International Relations and Irish allows students to appreciate how the insights of political analysis (e.g. political theory, political institutions, international relations) and the tools of literary and linguistic inquiry combine to illuminate political and historical developments, including those in the contemporary world.
International Relations at Queen’s is about more than just armed conflict and insurgency. It also examines such trends as globalisation and considers the challenge from the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the process of European integration, humanitarian issues (such as poverty, development and refugees), and the role of the media in conflict. We look at conflict, co-operation and its origins, dynamics and trajectories, at theories of society, at the value and ethical basis of political ideas and action, and at politics in different national and historical contexts.
In Irish, the focus is on the modern language and culture. Language modules examine core aspects of written and spoken Irish, covering subjects such as syntax, phonetics and semantics. A range of optional modules provide you with a broad understanding of diverse aspects of Irish culture, society and identity. These include film studies, studies in Irish translation, language and rights, modern poetry, Irish linguistics, and the short story. The growth of Gaelic identity is also explored and insight into the country’s wider heritage is developed through the study of mythology, folklore and Scottish Gaelic. All our students spend an extended period in the Gaeltacht each summer as part of our residential course. Final-year students can also avail of work internships in an Irish-language setting.
International Relations and Irish Degree highlights
Politics and International Relations at Queen's is ranked in the top 200 in the world by subject (QS World Rankings 2022). Irish at QUB is ranked 1st in the UK for Research (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022).
- QUB students, uniquely in the UK, still have the opportunity to spend part of the course studying in other European universities, through our Erasmus programme. There are also opportunities to study at partner institutions in the USA and Canada.
- Placement: past students have gained work placements with organisations such as the following:
• Departments of the Northern Ireland Executive
• Northern Ireland Electoral Commission
• Northern Ireland Local Government Association
• Northern Ireland political parties
• Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments
• Police Ombudsman‘s Office
• The North/South Ministerial Council
Internship and placement: unique to the BA International Relations/Politics programme is the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making.
We have former students in senior positions in most Irish language sectors and we maintain good links with media production companies, the translation sector and language promotion agencies. Several modules include links with local collaborative partners, which provide students with opportunities to network with experts in the field or to gain experience of particular industries prior to graduation.
- Queen's is ranked 15th in the UK for graduate prospects (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023).
World Class Facilities
- Centre of Excellence: International Relations & Politics is of the largest institutional centre for the study of these subjects in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK.
Research-led Teaching: cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.
- Queen’s was ranked 2nd out of 199 universities worldwide for satisfaction with social facilities.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- With over 30 staff at the cutting edge of research and publication, the Politics and IR at Queen’s is the largest in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK and Ireland, with specialisms in Irish and British politics, political theory, sustainable development, the politics of film and literature, gender, democratic innovations, European Union politics, ethnic conflict, and international relations. Queen’s has world-leading experts in the history of the Irish language and literature, Irish linguistics, and Gaelic names.
- Professor David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- Professor John Garry is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of citizens’ political attitudes and voting behaviour. His research has informed governments both in Belfast and Dublin on offering ordinary citizens the chance to have greater input on policymaking.
- Support: our uniquely supportive pastoral care/personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available. Students receive intensive instruction in spoken and written Irish and the School supports a 3-week summer school in the Donegal Gaeltacht each year.
Diversity of Students: we have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.
- Our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) also provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students.
- The Irish student society, An Cumann Gaelach, is one of the biggest in QUB. The society is extremely active and holds a range of events and activities each year (annual festival, Irish classes, concerts, annual dinner-dance, etc.).
- Students have a unique opportunity to engage with native speakers through attendance at an annual Gaeltacht residential in Rannafast, Donegal. The course lasts 3 weeks and takes place at the end of Stage 1 and 2.
- Irish has a bespoke online platform for language learning called Learning Branch (this contains a range of subject-specific language tasks and mirrors content in language modules).
- The programme is ranked 1st in the UK for Research Quality for Celtic Studies (Complete University Guide 2022).
