- Gain a solid grounding in international issues with the opportunity to specialise in a particular region or special subject – for example, transnational crime or globalisation
- You’ll learn how to analyse, interpret and evaluate world political events using a range of concepts, approaches and theories
- Enhance your degree by joining our active Politics Society, getting involved with Model EU and Model UN and taking part in student/staff co-organised events
- Our small class sizes allow you to actively discuss and debate your ideas and work closely with academic staff
- Our strong focus on career-related experience and skills will help you achieve your future career aspirations
14th in the UK for Politics
The Complete University Guide 2023
Top 100 for Politics in world subject rankings
QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
We are in the Top 10 in the UK for our world-leading Politics and International Studies research*
* Based on research rated 4* in REF 2021
Opportunities to study abroad
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|BTEC||DDD||Dependent on subjects chosen|
|GCSE||C or 4||English Language|
|Access to HE||30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade||N/A|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
|English language requirements||
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply
The BA (Hons) International Relations 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.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
UCAS code: L251
Our four-year ‘with Study Abroad’ degree, offers you the possibility of spending your third year abroad, studying with one of our many partner universities.
Why Study Abroad?
Living and studying in a different country is an exciting experience that broadens your academic and cultural horizons, as well as giving you the opportunity to widen your circle of friends. Students who have studied abroad demonstrate initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where they stay, may also have gained a working knowledge of another language – all key qualities that employers are looking for in today’s competitive employment environment.
Where can I Study Abroad?
We have partnership arrangements with many prestigious institutions across the globe. Exactly where you can apply to study will depend on the subjects you are studying at Exeter. For a full list please visit the Study Abroad website.
Does it count towards my degree?
Credit for academic work during your year abroad is arranged by agreement between the University of Exeter and the host institution. These marks are then translated back into your degree at Exeter. If you are Studying Abroad for a semester or full year, your time abroad will count toward your final degree. Please refer to your College Study Abroad co-ordinator for further details.
How does it affect my tuition fee and funding?
For the year that you spend studying abroad you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter, but nothing to your host university – for more information visit our fees pages. You will continue to receive a maintenance loan if you are eligible for this whilst on your Study Abroad year.
UCAS code: L257
Our four-year ‘with Employment Experience’ degree, offers you the possibility of spending your third year carrying out a graduate-level work placement or placements within the UK as part of your degree.
Why choose to include Employment Experience?
Undertaking graduate-level work during your degree unlocks a world of experience that allows you to develop essential employability and interpersonal skills that relate to your degree and future career. A work placement will dramatically boost your confidence, enhance your CV and develop graduate level skills and competencies that employers are looking for.
Where will I do my work placement?
The sector you choose to work within is very much your choice as you will be responsible for finding and organising your placement. We will provide plenty of guidance and support during your first and second years which will prepare you to research and apply for placements. Ultimately, the university will give final approval to your placement to make sure you have a valuable experience.
How does it affect my tuition fees and funding?
For your ‘Year In Industry’ you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter – for more information visit our fees pages. If you were previously eligible, you will continue to receive a maintenance loan whilst on your year of work placement/s.
Find out more
Visit our website to learn more about employment experience opportunities.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £21,500 per year
The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us in 2023 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
We use a wide range of teaching methods as well as encouraging independent study with an increasing emphasis on seminar discussion and project work in your second and third years
- Project and group work
- Independent study
You will also have access to personal and subject tutors who will give you the individual help and guidance you need to succeed.
How will I be assessed?
We use a range of assessment methods including many designed to reflect the skills required by employers:
- Individual and small group presentations
- Dissertation in your final year
You must pass your first year modules in order to proceed but your performance at this level does not count towards your final degree classification.
ExeTalks are a chance to discover some of the fascinating research undertaken at the University of Exeter delivered by the academics who teach on our programmes.
As a Politics and International Relations graduate you will have an understanding of complex political and cultural issues, often in changing environments which will be valued by employers in both the public and private sectors. Alongside this you will gain a range of academic and professional skills including:
- Analytical, critical and independent thinking
- Independent research
- Discussion and group work
- Written and verbal communication
- Articulating ideas and arguments
- Organising, planning and time management
- Assertiveness and enterprise
- Commercial awareness
- Communication and leadership
Exeter Award and Exeter Leaders Award
Many of our students participate in the Exeter Award and Exeter Leaders Award. These schemes encourage you to participate in employability related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.
The University has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Below are a few examples of the positions or organisations our graduates have gone onto*:
(* This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 14/15, 15/16, and 16/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.)
- Management consultant
- Parliamentary Caseworker and Researcher
- Civil Servant
- Film Production Coordinator
- Officer Cadet
- Trainee Insurance Broker
- Investment Assistant
- Estate Agent
- Communications Officer
- National Health Service
- Barclays PLC
- Ogilvy and Mather
- Treehouse PR Ltd
- Easton Aerospace
- Orchards of London
- Arcadia Group
Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation. Below are a few examples of further study undertaken by recent graduates of undergraduate programmes. Please note that, due to data protection the subjects of study and institutions are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.
- MA Crisis Management
- MSc Public Policy
- MA EU Politics
- MA Globalisation and Communications
- MA International Relations in the Middle East
- MA Public Policy and Administration
- University of Leicester
- University of Exeter
- Kings College London
- University of Bristol
Developing your skills and career prospects
We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. You will be able to access a range of specific activities such as careers skills sessions and employer-led events, or seek bespoke advice and support from Employability Officers.
The Career Zone also organises a busy schedule of activities including careers fairs, skills workshops, and training events, and can advise on graduate opportunities and volunteering.