Politics (International Politics)

BA (Hons)



How do major international institutions, issues and ideas shape our societies? International Politics concerns issues of power, alliances, conflict and peace, trade, the role of NGOs and the notion of an international society.

Through your study, you’ll gain insight into international decision-making in the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and the World Trade Organisation and others.

More widely, we’ll equip you with the kinds of intellectual and analytical skills that are attractive to many employers. Politics graduates are to be found in commerce and industry, as well as the civil service, journalism, law and teaching.

The quality of teaching in Politics at Stirling has received the highest rating and we offer the chance of a semester at the University of Gothenburg.

Key information

  • UCAS: L240
  • Degree type: BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Campus based, Full-time
  • Start date: September / January
  • School: School of Arts and Humanities

Dr Tim Peace History and Politics
University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467965 www.stir.ac.uk/arts-humanities

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points.

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv Higher:
ABB - one sitting.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points.

Essential subjects:
To include Politics / Government and Politics or Modern Studies.

Other qualifications

Year one entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Year 2 entry may be possible with an HND in Social Sciences with specific units. Please consult our Advanced Entry pages for details.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Fees and finance

Fees 2016/7

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBC
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2015/6

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

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Structure and teaching

Structure and content

You will take Politics plus two other subjects in Year 1.

Semesters 1 - 4

In Semesters 1 - 4 you will take core modules in:

  • The Politics of the British Isles: This module explores major institutions and processes in British politics
  • Political Concepts and Ideas: This module offers an introduction to political theory by exploring ideas and concepts central to the political debate in liberal democracies
  • Introduction to International Politics: This module covers mainstream theories of international relations, analyses key international organisations (e.g. the UN and NATO) and explores contemporary issues and debates in world politics after the Cold War and 9/11

In Semester 4 you take the following modules:

  • Great Political Thinkers: this module explores some of the key issues in political theory by focusing on five influential writers: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill and Marx.
  • Comparative Politics: Power and Representation in the West: this module is designed to encourage students to think more deeply about political structures and processes in the UK by comparing these with other countries in the European Union and the US.

Semesters 5 - 8

Of the 11 level 10 modules in Semesters 5 – 8 you will study at least five International Politics modules. In addition, you are expected to complete the Semester 6 module, Research Methods, and the final-year International Politics dissertation.

Semester 5 - 8 International Politics options include:

  • US Foreign Policy
  • Issues in International Politics
  • Party Systems in Comparative Perspective
  • Problems in International Politics
  • Social Movements in World Politics
  • Environmental Politics in an International Context
  • Germay, Europe and the World
  • International Politics
  • Business and International Politics
  • The EU and the US: the Evolution of a Partnership
  • The Politics of Eastern Europe
  • Politics and religion worldwide
  • International political economy
  • Global development

Delivery and assessment

Teaching in most Politics modules – at all levels – is by lecture and tutorial. In most modules, you will attend two lectures and one tutorial per week. Assessment is based on your performance in tutorials, on one or two essays and an examination at the end of semester.

For the Honours degree, the grades for all advanced modules taken in Semesters 5 – 8 are combined to give your final degree classification.

Combined degrees

International Politics can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
Languages (French or Spanish) RL92

(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)

Related degrees

History; Modern Languages; Politics; Politics, Philosophy and Economics: PPE; Psychology.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates

Find out more


Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Teaching provision in Politics has been assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and achieved the highest possible rating of ‘commendable’ in all aspects.

Study abroad opportunities

Besides participating in University-wide exchange programmes, the School of History and Politics has developed an exchange programme with the Politics department at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Students who have met the grade requirements and passed the interview can spend their sixth semester in Gothenburg.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The study of International Politics equips you with the kinds of intellectual and analytical skills that are attractive to many employers. These include the ability to critically evaluate data and information, a capacity to work independently, effective time management, an ability to organize and solve problems, and a capacity to communicate clearly, both in writing and speech.

Because our graduates have developed these transferable skills and Politics graduates are to be found in commerce and industry, as well as the civil service, journalism, law and teaching – and in politics, of course, in both research and representative capacities.

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