International Politics BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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International Politics BA Honours

Learn about the course below
October 2019
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Tunc Aybak

This degree is ideal for those looking to gain an understanding of international political processes and systems with a focus on issues such as international relations, global security, human rights and development using different theoretical perspectives in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.

Why study BA International Politics at Middlesex University?

As the unfolding events, such as Brexit, Trump’s election and the ongoing regional and global geopolitical shifts in the Middle East and beyond show, international politics has never been so relevant to our daily lives. As one of the most culturally and socially diverse universities in the UK we offer you an inclusive, enjoyable and satisfactory learning environment to study international politics. We celebrate diversity of views and cultures.

We place our students at the heart of everything we do and our academic staff are actively engaged in cutting edge research and advanced scholarship with high impact on public and political life that feeds into their teaching. We encourage our students to participate in real-world issues and work placements in public and private institutions and gain subject specific and transferable skills.

Whether you want to focus on politics or delve into international relations, economics or law, our specialist courses will equip you with the skills to help you on your way to a career in active politics, intelligence and policy analysis, civil service, NGOs, journalism, diplomacy, research or PR.

Course highlights

  • Gain a solid grounding in the key themes, concepts and theories relevant to international politics which will aid you in your academic development and future careers in public service, international and regional organizations, NGOs, diplomacy and media
  • A wide choice of optional modules will enhance your critical and analytical skills and develop specialist in-depth critical knowledge of topics to suit your personal interests
  • You have the option to extend the course by a year in order to spend your third year in a paid work placement relevant to the course
  • Work placement opportunities and other forms of practical engagement and direct participation in political activities allows for experiential learning and future career development
  • The core curricula is continually reviewed and updated in line with current international developments in politics and staff research expertise
  • You will have access to a broad intellectual environment through the provision of innovative teaching methods and extra-curricular events

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What will you study on the BA International Politics?

The first year of the programme provides grounding in the four key areas and their overlapping relevance at international level. An introduction to key concepts and theories of international politics, the wider relevance of social scientific perspectives on globally experienced problems, an introduction to global development issues and an introduction to issues of globalisation and governance are the main focus.

In Year 2, three core modules sharpen the focus on theories of international relations, global political economy perspectives and the provision of research methods training in preparation for the final year dissertation. Students also select from one of two option modules in Year 2.

The final year involves greater independent study through completion of a dissertation and a focus on geopolitical perspectives in a final year core module. Students then select two of four optional modules and are actively encouraged to undertake a work placement module to enhance employability. Modules in public international law, humanitarianism, and migration and citizenship complete the range of options available.

What will you gain?

Upon graduation, you will be able to analyse information and relevant areas of research from a variety of sources, and reflect upon and evaluate the principles, values and ideologies underlying perspectives on politics and law. You will demonstrate the necessary independent critical thinking skills required to explore further areas of interest within the subject areas, either through continued study or more general engagement with contemporary issues and debates.


  • Year 1

    • Introduction to Politics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces notions of democracy, civil society and the role of the state. It also has a focus on ideologies such as socialism, liberalism and feminism. The importance of globalisation in terms of these issues is also raised.

    • Global Politics and Governance (30 credits) - Compulsory

      You will learn about the concept of governance and its evolving relevance to politics in an increasingly globalised world.

    • Introduction to Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce you to the processes that have shaped, and continue to shape, what has come to be known as ‘The Global South.’ You will explore how the Global South came into discourse through examining the concept of a ‘Third World’ and ‘First World’ to show how these are geographically and historically constructed through processes of colonialism and post-colonial 'development' policies, in particular economic policies designed to bring macro level growth, in order to better understand how these have shaped the contemporary development landscape in both its professional and popular imaginations. From 2000 - 2015 the development agenda has been dominated by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their achievement became a priority for governments and development agencies. Since then, the post-2015 agenda is shaped by the current ‘universal’ agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.’ Through critical examination of these development frameworks, particularly as they relate to inequality and rights, contemporary notions of 'development' will be critically analysed. As the post-2015 agenda becomes entrenched in development policy and practice, the module considers how this new ‘universal’ framework will impact on the legal, political and economic regimes of both the First and Third Worlds.

    • Social Science in the Contemporary World (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the key methods and theories that underpin the social sciences as well as giving them a grounding in key political processes, institutions and forms of global socio-economic change. The module provides a preparation for studying such approaches and phenomenon more critically and in greater detail in Years 2 and .

  • Year 2

    • Approaches to Research in the Social Sciences (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop your evaluative abilities regarding quantitative and qualitative research methodologies as well as to introduce you to the underlying philosophical and ethical principles of social research. It aims to make clear the links between theory, method and data, to define what data is within different research paradigms and the various ways of generating and analysing it, and to understand and critique published research. Emphasis is placed on developing awareness and critique of secondary sources. The module also aims to prepare you for the development of a proposal for the final year dissertation project. Throughout the module, you will apply the various components of research methods to the specific subject of the programme you are studying.

