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International Relations with Arabic - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

This topical degree course allows you to specialise in two disciplines, providing you with a greater career choice and a range of highly transferable skills. Working with academics who are specialists in their field, you’ll examine the issues surrounding the international community today. This includes terrorism, the environment, international aid, nuclear proliferation, human rights, cyberwarfare and the complex relationships between states. Learn one of the world’s leading languages while engaging with politics and culture.

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The International Relations with Arabic BA (Hons) degree is taught by specialists in international relations, politics and Arabic, many of whom are internationally recognised for the quality of their work.

The degree will provide you with a broad perspective on the political, economical and historical aspects of international relations, and will enhance your ability to understand the complex forces shaping modern global politics. The added bonus of a learning Arabic integrated into the degree opens up the possibility to pursue work in the global market. There are no prerequisites for languages, and you'll start at whatever level is appropriate after taking a language level assessment with the Open Language Programme staff.

A number of practitioners will be invited from the government and non-governmental organisations to speak on a variety of modules, concentrating on subject specific knowledge and employability.

Employability is central to every module, and in the final year you’ll have the opportunity to do a work-related learning module. This has previously included placements within a wide range of institutions, such as the United Nations, aid agencies, think tanks and embassies. You can even opt to do your work placement in the UK or in another country.

A study-abroad semester can be undertaken as part of the degree programme. We have Socrates exchange links with a number of European Universities including Bologna, Bordeaux, Istanbul, Madrid and Stockholm. It’s also possible to study in the United States, where the University has exchange links with a number of universities, such as the State University of New York, City University New York, East Carolina, Roosevelt University (Chicago) and a number of colleges in the University of California state system.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed by essays, exams, presentations, individual and group research projects, briefing papers, portfolios, reflective writing and a final year dissertation or work placement.

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

  • a minimum of grades BBC in A levels (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)

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.

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:
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

    Read full details.
  • Arabic Language (Spring) - Where Level is Unknown. Please See Open Language Centre for Confirmation of Level.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

Year 2 modules include:

  • 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 of America are formulated and executed. It allows students to understand the American foreign policy process by studying the USA’s role in several international issue areas. The module explores the role that global issues play in contemporary American foreign policy, in so doing illustrating the complexities and difficulties faced by US decision makers as they formulate and implement foreign policy.

    The module begins with a survey of the American foreign policy process. Topics examined include: international political forces; the Presidency and Congress; democracy, bureaucracy and 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; human rights and the role of moral principles in American foreign policy; the debate surrounding multilateral and unilateral foreign policies; and the future of American foreign policy in the 21st century.

    Read full details.
  • 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:
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

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

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

    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) - 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:
    • 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 - 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:
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

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

    Please check the Open Language Centre for confirmation of language level.

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

    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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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:
    • 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 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.

The first year of study introduces you to the key conceptual and historical issues, as a foundation for more focused or specialised study in Year 2 and 3, when you have more freedom to choose the areas which interest you.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945
  • Introduction to International Development
  • Arabic 1A,
  • Arabic 1B

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Approaches to International Relations and Foreign Policy
  • Diplomacy Old and New
  • Politics of the Middle East
  • Shifting Global Power
  • Choice of regional specialisms, including the European Union and the United States of America
  • Arabic 2A
  • Arabic 2B

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • International Security in an Era of Globalisation
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution and Peace Building
  • Choice of specialist areas of study, including African Politics, Latin American Politics, Human Rights and Social Justice
  • Work Placement
  • Arabic 3A
  • Arabic 3B

“The International Relations staff are definitely helpful and willing to explain anything that is asked.”
National Student Survey 2016

Successful graduates have been employed in the diplomatic services, governmental organisations such as the European Union and the United Nations, and non-governmental organisations specialising in international development, overseas aid, human rights and environmental fields. Students have also gained employment in research and teaching, international business, the media, and political campaigns.

Many of our students also go on to be successful in postgraduate study at a number of universities, including the London School of Economics, King’s College London and SOAS.

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 2018. 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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