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

Focus on international relations, human rights and global security with a course that leads to a satisfying career in this exciting sector
October 2020
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Tunc Aybak

Our course gives you the tools, insight and hands-on experience to succeed in the diverse and dynamic field of international politics.

Why study international politics with us

International politics has never been so relevant to our daily lives, which means our international politics degree will open up opportunities in all areas of this diverse and dynamic field – from public service and international relations to regional organisations, NGOs, diplomacy, the media, and everything in between.

During your BA in politics, you’ll study the key themes, concepts and theories related to international politics, and gain a solid understanding of international political processes and systems through policy analysis, role playing, masterclasses and interactive debates. Covering the fundamental aspects of international politics, you’ll enhance your critical and analytical skills, and learn the different theoretical perspectives to enhance your understanding of international relations, global security, human rights and development.

Build hands-on practical experience in international politics

You’ll be part of one of the most culturally and socially diverse universities in the UK, with plenty of support from academic staff who are actively engaged in cutting edge research and advanced political study.

Whether you want to focus on politics or delve into international relations, economics or law, you’ll have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of specialist courses that will help shape your future career aspirations.

You’ll gain transferable skills through experiential learning, direct participation in real-world political activities, and short-term work placement opportunities in both public and private institutions.

During your studies, you’ll have the option to extend your course and spend your third year in a paid work placement. Here, you’ll gain invaluable hands-on experience and get the chance to test and improve your skills in the real world. Former students have done placements at Westminster, UN Geneva, Think Tanks and NGOs.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll also get the support you need to succeed. From your Student Learning Assistant to your Graduate Academic Assistant, each one has studied your subject and will provide the support you need based on their own experience. If you need a little help with writing, numeracy or library skills, our Learning Enhancement Team can help with that too.

Whether you want to focus on politics, international relations, law or something else altogether, this course equips you with skills to help you on your way.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Find out more

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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’.

    • Development Policy Seminars (30 Credits) - Optional

      Development is increasingly policy led rather than theory led and elements of social policy have entered the traditionally macroeconomic policy focused prescriptions of the International Financial Institutions. This module aims to expand your ability to analyse and critique development policy from formulation through to implementation. This requires well-developed critical reasoning skills and this module will allow you to become independent thinkers and learners who can take responsibility for facilitating debate and advancing knowledge and understanding. Your ability to do this will be evidenced by a series of hands-on experiences at facilitating sessions in the role of Chair, discussant and presenter  as well as presenting a paper.

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.

Harry Phinda

International Politics BA Honours, graduate

Youth for Change is a global youth advocacy organisation I started with other young people who wanted to create an authentic youth led organisation. Our launch was in 2014 and we partnered with the UK Government to create the Global Girls’ Summit. To date, we operate in Bangladesh, Tanzania and Ethiopia where we work to end gender based violence. In the UK, we have trained 100 teachers in six schools in London.

The best moment of my career so far was being able to put on the first ever national schools conference on gender based violence. The conference was held at Winchmore School in collaboration with IKRWO (The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation) and Not in My Classroom. We also partnered with the Harris Academy schools to deliver training to 10 schools across London. This was one of my biggest highlights with Youth for Change because we were actually training front line professionals who would safeguard the very girls we were trying to protect. We have also led a workshop on gender-based violence at the United Nations and our Bangladesh team was invited onto national TV to speak about child marriage.

I have just been awarded The Queen’s Young Leader Award in recognition for my work in bettering the lives of young people in the Commonwealth. I have contributed my whole life to advocating for young people and their rights in top spaces; whether that was my initial engagement at 15 at the G8 summit in Italy, or my five year board position at UNICEF UK. It feels very surreal that I actually won the Award but this is just the beginning of my journey. I am glad the Queen recognises the importance of young people to create change.

After graduating with my International Politics degree I took a break and travelled which was really important to my development. I carried on working on Youth for Change and saw a strategy position in the Cabinet Office which I successfully applied for. Currently, my job is creating a process to internalise a function we outsourced to KPMG, saving the government thousands of pounds. I am also responsible for policy delivering for the First Commissioner’s priorities across government departments.

I will be moving to the Home Office soon and I am also going to be starting a podcast, sharing stories of people who have redrawn the boundary that society has drawn for them called Age is Just a Number. I will also be launching a new campaign to change the societal narrative of black men and success.

Middlesex gave me the flexibility to do well in my studies as well as my extra-curricular activities. The really inspiring lecturers who would talk about their real life experience was crucial. They always encouraged me in all my endeavours and I am forever thankful!

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