Logo close icon
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

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 2023
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
4 years part-time
5 years part-time with placement
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Helen Hawthorne

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 international politics, you’ll work with a diverse cohort and study the key themes, concepts and theories related to international politics, and gain a solid understanding of contemporary international and global issues, 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 and their relevance to global geopolitical and economic developments to enhance your understanding of international relations and global politics.

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. You'll benefit from visits to facilities related to international politics to enhance learning such as the Houses of Parliament, the International Maritime Organisation and the Bank of England Museum.

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. A common first year of modules covering global political concepts, institutions and ideologies and the basics of political economy, governance and law means that on successful completion of year one you can select whether you go forward in year two to a degree in International Politics on its own or with law or with both law and economics.

You’ll gain transferable skills through experiential learning, and direct participation in real-world political activities. Our course offers small group teaching with opportunities for students to have maximum engagement with staff. You'll have opportunities for active role play based learning including an interactive UN role play event addressing the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goal.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll also get the support you need to succeed. Your Student Learning Assistants have 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 and knowledge to help you on your way.

*Please note this course has been reviewed in 2020.

Keep informed

Sign up to receive the latest information about studying at Middlesex University London.

Our communications are designed to support you in deciding your future and keep you up to date about student finance, employment opportunities and student activities available at Middlesex University.

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

    • Global Political Thought (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will introduce the key concepts, institutions, ideologies and contexts of global politics. You'll gain a broad, critical and inclusive knowledge of political orders at national, regional and global levels within and beyond the western conceptualisation of political world. You'll be encouraged to explore the alternative ways of understanding and appreciating global political ideologies beyond those primarily influenced by the west and western scholars. You'll become aware that theoretical knowledge and political thought is socially and historically situated. You'll explore how political concepts and thoughts are articulated in different parts of the world. In this sense, recognising multiple identities of your fellow students in terms of gender, class, ethnicity and culture is necessary for a genuinely constructive class dialogue in a "world of worlds" in which student diversity flourishes.

    • Understanding Political Economy (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives you a grounding in the political and social context of economic ideas, theories and ideologies which continue to impact contemporary international politics. You'll develop an understanding of the content and origins of economic ideas that have articulated and criticised the emergence and development of capitalism. In particular, classical, Marxist, neo-classical, institutional, Keynesian and monetarist political economy will be examined as contested theories and ideologies. You'll also develop an understanding of the claims of these distinct approaches to political economy to represent scientific explanation of trends in the economic and political world.

    • The Politics of Sustainability and Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces two of the most pressing issues facing the world today from a ‘Global South’ perspective; Sustainability and Development.
      You'll learn about the processes and changing discourses that have shaped, and continue to shape, the Global South. You'll address key questions surrounding issues of the colonial legacy, post-colonialism, poverty and inequality through the lens of sustainable development and consider the frameworks that have attempted to shape the world up until the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030). You will also begin considering what's next for post-2030.

    • Global Governance, Regulation, and Law (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you a broad knowledge of law, governance and regulatory politics at national, regional and global levels that will underpin your studies and enhance your appreciation of your place in the world. In an increasingly complex world, being better skilled to appreciate and evaluate how and why the varied rules that govern our lives are made is essential to both academic and personal development.

  • Year 2: Core modules

    • Theories of International Relations (30 credits) - Compulsory

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

    • Global Political Economy (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives you the opportunity to develop conceptual skills to explore, both historically and conceptually, the interplay of economics and politics at the global level. You'll explore the economic, political and cultural implications of living in an increasingly interdependent world, as well as examine and formulate judgements about the workings of the global economy and identify key issues of global governance that affect the global economy. You'll also examine the issues of global governance, both theoretically and empirically, within the overall framework of global political economy. You will be able to further your learning from Year 1 regarding the political and social context of economic ideas, theories and ideologies which continue to impact contemporary international politics.

  • Year 2: Choose four optional modules (up to 60 credits)

    • Comparative Political Systems (15 credits) - Optional

      This modules examines the different political systems of the developed and developing worlds. You'll look at the different forms of government across the world and consider the patterns of political behaviour adopted by these governments. You'll also focus on systems of government and the organisations of formal political processes. Finally, you'll examine key concepts which help to explain political behaviour within the state in order to provide a deeper basis for comparison.

    • Political Systems in Comparison (15 credits) - Optional

      This module examines specific examples of different political systems in the developed and developing worlds. You’ll look at the different forms of government across the world and consider the patterns of political behaviour adopted by these governments. You’ll focus on different states in order to gain an understanding of how they differ in terms of organisation, electoral systems, constitution and legal frameworks.

    • Research Design, Theories, and Concepts: Analysing Political Discourse(15 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your critical evaluation of the range of secondary research methodologies available, and your understanding of the underlying philosophical and ethical principles of social research. The module aims to make clear the links between theory, method and data as well as defining what data is within different research paradigms and the various ways of generating and analysing it. Emphasis is placed on developing your ability to evaluate and critique published research and to use this to construct evidenced arguments. You’ll also be prepared for secondary research, a requirement for your dissertation which can also be used in further studies and/or the workplace.

