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

Brexit, Trump, Trident, Middle-East, Terrorism. Get to grips with the big issues of the day and work in careers from diplomacy to foreign policy
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 and law with us

International politics has never been so relevant to our daily lives, which means that our BA in International Politics and Law 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.

Combining political theory and international relations with legal perspectives, you’ll develop your legal skills, enhance your critical and analytical thinking, and learn the political concepts and analytical tools that will help you advance your career in the increasingly complex field of global politics, international law and governance. You’ll study the key aspects of law and enhance your knowledge of European and Middle Eastern geopolitics, international political economy, migration and human rights.

You'll be taught by people who are actively engaged in NGOs, International and European Organisations, as well as think tanks. Your tutors work with Parliament on policy issues, the UN on sustainability, in the middle-east on conflict and post-conflict issues and a host of other important issues and policies.

Build your political and legal skills with hands-on experience

You’ll be part of one of the most culturally and socially diverse universities in the UK, exposing you to a wide range of new experiences and points of view. You'll also get plenty of support from academic staff who are actively engaged in cutting edge research and advanced political study.

Whether you want to focus on a politics degree or explore 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 and direct participation in real-world political activities. Many of the modules are run with a focus on case studies so you can gain experience through studying real-life cases.

You’ll also be able to gain invaluable hands-on experience through internships with national and international organisations, political institutions and civil society organisations. You'll also take part in trips to organisations to experience what it's like to work in a high-stress, dynamic environment.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll also get the support you need to succeed. From your Student Learning Assistants 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 you with that too.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA International Politics and Law?

You will explore the international political and legal processes and institutions, as well as a range different political and legal systems across the world. You will also cover the key ideas, concepts, theories and practices of politics and law.

You will be introduced to the basic concepts of politics and political ideologies and international development issues which is balanced with an introduction to law and legal skills and public law. You will then focus on enhancing your understanding of international political theories and concepts and the international legal basis of human rights and relates them to the international social, economic, and political context in which they operate. Finally, you will combine your critical understanding of the aspects of public international law as well as concepts and theories of global and regional geopolitics with statecraft and legal practice in international politics.

What will you gain?

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.

    • 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.

    • Introduction to Law (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides a basic understanding of the legal framework, especially of the operation of the English legal system, the elements of a crime, police powers and of the essential legal principle of the main areas of law of negligence and contract and prepares for more advanced study in law. It will combine theory with practical skills, providing an introduction to contract and other law, and helping develop your practical legal skills.

    • Public Law (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to examine general principles relating to the UK Constitution and the organisation and powers of the State. You will gain an awareness of the law and practice relating to the control of the Administration of the UK State and will consider the law relating to Human Rights and aspects of Civil Liberties in the UK. This is a core module and is a requirement of the professional bodies.

  • Year 2

    • 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.

    • UK and European Human Rights Law (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to engage you in active investigation of the values, principles and detailed application of human rights law in the UK and Europe.

  • Year 2 optional modules - choose one module from the following:

    • 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'.

    • Global Political Economy (30 Credits) - Optional

      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.

    • Approaches to Research in the Social Sciences (30 Credits) - Optional

      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.

  • Year 2 optional modules - choose one module from the following:

    • Equality and the Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module will explore general issues relating to equality and discrimination, branching out into specific individual areas of inequalities. You will focus on these issues from a legal, ethical, social, political and economic perspective. You will gain the ideal preparation for Year 3 modules such as Employment Law.

    • Jurisprudence (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to a range of legal theorists and jurisprudential schools of thought ranging from the work of the ancient Greeks through to postmodernism. You will be provided with an overview of the central thinking of various philosophers and will examine both the historical and cultural context within which these theories were developed and their relevance to the legal issues of our own time. Throughout the module, you will consider law’s relationship to questions of power, violence, ethics and justice.

    • European Internal Market Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide you with a firm grounding in the rules and principles that govern the free movement of goods, services and persons (workers, self-employed and EU citizens), and to improve your research and presentation skills. You will develop your awareness of the ethical dimension of the EU Internal Market in which persons are not only regarded as factors of production, but as EU citizens with family ties and a cultural background.

  • 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.

    • Public International Law (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

  • Year 3 optional modules - choose one module from the following:

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Dissertation (30 Credits) - Optional

      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.

