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BA (Honours) International Studies: Standard pathway

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This degree is made up of 360 credits.

What you will study

There are two ways to start a qualification. You can begin your studies at Stage 1, or, if you haven’t studied for a long time, you can get started by studying an Access module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification. We know from experience that students who have completed an Access module do better in their subsequent modules, so it could be the vital first step you take to help you succeed in your future studies.

To find out the recommended Access module for this pathway, choose your country in the Fees section below.

Stage 1

You’ll begin your studies by choosing one of our two 60-credit introductory modules. The first, Introducing the social sciences (DD101)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DD101,,1, focuses on social sciences and will introduce you to a broad and absorbing range of social science subjects including geography, economics, sociology, psychology, politics and international studies. The second, Environment: journeys through a changing world (U116)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,U116,,1, takes an interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues ranging from the Arctic to the Amazon to China, as well as some of the world’s great cities. Whichever you choose, these modules will develop your study skills and prepare you for further academic work.

Next, you’ll study the compulsory 60-credit module International development: making sense of a changing world (TD223)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,TD223,,1, which tackles such vital issues as:

  • the rise of ‘new great powers’ such as China, India and Brazil
  • international efforts to tackle poverty and inequality
  • the impact of conflict and civil wars on development
  • the role of technology in changing patterns of development.

You’ll be introduced to some of the key ideas and theories of International Studies, have the opportunity to reflect on your own engagement with the issues you encounter during your learning, and further develop your study skills.

Stage 2

Stage 2 gives you the opportunity to tailor your degree to the subject areas that most interest you or which are most relevant to your career development. You’ll choose two 60-credit modules from the following areas:

  • politics, the most closely related subject to international studies, where we offer Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics (DD203)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DD203,,1
  • history and humanities, where you can either study Exploring history: medieval to modern 1400-1900 (A200)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,A200,,1 or Introducing religions (A217)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,A217,,1
  • economics, where you can study Running the economy (DD209)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DD209,,1
  • geography and environment, includes Living in a globalised world (DD205)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DD205,,1 and Environment: sharing a dynamic planet (DST206)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DST206,,1
  • languages, with a choice from Envol: upper intermediate French (L211)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,L211,,1, Motive: upper intermediate German (L203)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,L203,,1 or Viento en popa: upper intermediate Spanish (L204)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,L204,,1
  • the English language – Worlds of English (U214)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,U214,,1.

In making your choice you might want to deepen your understanding of politics; or broaden your knowledge of global history and the processes and events that shape today’s international systems. You might want to focus on the environment, perhaps the most prominent global concern facing our divided world. Or you can choose a language option to gain additional professional skills or to explore the origins of the English language.

Alternatively, you could opt to study the other Level 1 module from Stage 1 of this degree profile.

Stage 3

Stage 3 follows a similar structure to Stage 2, with a core module deepening your understanding of international studies, and optional modules enabling you to build on your Stage 2 choices or explore a new area The core module International relations: continuity and change in global politics (DD313)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DD313,,1 tackles a broad range of issues, including the changes to world order presented by the rise of China, changes in the state system and international economy, and problems of international justice, governance and security. You’ll acquire further key career and employment skills, developing your ability to analyse and research complex problems, work independently and with others and communicate your ideas clearly and accessibly.

You’ll choose your final module from the following subject areas:

  • politics – Living political ideas (DD306)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DD306,,1
  • history – Empire: 1492-1975 (A326)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,A326,,1 or Europe 1914-1989: war, peace, modernity (A327)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,A327,,1
  • business studies – Making sense of strategy (B301)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,B301,,1
  • geography and environment – Earth in crisis: environmental policy in an international context (DU311)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,DU311,,1
  • languages – Mises au point: advanced French (L310)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,L310,,1, Variationen: advanced German (L313)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,L313,,1 or A buen puerto: advanced Spanish (L314)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q11-1,module,L314,,1.

The modules are designed to complement those offered at Stage 2, enabling you to deepen or broaden your subject knowledge.

By the end of your studies, you will be an independent social scientific thinker; confident at finding, evaluating and presenting complex data and information. You’ll be able to build robust, reasoned arguments backed up by appropriate evidence – and you’ll have a portfolio of critical, analytical and practical skills that you can apply to a range of workplace environments.

Modules quoted in qualification descriptions are those that are currently available for study. As the structure of our qualifications is reviewed on a regular basis, the University is unable to guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available in future years.

How long it takes

Typically it takes six years part-time study to complete this qualification, but you can take anything from four (full-time study equivalent) to 16 years.


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