International Relations (BSc Econ)

Cardiff University

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Program Overview

Study current global issues

Choose modules ranging from cyber security and nuclear politics to climate change and feminism.


Look to the future and the past

Explore international relations in a historical and a contemporary context.


Worldwide career opportunities

Our students now work in global development, international business, diplomacy, government intelligence and journalism.


Professional Insights

Enjoy visits from high profile speakers from the UK Government, NATO and the UN Security Council.


International Relations examines the role of states, international alliances, non-governmental organisations and multinational companies in an increasingly globalised world.


As part of this degree programme, you will have the opportunity to focus on global politics and world affairs as well as having the opportunity to attend a lecture series hosted by the University on International Relations & International Law, which has featured high profile speakers from institutions such as NATO and the UN Security Council.


Our objective is to challenge the preconceptions that you will bring to the subject and to actively encourage a critical attitude to the nature of the political and the international. We aim to prepare you to markets of knowledge and practice that are in constant evolution so that, through this programme, you become an active and critical young citizen and develop a consciousness of the values of internationalization.


International Relations graduates find careers in a wide range of fields. A further option is to go on to postgraduate study.


CardiffUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

36 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 18,700


IELTS: 6.5


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Course structure


This is a three year, full-time programme made up of 120 credits per year.


Year one will provide you with a solid grounding in core international relations theories and perspectives, and the historical development of the international system through the study of designated core modules. This platform will provide the theoretical and historical foundation for more advanced study of a rich range of international relations topics as you progress. 


Study in the second and third years will have a distinctly IR focus and you will be required to study a minimum of 100 credits in the discipline in each year. The volume and range of modules available means that you are able to retain an element of choice within that compulsory element and as such design and pursue a bespoke pathway that reflects their specific study interests.


The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/2023 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.


Year one
You will study 120 credits in your first year from a list of available Politics and International Relations modules.


Study skills support integrated within year one modules will help you cultivate the essential skills of academic study and independent research.


Year two
You will study modules amounting to 120 credits in year two.


You must select a minimum of 100 credits from a designated International Relations module collection. In addition, you may elect to study one additional 20 credit module from either the International Relations or Politics module collections.


A range of modules covering areas such as international security, international governance and international theory will be available. This arrangement means your programme has a distinct international relations focus, but you retain an element of choice and design that enables you to pursue a pathway that reflects your specific study interests.


Year three
You will study modules amounting to 120 credits in year three.


As in year two, you will select a minimum of 100 credits from designated International Relations modules and choose a further 20 credit module from either the International Relations or Politics module collection.


This means that the second and third years of your degree will be weighted towards International Relations modules, allowing you to focus your programme of study on topics such as global environmental politics, international security, digital technologies, war and peace, and postcolonial politics.


You will have the opportunity to write a dissertation which exposes you to the skills needed for research. The International Relations dissertation offers you the opportunity to engage in supervised but self-directed research. You will be able to choose a preferred area of focus and an appropriate supervisor will be appointed.


To maximise opportunity for success, selection of the dissertation module will normally demand achievement of a 2:1 overall in your year two assessment.

Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.


IELTS (academic)
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subskills.


At least 90 overall with a minimum of 22 for writing and 20 in all other subskills.


PTE Academic
At least 62 overall with a minimum of 69 in writing and a minimum of 62 in all other communicative skills.


Trinity ISE II/III
II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Fees for home status

  • £9,000    


Fees for overseas status

  • £18,700

In 2016/17, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.


Degrees in Politics and International Relations provide you with a foundation for a wide range of careers such as in non-governmental organisations, global development, international business, diplomacy and intelligence in government, journalism, and policy research, as well as a basis for more specialist subjects taught at postgraduate level.


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