BA (Hons)

Global Studies and International Relations

Globe on table
  • UCAS code(s): LL92
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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This course offers a unique insight into significant global issues and the ways in which societies react and cooperate to establish processes that shape our ever-changing world.

Course overview

If you want to understand the changing world in which we live and you’re concerned about pressing global crises then this is the perfect course for you.

The need for understanding how our world is connected, but also divided, has never been greater. Cultural and social crises are impacting on everyday experience, while work, leisure and identity can only be understood through the global structures that mediate them.

This course will help you develop a greater awareness of the complexity and connectedness of the processes that shape our worlds. You’ll study diplomatic relations, international communications, the inequalities between developed and developing countries, and examine international flows of people, texts, images and ideas at place in our interconnected world.

It’s a great opportunity to engage with the world as a global citizen, while gaining a qualification tailored to the international workplace.

Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section for more information.

What you'll study

There is a lot of flexibility in the structure of a Joint Honours degree, allowing you to tailor a package to your developing academic interests.

During your first year, you’ll study four core modules which provide a clear and exciting framework for your development at later stages.

In the second year you’ll study three core modules. You’ll also be able to select a number of optional modules based on your individual interests or spend the second half of the year on international exchange at one of our partner universities.

In the final year, you’ll undertake a dissertation on a topic of your choice and select four optional modules. You must select at least one module from each subject.

  • Year One

    Modules typically available on the first year of this course:

    Core modules

    Foundations and Challenges to Politics and International Relations

    This module introduces you to key political concepts and ideologies, which have underpinned the development of political and international relations theory. In addition, traditional approaches are contrasted with critical theoretical approaches to the study of international relations and to experiences of resistance and challenge to established orthodoxies and interests in global relations.

    International Relations and Global History

    This module introduces students to the argument that contemporary world politics can be understood in historical context, and that the appropriate idea of history for this purpose will draw on literatures, which discuss long-term trends and transformations. The literature draws on Braudel and work influenced by Braudel, as well as Little and Buzan's attempt to write 5,000 years of global history, drawing attention to mechanisms of change and continuity.

    Foundations in Global Studies

    This module introduces principle themes and concepts in Global Studies and the various disciplinary perspectives useful for examining global processes, relationships and experiences. While the focus of the module is on 'the global' particular emphasis is placed on the significance of local histories and geographies shaping the contexts through which different understandings and experiences of the global are produced.

    Issues in Intercultural Communication

    The study of Intercultural Communication is an integral part of Global Studies. The module addresses issues directly associated with the process of communication in inter-cultural, inter-group, and interpersonal contexts. The general theme of the module is to engage you in a discussion of the inter-relationship between culture, communication and intercultural communication, from an interdisciplinary perspective.

  • Year Two

    Modules typically available on the second year of this course:

    Core modules

    Researching Politics and International Relations

    This module will enable you to explore contrasting approaches to the study of Politics and International Relations, to develop your skills in formulating a viable research project as preparation for the final-year dissertation and to enable you to manipulate, present and interpret quantitative and qualitative data.

    Researching Global Experience

    In this module, you’ll learn a range of practical skills for carrying out research in a global context. The primary goal is to prepare you for your In-Country Study but the module also provides the skills needed for completing a dissertation in Global Studies.

    Humanities at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives.

    International Relations optional modules

    Understanding the Cold War

    This module will enable you to gain an understanding of the origins of the Cold War, its key events and features, such as the Korean War; the building of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and the factors behind the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War.

    Global Political Economy

    This module seeks to explore the development of GPE as an area of study in International Relations and apply its theories and methods to analyse contemporary aspects of the contemporary global system. In order to do this, we look at the historical development of GPE as a critical response to the orthodoxy of traditional IR.

    Change and World Order: International Institutions and Non-State Actors

    This module examines the nature of international order and considers how international institutions have contributed to its maintenance. It is based on the assumption that non-state actors are important actors in international relations. The institutions studied include the United Nations and the Specialised Agencies such as the ILO, WHO and UNESCO, regional organisations such as the European Union and ASEAN, and alliances (eg. NATO).

    Global Studies optional modules

    In-Country Study

    In Country Study (ICS) is an innovative module that encourages you to engage with issues of social and cultural change in your study site, either abroad or in the UK. You’ll learn to reflect critically on the ways in which these issues are both local and global, gain experience in conducting socio-cultural research in a locality, and communicate clearly the results of your research.

    Gender and Nation

    This module analyses the nexus of gender and nation as it plays a role in an increasingly globalised world. Despite, or maybe because of, globalisation, nationalism is increasing in many parts of the world, and the role of gender in the construction of these nationalisms will be under investigation here.

