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BA (Honours) International Relations - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

On successful completion of the degree, you will have:

  • gained an in-depth understanding of the discipline of International Relations
  • gained a critical understanding of the evolution of the international system and sources of order and disorder within the system
  • shown the ability to critically analyse interactions between states, international organisations, and non-state actors and to explore complex contemporary issues in international politics
  • chosen an area of study to accompany the core study of International Relations from Development, Environment, History or Politics
  • developed knowledge and skills to enable you to apply key concepts and theories from the field of International Relations to discuss and explain key global issues and debates
  • developed specialist knowledge in one of four pathways (Development, Environment, History, or Politics) and have tailored your focus through independent study and research
  • extended and deepened your ability to demonstrate critical thinking and evaluative skills, as well as transferable skills and attributes that are crucial to enhancing your career development, including time-management, collaboration and independent working.
  • illustrated these skills and knowledge in the design and implementation of an independent research project.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills, and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the:

  • historical evolution and contemporary make-up of the international system, including the modern system of nation states, global governance and other global power structures
  • conceptualisation and explanation of order and disorder and especially of conflict, competition and co-operation in the international system
  • range of political, economic, cultural and technological processes and interactions between different states and societies, and among a range of different actors across the international system
  • main debates, theories and current research and scholarship in the discipline of International Relations and related disciplines.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to:

  • define and use key concepts, abstract models and theories from International Relations and other related disciplines in order to study the international system
  • analyse complex situations and synthesise and critically evaluate different kinds of evidence from a variety of sources to develop detailed, reasoned arguments
  • critically compare and evaluate competing ideas, arguments and theories used in International Relations
  • carry out independent research using concepts, models, theories and evidence to address a question or problem.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to:

  • reflect on your work and work processes, with a view to developing skills and improving over time
  • work independently and without constant direction, assessing and planning tasks to demonstrate effective time-management and organisational skills
  • work in collaboration with others, play an active role, pay attention to the views of others and demonstrating adaptability when required
  • make informed, reasoned choices and judgments applicable to a wide range of situations based on an understanding of the contested political, economic and cultural issues addressed by International Relations.

Key skills

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to:

  • confidently select, summarise and methodically synthesise complex information from a range of materials and sources and interpret, read and record/note take appropriately
  • express and present complex ideas succinctly and clearly in written form in a coherent and organised manner to develop a logical, substantiated and sustained argument, with sources referenced appropriately
  • perform basic numerical operations and interpret and present basic descriptive statistics in tables, graphs and diagrams, showing awareness of the range of interpretations they might be used to support
  • independently search for, access, critically evaluate and prepare information from a range of sources, including using a variety of ICT applications and tools
  • identify and use sources of support and feedback to reflect upon your learning and practise skills.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You’ll learn independently, using the following types of material provided by us:

  • printed and online teaching texts
  • directed readings from textbooks and papers.

We’ll support your learning with:

  • feedback and guidance from a tutor
  • tutorials, revision and day-schools
  • online moderated forums
  • study and project guides
  • self-assessment questions and exercises.

We’ll assess your learning with:

  • tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
  • interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
  • end-of-module assessments (EMAs), which includes examinations.