the United States (PIR6006)

      This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of politics in the United States. While domestic politics are privileged, consideration is given to the foreign policy of the US. Specific emphasis placed on the role of the Constitution and institutions of governance in promoting (or inhibiting) democracy both domestically and abroad.

    • Media, State and Society (SOC6001)

      The media occupy key arenas whereby various social groups compete with one another to set public, political, commercial and cultural agendas. This module examines the relationship between media, state and society. It covers a number of substantive topic areas such as environmental issues, terrorism, war reporting, gender, crime and violence.

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.
Personalise your degree
All our degrees have a wide range of optional modules and there is even the opportunity to study modules from any of the School of Society and Culture's subject areas.

Learn more about your options

You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:



Politics and International Relations with Acting

Modules required

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

Politics and International Relations with Anthropology

Modules required

  • Decolonising the Social Sciences (ANT5006MX)

    This module responds to contemporary calls to decolonise the social sciences. It reads the history of social science through the lens of post-colonial and indigenous studies. How have non-western voices been treated by academia? What does academia look from the perspective of the subaltern? Can the social sciences shed their colonial robes, or are they doomed to remain racialised and exclusionary disciplines?

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction (ANT5007MX)

    Using ethnography, we analyse how coastal communities use the sea – not only as a source of livelihood, but as a key ingredient in the construction of their identity and place in world. Drawing on a range of cases from across the world – from Polynesian sorcerers, to Japanese whale mourners, to Cornish surfers – we study how coastal communities are responding to climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and extinction.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

Politics and International Relations with Art History

Modules required

  • Imagery in Online and Offline Worlds: Film, Television and Video Games (ARH5002MX)

    This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of current approaches towards mass media and visual culture. Particular emphasis will be put on medium-specificity, content analysis and audience studies.

  • Painting Sex and Power (ARH5008MX)

    The module examines the link between the perception of sexuality and power in a variety of media, and from diverse historical and geographic contexts. Critical approaches from gender studies will be combined with visual analysis in order to contextualize the biased and stereotypical nature of the imagery.

  • Questions in Contemporary Art (ARH6002MX)

    The module introduces and examines selected questions raised in the last three decades in contemporary art. Case studies drawn from art history, critical and cultural theory, and where appropriate related disciplines, will be examined.

Politics and International Relations with Creative Writing

Modules required

  • Creative Nonfiction (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

  • Genre Writing (ENG5006MX)

    This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

Politics and International Relations with Drama

Modules required

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat (PER5006MX)

    Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat is a training module for students to build their management and professional capabilities. Just as the students are required to have performance training, they will also undergo training on budgetary and management skills while learning how to successfully apply for funding and then how to manage those funds once the project is underway.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Politics and International Relations with English

Modules required

  • Reading Historical Fiction (ENG5007MX)

    This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

  • Eco-Emergency! Literatures of Environmental Crisis (ENG5014MX)

    This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and culture are responding to our current era of ecological emergency. It introduces students to key debates and concepts, from the identity of the Anthropocene, to the relation between humans and nonhumans, to the influence of ideas of utopia and dystopia. It also familiarises students with different modes of reading in ‘texts’ across a range of media, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry and film.

  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

Politics and International Relations with Music

Modules required

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

Politics and International Relations with History

Modules required

  • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIS5004MX)

    This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

  • Eighteenth-Century Empires (HIS5007MX)

    This module is designed to explore the ‘long eighteenth century’ with a broad geographical focus, encompassing, but not limited to the Atlantic Isles, Atlantic world, formal and informal empire, and trading connections. It takes in the slave trade and impact of slavery globally, studies voyages of exploration, examines the scientific and political enlightenment, and wider cultural and social impacts of imperialism.

  • Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (HIS5009MX)

    This module introduces the history of early modern Japan (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the late Sengoku (‘Warring States’) and Tokugawa Japan. Building on these questions, it then situates the Japanese experience in a trans-regional perspective with reference to early modern China, Korea, Ryukyu, as well as Europe.

  • Dunkirk to D Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIS5014MX)

    The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944.

  • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

    This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

  • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

    This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

Politics and International Relations with Computing

Modules required

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

Politics and International Relations with Criminology

Modules required

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology (CRM5007MX)

    This module focuses upon a contemporary criminological or criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a criminological analysis appropriate to the topic.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

  • Green Criminology (CRM6010MX)

    This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

Politics and International Relations with Law

Modules required

  • Environmental Law (LAW5009MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Law in Society (LAW5010MX)

    To introduce students to the real-world impact and operation of domestic English law in society and consider social, cultural, practical and ethical implications.

