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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Study Abroad

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Study Abroad Programme codeUFS4HPSHPS04
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This exciting and distinctive programme combines the study of politics and international relations with rigorous training in research design and statistical data analysis.  BSc Politics and International Relations offers the opportunity to examine key questions in the field of politics and international relations, while also gaining data analysis skills that are increasingly in demand from employers in the UK and abroad.  Students will study how government is constituted and how politics takes place on a global scale.  They will explore the foundations of the study of politics in terms of its objects of analysis, the nature of political knowledge and the design of political research.  Students will examine the various forms of politics through history and in thought.  They will interrogate the questions of the political including the various forms of government, the nature of public policy and administration, of war and peace, and of resource scarcity and distribution.  They will address these questions via traditional lectures and tutorials as well as innovative group work, simulations and technical training.  Students will take modules of study that introduce to them to these big questions under the guidance of leading scholars in their fields.  From their second year they will undertake introductory modules in research design and quantitative methods. By their second and third years they will focus on the specific manifestations of these questions by taking optional modules on the global governance, forms of democracy, party politics, electoral political, political parties, security, development and conflict.  In their third year students will undertake a compulsory research project.  This is a work of guided research – as an individual or in a group – which draws on their training in research design and methods as well as their increased understanding of the important debates of politics. This programme offers the option of progressing to a fourth year of study in order to attain a Masters of Politics and International Relations. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

BSc Politics and International Relations offers the chance to combine political studies with training in the methods and techniques of political research.  Students will study how government is constituted and how politics takes place on a global scale.  They will explore the foundations of the study of politics in terms of its objects of analysis, the nature of political knowledge and the design of political research.  Students will examine the various forms of politics through history and in thought.  They will interrogate the questions of the political including the various forms of government, the nature of public policy and administration, of war and peace, and of resource scarcity and distribution.  They will address these questions via traditional lectures and tutorials as well as innovative group work, simulations and technical training.  Students will take modules of study that introduce to them to these big questions under the guidance of leading scholars in their fields.  From their second year they will undertake introductory modules in research design and quantitative methods. By their second and third years they will focus on the specific manifestations of these questions by taking optional modules on the global governance, forms of democracy, party politics, electoral political, political parties, security, development and conflict.  In their third year students will undertake a compulsory research project.  This is a work of guided research – as an individual or in a group – which draws on their training in research design and methods as well as their increased understanding of the important debates of politics. This programme offers the option of progressing to a fourth year of study in order to attain a Masters of Politics and International Relations.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

The BSc Politics and International Relations with study abroad degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can also take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Stage 1


Core modules provide a foundation in political science and international relations. You’ll learn about key moments in the historical development of the international political system and learn about some of the most pressing issues in world politics. You’ll gain an understanding of the key concepts and theories used within the discipline and be able to choose from a wide variety of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
POL1019 Power and Democracy 15No
POL1017 Globalisation of World Politics 15No
SSI1006 Data Analysis in Social Science 1 15Yes
SSI1005 Introduction to Social Data 15Yes

Optional Modules

In addition, students take 60 credits from Level 1 of the Politics and International Relations programme. 

View option modules here.

 Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability.

Stage 2


You’ll undertake introductory modules in research design and quantitative methods. You’ll be able to focus on the specific manifestations of these questions by taking optional modules on topics such as global governance, forms of democracy, party politics, electoral politics, political parties, security, development and conflict.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SSI2004 Research Design in the Social Sciences 15Yes
SSI2005 Data Analysis in Social Science 2 15Yes

Optional Modules

Students must also take 90 credits from modules at Level 2 of the Politics and International Relations programme. 

View option modules here.

 Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability.

Stage 3


Students will spend the 3rd year of their studies in a partner University on an Erasmus/Socrates exchange or other approved programme of study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits and assessment is based on the credits gained at the partner institution abroad.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SSI3999 Year Abroad 120No

Stage 4


In the fourth year you will undertake a compulsory research project. This will entail guided research – as an individual or in a group – drawing on your training in research design and methods as well as your increased understanding of the important debates within politics. You’ll also be able to tailor your degree to your own interests by choosing from a long list of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SSI3019 Quantitative Dissertation 30Yes

Optional Modules

Students must select a 90 credits from Level 3 of the Politics and International Relations programme.

View option modules here.

 Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability.


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Employ quantitative analysis of political data
2. Apply concepts and theories used in the scientific study of politics to the analysis of political institutions and behaviour.
3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different politics systems operating at the national, European and international level.
4. Evaluate competing perspectives and research findings about political issues and events.

1 and 4 are developed across all programme stages moving from broad areas of politics in stage 1 to progressively core specialised aspects at stages 3 and 4. 

 

2 and 3 are present in some form in all Politics modules. Development of 2 is ensured through the requirement of the students to take two theory modules in stage 1 and at least one theory module in stages 1 and 2.

 

3 is also ensured through directed module choice embedded in programme pathways at stages 1 and 2.

These skills are summatively assessed through a combination of term-time essays, presentations and examinations. The combination of and length of essays, presentations and exams will vary from one module to the next according to credit value in conformity with College Assessment Norms.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
6. Construct reasoned argument, synthesize relevant information, and critically analyse subject material.
7. Manage your own learning self-critically.

These skills are developed throughout the degree programme with progression in stages 1 and 2 as students move from stage to stage. 

 

7 is developed through self assessment of assignments, staff feedback on formative assignments and student self appraisal.

5 and 6 are assessed through term-time essays, oral presentations and examinations.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing;
9. Use information and communication technology (ICT) for the retrieval and presentation of information;
10. Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organization and time-management.

8 is developed through presentations, class discussions and written assignments. 

 

9 and 10 are developed through presentations and written assignments.

8 and 10 are assessed through presentations, written assignments, and examinations. 

 

9 is assessed through written assignments that require ICT for the retrieval and presentation of information.

7. Programme Regulations

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students’ learning.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Study Abroad

19. UCAS Code

L293

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits

480

ECTS credits

240

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Politics and international relations

23. Dates

Origin Date Date of last revision