    • Constructing Knowledge for Politics (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will give you the knowledge and skills to design and undertake both quantitative and qualitative research as well as the ability to assess when each is the appropriate tool to use. You’ll be supported to use SPSS to undertake statistical analysis and develop your ability to analyse qualitative data using thematic analysis. You’ll be prepared to undertake both qualitative and quantitative research for your dissertation and gain useful skills which can be used in  further studies and/ or the workplace.

    • Post Brexit Europe: Transformation and Challenges (15 credits) - Optional

      Historically speaking, the pendulum of European integration swings between the forces of integration and disintegration. As the recent developments indicate, European integration, as the most advanced model of regional integration, is facing enormous challenges; Brexit, the rise of populism, identity crisis, migration, democratic deficit debates, enlargement fatigue, north south, east west divisions and legitimacy issues. This module will introduce the context, theories and issues of European integration with reference to the economic, social, cultural and geopolitical challenges that the EU will be facing in the 21st Century.

    • Regions and Regionalism in the Global South and Eurasia (15 credits) - Optional

      There has been a growing movement of regionalisms and regionalisation of global politics and economy across the world and beyond Europe. This module will introduce you to regions, regionalist movements and regional organisations beyond the west. Regionalism is also a continuously evolving phenomenon serving distinct purposes and definitions within different regional geopolitical settings from Africa to Eurasia and from South East Asia to Latin America as alternatives to the core and northern regions of the world. This module is concerned with conceptual and theoretical approaches to regionalism and exploration of specific case studies including China, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and the Indian Ocean, Asia Pacific Regions and the Middle East.

    • Politics of Global Climate Change (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will give you a detailed understanding of climate change, its drivers, and the need for mitigation and adaptation to its already inevitable impacts. The perspective of the module is global, but national and local level case studies will be featured to provide an understanding of different contexts, sectors and policy frameworks and their relevance to climate change. The concept of climate justice will be interrogated and the ability of existing global agreements and national policy mechanism such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals to deliver to it will be assessed. Climate change raises some fundamental questions regarding human rights, individual and collective action and sustainable lifestyles. Class based group work and debates will be central to analysing principles and concepts and recognising the role of competing perspectives and judging the significance of evidence in finding societal solutions to climate change.

    • Gender, Power and Global Politics (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will give you experience in thinking critically about gendered power relations and global politics. Gender is an important process that shapes how we see and even how we act in the world as well as what resources we have access to. By studying gender from a globalised perspective, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of intersectionality, particularly in relation to colonial legacies, race, class, sexuality and youth through creative and exploratory problem-based learning (PBL).

    • Social Movements in an International Context (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will help you better understand and explain the operations of social movements that have an international focus. You'll be expected to apply the knowledge they have gained of social movements to examine the real-world context of organisations operating in any of the following fields: women’s rights, climate change and justice, or democratic governance and citizenship. This will involve engaging individually and collectively with such organisations to gain a familiarity with their aims and objectives, organisational structure, accountability, and mode of operation.

  • Year 3: Core module

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

      The module is designed to give you a deep understanding of the traditions, concepts, and perspectives in the study of geopolitics. A more advanced, critical appreciation of international politics will be gained along with a more detailed understanding of key geopolitical issues and cases of the day. This module particularly encourages reflective, critical and analytical use of geopolitical theories and methods in appreciation of the key global and regional issues, world cultures, foreign policy and diplomatic state craft practices. Throughout the module, you’ll make use of written and original texts, films and documentaries as well as visual material and maps. In doing so, you’ll be equipped with the skills to critically analyse the discourses and their role in the production and construction of the geopolitical spaces, drawn from the lecturers’ own research interests. This module should be of special interest if you’re looking to proceed into further specialised study of global politics, law, society and economics and/or employment in fields related to governance, business, politics, diplomacy, law, risk and foreign policy analysis or media.

  • Year 3: Choose one optional module

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will synthesise your previous learning on the course and give you the opportunity to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You'll select a topic of personal interest you wish to study further and will manage your own learning with the support of an allocated supervisor. You'll be responsible for your own learning as you conduct an in-depth study and demonstrate your abilities to select and appropriately use a wide range of sources to analyse, challenge and critically evaluate the received views. You'll also be able to demonstrate your ability in a range of research skills.

    • The Politics of Policy in Practice (30 credits) - Optional

      Development is increasingly policy 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 develop your ability to analyse and critique development policy from formulation through to implementation. This requires well developed critical reasoning skills and you'll be able to develop as an independent thinker and learner who can take responsibility for facilitating debate and advancing knowledge and understanding. You'll be able to evidence this by running a series of seminars where you'll take the role of chair, discussant and presenter, giving you hands-on experience of facilitating a session as well as presenting a paper.

