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Develop a reflective understanding of the world of politics in its local, national and international contexts. Understand the key theories, ideologies and developments that shape the current political climate.

  • St Mary's University has a 93% success rate for graduates finding employment or further study within six months (HESA, 2018).
  • This degree is taught by a mix of expert academics and industry professionals, offering the best possible balance of academic and practical expertise.
  • The course is designed in collaboration with leading politics, public communication and policy professionals.
  • There are options to study abroad and undertake industry work placements.

Why study Politics and International Relations (with a Foundation Year)?

By studying Politics and International Relations, you will develop skills of thinking and research that will enable you to pursue your career of choice after graduating. The degree prepares you to act as a critical, employment-ready citizen.

This course will equip you to find a fulfilling professional career, outside or inside the world of politics. The course supports this through a combination of rigorous thinking and applied projects mentored by industry professionals.

You will develop an applied understanding of the complex relationship between political theory and practice, and between international relations and diplomatic practice. The course will train your thinking and strengthen your ability to compare political situations, institutions and movements.

Why St Mary's?

The degree harnesses our distinctive London location. London, as s global city, is the national political and administrative capital, and an international hub for politics, policy and communications.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Politics Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the three-year undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations.

Combine Politics and International Relations (with a Foundation Year) with another degree

Politics and International Relations (with a Foundation Year) can be combined with any of the following courses to create a joint honours degree programme:

Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Getting Political Core
  • Politics Today Core
  • Thinking Critically, Creatively and Ethically Core
  • Individual Project Core

Year one

  • What is Politics? Core
  • Introduction to Political Economy Core
  • British Politics Core
  • Comparative Politics Core
  • Introduction to International Relations Core
  • Art and Power Optional
  • Revolutions and Rebellions Optional

Year two

  • Entrepreneurship and Professionalism Core
  • Theory, Practice and History of Diplomacy Core
  • Political Economy of Global Development Core
  • Research Methods in the Social Sciences Core
  • Political Ideologies Core
  • EU Politics and Policy Optional
  • Race and Ethnicity in the US Optional
  • Religion and Reason Optional

Year three

  • Political Communication Core
  • Global and Social Economic Trends Core
  • International Organisations Core
  • Independent Research Project Core option
  • Capstone Project Core option
  • The Enterprising Workplace Optional
  • Counter Radicalisation and Terrorism Optional
  • Modern Slavery, Trafficking and Organised Crime Optional
  • Nations and Nationalisms Optional
  • Civil Rights in the US Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

The course prepares you to enter (and over time reach executive positions in):

  • public service organisations inside government
  • organisations contracting with governmental bodies (including consultancies)
  • positions in multilateral organisations
  • expert advisory to professional bodies related to public service and politics

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Politics and International Relations students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

We ensure your learning is tailored to support your studies. Teaching methods include lectures, individual study and seminars.

Particular features of this course include projects, consultancy and team-based intensive learning, as well as work-based learning and community experiences. These will be enhanced by tutorials, access to mentors, the development of applied skills, and guided learning through our virtual learning environment.

Class sizes range from five to 20 students.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 22%
  • Guided learning: 43%
  • Independent study: 35%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

The course is designed to promote the development of abilities that will be useful to you in pursuing your goals after university.

In addition to completing essays, research reports and presentations, you will also complete assessments involving contemporary digital content. Classroom contributions, oral examinations and team presentations will also be used as part of the assessments.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home/EU: coming soon
  • International: coming soon

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred should you choose to buy copies of the core textbooks rather than loan from our library, and if you would like to opt in to optional field trips.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.


View all facilities

Further information

Teaching staff

Dr Christopher Wylde profile photo Dr Christopher Wylde
Senior Lecturer - Politics and International Relations

Andrea Sau profile photo Andrea Sau
Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Dr Syed Kamall  profile photo Dr Syed Kamall
Professor of Politics and International Relations

John Nugée profile photo John Nugée
Associate Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Gabriel  Stein profile photo Gabriel Stein
Associate Lecturer of EU studies

Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

UCAS Application Timeline