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International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Help end conflict and bring about peace. This undergraduate degree teaches you about conflict issues including diplomacy, humanitarian crises and conflict resolution. Through hands-on training and region-specific work, you’ll have all the tools you need to follow in the footsteps of our graduates who now work for the Department for International Development, the United Nations and a range of other governmental and non-governmental organisations. You will have the opportunity to apply for a place on the Hiroshima and Peace summer school at Hiroshima City University, Japan. In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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Do you want to focus on the European Union or the Middle East? How about African or Latin American politics? This undergraduate course lets you tailor your learning to the areas that interest you most, and includes the option to learn a language for more effective communication on the world stage.

Practical simulations and role-play scenarios develop your conflict resolution skills. International organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières and the UN aren’t just studied academically, you’ll meet active peace workers and practitioners in peace building both inside and outside the classroom.

Course leader Steven Curtis, previously voted Overall Best Teacher in the student-led Teaching Awards, teaches you alongside award-winning staff with experience as international commercial negotiators, company directors and chairs of leading research committees. Combined with a dedicated employability officer, this team ensures you have the support you need to start a peacekeeping career.

Travel beyond London to develop your international relations experience. There are a wide selection of study abroad opportunities and you will have the opportunity to apply to join the Hiroshima and Peace summer school at Hiroshima City University.

The world needs international peace makers. With London Met’s emphasis on practical experience, language skills and specialist teaching, we'll equip you to make a difference across the globe.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through practically-oriented assignments including reports, presentations, briefing papers, case studies, essays, examinations, individual and group research projects and portfolios comprising blog entries and other forms of reflective writing. This variety gives you the skills to present yourself in the best possible way when working in international organisations.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum grade C in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic or business subjects (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

These requirements may be varied in individual cases.

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or who have appropriate work experience.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

It may be possible to enter the course at levels 2/3 if you have a relevant Foundation Degree, HND or equivalent

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module provides a broad introduction to International Development studies in tandem with International Relations and other Politics and IR courses. It presents the underlying theories and places these against contemporary globalisation processes and draws on the history of today’s political systems of developing and emerging states in Latin America, Africa, Asia, etc., including the impact of colonisation and the integration of the Third world into the global economy. Special consideration is given to the evolution of capitalism and the social transformations and struggles evident in the Global South, and from a comparative perspective. Issues include the roles of the international institutions, paths of developmental states, political cultures, religion, gender relations and the environment in today’s interconnected world.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Thursday afternoon

    The aim of this module is to introduce students to the study of International Relations as an academic discipline. It identifies the key actors in international relations and examines how these have changed or been threatened by the forces of globalisation. It also considers the historical context of international relations in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries and demonstrates the challenges that globalisation poses to the structures and processes of world politics. In particular, students will explore issues as diverse as the development of the Westphalian system, North-South tensions, the international political economy, theoretical approaches to international relations, and international security dilemmas, such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, the clash of cultures, poverty, human rights, the role of gender, and the environment. At the end of the module students should be able to make informed judgements about current international affairs – and future developments.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    This module examines the sources and changing nature of conflicts since 1945, at the global, regional and sub-national levels, and the attempts to resolve them through negotiation, mediation and economic and political integration. It introduces students to the main concepts in diplomatic and peace and conflict studies and provides them with a grounding in the evolving nature of conflicts since the end of World War II as well as the comparative analysis of those conflicts.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Tuesday morning

    This module has two broad purposes. Firstly, it gives students an introduction to the main ideas underlying the study of politics. What are the dominant ideologies that have shaped politics and what are their principal contentions. Secondly, it will explore and systematically compare the principal characteristics of government.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    One of the main objectives of the discipline of International Relations is to explain the behaviour of states in the international system. The main goal of this module, therefore, is to better understand the practice of foreign policy through the use of theory. The emphasis is conceptual – and the focus is on interdisciplinary theories of human and state behaviour applied to the study of foreign policy. The Module explores the theoretical core of International Relations and it outlines the different perspectives which can be used to understand the dynamics of the international system and the manner in whcih states orientate their foreign policy decisions.

    In examining the historical development of these different theoretical approaches students will be faced with complex questions about key concepts in the study of International Relations and state behaviour. This module encourages students to question the nature of the relations between states, the domestic / international divide and the relationships between theory and practice.

    The discipline of International Relations has come under criticism for its traditional focus on power and conflict, and this module investigates both the “orthodox” theories and the “new approaches” with a view to establishing the relevance of theory in the arena of contemporary foreign policy making.