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

      Placement learning aims to link academic work with the 'real world' situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider world context. You'll be encouraged to reflect upon your areas of knowledge and how they apply to the placement learning experience as well as developing personal knowledge through a review of your learning. The placement learning experience provides for two types of placement; standard placements and project-based placements. The placement experience gives you the opportunity to enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, self-reliance and co-operation, and embeds your transferable and graduate skills required for future career paths and employment.

  • Year 3: Choose four optional modules (up to 60 credits)

    • Humanitarianism and Global Change (15 credits) - Optional

      This module give you 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, disasters. You’ll seek to highlight the complexity of humanitarian emergencies through consideration of their different origins and the different actors involved. You’ll be encouraged to problematise the notion of ‘humanitarianism’ and its continued relevance

    • Global Change and Activism (15 credits) - Optional

      This module gives you an interdisciplinary analysis of global change through activism. You’ll explore different types of activism from grassroots to NGOs, social movements and even the digital powers of social media and the imaginary power of the arts. Through addressing contemporary issues through a genealogical lens, you’ll trace global change back in time and discover root causes as well as link to broader philosophies of knowledge. You’ll examine how a range of actors engage with activism and why through critiquing and designing campaigns, actions and outcomes led by the question, what does it really take to create positive change?

    • Peace, Conflict and Society in the Middle East (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your critical understanding and analysis of root causes of contemporary conflicts, wars and consequences of political violence in the Middle East. You'll explore the foundations of peace and conflict theories, focusing on armed conflicts, violent extremism, ethnic, religious and regional tensions, economic, social and gender injustices as well as challenges that arise in areas of  peace, conflict, political instability and socio-economic inequalities in the Middle East. You'll concentrate on the region extending from Morocco to Iran (which includes the Arab world, Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey and Israel) and analyse various conflicts and violence in diverse societal, local, national and regional contexts.

    • International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will give you an interdisciplinary, in-depth knowledge of key issues and debates, both historical and contemporary, relevant to an international relation perspective on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). You’ll focus on the region extending from Morocco to Iran which includes the Arab world, Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey and Israel. You’ll 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 through multiple involvements and interventions. In doing so, you’ll gain substantive knowledge of key issues and debates on the international relations of the Middle East and North Africa.

    • Public International Law (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your skills to analyse, critically evaluate, and provide informed commentary on how international law impacts international relations and contemporary concerns such as globalisation, the use of armed force, terrorism, and the regulation of ownership over territory, including the law of the sea. The module has been designed to maximise your career potential, giving you an insight into the extent to which international law underpins international relations between states and non-state actors as well as the work of international organisations. You'll also develop your knowledge of law in an international and globalised context as well as broaden your  horizons as you develop as a professional in the area of law and politics.

      If you choose this module, you need to choose two additional 15 credit modules

    • Understanding Migrations (15 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to provide you with an understanding of traditional and recent  theories and approaches  concerning contemporary migrations. It also explores  some of the major debates  relating to migration management and the rights of migrants through the study of  policies, political discourses, civil society activities  and media.

    • Researching Migration and Migrant Communities (15 credits) - Optional

      The module builds on the Autumn term module ‘Understanding Migrations’ to explore the politics of belonging in relation to immigrant communities in Europe, with (i) a critical overview of multicultural and assimilative discourses and approaches to incorporating migrants and (ii) consideration of how best to frame and research migrant identities and experiences and their racialised and gendered dimensions. It will look at ‘invisible’, hidden, and ‘forgotten’ migrant communities in the UK and Europe as well as large, established diasporas. It will provide you with the tools and resources to engage in migration research, from survey data analysis to ethnography to interviews, with a specific focus on issues of research ethics and reflexivity.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

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 – changes for students in 2022
  3. Teaching and learning - typical structure
  4. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / 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.

Helen Hawthorne
Programme Leader in International Politics

Dr Hawthorne is also the module leader for Comparative Politics, Global Political Economy and Globalisation. Her research interests include the least developed countries, World Trade Organisation, international institutions, pharmaceutical companies, technology transfer and theories of international politics. Her publications include Least Developed Countries and the World Trade Organisation: Special Treatment in Trade (Palgrave Macmillian, International Political Economy Series, 2013) and Acceding to the Norm: The Accession of LDCs to the WTO (The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 4, 2009) pp. 7-35.

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.

Dr Tunç Aybak
Senior Lecturer

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.

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!

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

International Politics and Law BA Honours

Start: October 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years full-time with placement

Code: L20L

International Politics, Economics and Law BA Honours

Start: October 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 or 6 years part-time

Code: L2EL

Foundation Year in Law and Social Sciences

Start: October 2023

Duration: 1 year full-time, + 3 years full-time

Code: See How to apply tab

Back to top