The Joint Honours Programme in International Relations and Politics will provide you with an in-depth, interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary politics, international affairs and conflict situations in their political, historical, cultural, economic and legal dimensions. Dedicated modules will introduce you to core concepts and debates in International Relations and the study of conflict, as well as to the particular European experience of regional integration. You will acquire familiarity with the experiences of differing national polities and societies, facilitating the development of culturally sensitive cross-national comparisons.
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.
The academic study of politics is concerned with the sources of conflict, co-operation, power and decision-making within and between societies, how differences are expressed through ideology and organisation, and how, if at all, disagreements and problems are resolved. 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.
n different national and historical contexts..
International Relations and Politics Degree highlights
Politics was ranked joint 1st in the UK for Research Intensity (Complete University Guide 2021). Politics and International Relations at Queen's was also ranked in the top 200 in the world by subject (QS World Rankings 2022).
- All students within this degree programme will have the possibility of opting to study (in English) for a semester abroad in their third year at a university in mainland Europe. There is also a possibility for some to spend an additional year in the United States under the Study USA programme.
- Unique to the BA 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.
Past students have gained work placements with organisations such as the following:
• 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
• Women's Aid
- Queen’s is ranked in the top 170 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022).
Internationally Renowned Experts
- The School also boasts the following:
• Centre for Gender in Politics
• Centre for Public History
• The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
• Institute of Cognition and Culture
• Institute of Irish Studies
• Two International Summer Schools (the Irish Studies Summer School; and the Conflict Transformation and Social Justice Summer School)
- 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.
- 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.
- Students in their final year have the opportunity to secure a semester-long internship, giving them hands-on experience of political issues and policy-making.
- Cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.
- Our uniquely supportive pastoral care/personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available.
- Our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students. 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.
“I chose Queen’s because the wide choice of modules essentially allows me to build my own degree. I enjoy the way we are taught through lectures and tutorials where we are given an overview of a topic, able to research more for ourselves, and then debate with our peers in tutorial sessions. The School is very open to the input of students and I enjoy the level of student engagement through societies and student-staff consultative committees.”
Jessica Simonds, Colwyn Bay, BA Politics, MA in Violence, Terrorism and Security and now studying for a PhD International Studies
|Additional Information||Modules often draw on international comparisons.|
|Stage 1||You will be introduced to the study of politics, and politics and the media, the state of world politics, international history and contemporary Europe.|
• Comparative Politics
• Perspectives on Politics
• Contemporary Europe
• World Politics
• Issues in Contemporary Politics
|Stage 1 Optional Courses||Students may take two other courses offered within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences|
|Stage 2||In their second year, students focus on the political, economic and social transformations of the 20th century and beyond, and will be able to advance their conceptual understanding of the field of international relations and conflict.|
• International Relations
• Studying Politics
• Security and Terrorism
• Apocalypse! The End of the World
• The Northern Ireland Conflict and paths to Peace
• Identity Politics in Diverse Societies
• Peace and Conflict Studies
• Politics and Policy of the European Union
• Modern Political Thought
• The Politics of Deeply Divided
• International Organisations
• British politics in crisis?
• American Politics
• Irish Politics
|Stage 3||In your final year, you can select more specific areas and specialist-based courses on, for example, US foreign policy, migration, the Far Right, politics of the global economy, and modules on identity politics, international ethics, war and visual culture, conflict and conflict resolution.|
Year 3 modules:
• Dissertation (Politics and International Studies)
• Politics of Irish Literature
• Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy
• The Politics of the Global Economy
• The Global Political Economy of Energy
• Gender and Politics
• Arms Control
• Northern Ireland: A Case Study
• Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
• National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
• US Foreign Policy
• The Far Right in Western Europe and North America
• Security and Technology
• War and Visual Culture
• Contemporary Political Philosophy
• Contemporary Critical Theory
• Politics, Public Administration and Policy Makings
• The Politics of Irish Literature
• Middle Eastern Politics
• Challenges to Contemporary Party Politics
• Political Parties and Elections in N. Ireland
• Security and Technology
Note: Modules at Stage 2 and 3 are subject to change based on availability.
People teaching youDr Cillian McBride
E: email@example.com T: +44 (0)28 9097 5028
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||2 (hours maximum)|
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
|Personal Study||30 (hours maximum)|
30 hours studying and revising in your own time each week (10 hours per module), including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
Learning and Teaching
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
In their final year, students can write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field. This provides a unique opportunity for students to marshal all the research and writing skills they have learned through the course of their degree to produce an original piece of research which reflects the particular interests that they have acquired in their time studying at Queen’s.
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is primarily communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called 'Canvas'. A range of 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.
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.
Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- A variety of assessment methods are used, depending on the learning objectives of each module, including coursework essays, written examinations, oral presentations, weekly assignments, learning logs, group projects, and dissertations.
Formal written comments and marks relating to work that students, as individuals or as part of a group, have submitted. The vast majority of our written feedback is provided electronically to your personal online account.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities during or at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Immediate, on-the-spot feedback from your teacher during language classes.
- Individual consultations addressing specific queries with lecturers during designated consultation hours.
- Online or emailed comment to specific queries
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which students can review in their own time.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service
- Once students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.
|A level requirements|
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|
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70%.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level. If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in English would be accepted.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma|
QCF BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with overall grades of D*DD
RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 GLH at Level 3) with overall grades of D*DD
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree
All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
There are no specific Level 3 subject requirements to study International Relations and Politics.
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. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this degree offering A-Level/ BTEC Level 3 or equivalent qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). The Selector will check that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects 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 and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. 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 Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate is taken into account. Applicants must have 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.
For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only. Some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
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 a Faculty/School 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a degree in Politics and International Relations 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, including Politics and International Relations. 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, working in industries from management consultancy to law and journalism.
Employment after the Course
Recent graduates have found employment:
• In government and civil service
• As researchers
• As mediators/negotiators
• In public affairs and/or public relations
• In media, journalism, and communications
• Conducting advocacy
• In marketing
• In teaching
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers, including NI government departments and the North/South Ministerial Council, who provide sponsorship for our 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.
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 example in the Department of Justice, Equality Commission, Police Ombudsman’s Office, or BBC Northern Ireland.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus 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. 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 Politics costs
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional history 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.
Students have a compulsory year abroad in year 3 of their degree.
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