    In addition to this the module recognises that students often have difficulty in distinguishing between methods to social enquiry and theories of IR and foreign policy. Consequently, one of the goals will be to encourage students to reflect on the important distinctions between methodology and theory.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2002/GI2013

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module examines theories of peace and conflict, and explores the key debates and works of the leading authors on these subjects. It relates these theories to the dynamics of conflict in the contemporary world, with an emphasis on institutions and organisations working for peace and environmental protection. It analyses the objectives and methods of particular organisations, focusing on their policies, practices and theoretical approaches. The module also provides an introduction to the core practical skills considered essential for anyone working in the fields of conflict prevention, mediation, crisis management, peacebuilding or protecting the environment, as well as the dilemmas they frequently face.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module enables students to undertake a short period of career-related learning activity as part of their degree programme and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity may be for example current or previous employment activity, a placement, professional training, volunteering activity in the not-for-profit sector or elsewhere, or where available, within a virtual business environment or elsewhere within the University.

    It is expected that the student should work/train or volunteer for 70 hours, for which they will be required to provide evidence. The 70 hours can be completed in 10 working days in a full-time or part-time mode during a vacation (where available), or spread over up to a semester in a part-time mode.

    Additionally, learners may be able to utilise their existing or previous part-time/vacation employment, training or volunteering activity experience providing they can demonstrate that it is or has been personally developmental and involves a level of responsibility (decided upon submission of the role details by the Module Leader).

    The career related learning activity should enable the student to build on previous experiences and learning gained within their degree course and elsewhere. It should provide learning opportunities for personal development. The student is encouraged and supported in developing the ability to identify applied knowledge and skills that enhance their potential career performance, ensure their continued improvement and apply theory to practice as appropriate. The learner should develop improved understanding of themselves, and the workplace through reflective and reflexive learning.

    • Students will be contacted soon after they register for the module (e.g. June for those registered for the forthcoming academic year) to ensure they understand the requirements and are able to find suitable activity.
    • The career related activity needs to be approved by the module team before they start the role. The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed on an individual basis.
    • Where required, students will be supported in finding suitable opportunities and with all aspects of their activity search and applications. The Careers and Employability Team will work with Faculty teams to provide this support. However, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain suitable employment/training or volunteering career related learning activity, and roles cannot be guaranteed.
    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module explores the practice of modern diplomacy. The first half of the module explores the historical emergence and evolution of diplomacy and the classic texts of diplomatic theory, before going on to concentrate on the roles and functions of traditional diplomatic institutions, systems and processes, such as embassies, foreign ministries, diplomatic services and international organisations.

    The second half of the module explores the main challenges posed to diplomatic practice by global change in recent decades: the rise of inclusive multilateral diplomacy in the UN and other fora; the increasing importance of non-state actors in contemporary diplomacy; the impact of faster air travel enabling leaders to conduct their own diplomacy; the revolution in information and communications technology; and innovations in diplomatic institutions (such as the emergence of the European External Action Service).

    A key theme running through the whole module is the evolving nature of international negotiation, which will be illustrated through detailed case studies of environmental, security and trade diplomacy.

    This is a highly practical module. Students will have opportunities to develop their ability to blog and use Twitter, engage in simulated negotiations and interact with practitioners through visits to embassies and other institutions and/or practitioner classes.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module will critically examine the democratic role of the mass media, audio-visual and communications services in contemporary national political environments.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2042/GI3027

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    This module explores the changing nature of relationships within and among societies both in the ‘North’ and the ‘global south’ from a multidisciplinary perspective. It focuses on contemporary approaches to global and grass-root movements and their strategy-trends in a variety of cultural and political contexts. Case studies of social movements, their development, expression and impact will form the basis for analysis. Themes include indigenous rights, gender and democracy, food sovereignty, international migration and economic power.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    In the first decade of the 21st century, the affairs of the Middle East continue to engage a great deal of international attention. Focusing primarily on the Arab Middle East, Israel and the Gulf region, the module concentrates on the internal dynamics of this strategic region, and the external forces affecting it. Students will be expected to analyse how the states of the region relate to each other, and comprehend how political change has been shaped by the interaction between nationalist, religious and political forces.

