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Politics and International Relations BA (Hons)

Everything is political. From local decisions about planning and parks to global conflicts, the events, ideas and issues that impact us all are shaped through Politics and International Relations. This course provides tools for understanding how governments and international institutions work and the skills to become effective changemakers.

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Call us on +44 (0)116 257 7000 to secure your place. Learn more


Studying Politics and International Relations at DMU offers students a dynamic experience, ranging from understanding theoretical ideas that underpin the way the world works to experiences beyond the classroom and engaging with real-world projects. This vibrant course will develop your understanding of political events and processes and the skills to use your knowledge in real-world settings. A strong focus on student-centred learning allows individuals to flourish in a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment. Group projects, individual tasks, simulation games, book reviews, and much more make up the diverse portfolio of assessments students can choose from on this course.

After a common core of modules that challenge you to think about politics from the local to the global, you will have the opportunity to follow one of two pathways specialising in politics or International Relations. 

On the Politics pathway, you can take modules that deal with British Politics beyond Westminster, the politics of the Americas, race, identity and class in the City and the politics of sustainable futures. On the International Relations pathway, you will focus on global inequalities and development, security and peace issues and international crisis management. All students have the chance to undertake a final project on a subject of their own choice.

Key features

  • You will have the opportunity to engage with real political actors, including local councils, MPs and community organisations, on current issues.
  • Benefit from research-informed teaching. You will learn from passionate academics who are actively engaged with the subjects taught.
  • DMU is the only UK university to act as a global hub for UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 (to promote peace, justice and strong institutions).
  • DMU’s Decolonising strategy transcends the curriculum, but a key focus is to ensure that what and how we teach represents all of the DMU community. 
  • Placement opportunities – all students are eligible to apply for employment opportunities to develop their work readiness. 
  • DMU Global – trips are embedded in a range of modules enabling students to experience the subject and study it. Recent visits have included Brussels, Berlin, Urbino and Washington DC.
  • Take advantage of on-campus events that relate directly to your subject areas, including Congress to Campus and European Parliament to Campus.


DMU offers a range of scholarships to support our students.

DMU Sport Scholarship
Find out more about the DMU Sport Scholarships worth up to £6,000.

International Scholarships
Find out about available scholarships and country-specific fee discounts for international students.

Visit our fees and funding page for more information.



  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course codes: L200

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with a placement.

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Institution code: D26

UCAS course codes: L200

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with a placement.

Fees and funding:

2022/23 tuition fees for international students: £14,750.

Find out more about available funding for international students.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course.

Entry criteria

  • A typical offer is 112 UCAS points. You need to study at least two subjects at A-level or equivalent (eg BTEC)

Plus, five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths

Alternative qualifications include:

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit (or equivalent) with English (Language or Literature) and Maths GCSE required as separate qualifications at grade 4

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course

  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ points

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications.

English language

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

UCAS tariff information

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

Structure and assessment

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Find out more information about Education 2030.


Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours


Year 1

  • Block one: Politics, People and Place
  • Block two: Ideas and Change in Politics and International Relations
  • Block three: Global Challenges: Politics and Social Policy
  • Block four: Democracy in Times of Crisis

Year 2

  • Block one: Making Public Policy
  • Block two: Political Research in Action
  • Block three: Choose one pathway from the below:
    • Politics pathway: Political Theory: Why Big Ideas Matter
    • International Relations pathway: Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Block four: Choose one pathway from the below:
    • Politics pathway: Not in Westminster: National and Local Politics
    • International Relations pathway: Global Political Economy: Gender, Race and Class

Year 3

  • Block one: Choose one pathway from the below:
    • Politics pathway: The Politics of the Americas
    • International Relations pathway: Global Inequalities
  • Block two: Choose one pathway from the below:
    • Politics pathway: Contentious Politics in the City
    • International Relations pathway: Security, Peace and Conflict
  • Block three: Choose one pathway from the below:
    • Politics pathway: Sustainable Futures
    • International Relations pathway: Tackling Global Crises
  • Block four: Politics and International Relations Project

Teaching and assessment

The course is delivered through lectures, workshops, seminars and opportunities for field trips. We also have developed a range of alternative and authentic assessments from podcasts, posters, policy papers, blog posts, reflective portfolios, projects and photo essays that provide different ways to demonstrate your skills.

Contact hours

This is a full-time course and in total you should be prepared to devote approximately 38 hours a week to your studies. You will typically have up to 10 contact hours of teaching. Teaching is through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, online activities and lab sessions and the breakdown of these activity types is shown in each module description.

Other: In addition, each module provides a two-hour surgery each week for individual consultation with the academic leading the course. You will also have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor and careers and/or subject meetings scheduled throughout the year.

Self-directed study: In order to prepare for, and assimilate, the work in lectures and seminars you will be expected to use our on-line resources, participate in flipped or virtual classroom discussions on our virtual learning environment (VLE) and engage in personal study and revision for approximately 28 hours per week.

All years follow a similar pattern, however, the contact time will vary depending on your subject mix and options chosen, and the teaching methods appropriate to the module. Further details are contained in each module description.

Facilities and features

Hugh Aston Building

You will have access to our purpose-built Hugh Aston Building, equipped with lecture theatres and classrooms, break-out spaces for group work, quiet study zones for individual work and IT labs. Wherever possible, students will be given home access to specialist software.

You’ll also have access to the building’s new £5.5 million extension called The Yard, which provides more than 22,000 square metres of extra space. This is designed to facilitate your learning experience with large and airy breakout spaces, a new Student Advice Centre, and a balcony on the top floor. The Yard also features more comfortable classrooms and self-study spaces, allowing you to carry out independent study as well as group work.


Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities Learn more



As part of this course you will have the option to complete a paid placement year which offers invaluable professional experience.

Our exciting careers programme DMU Works can help you secure a placement through activities such as mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and you will be assigned a personal tutor to support you throughout your placement.

Our students have taken placements with companies including House of Commons, Welsh Assembly, GlaxoSmithKline and Rolls Royce.

We advertise posts in all locations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, including some international posts.


DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer overseas opportunities in 2022.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

International Relations students have visited Germany to participate on a trip called Berlin and the Cold War which enabled students to develop their knowledge of the Cold War by gaining an in-depth understanding of the city’s crucial position at the centre of the Cold War.


Graduate careers

This degree will empower you to apply academic theory to real-life situations. Our lecturers will equip you with the skills sought by employers – from communication and team working to independent research and critical analysis.

Graduates from this course have progressed to careers in the private and public sectors in positions such as Campaign Manager for Labour, Deputy Social Media Editor for the Independent, a graduate position on IBM’s sought-after HR Leadership Development Programme and a place on a Local Government trainee scheme.

Take your next steps