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International Relations BA

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The International Relations BA degree is an interdepartmental programme addressing key global challenges, issues and approaches to politics. This three-year undergraduate programme will provide you with a sophisticated understanding of International Relations, both as a subject worthy of further study and as intellectual preparation for a wide range of career choices. You will develop the ability to handle a broad range of evidence, analyse complex issues and present arguments in a clear, concise and effective manner, both orally and in writing.

Key benefits

  • Your learning will be supported by approximately 40 staff including specialists on all the key regions of the world, making King’s a leading centre for the study of international relations, conflicts and conflict resolutions.
  • The degree features a variety of modules, enabling you to develop your specialist interests covering a diverse range of areas.
  • This course draws cross-departmental expertise from War Studies, European & International Studies, Political Economy departments as well as the King’s School of Global Affairs.
  • Located in the heart of London, giving unparalleled access to government, the media, museums, and major libraries and research institutes.
  • Employability in numerous fields including the NGO sector, International Organisations, diplomacy, political analysis, journalism and much more.


Key information

UCAS code L250

Duration 3 years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

DepartmentDepartment of War Studies



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Course detail


The International Relations BA (Hons) programme comprises 360 credits in total and is studied over three years. You will learn to think critically and independently about the subjects you encounter in your studies, and develop a range of skills that will support your intellectual, vocational and personal development.

In the first year, you will study a range of modules including Theory & History of the International System and Contemporary Security Issues providing you with the foundations for the further study of International Relations.

In your second year, you will study Global Politics, and also a variety of additional subjects from within the War Studies Department and European & International Studies areas of the course.

The final year consists of three optional modules drawn from a wide range of specialist topics, as well as your research dissertation on a subject of your choice. 

The optional modules provide you with opportunities to study in-depth on a range of specialist subjects that are designed to take advantage of current research expertise in the Departments of War Studies, European & International Studies, The Dickson Poon School of Law and the School of Global Affairs.


We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. You will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide support and guidance for your studies.


Assessment methods will depend on the modules you have selected to study. The primary methods of assessment for this course are coursework, assessed essays, written examinations and individual and group presentations.

Informal assessments also form part of the course structure, and while not for credit, this type of evaluation is an essential component of the overall learning process that allows you to develop or discard ideas and arguments.


The prime, central position beside the River Thames brings outstanding advantages, and as a student you will enjoy the excellent social and cultural opportunities of the capital. The department is close to the seat of government, the City, the Royal Courts of Justice and the Inns of Court, the Imperial War Museum and the National Maritime Museum. This generates interaction between the study and practice of security and foreign policy. 

Other related courses

  • War Studies
  • Politics
  • European Politics



Year 1

Courses are divided into modules.  Each year you will normally take modules totalling 120 credits. 
Required Modules

Optional Modules

There are no optional modules for this course in Year 1. 

Year 2

Required Modules
Optional Modules

You will then select three additional 30-credit modules from a wide range of options that may typically include:   

  • A History of the European Cold War (1917-91)
  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Empires Imperialism & the History of the Modern World
  • Foreign Policy Analysis (European and International Studies)
  • Grand Strategy & the Foundations of Anglo-American Statecraft 
  • Human Rights, International Law & Humanitarian Intervention
  • Intelligence in War Studies 
  • International Political Economy (European and International Studies)
  • International Public Law (Dickson Poon School of Law)
  • Maritime Security & Global Politics 
  • Military Strategy 
  • Statecraft & Diplomacy 
  • War & Global Conflict in the Contemporary World 
  • War & Society 
  • War in International Order
  • World War II in Europe

You have the opportunity to study abroad in the second year. Partner institutions currently include:

  • Georgetown University
  • Hong Kong University
  • Sciences Po, Paris (basic French language required)
  • University of California
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Sydney
  • Ca'Foscari University of Venice
  • Yonsei University
  • Keio University
  • Korea University

Year 3

The third year consists of a required dissertation, a compulsory speciailism linked to the dissertation and two optional modules.