    The module will explore in detail the evolution of societies and polities in the contemporary Middle East. Taking both a theoretical and empirical approach it offers an opportunity to examine some of the different ways in which politics operates in this part of the world.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2041C

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module will examine how the nature of power in international relations has changed since the ending of the Cold War. The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s was argued by many to be a triumph of the West’s military and industrial might, ushering in what Francis Fukuyama described as the ‘end of history’ – the triumph of western liberal democratic ideas. However, events since then, not least the attacks of 9/11 and the economic collapse of 2008, have highlighted new threats that exist, the increasing role of non-state actors, and the rise of competing economic powers. Using the framework first put forward by Joseph Nye of “soft”, “hard” and now “smart power”, this module will examine how international politics is changing and how the nature of power - defined as the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes you want - has changed dramatically. It will show that power is not static, but that it may now be more complex in nature, as innovation, technologies and relationships change.

    This theoretical approach will then be applied to consider how power may be shifting in the 21st Century from the West to the East, or the so-called “Rest”. This will involve a regional analysis, examining how and why some states are rising in global prominence, e.g. China, Brazil, India, and South Africa, and why the West may (or may not) be in decline (incorporating European and American specialisms). This will allow for a consideration of the growing role of underdeveloped and developing countries and the challenges they face in the current distribution of power, particularly within the turbulent international political economy and the global transformations that are occurring.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module examines both the theory and practice of strategy. Combining an historical and contemporary approach, it explores how strategy has moved beyond the traditional approach, which concentrated on wars and military campaigns, to focus on a broader definition, embracing such developments as political strategy (for example, election or civil disobedience strategies).

    As well as studying key texts on strategy, such as Sun-tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, and the more recent work of writers such as Lawrence Freedman, a prominent part of the module throughout will involve examining significant case studies. This will encourage students to think as both theorists and practitioners.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module will examine the historical origins, political dynamics and policy output of the European Union. It focuses on the reasons for the EU’s establishment, the nature of its politics and its principal policy activities.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module examines a range of approaches to the cessation of contemporary conflicts and the creation of peaceful, productive conditions for interethnic and international cooperation, using case studies as a basis for discussion and analysis. It explores both the theory and practice of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, including liberal and critical approaches. Students will have the opportunity to develop their skills of independent research through an analysis of a case study of a contemporary conflict and efforts to achieve its resolution.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This core module offers students the opportunity to undertake a work placement for an employer that has a PIR role, enabling students directly to experience and observe operational practicalities of institutions that they have studied from an academic/theoretical perspective. In the process students will enhance their future employability. Students produce a report on their placement; design a research proposal on a topic related to the employer’s role; undertake the relevant research; and write up the findings in dissertation form.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) afternoon

    This core module offers students the opportunity to undertake a work placement for an employer that has a PIR role, enabling students directly to experience and observe operational practicalities of institutions that they have studied from an academic/theoretical perspective. In the process students will enhance their future employability. Students produce a report on their placement; design a research proposal on a topic related to the employer’s role; undertake the relevant research; and write up the findings in dissertation form.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module enables students to undertake a short period of career-related learning activity as part of their degree programme and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity may be for example current or previous employment activity, a placement, professional training, volunteering activity in the not-for-profit sector or elsewhere, or where available, within a virtual business environment or elsewhere within the University.

    It is expected that the student should work/train or volunteer for 70 hours, for which they will be required to provide evidence. The 70 hours can be completed in 10 working days in a full-time or part-time mode during a vacation (where available), or spread over up to a semester in a part-time mode.

    Additionally, learners may be able to utilise their existing or previous part-time/vacation employment, training or volunteering activity experience providing they can demonstrate that it is or has been personally developmental and involves a level of responsibility (decided upon submission of the role details by the Module Leader).

    The career related learning activity should enable the student to build on previous experiences and learning gained within their degree course and elsewhere. It should provide learning opportunities for personal development. The student is encouraged and supported in developing the ability to identify applied knowledge and skills that enhance their potential career performance, ensure their continued improvement and apply theory to practice as appropriate. The learner should develop improved understanding of themselves, and the workplace through reflective and reflexive learning.

    • Students will be contacted soon after they register for the module (e.g. June for those registered for the forthcoming academic year) to ensure they understand the requirements and are able to find suitable activity.
    • The career related activity needs to be approved by the module team before they start the role. The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed on an individual basis.
    • Where required, students will be supported in finding suitable opportunities and with all aspects of their activity search and applications. The Careers and Employability Team will work with Faculty teams to provide this support. However, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain suitable employment/training or volunteering career related learning activity, and roles cannot be guaranteed.
    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • spring semester afternoon

    For this module students must design a research project relevant to their PIR degree programme, undertake the relevant research and write up the findings in a dissertation. They also write a report on the research process.