  • Intellectual Property Law (LAW5011MX)

    This module focuses on the law and concepts of intellectual property, examining in addition related legal themes of information access, dissemination and control.

  • Law, Literature and the Screen (LAW5012MX)

    To introduce students to fictional and factional representations of the legal order in prose, film and TV, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and the screen.

  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

Politics and International Relations with Sociology

Modules required

  • Globalisation and Social Justice (SOC5005MX)

    This module investigates the key debates of globalisation and critically evaluates, in terms of its economic, political, socio-cultural and legal dimensions, the causes and consequences of a globalising world. It furthermore explores a range of international social justice issues to examine the relationships (causative and ameliorative) between policies and (in)justice

  • Gender, Sex and Sexuality (SOC5006MX)

    This module introduces students to the sociology of gender, sex and sexuality. It interrogates these concepts with particular reference to identity, activism, social justice and social change. It develops an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender, sex, sexuality and other social signifiers of difference/diversity including ‘race’, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and age.

  • Health, Medical Power and Social Justice (SOC6004MX)

    This module considers a range of issues concerning health, illness and medical power in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop an understanding of the impact of ‘medicalisation’ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health with an opportunity to focus upon areas of particular interest.

Politics and International Relations with Policing and Security Management

Modules required

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

All modules (47)

School of Society and Culture

BA (Hons) Acting (Full-time)

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

BA (Hons) Anthropology (Full-time)

  • Decolonising the Social Sciences (ANT5006MX)

    This module responds to contemporary calls to decolonise the social sciences. It reads the history of social science through the lens of post-colonial and indigenous studies. How have non-western voices been treated by academia? What does academia look from the perspective of the subaltern? Can the social sciences shed their colonial robes, or are they doomed to remain racialised and exclusionary disciplines?

  • Coastal Cultures: Marine Anthropology in the age of climate change and mass extinction (ANT5007MX)

    Using ethnography, we analyse how coastal communities use the sea – not only as a source of livelihood, but as a key ingredient in the construction of their identity and place in world. Drawing on a range of cases from across the world – from Polynesian sorcerers, to Japanese whale mourners, to Cornish surfers – we study how coastal communities are responding to climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and extinction.

  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

BA (Hons) Art History (Full-time)

  • Imagery in Online and Offline Worlds: Film, Television and Video Games (ARH5002MX)

    This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of current approaches towards mass media and visual culture. Particular emphasis will be put on medium-specificity, content analysis and audience studies.

  • Painting Sex and Power (ARH5008MX)

    The module examines the link between the perception of sexuality and power in a variety of media, and from diverse historical and geographic contexts. Critical approaches from gender studies will be combined with visual analysis in order to contextualize the biased and stereotypical nature of the imagery.

  • Questions in Contemporary Art (ARH6002MX)

    The module introduces and examines selected questions raised in the last three decades in contemporary art. Case studies drawn from art history, critical and cultural theory, and where appropriate related disciplines, will be examined.

BA (Hons) Creative Writing (Full-time)

  • Creative Nonfiction (ENG5010MX)

    This module introduces students to the key concepts and issues in contemporary works of creative nonfiction including autobiography, travel writing, essays and reportage. We will produce our own works of poetry, short story and nonfiction, and critically evaluate and contextualise them.

  • Genre Writing (ENG5006MX)

    This module introduces students to writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. Forms explored will include fiction, dramatic writing for stage and screen, and poetry. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

BA (Hons) Drama (Full-time)

  • Performance and Everyday Life (PER5003MX)

    Research-informed lecture-seminar based exploration of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories, this module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world of the everyday.

  • Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat (PER5006MX)

    Apply, Fund, Deliver, Repeat is a training module for students to build their management and professional capabilities. Just as the students are required to have performance training, they will also undergo training on budgetary and management skills while learning how to successfully apply for funding and then how to manage those funds once the project is underway.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

BA (Hons) English (Full-time)

  • Reading Historical Fiction (ENG5007MX)

    This module aims to explore the interface between literature and history. Using key ideas in narrative theory and historiography, it will examine the ways in which narratives of history are crafted through literature and how literary texts can impact on our understanding and interpretation of history.

