International Relations and Languages BA (Hons)

International Relations and Languages students in seminar
UCAS Code
LR29
Mode of Study
Full-time with language year abroad
Duration
4 years full-time with language year abroad
Start Date
September 2022

Overview

If you're interested in the history and politics of different countries and the way nations interact with each other, this BA (Hons) International Relations and Languages degree course is the perfect choice.

You'll study a foreign language and learn about the countries and cultures where it's spoken. You'll also examine issues such as global migration, terrorism, climate change, the rise and fall of major powers, state collapse, global development and the factors that trigger global protest movements.

You’ll spend a year overseas in a country speaking your first-choice language, have the chance to learn another language and develop transferable skills in areas such as collaboration, analysis, communication, time management and project management.

With this degree, you'll be a strong candidate for careers in areas such as international diplomacy, business, journalism, research and translation.

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) International Relations and Languages degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BCC
  • UCAS points – 104–120 points (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this International Relations and Languages course you'll:

  • Study one MAIN language from French, German, or Spanish at either beginner or post A level (or equivalent); or Chinese (Mandarin) or Italian from beginners level only.
  • Use our professional-grade conference interpreting suite and language labs, where you can manipulate video, sound, text and Internet sources
  • Do a detailed academic analysis of major recent international events, such as the Ukraine Crisis, the 'Occupy' movement, the rise of ISIS and the effects of the Arab Spring
  • Immerse yourself in the cultures of the country where your chosen language is spoken – in the classroom and on your work or study placement abroad in year 3
  • You may choose to explore a second language from those listed above or Arabic, Japanese and British Sign Language (BSL) as part of the degree in the second year (and ‘for interest’ outside your degree in the first and final year)
  • Keep up to date with the latest topics and issues in international relations by taking part in 'pop-up seminars' with staff and your peers
  • Learn from staff who are members of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), the UK's largest research centre of its kind

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills and cultural experience to work.

What can you do with an International Relations and Languages degree?

Graduates from this degree have gone on to careers in such as:

  • government
  • the security services
  • international organisations like the UN
  • international charities such as Amnesty International or the Red Cross
  • policy research
  • media and international business consultancy
  • political risk analysis
  • public relations
  • voluntary organisations
  • management
  • banking and financial services
  • marketing and sales
  • exporting
  • tourism

What jobs can you do with an International Relations and Languages degree?

Job roles they've taken on include:

  • politician’s assistant
  • public affairs consultant
  • bilingual consultant
  • multilingual project coordinator
  • translator
  • social researcher
  • information officer
  • conference producer
  • local government administrator

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Placement year

After your second year, you’ll take a work or study year abroad. This gives you a worldview and cultural awareness that will help you stand out from other candidates when you begin your career.

We have links with universities and employers in countries and regions such as:

  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Latin America
  • Spain
  • Taiwan

We also have partnerships with the British Senegalese Institute and development organisations in Dakar, which provide opportunities for work placements in Senegal on your year abroad.

We’ll help you secure a study or work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) International Relations and Languages degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules currently being studied

Core modules in this year include:

  • Key Themes in International Relations – 20 credits
  • Political Thought – 20 credits
  • Politics and International Relations: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits
  • Professional Practice: Skills for Academic and Professional Success – 40 credits
  • Either:
    • Grade 1 and 2 General Language, plus Grade 1 and 2 Language in Use (beginners) – 20 credits each
    • General Language Grade 3, plus Language Project (post A level) – 20 credits each

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Crop Production – 20 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Analysing Foreign and Security Policy – 20 credits
  • International Thought – 20 credits
  • Politics and International Relations: Academic Enrichment Programme – 0 credits
  • Year Abroad Preparation – 0 credits
  • Either:
    • General Language (Grade 3 and 4) – 20 credits each
    • General Language (Grade 4) and Language for Professional Communication 1 – 20 credits each

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Bending the Truth a Little? Researching Politics and International Relations – 20 credits
  • China and East Asian Economies – 20 credits
  • Contemporary Populism: Friend or Foe of Democracy? – 20 credits
  • Decoding Cultural Space – 20 credits
  • Development and Democracy in Latin America – 20 credits
  • Digital Cultures: Exploring the Digital in The Humanities and Social Sciences – 20 credits
  • East Asian States and Societies – 20 credits
  • Empire and Its Afterlives – 20 credits
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick? – 20 credits
  • French General Language Grade 3 & 4 (part 1) – 20 credits
  • French General Language Grade 3 & 4 (part 2) – 20 credits
  • French General Language Grade 4 – 20 credits
  • Germany in the American Century – 20 credits
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Translation – 20 credits
  • Language for Professional Communication 1 (french) – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language (Institution-wide Language Programme) – 20 credits
  • People on the Move: Legacy, Integration and Development – 20 credits
  • Politics and Culture of the Hispanic World in 20th Century Literature And Film – 20 credits
  • Rethinking Nazi Germany: Politics, History, Society – 20 credits
  • Revolution and Repression: Spain – 20 credits
  • Russian & Eurasian Politics – 20 credits
  • Soviet History and Politics – 20 credits
  • US Foreign Policy: from the Great War to 9/11 – 20 credits
  • The Making of a Republic – 20 credits

In your third year, you'll spend a year in a country where the main language you're studying is spoken.

On your year abroad, you can study at a university or organise a work placement, depending on your chosen language. In some cases, you may be able to do a combination of study and work.

We'll help you secure a study or work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You'll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

  • Independent Project – 20 credits
  • Language Grade 6 – 20 credits
  • Politics and International Relations: Academic Enrichment Programme – 20 credits
  • Research Project – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'state Fragility' in Post-colonial Africa – 20 credits
  • Autocracy and Democracy – 20 credits
  • China & East Asian Economies – 20 credits
  • East Asian States and Societies – 20 credits
  • Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World – 20 credits
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick? – 20 credits
  • Germany in the American Century – 20 credits
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future – 20 credits
  • Global Health – 20 credits
  • Interpreting 1 – 20 credits
  • Interpreting 2 – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience – 20 credits
  • Politics and Culture of the Hispanic World in 20th Century Literature And Film – 20 credits
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits
  • Rethinking Aid and Development – 20 credits
  • Rethinking Nazi Germany: Politics, History, Society – 20 credits
  • Revolution and Repression: Spain – 20 credits
  • Security Challenges in the Twenty-first Century – 20 credits
  • Translation Theory & Practice – 20 credits
  • The Making of a Republic – 20 credits

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written exams
  • practical exams
  • coursework: essays, reports, case studies or book reviews
  • projects
  • oral presentations

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 15% by written exams, 26% by practical exams and 59% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 15% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 82% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 7% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 76% by coursework

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • independent study
  • work placement
  • group work and debates

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons International Relations and Languages degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning development tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional Costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

In your third year, you’ll need to fund the costs of travel, transport and accommodation for your study or work placement abroad. The exact costs will depend on the destination. 

If you study at one of our partner universities, you won’t need to pay fees at your host institution, but there may be other costs, such as visa, insurance or extra tuition.

If you work abroad, our Placement and Internship Centre will help you source an internship, which may be paid or unpaid.

You’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your University of Portsmouth fees. Currently, this discount is 90% of the year’s fees.

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.

 

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – LR29
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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