    Research Skills and Employability will be an on-going theme throughout the module.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) afternoon

    For this module students must design a research project relevant to their PIR degree programme, undertake the relevant research and write up the findings in a dissertation. They also write a report on the research process.
    Research Skills and Employability will be an on-going theme throughout the module.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    A politics grounded in interests other than the traditional geographic and class concern is increasingly prevalent, with sex/gender playing a growing role in political identity. On the one hand, women’s political participation has become an important issue internationally with increasing numbers of women elected to positions of leadership and heading governmental and non-governmental organisations. On the other hand, gendered issues and issues of gender have become increasingly political. Overtly: state intervention in reproduction and control of marriage and divorce as well as equality of treatment by and within state institutions continue to be of concern; covertly: conservative, xenophobic and neo-liberal austerity policies have gendered implications as traditional roles for men and women are re-asserted or assumed.
    This module covers both theoretical and empirical approaches. It starts by considering the background to the enfranchisement of women and theories of equality and rights; moves on to investigate political practices including elections, representation, policy-making and women’s movements; followed by in-depth discussion of particular issues including the feminisation of poverty, gender and democratisation; women and security, and gendered violence.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module looks at the alleged ‘crisis’ in contemporary Africa, focusing on problems of economic, social and political development. This module aims to challenge assumptions about the problems of contemporary Africa by examining these problems in detail and by looking at Africa’s place in the world.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module will provide a historical and critical introduction to ideas and institutions of human rights and will evaluate their relationship with state sovereignty and international conflict.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module offers an examination of some of the principal challenges of Latin American societies and states today. Case studies illustrate aspects relative to national ‘arrangements’ (leadership, political institutions, political participation, political identities and economic and social integration), these in the presence of the US and the increasing importance of regional and extra-regional relations as well as global concerns for the environment, migration, poverty, indigenous and gender relations.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This cutting-edge module explores one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding fields of contemporary diplomatic studies and an area which has seen a wide variety of innovations in state practice in recent years. As public opinion has come to be seen as increasingly influential and important in world politics, states and other international actors have rediscovered public and cultural diplomacy, a form of diplomatic practice in which states engage with publics both abroad and at home. Due to changes in global communications, this form of diplomacy is undergoing rapid change, which makes it especially interesting and important.
    The module examines the changing nature of public and cultural diplomacy in the context of the evolution of global political communications. It explores the nature of international political communication, evaluating key concepts such as propaganda, place branding and strategic communications, and examines the role of culture in world politics more broadly, including media such as film and the internet, as well as key actors such as celebrity diplomats. It explores competing definitions and interpretations of public and cultural diplomacy, along with how their practice has changed in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 modules include:

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945
  • Introduction to International Development
  • Politics and Government

Year 2 modules include:

  • Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice
  • Approaches to International Relations and Foreign Policy
  • Earth Democracy
  • Diplomacy Old and New
  • Shifting Global Power
  • a choice of regional specialisms, including the European Union, the Middle East and the United States of America

Year 3 modules include:

  • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
  • International Security in an Era of Globalisation
  • International Aid and Development
  • Public Diplomacy and Global Communication
  • a choice of specialist areas of study, including African Politics, Chinese and Asian Politics and Development, Human Rights and Social Justice, and Modern British Politics Work Placement or a Research Project

“This was a unique opportunity for me to build a new career within international development. I have learnt a lot and built much self confidence during these three years. The support I received from my international development tutor was outstanding.”
National Student Survey

“The teaching is top quality and they help you develop the skills needed. Personally, my confidence has grown greatly and will be of great help to me in life. I loved it.”
National Student Survey

Pursue the career of your dreams and follow in the footsteps of our previous graduates who have earned roles with the United Nations, the Department for International Development and other government bodies and non-governmental organisations. The type of work you could be doing includes international mediation, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and more.

The degree is also excellent preparation for further study or research. You can embark on our postgraduate courses in international relations, human rights and international conflict, security studies and more.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

Applying for September 2017

UK/EU students wishing to begin this course studying full-time in September 2017 should apply by calling the Clearing hotline on .

Applicants from outside the EU should refer to our guidance for international students during Clearing.

Part-time applicants should apply direct to the University online.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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