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Global Politics and International Relations BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time L245 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year LL22 2019
2020
4 years full time including sandwich year L246 2019
2020

Why choose this course?

What impact is the Syrian refugee crisis having on EU politics? How could Brexit affect US politics?

On this course you will gain the knowledge and skills to participate in the politics of a globalised world. You will learn about the interconnected levels of politics - from local to national and international. The course has a focus on social and human rights, and developing you into an active global citizen.

The course is flexible so you can study a combination of modules in politics, international relations, human rights, sociology, history and economics to suit your own interests.

You will develop transferable skills in writing for specialist and general audiences, public speaking, collaborative working and critically evaluating claims made in politics.

Kingston's proximity to central London enables you to participate in lectures, workshops, talks and political events in the capital and expand your knowledge beyond the classroom.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say:

What you will study

In Year 1, you will develop the foundations for understanding and exploring the global world of politics. There is a strong rights based ethos on the course, and in the Introduction to Human Rights you will examine the concept and challenges of human rights.

In Year 2, you will take two core modules in Modern Political Thought and International Relations and Global Governance. You will also start to specialise in your main interests through a choice of flexible modules.

In Year 3, you will undertake an advanced research project on a topic of interest and receive training in research skills. The project culminates with a presentation at our annual student conference. You will also choose from a range of specialist modules such as political violence, global terrorism and developmental economics.

Foundation year - Social Sciences

You can also study this course with a Foundation year. Find out more >

Module listing

Take a look at some of the content and modules that you may have the opportunity to study on this course:

Year 1

  • This module for first year undergraduates in the Department of Politics is designed to support them in adjusting to higher education studies. It contains four main components which are meant to work together towards this goal:

    1. Study and research skills section;

    2. Substantive section on political ideologies and revolution;

    3. Personal tutorship scheme;

    4. Academic peer mentor scheme.

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  • This module is core for students doing Politics or International Relations full fields and Human Rights as a half-field (either internal or external). It can be taken as an option by some students in related fields who are interested in learning about human rights. The module outlines the central themes in the history and evolution of human rights and introduces students to theoretical debates within the field. Through case studies of particular forms of human rights violations, it evaluates the political and legal structures in place to address these violations and assesses the degrees of success human rights actors have with enforcement. Over the spectrum of international, regional and local institutions and mechanisms, this module explores a range of organisations working within the field of human rights and looks at how they operate. This module embeds employability skills relevant to the field of human rights by providing students with the opportunity to apply their conceptual knowledge to practical situations designed to simulate working for human rights organisations. As an introduction to the subject, this module looks at the relationship between theory and practice within the field of human rights, and uncovers the challenges faced in defending, protecting and promoting human rights in the 21st century.

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  • This module provides students with an introduction to foundational concepts in the study of international relations and significant issues in contemporary international politics through which these concepts can be understood and interpreted.  The module is designed to help students to reconcile the more abstract concepts that frame the academic study of international relations, with the empirical issues they may more familiar with from news media and their day-to-day engagement with international politics.  The module is designed to provide a foundation for the study of international relations theory at Level 5 and to help students develop skills in academic writing, researching and writing a report for a non-specialist audience.

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  • This module is a core module for all students following the BSc in Global Politics and International Relations. The module is designed introduce students to a range of pathways to power available to active citizens in the UK.
    The module will focus on the way that politics in the UK works, seen through the prism of power through active citizenship. The module's concept of power is based on Morgenthau who defines it as: ‘Power may comprise anything that establishes and maintains the control of man over man [sic]. Thus power covers all social relationships which serve that end, from physical violence to the most subtle psychological ties by which one mind controls another.'

    In addition, Michels argued that: ‘A class which unfurls in the face of society the banner of certain claims [...] needs an organisation. Be the claims economic or be they political, organisation appears the only means for the creation of a collective will. Organisation is the weapon of the weak in their struggle with the strong.'
    The module will therefore look both at formal organized avenues to power through political parties, via elected office and executive office; to the work of pressure groups; and direct action. It will look at ‘traditional' forms of active citizenship, such as party membership and activism; and ‘new' forms of active citizenship, such as more or less ad hoc activities and social media - and discuss the effectiveness and efficacy of each.

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Year 2

  • This module is a core module for Full-Field Politics & International Relations students and Half-Field Politics students. It can be taken as an option by Half-Field International Relations and Human Rights students.

    The module offers a critical introduction to the foundations of modern political thought. It is organised around an examination of the work of several major political philosophers and the concepts associated with their writings. Beginning with an exploration the origins of modern political theory in Machiavelli, it goes on to look at debates about of human nature, the state, and property within social contract theory, and the development of political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by thinkers such as Mill, Marx, and Rawls. The module will examine a number of core political concepts, including freedom, justice, gender, equality, democracy, and tolerance, and address the central questions of moral and political philosophy: How should we act? How can we live together? Why should we obey the state? Throughout the module students will be encouraged both to challenge the arguments and assumptions of the thinkers that they study and to consider their contemporary relevance.

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  • Contemporary world politics involves a plethora of global actors, institutions and processes that provide governance at an international level.  They help to regulate the behaviour of states, maintain stability in global politics and encourage cooperation between.  Moreover, in an increasingly inter-connected world, global governance mechanisms provide the starting point for a fuller sense of international community - a platform for the peaceful resolution of disputes and an environment in which the pursuit of peace, human rights, development and global justice might be realised.  At the same time, the nature of world politics and sometimes the global governance mechanisms themselves pose significant challenges to the development of a more harmonious and just world order.  The module provides you with some of the knowledge and thinking tools to begin to understand and to conceptualise possible solutions to these problems.

    The module begins by considering the question of how we understand international politics and the different thinking tools that have been developed to help us interpret global political events and processes.  International relations theory has played valuable role in helping us to understand the nuances and underlying processes that influence state behaviour and the development of foreign policy.  Important themes here are the role that theory plays in both expanding and limiting our imagination of alternative world orders, and who speaks and who doesn't in the production of knowledge about world- politics.

    The module then goes on to look at the systems of global governance that have emerged to help develop a more peaceful and cooperative world order.  Themes of collective security, regional integration, development and international economic governance are examined, alongside the organisations like the UN, NATO and the EU that have emerged to support these objectives.  This part of the module raises critical questions about how power influences the evolution and operation of these governance systems, why we still live in a deeply unequal world and how things might be changed.

    Taken as a whole, the module aims to foster an outward-looking internationalist consciousness within our students, an appreciation of the ways power flows across state borders, and new imaginations of a more just global politics.  

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Year 3

  • This module is the 'capstone' module for full-field Politics and International Relations students. Working in small groups, students will be provided with the skills and support necessary to embark upon, complete and present a final year research project. The initial focus of the module will be on small groups of students working to familiarise themselves with an area of staff research expertise, under close supervision of that subject matter expert. This will be made possible through the establishment of a range of staff-led, research-orientated 'reading groups', to which students will sign up. During the first half of the module, students will also receive training in project design and implementation, to complement and consolidate the research methods training received at Levels 4 and 5. The research skills and foundational subject knowledge acquired in the first part of the module will allow students to embark upon their own research project as the year progresses. Individual projects will reflect student interests and desired focus, but will remain embedded within one of the areas of Politics, International Relations and/or Human Rights offered by staff as an initial 'reading group'. The student-led research projects will be presented at the end of the year in an undergraduate academic conference: Themes and Issues in Politics, International Relations and Human Rights.

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Optional year

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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