This flexible degree will train you to understand the political ecosystem within and between individual countries – preparing you to succeed in any career that requires the skilled analysis of complex material and the ability to draw clear-minded, evidence-based conclusions.
You will join a close-knit community of students and staff that creates an environment in which you can flourish. Our academic staff will bring political issues alive for you. Our expertise covers all aspects of politics as a discipline, so you can study a range of topics taught by acknowledged experts in their field.
Starting with a solid grounding in systems of government, political theory and world politics, you can tailor your degree through specialist modules on topics such as inequality and justice, environmental politics, and international security.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Your course during COVID-19
Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.
We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.
Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.
Your learning experience
Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.
Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.
In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.
We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.
Terms and conditions and student complaints
The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.
Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.
Quality and ranking
We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.
Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
You will gradually develop the critical thinking, research, and communication skills required to study international relations and become an informed and engaged global citizen. You’ll gain an understanding of what it means to compare political systems as well as a solid grounding in the dynamics of the international system and in political thought. You will start to relate your studies to historical, global, national, and ideological contexts.
By the end of Stage 1, you will be able to identify the factors that shape contemporary events in the world of politics and international relations, with a growing understanding of the interrelationships between the national and the global.
You will build on the skills developed in Stage 1 as you look in greater depth at key issues, organisations, and actors in politics and international relations. You’ll develop critical insight into the relationship between theory and practice and how research methods, including comparative methods, used in the social sciences shape our understanding of both fields.
You will be able to start to tailor your degree to your interests by choosing from a range of optional modules, covering key issues such as security, development and justice.
By the end of Stage 2, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to analyse how problems in politics and international relations are created, defined, and potentially solved.
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In Stage 3, you can begin to specialise in the areas of politics and or international relations that are of interest to you. As a part of this you will undertake a significant piece of independent research that harnesses your subject knowledge and the research skills you’ve developed throughout your degree.
You’ll complete your study with optional modules covering topics across international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. By the end of Stage 3, you will be a keen analyst of international relations who is able to identify, assess, analyse, and evaluate global issues with critical insight and methodological sophistication.
In addition, you’ll complete your study with optional modules covering topics across international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.
Teaching and assessment
You will benefit from our strong focus on teaching quality. This translates into engaging modules, delivered through a combination of real-time and pre-recorded teaching and in-person lectures, seminars, and workshops. You'll be engaged through innovative teaching methods such as our use of technology to run anonymous polls and comprehension tests during lectures.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
You will be trained to conduct interviews, evaluate surveys and statistics. You'll get training in SPSS software, a world-leading statistical software that helps you to understand data, analyse trends, and make informed recommendations.
Your degree will have a practical real-world focus throughout.
You will be able to put your learning into practice further by conducting real-world political research for a local organisation in Stage 3.
In Stage 3, you will have the chance to produce a dissertation or report based on a piece of your own independent research. You will be given hands-on training in advance on the design, methodology and implementation of your research, including both qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques.
Chat to a student
My degree importantly remains relevant to real-world contemporary issues, enabling me to develop a sophisticated understanding of current affairs. Also, the diversity of students the course attracts ensures I am always open to new perspectives and alternative ways of thinking.
Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. A work placement is not available if you're spending a year studying abroad. Placements are subject to availability.
Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.
You may choose to spend semester 2 of Stage 2 or semester 1 of Stage 3 on an international exchange at a partner institution.
Facilities and environment
You'll be based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology's Henry Daysh Building, which has recently undergone a £60-million refurbishment.
You will have one-to-one academic and pastoral support from a personal tutor and from a student.
A tutor in the department has twice won a student-nominated award for pastoral care in recent years.
On graduation from our degree courses, you will have the proven ability to think critically, assess complex material and data, carry out research, construct a well-informed argument and articulate it on paper and in person.
Some of our graduates have used this powerful combination of skills to progress directly into careers in politics, economics and international relations – for employers such as the Houses of Parliament, HM Treasury, local government, the Civil Service, inter-governmental organisations and public affairs consultancies.
Others have applied their skills with equal success in the media, law, finance, management consultancy, education, human resources, marketing, business and academia.
Employability at Newcastle
96% of Newcastle University graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 85.5% in graduate-level employment or further study.
Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates. See what they have gone on to achieve and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).
Make a difference
You'll benefit from targeted careers support throughout your degree.
In Stage 2, you can apply for a work placement with a local political party or charity. In Stage 3 you can boost your prospects by conducting policy research on behalf of a local community organisation.
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
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Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
We will be holding a virtual event on:
• Saturday 19 September
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.