  • Eco-Emergency! Literatures of Environmental Crisis (ENG5014MX)

    This module explores the ways in which contemporary literature and culture are responding to our current era of ecological emergency. It introduces students to key debates and concepts, from the identity of the Anthropocene, to the relation between humans and nonhumans, to the influence of ideas of utopia and dystopia. It also familiarises students with different modes of reading in ‘texts’ across a range of media, such as fiction, nonfiction, poetry and film.

  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

BA (Hons) Music (Full-time)

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

BA (Hons) History (Full-time)

  • Global Cold War: Politics, Culture and Society (HIS5004MX)

    This module is an introduction to major themes in the political, social and cultural history of the modern world with special focus on the 20th century and the Cold War.

  • Eighteenth-Century Empires (HIS5007MX)

    This module is designed to explore the ‘long eighteenth century’ with a broad geographical focus, encompassing, but not limited to the Atlantic Isles, Atlantic world, formal and informal empire, and trading connections. It takes in the slave trade and impact of slavery globally, studies voyages of exploration, examines the scientific and political enlightenment, and wider cultural and social impacts of imperialism.

  • Middle Kingdoms: Themes in Early Modern Asia (HIS5009MX)

    This module introduces the history of early modern Japan (c.16th-19th centuries). At one level, it explores key questions shaping the histories of the late Sengoku (‘Warring States’) and Tokugawa Japan. Building on these questions, it then situates the Japanese experience in a trans-regional perspective with reference to early modern China, Korea, Ryukyu, as well as Europe.

  • Dunkirk to D Day: The Second World War in Europe (HIS5014MX)

    The module examines the Second World War in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean from 1940 to late 1944.

  • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

    This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

  • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

    This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

BSc (Hons) Audio and Music Technology (Full-time)

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

BSc (Hons) Criminology (Full-time)

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology (CRM5007MX)

    This module focuses upon a contemporary criminological or criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a criminological analysis appropriate to the topic.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

  • Green Criminology (CRM6010MX)

    This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

LLB (Hons) Law (Full-time)

  • Environmental Law (LAW5009MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Law in Society (LAW5010MX)

    To introduce students to the real-world impact and operation of domestic English law in society and consider social, cultural, practical and ethical implications.

  • Intellectual Property Law (LAW5011MX)

    This module focuses on the law and concepts of intellectual property, examining in addition related legal themes of information access, dissemination and control.

  • Law, Literature and the Screen (LAW5012MX)

    To introduce students to fictional and factional representations of the legal order in prose, film and TV, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and the screen.

  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

BSc (Hons) Sociology (Full-time)

  • Globalisation and Social Justice (SOC5005MX)

    This module investigates the key debates of globalisation and critically evaluates, in terms of its economic, political, socio-cultural and legal dimensions, the causes and consequences of a globalising world. It furthermore explores a range of international social justice issues to examine the relationships (causative and ameliorative) between policies and (in)justice

  • Gender, Sex and Sexuality (SOC5006MX)

    This module introduces students to the sociology of gender, sex and sexuality. It interrogates these concepts with particular reference to identity, activism, social justice and social change. It develops an understanding of the similarities, differences and intersections between gender, sex, sexuality and other social signifiers of difference/diversity including ‘race’, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and age.

  • Health, Medical Power and Social Justice (SOC6004MX)

    This module considers a range of issues concerning health, illness and medical power in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop an understanding of the impact of ‘medicalisation’ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health with an opportunity to focus upon areas of particular interest.

BSc (Hons) Criminology (Full-time)

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

A levels
104-112  points including a minimum of 2 A levels. General studies considered.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: MMM–DMM 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.

Access
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma in any subject with at least 33 credits at merit/distinction.

International Baccalaureate
24-26 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4 Standard Level = 5.

GCSE
All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade C or above.

Other
14-19 Diplomas: accepted – please enquire. Other combinations and non-A level qualifications will also be considered.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be eligible for a foundation year to prepare you for possible entry onto this course for the following year.

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 2022-2023
Home To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed £14,600
Part time (Home) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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 www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.


Find out more at plymouth.ac.uk/upic or contact our team at info@upic.plymouth.ac.uk

"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.

Learn from experts

Foundation-year courses

Whether you haven't yet submitted your application, you're worried about whether university is for you, or if you don't meet the entry requirements to apply for a three-year degree, our foundation year may be the perfect route to a full degree.

Our foundation year courses are specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in higher education.