- Irish Language Residential Scheme Students studying Irish have the opportunity to live in QUB accommodation with other Irish speakers (subject to eligibility).
- Our Level 3 module ‘Gairmeacha le Gaeilge’ enables students to undertake an internship (minimum of 50 hours across one semester) in an Irish-language organisation, public body, company, or educational service, where work is conducted through Irish.
- Modern Languages and Linguistics at QUB is 16th in the Guardian 2023 rankings.
“When I came to visit Queen‘s, the facilities, the city and the feel of the place were far above any of the other universities I‘d visited. I chose this particular course as it looked interesting, and covered a variety of topics. Belfast itself is a lovely city, with an amazing river walk. I‘ve loved trips to the coast and to the mountains and it really is a beautiful place to live.”
|Course Content||The Joint Honours International Relations and Irish degree comprises compulsory modules together with optional modules. Students will choose 3 modules from each subject totalling 6 modules for the year.|
|Stage 1||International Relations|
• World Politics
• Issues in Contemporary Politics
• Comparative Politics
Irish optional modules (if available in a given year)
• Béaloideas na hÉireann
• Celtic Mythology
• Introduction to Modern Irish Literature
• Language, Politics and Conflict
|Stage 2||International Relations |
• International Relations
• Security and Terrorism
• Modern Political Thought
• Apocalypse! The End of the World
• The Northern Ireland Conflict and paths to Peace
• Studying Politics
• Irish Politics
• British politics in crisis?
• American Politics
• The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies
• Politics and Policy of the European Union
• International Organisations
• Peace and Conflict Studies
• Identity Politics in Diverse Societies
Irish optional modules (if available in a given year)
• An Gearrscéal sa Ghaeilge
• Cearta an Duine agus Nualitríocht na Gaeilge
• Dúchas na Gaeilge
• Kings and Warriors
• Scannánaíocht na Gaeilge
• Scottish Gaelic
|Stage 3||International Relations|
• Dissertation (Politics and International Relations)
• Arms Control
• Northern Ireland: A Case Study
• Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
• National and Ethnic Minorities
• European Cultural Identities
• Politics of the Global Economy
• The Far Right in Western Europe and North America
• Security and Technology
• Earth, Energy, Ethics & Economy
• Politics, Public Administration, and Policy-Making
• The Global Political Economy of Energy
• Contemporary Political Philosophy
• Radical Hope: Inspiring Present-day Sustainability Transformations
Irish optional modules (if available in a given year)
• An Béal Beo
• Gairmeacha le Gaeilge
• Language and Literature in the Gaelic World
• Language, Identity, and the Emergence of Modern Irish Literature
• Modern Irish Poetry
• Scéal na hImirce
Note: Modules at Stage 2 and 3 are subject to change based on availability.
People teaching youDr Cillian McBride
Programme Convenor - International Relations
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +44(0)28 9097 5028
Email: email@example.com Telephone: Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3238
Lecturer in Irish
Email: S.Aiken@qub.ac.uk Telephone: Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3238
Professor of Irish
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3238
Professor of Irish
Email: M.Omainnin@qub.ac.uk Telephone: Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3238
Contact Teaching Times
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum)|
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
|Medium Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
|Personal Study||24 (hours maximum)|
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures
Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching uses different mediums.
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is normally communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. This means that each course has its own mini-website containing all of ethe relevant course information, essential readings, recordings, discussion boards, etc. E-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.
- Gaeltacht Course
Students taking a BA in Irish spend a total of six weeks on a dedicated summer course in Rann na Feirste in Donegal. Here students engage with native speakers while staying in accommodation with a host family. Intensive, structured tuition is provided by qualified native Irish speakers during the course involving approximately 60 hours of placement learning during each course. In addition to the benefits for oral competence in Irish, the residence course provides a unique opportunity for immersion in Gaeltacht culture and establishes a tremendous camaraderie among students.