    • Global Political Economy (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will explore historically and conceptually, the interplay of economics and politics at the global level. You will also explore the economic, political and cultural implications of living in an increasingly inter-dependent world. You will examine the workings of the global economy and key issues of global governance, both theoretically and empirically.

    • Theories of International Relations (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the main theories, concepts and themes of international relations. The rival paradigms of the discipline are initially explored and then applied to the understanding of key topics of relations between states and also non-state global actors.

    • Comparative Politics (30 credits) - Optional

      This module examines the different political systems of the developed and developing worlds in harness with different models of government. It also considers the patterns of political behaviour adopted by very different forms of government across the world.

    • Politics of Europe (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce the political institutions and policy-making processes of the European Union and contemporary international political developments across the whole of Europe. It will facilitate your empirical and theoretical understanding of how the EU has evolved and operates today. You will explore the politics of transition in former Communist states along with analysis of the geopolitics of south-east Europe to provide a through appreciation of what is 'Europe'.

  • Year 3

    • Global Geopolitics: Critical Perspectives and Issues (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in previous modules. You will apply theories and concepts explored in those modules to a range of contemporary global political issues. A more advanced, critical appreciation of international politics will be gained along with a more detailed understanding of key geopolitical issues of the day.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Completing a dissertation is designed to synthesise learning from the degree and provide an opportunity for you to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry-based approach and the employment and application of research skills, thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You will select a topic of personal interest you wish to study further and manage your own learning with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.

    • Humanitarianism and Global Change (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide an interdisciplinary analysis of the processes, policies and practice related to contemporary humanitarian crises, be they the outcome of conflict, war, famine, extreme climatic events natural or man-made disasters. Case studies are a key feature of the approach in this module.

    • Public International Law (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to give you the knowledge and understanding on the principles of public international law. You will be extend your ability to evaluate and analyse legal issues in the international context, often dealing with topical concerns. This might include debates over the legality of the use of armed force, the protection of the environment, or the extent of individual responsibility for war crimes.

    • Migration and Citizenship (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide a critical understanding of contemporary migratory processes, migrant communities and experiences and issues of citizenship. You will gain an understanding of the sources and methods appropriate to the study of migration and migrant communities.

    • Integrated Learning and Work Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      Placements provide an opportunity for you to apply, consolidate and develop skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to the responsibilities of the placement and future employment. You will be assisted to find an appropriate placement with an organisation relevant to your studies where you will develop and apply critical and reflective capabilities in an employment context.

    • International Politics and the Middle East and North Africa (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide you with an interdisciplinary in-depth knowledge of key issues and debates, both historical and contemporary, relevant to an international political perspective on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The module concentrates on the region extending from Morocco to Iran which includes the Arab world, Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey and Israel and will analyse the complex relationships between these countries in the MENA region and their foreign policies with each other as well as the role of the US, Europe, Russia and China in effecting the region though multiple involvements and interventions. In doing so the module will introduce you to the debates around ‘orientalism’.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA International Politics support your career?

As a graduate of our BA International Politics degree your career prospects are excellent and you will be well-placed to enter employment in fields related to governance, business, politics, diplomacy, law, risk and foreign policy analysis or the media. Our students have gone on to work for national and international NGOs in areas such as political and social research, public relations and policymaking and evaluation.

The programme should be of special interest to those wishing to proceed to further specialised study of global politics, society and economics.

What support is available?

Our Employability Service will help you to develop skills desired by top employers and gain valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, writing your CV and cover letters, interview coaching and advice on how to network effectively. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

Dr Tunç Aybak
Programme Leader in International Politics

Dr Aybak lectures on the BA International Politics and MA International Relations programmes specializing in critical studies in geopolitics and diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international political economy of Europe and regionalism in Eurasia. His main research areas and field work include Turkish and Russian foreign policy, citizenship and identity in Europe, the enlargement of the EU and geopolitical issues regarding the Black Sea and the Middle East regions.

Dr Peter Hough
Associate Professor

Dr Hough lectures principally on International Political Theory and Global Security. Peter has had several single-authored books and journal articles published on environmental politics, Arctic region, human security, international organizations and sport and politics. His latest book- ‘Understanding Global Security- has gone to a second edition and features as a core text on the reading lists of many Security Politics modules in the UK and abroad, including the LSE, Cambridge and UCL.

Dr Mel Evans
Director of Programmes and Associate Professor

Dr Evans specializes in Social Science and urban policy. He lectures on political ideologies and the key issues of social science. His main research areas explore the interface between ideology and localism with particular reference to informal economic activities and social economy; community participation in neighbourhood regeneration; social capital in UK/ Europe. He has managed major European research projects and published in the areas of neighbourhood, civil society, social and housing policy.

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