BA Degree in International Relations
The BA degree in International Relations (IR) prepares the student for work in international organisations, business, finance, the media and government agencies, which require articulate, clear thinking individuals with a grasp of contemporary political issues, succinct writing styles, and the ability to present complex arguments.
The degree is built on three core areas of IR: theory and concepts in IR; actors and institutions on the global stage, and contemporary issues and problems in international affairs. Students also take a range of optional courses in national, regional and globalisation studies, or addressing thematic areas of contemporary interest, allowing for specialisation within the major according to student interest.
IR at Richmond is a broad programme, which engages with question of security, conflict, nationalism and warfare, but also goes beyond this to address the politics of international law and institutions, the global economy, and issues pertaining to development and developing states.
The key difference between International Relations and Political Science is that IR focuses on ensuring students engage with key issues and problems in IR, understand the main actors and institutions in the international system, and have a strong grasp of IR Theory. This reflects the unique mission of the IR degree. To achieve this mission, the IR degree has different core courses to those offered in Political Science.
- Access to leading governmental institutions and non-governmental organisations.
- Take part in field trips to the heart of the European Union visiting European Parliament, Council and Commission and NATO in Brussels and the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
- Acquire a sophisticated grasp of contemporary social, political and economic issues and problems at the international and regional level.
- Understand who the main actors and institutions are in the international system and their impacts.
- Learn from the leading research of faculty in their specialist areas from ‘US Grand Strategy’ to ‘Russian Politics and History’.
- Gain vital work experience in the marketplace with an international internship.
Lower Division Requirements
QCF Level 3 - US Credits 31 - UK Credits 124
plus one of the following
3 further courses (core curriculum requirements)
3 further courses (mathematical or Academic Literacy requirements, or electives for students with exemptions)
QCF Level 4 - US Credits 31 - UK Credits 124
1 further course (core curriculum requirement)
4 further courses (Academic Literacy requirement and/or electives)
Upper Division Requirements
QCF Level 5 - US Credits 30 - UK Credits 120
1 further course (core curriculum requirement)
3 further courses (electives)
QCF Level 6 - US Credits 30 - UK Credits 120
Minor Requirements - US Credits 18 - UK Credits 60
Career paths for International Relations graduates
- International Non-Governmental Organisations, Charities and Think-Tanks
- International Organisations
- Government Agencies
- The Diplomatic Service
- The International Business and Finance
Where do Richmond’s International Relations graduates go?*
In the workplace
- Embassy of the Dominican Republic
- European Commission
- Moody’s Investors Service
- US Department of Homeland Security
- King’s College London
- University of Sydney
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- SOAS, University of London
* Figures and information supplied by the Department of Alumni Relations
How will I be assessed?
The teaching and learning strategy adopted within the degree programmes based in the School of Communications, Arts, and Social Sciences is based on the understanding that all students will be treated as active learners. Clearly, the precise approach will vary from course to course, depending on the learning outcomes relevant to each class.
The more generic components of our teaching and learning strategy normally involves a variety of approaches and include delivering many of the following:
- Regular use of formal lecture sessions in most courses.
- Regular use of individual and/or team-based projects in many courses.
- Use of audio-visual and library resources in many courses.
- Use of computer laboratory and/or Centre for New Media to learn and apply analytical and/or creative/professional techniques.
- Occasional workshops and seminars in some courses.
- Student presentations in some courses.
- Regular use of tutor- and student-led discussion groups via e-learning platforms such as PowerCAMPUS in some courses
- Regular use of self-directed and directed reading in all courses.
Students pursuing degrees in any one of the academic areas in the School of Communications, Arts, and Social Sciences are assessed through their ability to absorb material delivered in the classroom as well as through their ability carry out independent research. There are also a variety of project-based courses in the upper division within which students work in teams. Students are also assessed though a variety of methods, including tests, project briefs and term-papers. Most courses further assess students through the use of end of term exams.
All of our classes follow a University-defined set of Assessment Norms. The purpose here is to ensure equity and fairness for all students.
I graduated from this programme:
I joined Richmond in 2000 and graduated with a BA (Hons) International Relations in 2002. I later obtained an MSc European Politics and Governance from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2004. Currently, I work at the European Commission, Directorate General Maritime Affairs and Fisheries as an International Relations Officer.
“When I signed up for Richmond little did I realize what an exceptional experience this would be; a multi-cultural bubble with fantastic faculty and inspiring students, all in the heart of London. The three years I spent at Richmond were not only invaluable but laid a strong foundation for both my personal development and professional career.
From an academic standpoint, the quality of teaching and range of courses on offer as well as the diverse inputs from its international students, all contribute to making Richmond superior to many of the top European universities.
My own experience of Richmond was enriched with the discovery of many cultures and people from backgrounds so different from my own, as well as helping me to develop a confidence in expressing my own opinions.
Life will never be the same after Richmond – and one can only be glad that it won’t!”
I graduated from this programme:
I chose to study at Richmond because I wanted in-depth exposure to the international community. Meeting new peoples, embracing new cultures, and learning about various parts of the world is truly the spice of life. Richmond prepared me for my career path through broadening my worldview which has been essential to my professional and personal development. I was offered a unique foundation from which to analyse opportunities on a global scale. I was not being restricted to a small picture view of the world.
Having graduated in May 2014, I immediately went to work in Silicon Valley, as an advisor to a UK tech start-up company. During this period of time, I was offered a job at one of Rocket Internet’s companies, a true dream come true.
My experience has taught me that everyone faces rejection and hardship. However, the true success stories stem from the people who face these challenges and keep on going, headstrong into the wind. My advice is that in startup / technology, the key is truly experience. Ideas are cheap and everyone has them. You need to demonstrate and prove that value and a strong work ethic is the ability to get things done.
Faculty who teach on this programme:
Applicants typically must meet at least one of the following academic achievements for successful admission into the University:
- A Level*: BBC
- US High School Diploma (or equivalent): 2.5 GPA minimum (on 4.0 scale)
- International Baccalaureate*: 28
- BTEC National Diploma*: DMM
- ABMA Diplomas and Certificates*
- SAT: 1700
- ACT composite: 24
- French Baccalaureate*: 12 Assez bien
- Abitur (Germany)*: 2.5 – 2.7
- Esame di Stato (Italy)*: Overall average of 70 or above
University English Language Proficiency Requirements
- English is the language of instruction at Richmond.
- To meet the entrance requirements for university study, applicants must achieve a designated level of English language proficiency. All students (with the exception of students whose first language is English) must submit either IELTS or Pearson Academic Test of English results when applying for admission. Results must be current within two years at the time of application. Submission of SAT/ACT scores is optional. The University no longer accepts TOEFL.
- UK Border Agency Language Requirements
- Non-EU/UK citizens should review the Home Office English language exam requirements and submit the appropriate exam results to us as soon as possible.
- The UKBA has clear guidelines and requirements. All applicants must achieve the minimum requirements in all 4 components (listening, reading, speaking and writing). The minimum entry requirement for a degree level course is a Common European Framework grade of B2. IELTS and Pearson equivalents are shown below.
- IELTS – a score of at least 5.5 in each element
Pearson Academic Test of English – a score of at least 51 in each element
- For further information, contact the Office of Admissions.
- Home Office links:
Home Office – English Language
Home Office – Approved tests and required results for Level B2
Find out more about Undergraduate Scholarships
Duration: FT– 4 years (including one year at QCF Level 3)
UCAS Course Code: L240
Rest of the World
A minor in Political Science, would broaden your learning experience.