Politics and International Relations

About politics

In today’s environment of rapid global, technological and cultural transformations, politics is one of the most relevant and exciting programmes of study. Studying at the University of Exeter takes you to the heart of issues where you’ll explore the political, historical, institutional, social, economic and cultural forces that mediate the exercise of power within and between nations. Whether thinking about issues such as the environment, security, elections, popular protest, history of political thought or party politics, the discipline of politics has a high degree of relevance, and its study is applicable in a range of careers.

Approach to teaching

Our teaching is research led and all our third year options are specialist tutorial-based modules reflecting the research strengths of the academic course leader. Research interests include foreign policy, British, Middle East, Central Asian, Latin American and European politics, public policy and administration, climate change and sustainability, campaigns and elections, and political theory. Our academic staff come from around the world and, in addition to their excellent research credentials, bring experience of working with a broad range of international governments, NGOs and other organisations.

We offer an exciting range of Single and Combined Honours degrees at the Streatham Campus in Exeter and Penryn Campus in Cornwall, enabling you to study the major sub-fields of politics. Our students receive strong tutorial, produce impressive degree results and experience good post-graduation employment rates.

At the Streatham Campus, you can study politics or international Relations as a Single Honours. You may also choose to combine these subjects within our BSc which has a strong focus on the types of research and analytical skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers. This degree is offered through the prestigious Q-Step programme (funded by HEFCE, Nuffield and the ESRC) and includes bursaries for work experience and the chance to qualify with a Master of Politics and International Relations. We also offer the classic combination of politics, philosophy and economics, along with opportunities to combine politics with a wide variety of other disciplines.

You’ll have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of options throughout your degree. These range across time and space from, for example, the study of politics in Britain today, the ideals of democracy in ancient Greece, war and peace in the Middle East since the British Mandate, contemporary governance in the EU and America, the role of the media in contemporary politics and the politics of resistance and human rights in a globalised world.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in our Internship at Westminster scheme which offers vacation placements working alongside a Member of Parliament. We regularly host internationally renowned visiting speakers for departmental seminars and you will be able to join the Politics Society, which organises regular social events

At Cornwall, the content of our undergraduate programmes in politics is influenced by our research interests which are nationally and internationally recognised and positioned at the forefront of academic debate. Our Single Honours programme combines Politics and International Relations and integrates fieldwork (including a trip to the USA) and career-related skills to provide you with a well rounded experience to support your future career aspirations.

We have particular research strengths in international relations, Chinese politics, American politics, political theory, political behaviour, political psychology and in environmental politics and sustainability. We regularly host internationally renowned visiting speakers for departmental seminars and you will be able to join the Politics Society in Cornwall, which organises regular social events and an annual trip abroad to a location with an interesting political history.

Our Penryn Campus, and the Politics department in particular, offers a welcoming atmosphere where it’s easy to make new friends and where staff and students know each other well. The stunning campus buildings offer the very best in learning and teaching facilities, with lecture theatres and seminar rooms equipped with the latest technologies. The campus is shared with University College Falmouth which creates a vibrant mixture of students from science, engineering, humanities and arts backgrounds, both on campus and in the local area.