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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. Three students will also have the opportunity to attend Hiroshima City University's Hiroshima and Peace summer school in Japan.

In the most recent (2014-15) 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, Chinese and Asian 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. Our agreement with Hiroshima City University means you could be one of three students flying to Japan for the Hiroshima and Peace summer school. You’re also encouraged to undertake a work placement, giving your CV the skills to impress future employers.

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:

  • for entry in the 2016-17 academic year: at least 280 points, including at least two A levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification eg Advanced Diploma
  • for entry in the 2017-18 academic year: 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 2016/17 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
    • all year (January start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module provides a broad introduction to International Development studies. It presents the underlying theories and places these against contemporary globalisation processes; it draws on the history of today’s political systems of Latin America, Africa, Asia, etc., including the impact of colonisation and the integration of the Third world into the global economy and focuses on social transformations and struggles evident since independence, to date, 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 ‘developing’ world.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI1027/GI1001/GI1005

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

    Please note: This module supersedes GI1022/GI1023

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

    This module examines the sources and changing nature of conflicts since 1945, at the global, regional and subnational 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.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI1028/GI1015

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

    This module gives students an introduction to the main ideas underlying the study of politics, and to the study of government with reference to case studies including the United Kingdom.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI1011/GI1004

    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, including violence towards nature. It 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 insitutions and organisations working for peace and environmental protection. It analyses the objectives and methods of particular organisations, with an emphasis 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.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI1020/GI2E70

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

    This module is designed to acquaint students with the constitutional, institutional, and political frameworks within which contemporary foreign policies of the United States are formulated and executed. We will endeavour to understand the American foreign policy process by studying the U.S. role in several international issue areas. The module will familiarise you with the role that global issues play in contemporary American foreign policy, in so doing illustrating the complexities and difficulties faced by U.S. decision makers as they formulate and implement foreign policy.

    The module begins with a survey of the American foreign policy process. Topics that we will examine include international political forces, the Constitution, the Presidency and Congress, democracy, bureaucracy, national security, interest groups, public opinion and the media. Subsequent sections of the module examine the role of power and force in today’s world; the challenges to American power from economic globalisation, and the role the United States has and will play in the process of globalisation; human rights and the role of moral principles in American foreign policy; the debate surrounding multilateral and unilateral foreign policies; and, finally, the future of American foreign policy in the 21st century.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2001C

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

    This module explores the practice of modern diplomacy. It comprises three sections: a short opening section examining approaches to the study of diplomacy, the historical emergence and evolution of diplomacy and the classic texts of diplomatic theory; the second section investigates the roles and functions of traditional diplomatic institutions, systems and processes, such as embassies, foreign ministries and diplomatic services; while the final section surveys the challenges posed to diplomatic practice by global change in recent decades, such as the rise of inclusive multilateral diplomacy in the UN and elsewhere, the rising importance of non-state actors, and the impact of the revolution in information and communications technology and rapid air travel. A key theme running through the module is the changing nature of international negotiation, which will be illustrated through detailed case studies of environmental, security, trade and development diplomacy.

    This is a highly practical module. Students will gain experience of the nature of contemporary diplomacy through visits to embassies, guest lectures by serving or former diplomats and other practitioners, and role-play exercises and simulations.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2071

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

    This module explores the changing nature of relationships within and among societies and in the ‘global south’ from a multidisciplinary perspective. It focuses on contemporary approaches to ethical and sustainable development and global and grass-root strategy trends in a variety of cultural and political contexts, including radical critiques of mainstream development studies. Themes include indigenous rights, women and democracy, food and power.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2075/GI2073

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  • 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:
    • 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:
    • all year (September start) - 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 - had 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 on the current distribution of power, particularly within the turbulent international political economy and the global transformations that are occurring.
    It will, therefore, be a core module for International Development and International Relations students.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2017/GI2045

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn 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 activities.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI2011/GI2072

    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 wars and 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 peace building, including both 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.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3023

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

    Since the late 1980s, the implications of globalisation – economic, cultural, political, and technological – have become central to our understanding of international relations. The end of the Cold War initially brought widespread hopes for (1) enhanced international co-operation between both state and non-state actors, as well as (2) fresh commitment to strengthening the role of international organisations, especially the United Nations. These developments would, it was hoped, facilitate attempts to address a range of what were widely perceived to be issues with global relevance, including: economic and social injustices, armed conflicts, international terrorism, an increasing world population, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.

    The rise of these new, often non-military issues, has challenged existing concepts of international security, and highlighted how this and the multifaceted processes of globalisation are interlinked.
    Clearly, assessment of so broad and abstract a collection of concepts is a difficult task. Nevertheless, to investigate the possibility that contemporary globalisation refers to qualitatively different global processes and relationships that have not existed before, the module examines factors which might constitute a new phase in International Relations and, by implication, International Security. There are clearly many problems facing the world community that must be solved by a means of a different set of policies, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are now all a function of security and therefore cannot be ignored.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3017/GI3019

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

    This alternate core module offers students the opportunity to undertake a work placement for an employer that has a Governance and International Relations 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 reflective learning log on their work 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.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3W75

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

    This alternate core module offers students the opportunity to undertake a work placement for an employer that has a Governance and International Relations role, enabling students directly toexperience 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 reflective learning log 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.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3W76

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

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

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3P77

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

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

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3P30/GI3P78

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

    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.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3051

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

    This module explores the philosophy, history and political practice of social justice and of international human rights.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3047

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

    Issues such as corruption, extreme poverty, gender inequality, and economic instability have long been on the agenda of international organisations, yet implementing practical solutions to these problems is often complex and fraught with difficulty. This module uses case studies of policy interventions in these and other areas to critically examine the role of key international agencies such as the World Bank, INGO’s and multilateral donors engaged in reform projects in developing societies. The core issue that the module considers is ‘Does aid work?’

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3036/GI3062

    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 and global concerns for the environment, migration, poverty 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 decades. 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.

    This is a practically-oriented module. Students will gain experience of the nature of contemporary public diplomacy and international political communication through visits to embassies, guest lectures by serving or former public diplomats, and role-play exercises and simulations.

    Please note: This module supersedes GI3079/GI3015

    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

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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