    Intercultural Communication in International Context

    In today’s complex world, we have to deal with the phenomenon of globalization. It prompts us to cross borders more frequently and communicate with people from diverse cultures and social groups, either in person or electronically. Managing cultural differences skilfully is thus a human and workplace imperative. This module focuses on understanding and researching culture and communication in a variety of social, business and professional contexts, it adopts a multidisciplinary and multinational perspective, with a special focus on western and non-western perspectives on human communication and interaction.

  • Year Three

    Modules typically available on the final year of this course:

    Core module

    Dissertation

    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a member of staff.

    International Relations optional modules

    The following modules are currently taught at the Clifton Campus.

    Emerging Powers of Asia 

    This module explores and analyses international relations within Asia, both in terms of individual member states and regional players, for instance ASEAN.  It will also explore the role that external actors have had in facilitating, hindering and modifying the development of specific forms of international relation.

    Russian Politics and Society

    This module follows on to an extent from Understanding the Cold War but focuses on Russia since the collapse of communism. It will enable you to analyse and evaluate the collapse of the USSR and the problems of Russia’s democratisation, especially the power of the presidency, the weakness of parliament and civil society, the manipulation of elections, and the war in Chechnya. We will also examine Russia’s economic transformation, the emergence of the so-called ‘oligarchs’, and the impact of these profound changes on the structure and health of Russian society.

    Currently, you can also choose from the following options which are offered at the City Campus. Please note that optional modules can change due to several factors and we retain the right to withdraw modules at any point.

    Power and Politics in the European Union

    This module aims to identify and critically examine the institutional character of the European Union and to identify and explore the political dynamics of the EU's policy processes. It will explore the principal configurations of national and supranational power in the EU polity and examine critically the debates about democracy, identity and citizenship in the EU.

    International Politics and Geostrategy of Eurasia

    This module aims to investigate the politics and geopolitics of Eurasia in context of both the historical and contemporary world. It seeks give an understanding of the political systems, geopolitics and relations between the countries stretching from the Balkans to Central Asia including Turkey and the Caucasus.

    Hyperpower Politics: The USA

    This module examines the politics and governmental context of the USA – a complex and changing western liberal democracy. It will illuminate and explore the cultural and institutional relationships, which influence the speed and direction of political change.

    The Politics of Everyday Life

    This module aims to develop a knowledge of the concept of politics in everyday life through an examination of competing analytical approaches to the study of politics in everyday life and a critical evaluation of these approaches. You’ll explore examples of politics in everyday life such as nature, consumption and work.

    States, Nationalism and Identity

    This module explores the increasingly complex question of identity in international relations. It asks how individuals and social groups develop a sense of who they are, how they relate to others, how this affects their sense of belonging to the state, nation or other collectivity, and the political significance of this sense of identity.

    Feminist Theory

    Feminist Theory will introduce some of the main branches of feminist thought and core themes in contemporary feminism. It will provide you with first-hand encounters with primary texts, the ability and skills to apply political theory to real life and the ability to understand and compare key a range of feminist theories.

    The International Relations of Middle East and North Africa

    This module explores the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) against the backdrop of the colonial and post-independence history of the region. You’ll analyse the bases of political and religious identities and the nature of nationalisms in the MENA region in order to develop an understanding of their implications for both state and non-state actors in the region and beyond.

    Political Violence and Terrorism

    This module is an opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and understanding of terrorism and political violence in a global context. It analyses the concept of ‘insecurity’ in a broad sense through exploring both the theoretical approaches to the study of violence, as well as a range of real world cases to illustrate the increasingly complex use of violence for political objectives.

    Global Studies optional modules

    Global Citizenship

    This module explores contemporary debates on citizenship as a central element in arguments about identity, globalisation, social justice, participation and inclusion/exclusion. You’ll engage critically with theories of citizenship and their intersections with gender, ethnicity and multiculturalism.

    Development in the 21st Century

    This module engages with debates about the causes and consequences of global inequality. We compare different explanations for persistent patterns of poverty, marginalisation and exclusion and evaluate what policy solutions different perspectives offer for resolving what continues to be a pressing global concern.

    Small Islands, Big Issues: Small Island Developing States in a Globalising World

    This module aims to address aspects of globalisation in relation to a group of communities that are geographically dispersed yet share many characteristics and are commonly impacted upon by evolving global structures and processes.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (50%) and written (50%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (83%) and written (17%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (24%), independent study (74%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (18%), independent study (82%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

98% of our international relations joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2016-17).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418