Why Herts?
  • You’ll be part of a closely connected community of students.  Small class sizes and a large range of modules means you will benefit from extensive, personalised support that fits your individual study needs and development goals
  • You’ll be taught by a team researchers working at the forefront of research in the area of Security and Governance
  • Experience a topical focus on Security and Governance, and join us in exploring how security shapes politics and the lives of citizens

About the course

Why does contemporary politics seem so focused on security? How can we explain the outcome of the Brexit referendum – and how will it affect the UK? When does the transition from war to peace fail, and how can we make it work? Why do gender stereotypes and racial discrimination still shape our society? What makes an issue ‘political’ – and what is excluded because it does not fit this definition?

Our BA Programme in Politics & International Relations enables you to understand the central challenges that national and international politics faces in the 21st century. You will gain an independent, critical and nuanced insight to global issues beyond simplifying news stories and one-sided political narratives. Combining this contemporary focus with a thorough training in all major areas of political science, the course enables you to develop the knowledge and skills to question, analyse and discuss both what does occur in politics, and what should occur in politics. This ability to break down, examine and problematize phenomena on an abstract level to find alternatives and possible solutions prepares you for a wide range of careers in political advocacy, media or marketing.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

Why choose this course?

  • Topical focus on Security & Governance: You will benefit from an exciting new programme which combines rigorous training in the classical areas of Politics and International Relations such as theories of international relations, political history, government and institutions and political theory with a focus on the increasingly frequent intersection of security and political governance that defines the character of contemporary politics. In our modules “Security & Governance”, “Terrorism and Security”, “Peacebuilding and Statebuilding” and “Internet Governance and Politics” you will explore how security issues shape and change different fields of politics and affect the lives of citizens.
  • Research-lead teaching: The Politics & International Relations programme at Hertfordshire is home to the Security & Governance research group which promotes the research of our politics staff members and connects it to the international landscape of political science. All of our key staff teaching on the programme are active and dynamic young researchers. Their teaching is informed by innovative methods, topical debates and the current state of knowledge in their fields. During your studies you will have a chance to build experience and put your knowledge into action by getting involved in our research group events, such as workshops with experts in political research and practice. 
  • Personal learning experience: Established in 2016, the Politics & International Relations programme is still small and offers you the unique chance of learning in a closely connected community of students with frequent contact to their course tutors. You will benefit from extensive, personalised support that fits your individual study needs and development goals. 
  • Diverse modules for individual specialisation: On the basis of a foundational training in all areas of political science in year 1, you can specialise your studies in one of the four strands ‘Security & Governance’, ‘EU and International Relations’, ‘British Politics and History’ and ‘Political Theory’ in line with your interests and professional goals in years 2 and 3. The teaching team will provide advice and guidance for your module choice and a possible specialisation at all stages of your studies.
  • Building transferable skills in extra-curricular activities: In addition to your degree studies you have the chance to get involved in a number of extra-curricular activities organised by the politics programme. They will help you to develop your skills in public speaking, structured argumentation and critical analysis which are vital to your success at university, but also for your future career. The co-curricular activities are also a great opportunity to get to know and build a community with your fellow students in the School of Humanities. For example, we are currently offering extra-curricular modules in Debating and Model United Nations. 

You can also study Politics and International Relations in combination with another subject:

Key staff

Dr Benjamin Nutt
You can contact Ben B.Nutt@herts.ac.uk

Dr Elisa Randazzo
You can contact Elisa at E.Randazzo@herts.ac.uk
Find out more about Dr Elisa Randazzo

Dr Francesca Batzella
You can contact Francesca at F.Batzella@herts.ac.uk
Find out more about Dr Francesca Batzella

Ms Hannah Richter
You can contact Hannah at H.Richter@herts.ac.uk
Find out more about Ms Hannah Richter

Course details


Our Politics & International Relations programme provides you with in-depth knowledge of national and international politics and allows you to develop and demonstrate a wide range of transferrable intellectual and personal skills. Your studies will help you to analyse issues critically and think creatively, present arguments convincingly and work in an independent and efficient way.

These experiences and skills are a solid and valuable foundation for many different careers, but are particularly useful if you aim to work in governmental or non-governmental organisations, the media, public relations, marketing or administration. Our students also have access to the University's Careers, Employment and Enterprise Service that can help you with seeking work experience, applying for jobs or starting up your own business.

Teaching methods

The BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations has been designed to build your skills, knowledge and confidence through a balance of core modules, which cover key skills and concepts in the field, and a selection of optional modules, which allow you to specialise in your own areas of interest.

The way our courses are convened is specific to each module and subject area, but all modules are taught through a combination of weekly lectures, and weekly workshops where you can apply your knowledge and discuss its implications in practice. You will be assessed through a diverse set of exercises such as essays, exams, simulation tasks, policy reports or video assignments.

  • Recorded live lectures for flexible learning: we believe that it is important to give our students the experience of a live lecture where they can interact and ask questions, but we also make slides and recordings available online to ensure that you can learn in a flexible way
  • Put what you've learnt into practice: Our workshops are small group sessions that reinforce learning and allow detailed exploration of the subject matter in a personal and collaborative atmosphere
  • In-built skills focus: The programme includes in-depth skills training to ensure that you can not only successfully complete your degree independent from the level of academic skills you bring with you, but also transfer them to a wide range of career fields to enhance your employability prospects

Work Placement

The Politics and International Relations programme offers students the chance to undertake an Internship module in year 3. 

Our programme offers you the opportunity to add practical experience to your studies in a year-long work placement in an optional sandwich year in year 3.

Study Abroad

Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. This is a great opportunity to live in another country and to make new contacts and friendships. It will also allow students to broaden their education and gain new perspectives.


  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Introduction to Politics 30 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to Strategy 30 Credits Compulsory
    International Relations Theory 30 Credits Compulsory
    Contemporary British Politics 30 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Graduate Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    Comparative Political Systems 30 Credits Compulsory
    Modern Political Philosophy 30 Credits Compulsory
    Nation and Identity: Newly Independent States in Interwar Europe, 1918-39 A 15 Credits Optional
    Internet Governance and Politics 15 Credits Optional
    Security and Governance 30 Credits Optional
    We, the People: Democratic Theory and Practice 15 Credits Optional
    The State in the 21st Century 15 Credits Optional
    Political History: Milestones, Change and Continuity 15 Credits Optional
    The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Graduate Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    Political Dissertation 30 Credits Compulsory
    Year Abroad 0 Credits Optional
    The Humanities Placement Year 0 Credits Optional
    Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities 15 Credits Optional
    International Organisations 15 Credits Optional
    Politics of the European Union 15 Credits Optional
    Peacebuilding and Statebuilding 15 Credits Optional
    Post-Colonial Theory and Non-Western Philosophy 15 Credits Optional
    Terrorism and Security 15 Credits Optional
    The Politics of Gender 15 Credits Optional
    International Political Economy 15 Credits Optional
    Popular Protest, Riot and Reform in Britain, 1760-1848 B 15 Credits Optional
    Human Rights 15 Credits Optional
    Public International Law 30 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1540 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS points A Level BTEC IB requirement
    104 BCC DMM 104 points

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Part Time, 6 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    24/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
    26/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Part Time)
    22/01/202031/07/2020Apply online (Part Time)
    26/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    22/01/202031/07/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    25/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    24/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    26/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Part Time)
    22/01/202131/07/2021Apply online (Part Time)
    26/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    22/01/202131/07/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    25/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    24/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    26/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Part Time)
    22/01/202231/07/2022Apply online (Part Time)
    26/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    22/01/202231/07/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    25/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students