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

      This practical experience module provides the means for you to link academic work with a 'real world' situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider world context. This module facilitates the embedding of transferable and graduate skills necessary for future career paths and employment. You can take one of two types of placement; standard placements and project-based placements, both of which will provide you with the opportunity to enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, self-reliance and co-operation. You will be able to reflect upon areas of knowledge relevant to the placement and develop personal knowledge through a review of your learning. You will also engage in risk assessment.

    • 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.

    • 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’.

  • Year 3 optional modules - choose one module from the following:

    • Child and Family Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of the principles of Child and Family Law in order to enable you to extend your ability to evaluate and analyse the development of both the legal and policy framework regulating child and adult relationships. The module will explore the tensions arising from the use of state intervention in the sphere of the family with regard to issues of privacy, autonomy and welfare. Having taken this module, you will have not only an appreciation of key areas of law and procedure affecting children and adults but also be sensitive to the complexities of the wider social issues raised.

    • Employment Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module will provide the knowledge and understanding of employment law and aims to deepens your appreciation of how legal principles encountered in other law modules can be applied to these areas. A critical appreciation of employment law will be encouraged and you will be enabled to place the subject in the context of both your working and non-working lives. Upon successful completion of this module, you will have an understanding of the role of law in regulating the employment relationship and stopping discrimination.

    • Immigration, Nationality And Asylum Law in the UK (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide an understanding of the legal structures and the regulation of immigration control, nationality law and asylum in the UK. The module will place legal controls in their historical, social and political context and will require you to demonstrate in-depth understanding of the inter-relationship of the various legal mechanisms.

    • Medical Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to examine the relationship between medical law and ethics and the role of the law in defining the doctor/patient relationship. You will explore consent to treatment, consent issues relating to incompetent adults as well as minors and medical treatment. Clinical negligence will be explored as well as selected issues relating to beginning of life such as abortion, surrogacy and end of life issues such as euthanasia and assisted suicide. The module will also introduce mental health law and the law regulating medical research. The module will give an opportunity for an in-depth study of a selected area of medical law.

    • UK Company Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide you with a sound knowledge and understanding of the law governing companies and other business organisations in the United Kingdom. Comparisons are drawn between the laws underpinning the various business organisations/relationships and their different purposes are evaluated. A framework of basic principles of company law is provided, with some detail of how these principles are worked out in practice. The module will further aim to perfect legal reasoning and logic, legal synthesis, analysis and problem solving skills; to enhance research skills and the use of primary source material and to enable you to bring this together with previously learned legal principles.

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

      This practical experience module provides the means for you to link academic work with a 'real world' situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider world context. This module facilitates the embedding of transferable and graduate skills necessary for future career paths and employment. You can take one of two types of placement; standard placements and project-based placements, both of which will provide you with the opportunity to enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, self-reliance and co-operation. You will be able to reflect upon areas of knowledge relevant to the placement and develop personal knowledge through a review of your learning. You will also engage in risk assessment.

    • Evidence (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to engage you in an active investigation of the practical rules and abstract principles underlying the operation of the Law of Evidence in criminal and civil trials. The module will enable you to subject the law of criminal and civil evidence to critical examination and will thus contribute to the shaping of your own value system. It builds on your knowledge of the substantive law by placing it in the context of trial practice. A key purpose of the module is training in advanced level writing, argument, analysis and legal research.

    • Global Trade Law (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module is designed to give you a thorough understanding and knowledge of global trade regimes which will include:

      • an overview of globalisation and contemporary international economic relations
      • the regulation of international trade through the WTO
      • the relationship among international trade, harmonisation of the law and trade-related issues.

      You will develop your understanding of the origins, structure, rationale and scope of the global trading system, and you will be able to demonstrate your legal and multidisciplinary knowledge, analytical skills and understanding through extended writing in a cogent and appropriate writing style.

    • Project (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module will provide the skills necessary to undertake research into a specialised area of legal study you have chosen. You will build upon the skills of legal research that were introduced in the first two years of the programme.

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 and Law support your career?

As a graduate of our BA International Politics and Law 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 Elvira Domíngue
Associate Professor

Dr Elvira specialises in international law and human rights legal theory. She is the author of two books, "Public Special Procedures of the UN Commission on Human Rights" and " Minority Rigths in Asia" (co-authored with Prof. J Castellino). Dr. Domínguez-Redondo has written a wide range of articles on international law and human rights topics for academic journals. Her current research focuses on the best strategies for the promotion and protection of human rights within International Organisations, the interlinkage between peace, development and human rights, the co-existence of multiple human rights mechanisms dealing with human rights communications at UN level, and territorial disputes in East-Asia.

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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