- Language enrichment classes
Intensive 2-hour language enrichment classes provide students with opportunities to develop oral skills and develop their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in real-life, practical contexts. These classes are taught in very small groups (typically 12-15 students). Students will also be expected to attend one class per week on language accuracy.
These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 10-12 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures. This provides students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers. During these classes, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.
A variety of assessment methods are used, depending on the learning objectives of each module. Details of assessment are outlined below:
- Coursework essays
- Weekly assignments
- Learning logs
- Group projects
- Language modules are assessed through a variety of written tasks, class tests, a formal written examination and an oral exam at the end of the year.
- Written examinations
- Oral presentations
As students progress through their course at Queen's they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources
- Feedback methods including lecturers, module co-ordinators, personal tutors and peers. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms, including written comments, face-to-face comments, general discussion, and pre-submission advice. Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
|A level requirements|
ABB including A-level Irish
A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to a grade A at A-level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Irish
Not normally considered as Access Courses would not satisfy language requirements.
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree provided subject requirements are met.
All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). Performance in any A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector will check that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects (in this case A-Level Irish) can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
For applicants offering the Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Junior Certificate is taken into account and applicants must hold a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate, will also be considered.
Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and the standard required is an overall average of 70% in Level 3 modules. Applicants must also have the appropriate qualification to fulfil the entry requirements for Irish.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Close links with employers
Studying for a degree in International Relations and Irish at Queen's will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen's are well regarded by local, national and international employers and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in the public and voluntary/community sectors, significant numbers develop careers in the private sector, management consultancy, law, translation, media, museums and journalism. 88% of graduates in Irish are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. Starting salaries may be in the region of £21,800.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers, including NI government departments, who provide sponsorship for our International Studies internships. In addition, the School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation.
Queen’s has strong links with a number of employers including the Department for Communities, the BBC, Irish Language Broadcast Fund and other media companies, and employers are routinely invited to address the Irish students.
The Irish module ‘Gairmeacha le Gaeilge’ enables students to undertake an internship (minimum of 50 hours across one semester) in an Irish-language organisation, public body, company, or educational service, where work is conducted through Irish. Many of our students work in primary and secondary schools as classroom assistants and language assistants while studying for their degree.
Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep - for departments of the Northern Ireland Executive, the Equality Commission, or the NI Local Government Association. We also propose placements with charities and public affairs consultancies.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
Dr J Noel Hamilton Prize for Irish and Celtic Studies: awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall mark in their BA degree in Irish and who intends to continue their studies to postgraduate level at QUB.
Foundation Scholarships: recognise outstanding achievement in Stage 1.
John Devlin Fund: Awarded annually to the Final Year student with the highest overall mark in the Irish Language module at Stage 3.
Students receive a certificate of distinction for first class performance in the Stage 3 oral.
The Donohoe Prize: awarded for the highest mark in the oral examination at Stage 2.
The Emrys and Noelle Evans Book Prize: awarded at Stages 1 + 2 for the best performance in the written language examination.
Degree Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,710|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,710|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£9,250|
|EU Other 3||£18,800|
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Note that the tuition fees quoted above are for the 2023-24 academic year and are for indicative purposes only as the fees for 2024-25 have not yet been finalised. These fees will be subject to an inflationary increase. All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase for each year of the course, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
International Relations and Irish costs
Joint Honours Irish students are required to spend 2 periods of residence in the Gaeltacht between Years 1 and 2 and between Years 2 and 3. The trips are subsidised by the School but each student is required to pay a contribution per residency (currently £180, i.e. £360 in total). Students have to pay their travel to and from the Gaeltacht.
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000.
Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad, are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement.
A limited amount of funding may be available to contribute towards these additional costs, if the placement takes place through a government student mobility scheme.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/international-students/international-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2024 from 1 September 2023.
Advisory closing date: 24 January 2024 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2024) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2024. If you apply for 2024 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2024.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding