BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

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.

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. 

Key staff

Dr Elisa Randazzo
You can contact Elisa at
Find out more about Dr Elisa Randazzo

Dr Francesca Batzella
You can contact Francesca at
Find out more about Dr Francesca Batzella

Ms Hannah Richter
You can contact Hannah at
Find out more about Ms Hannah Richter

Dr Thomas Dunk
You can contact Thomas at
Find out more about Dr Thomas Dunk


95.8% of students graduating in 2016 were in employment or further study within 6 months. Our Politics graduates gain the transferable skills needed to go on and undertake careers in local government and civil service, national political parties, media, law firms, charities and non-governmental organisations.

Students also have access to the University's Careers, Employment and Enterprise Service who 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.

You will be taught using the innovative Hertfordshire Law School three-stage method:

  • Lectures on demand
    Our lectures can be downloaded to a laptop to watch at your leisure.
  • Develop your skills
    Our tutorials allow you to apply what you're taught in the based lectures and they are recorded and accessible on the University's intranet system.
  • Put what you've learnt into practice
    Our workshops provide small group sessions that reinforce learning and allow detailed exploration of the subject matter.
  • Weekly surgery sessions
    Students can also drop into whereby any remaining questions or queries can be answered.

Work Placement

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

Students will also have the opportunity to study abroad. 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

Core Modules

  • Constitutional Law and Politics - 30 Credits
  • Political Systems within Contemporary British Politics - 30 Credits
  • International Relations Theory in the Modern World - 30 Credits
  • Introduction to Politics - 30 Credits


Level 5

Core Modules

  • Comparative Political Systems - 30 Credits
  • Political Theory and Philosophy - 30 Credits


  • Strategic Studies - 30 Credits
  • Policing and Society - 15 Credits
  • Imprisonment and Justice - 15 Credits
  • Ethnicity and Crime - 15 Credits
  • Political History - 15 Credits
  • Internet Governance and Politics - 15 Credits
  • Local Government - 15 Credits
  • Global Energy Politics and Governance - 15 Credits

Level 6

Core Modules

  • Dissertation - 30 Credits


  • Internship - 30 Credits
  • Terrorism - 15 Credits
  • State Crime - 15 Credits
  • White Collar Crime - 15 Credits
  • Human Rights - 15 Credits
  • Jurisprudence - 15 Credits
  • Jurisprudence - 30 Credits
  • Organised Crime - 15 Credits
  • Surveillance State - 15 Credits
  • Regulation, Governance and Policy - 15 Credits
  • International Organisations - 15 Credits
  • Modern Russian Politics - 15 Credits
  • Public International Law - 15 Credits
  • Politics of the EU - 15 Credits
  • Public International Law - 30 Credits
  • Political Problem Solving in Culturally Divided Societies - 15 Credits
  • Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice - 15 Credits
  • Human Rights - 30 Credits

Fees & funding

Fees 2017

UK/EU Students

Full time
  • £9250 for the 2017/2018 academic year
Part time
  • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2017/2018 academic year

Fees 2018

UK/EU Students

Full time
  • £9250 for the 2018/2019 academic year
Part time
  • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2018/2019 academic year

*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

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...

2018 entry

96 - 112 UCAS points 

GCSE Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above (Grade C in English Language and Grade D in Maths under the old grading structure)

IB - 112 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. 

If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
24/09/201831/05/2019Apply online (Full Time)
26/09/201831/05/2019Apply online (Part Time)
22/01/201931/07/2019Apply online (Part Time)
26/09/201831/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
22/01/201931/07/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
25/09/201831/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


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)