Our International Relations degree will enable you to gain an appreciation of how politics, history, geography, economics and law all require international co-operation if we are to resolve and effectively manage a wide range of problems on a global scale.

This International Relations degree addresses a wide range of problems and concerns that have a global dimension or impact; they may require domestic or international co-operation if they are to be resolved or managed effectively.

While the programme is a distinct academic discipline, it is by its nature interdisciplinary, requiring you to acquire a wide range of knowledge of disciplines. On the International Relations BA you will develop the all-round skills needed for a modern working world – critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity.


Professional Development module

If you want to take advantage of a unique work placement opportunity as part of your final year, our BA International Relations degree includes the opportunity to undertake a ‘Professional Development’ module as part of your optional module choices.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

BA International Relations

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Modules in the first year

In the first year of your degree you receive a thorough grounding in the study of international relations, with particular emphasis on the major approaches to the discipline and key ideas such as conflict, war, peace, security, international and regional organisations, and international law. Each of the modules you take in the first year is designed to introduce you to the theory and practice of international relations and to provide you with a foundation for more advanced, specialised study in the second and third years of your degree. 

Compulsory modules

  • Global History
  • Understanding International Relations
  • Debates in World Politics
  • Pathways to International Relations Research 1 
  • Pathways to International Relations Research 2
  • Politics as a vocation 1 and 2

Modules in the second year

The second-year of your degree course further develops your understanding of the discipline and introduces new perspectives on international relations. It is designed to develop your knowledge and theoretical understanding of this dynamic and changing field. You will take two compulsory modules. The first is International Relations Theory which introduces you to advanced theories of international relations and applies these to key issues in international politics.  You are then asked to take one of Diplomatic History Post 1945, which focuses the development of the international system in the second half of the twentieth century, or International Security, which uses theoretical approaches to examine a range of major security topics.

Optional modules

Your second year of study will also provide you with the opportunity to undertake more specialised study in areas of the subject that interest you. You will be able to choose four optional modules from the extensive list of modules that we offer. These modules will build on the knowledge and skills you have acquired thus far on your degree and allow you to tailor your studies in a way that best fits with your interests and future plans. 

  • Public Choice Theory
  • International Political Economy
  • Diplomatic History post 1945 
  • British Politics
  • International Security
  • International Politics & Security in Russia & Eurasia
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Analysing Political Worlds
  • Global Governance
  • International Relations of the Middle East
  • Feminist Political Ideas
  • Comparative Politics
  • Elections and Voting in Britain
  • America and the Middle East through Politics and Film
  • Public Policy Blunders and Bad Decision Making
  • Soviet Politics: Rise and Fall of a Superpower
  • War and Peace in Theory and Practice
  • Quantitative Political Analysis
  • Rebels and Revolutionaries: The Politics of Non-State Armed Groups
  • Controversies in Contemporary Democracies: Comparative Perspectives
  • The Political Economy of Energy and Energy Security


Year Abroad option

If you have not applied for the four year, study abroad degree you can still apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world if you have achieved a grade of 2.1. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. 


Modules in the final year

In the final year of your degree you will undertake an independent study project and up to five optional modules. Modules in the final year are advanced, research led modules taught by experts in the subject area.

There are two distinct independent study pathways of independent study in the final year:

Pathway one: on this pathway you will write a 10,000 word dissertationon a topic of your choice. You will be guided and supported by a supervisor who is an expert in your area of interest. In addition to writing the dissertation you will be able to take four optional modules.

Pathway two: on the second pathway you take the module Problems in World Politics. This module is designed to allow students to apply the knowledge they have acquired on their degree to real world policy problems in politics. In addition to this independent study module you will be able to take five optional modules.

  • War-Torn States and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the South
  • Power in Britain
  • Contemporary US Foreign and Security Policy
  • Contemporary International Political Economy
  • Topics in British Politics
  • Democracy and Democratization in Contemporary Europe
  • Left Parties and Protest Movements
  • Issues in US Domestic Politics
  • The Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Global Capitalism and Migration
  • Law, Politics and the International System: Mediating Power beyond the State 
  • Globalisation, Capitalism and Welfare 
  • Parties, Voters and Elections
  • Russian Foreign Policy
  • Security in Europe: Actors, Crises and Threats
  • Strategy and Decision-Making
  • Conflict, Statehood and Sovereignty in World Politics
  • Populism in Contemporary Politics
  • Politics of Migrants, Refugees, and Diasporas in the Middle East
  • Politics, Music and the Arts
  • Global Uprisings: Critique and Radical Politics
  • New Media, Social Media, and International Politics
  • Contemporary Russian and East European Politics
  •  Body Politics: Security, Economy, Violence
  • Understanding Brexit: Identity and Euroscepticism in Europe
  • The EU in a Globalised World
  • The Political Economy of Russia
  • Environment, Politics and Society
  • Gender in World Politics

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

As a University of Newcastle graduate, we provide you with the tools and skills to operate in an ever growing global environment. Employers target Newcastle students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.


Careers Events

In addition to the extensive careers support that Newcastle University offers all of its students, we offer bespoke employability and careers workshops to all students on our International Relations degree. These workshops run in each year of your programme and are tailored to support you with the information you need to plan should you wish to pursue employment or postgraduate study.

Throughout your time on the International Relations BA course, employability is a key area of focus. We help to make sure that you are employable through a range of department led and university wide initiatives which include:


Input from Professional Careers Advisers in your Curriculum

During the first year of your studies Careers Advisers from the University Careers Network team attend lectures in your course to support you with career planning from an early stage. The lectures will cover career planning, researching career and internship opportunities, developing the skills that graduate employers are looking for, and presenting yourself with impact to a potential employer.