Required Modules
  • Dissertation (30 Credits)
  • Specialism Module (30 credits)

Specialism Modules

In addition to the dissertation, students will need to choose a specialism module drawn from a wide range of specialist areas which provide opportunities to study subjects in-depth. These modules are designed to take advantage of the current research expertise of academic staff in the department and within King's College London to bring you to the frontiers of scholarship. 

  • China and East Asia in Global Politics (China Institute)
  • Brazil & International Relations (Brazil Institute)
  • Introduction to South Asia (India Institute)
  • Russia in the 21st Century: Foreign Policy, Identity & Security (War Studies)
  • International Relations of the Middle East (Middle Eastern Institute)
  • The European Union in the International System (European & International Studies)
Optional Modules

Students take 60 credits from a wide range of optional modules which may typically include:

European & International Studies

  • The Political Economy of Money, Finance & Crises (30 credits)
  • Discovering Diffusion: Perspectives on the Interactions of the ‘French-German’ Couple (15 credits)
  • German Foreign Policy (15 credits)
  • European Political Economy (30 credits)


  • International Public Law

Department of Middle Eastern Studies

  • Religion & Politics of the Middle East
 (30 credits)
  • Political Economy of the Middle East (30 credits)

War Studies

  • Transnational Movements, Networks & Revolutionary Strategy

  • Diplomacy
 (30 credits)
  • A History of Nations, Nationalism & Theories of the State
 (30 credits)
  • Worlds of Security (30 credits)
  • Contemporary debates in The English School of International Relations
 (30 credits)
  • Power, Politics & Ethics in International Relations
 (30 credits)
  • Leadership in a Time of War & Revolution (1960-69)
 (30 credits)
  • The UN & Global Governance (30 credits) 
  • War & International Politics in Africa
 (30 credits)
  • Nature of Riots
 (30 credits)
  • Contemporary Military Strategy
 (30 credits)
  • War & Strategy in East Asia
 (30 credits)
  • The 9/11 Era: Anglo-American (30 credits)
  • Foreign Policy since the End of the Cold War (30 credits)

We review the modules offered on a regular basis in order to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. The optional modules that we offer may therefore change.

Entry requirements


Required grades:


Required grades:

35 points overall and three Higher Level subjects at 666

Required grades:

45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades:

D3 D3 D3

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

Further information below

Required grades:

85% overall

Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements and English language entry requirements.

Required subjects

No compulsory subjects

Preferred subjects



Further information and other requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General Studies and Critical Thinking - College policy: Please note that AS/A level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted by King's as one of your A or AS levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer

A-levels: AAA

Access to HE Diploma: Access to HE Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be from units at Distinction with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit.

Cambridge Pre-U: Three Pre-U Principal subjects at D3 D3 D3 . Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010): DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010): DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA. 

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010): D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AA.

Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers: AAB at Higher in one sitting and AA at Advanced Higher (we do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject).

International Baccalaureate: Pass the IB Diploma with a total of at least 35 points, with three Higher Level subjects at 666 . Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE.


Selection procedure

Application deadline: 15 January 2017

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The current tuition fee is set as £9,000 per year, a cap set by the UK Government. However, the Government is currently reviewing this policy, and you should be aware that the UK tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year may increase to £9,250. Depending on the decision reached by the UK Government, tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


Full time tuition fees EU:

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

This means that the current tuition fee is £9,000 per year, a cap set by the UK Government. However, the Government is currently reviewing this policy, and you should be aware that the tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year may increase to £9,250. Depending on the decision reached by the UK Government, tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


Full time tuition fees International:

£17,050 p.a. (2017/18). This tuition fee is subject to annual increases, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.


For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our graduates go on to work in a range of fields including government (most commonly in Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs in the UK and abroad), academia, journalism, banking (often in emerging markets or risk analysis), research and policy think tanks, humanitarian organisations and international organisations.

Career destinations

Recent graduates have found employment as:
• Account Executive, IT re-seller
• Accounts Assistance, IJS Global
• Army Officer, British Army
• Consultant, Ernst & Young
• Creative Writer, Groupon
• Defence Analyst, Vision Gain
• Parliamentary Assistant, House of Commons
• Special Constable, Metropolitan Police
• Trainee Accountant, a legal practice


Next steps

View our undergraduate prospectus

Learn more about undergraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our prospectus in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 17 March 2017.