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UCAS code

1 year (foundation)
+ 3 years (degree)



UCAS points
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UCAS points
View all requirements

Damian O'Byrne
Damian O'Byrne

Programme Director - Production & Design
020 8240 4127

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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.

Politics and International Relations (with a Foundation Year) video Politics and International Relations (with a Foundation Year) video Politics and International Relations (with a Foundation Year) video Watch the video

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.

Key facts

  • Designed in collaboration with leading politics, public communication and policy professionals
  • Taught by a mix of expert academics and industry professionals, offering the best possible balance of academic and practical expertise
  • Options to study abroad and undertake industry work placements
  • Taught on our Twickenham campus, easily accessible from central London by public transport
  • St Mary's University has a 93% success rate for graduates finding employment or further study within six months (HESA, 2018)

Course content

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

Foundation year

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

Year one

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

Year two

  • Entrepreneurship and Professionalism 
  • EU Politics and Policy 
  • Political Economy of Global Development 
  • Political Ideologies 
  • Research Methods in the Social Sciences 
  • Theory, Practice, and History of Diplomacy  

Year three

  • Counter-radicalisation and Terrorism 
  • Global Political, Social, and Economic Trends 
  • Independent Research Project 
  • International Organisations 
  • Modern Slavery, Trafficking, and Organised Crime 
  • Political Communication 
Please refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

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.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

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.

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.


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Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £12,250

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £11,750

* 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 2019 or 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 depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline