"This degree combines both politics and international relations. You will study how political power is distributed and organised within and between states."
Politics and International Relations
Developed by academics at LSE, this degree will help you understand key issues facing the international community, such as the causes of war and globalisation.
You will gain knowledge and understanding of how political power is distributed and organised within the state and between states.
Study this programme at a teaching centre near you
You can receive local support from a local teaching centre, use the dropdown to find your nearest centre.
By studying this programme you will:
- combine a study of politics and international relations, or go on to postgraduate study in this area.
- understand how political power is distributed and organised within and between states.
- consider some of the key issues facing the international community such as the causes of war and globalisation.
Programme structure, courses and specification
You complete 12 courses for the Standard Route or 9 for the Graduate Entry Route.
View courses for Standard Route
How you study
Study at a Recognised Teaching Centre
This programme is only available to study at a Recognised Teaching Centre and cannot be studied independently.
If you prefer to study independently, a selection of programmes with academic direction from the London School of Economics are available to study fully supported online.
Your study materials are available through the Student Portal and are specially written by academics appointed by LSE. These include a Student Guide and the programme handbook; online course materials for each course studied; past examination papers and examiners’ commentaries; and Programme Regulations containing full details of syllabuses, programme structures and degree classification criteria.
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
- The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
- Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.
You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
Each module is assessed by an unseen written exam, which is usually held in May or June. You can sit your exams at any approved centre around the world. These centres charge a fee for hosting the exams.
Your exam is set and assessed by academics at LSE, ensuring that your degree is of the same standard as those studying on-campus in London.
If you study the following courses from the Information System selection group, you will also need to undertake a project or coursework.
- IS1060 Introduction to information systems
- IS2182 Innovating digital systems and services
- IS3139 Software engineering: theory and application
- IS3159 Research project in information systems.
- ST2187 Business analytics, applied modelling and prediction
- ST3188 Statistical methods for market research
- ST3189 Machine learning
- ST2195 Programming for data science.
What qualifications will you need?
For access to the BSc Politics and International Relations degree, you will usually meet the following criteria:
- Age 17+ by 30 November in the year of registration.
- Satisfy our General Entrance Requirements.
- Mathematics to UK GCSE Level (Grade C) or equivalent.
Even if you don’t meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits. Our Admissions Panel will consider whether any alternative/incomplete qualifications or work experience you have are suitable for entry to the programme.
I don’t meet the entry requirements. What can I do?
If you are not eligible for this programme, you may be able to study the CertHE Social Sciences before progressing with credit. This programme must be studied at an approved local teaching centre.
Alternatively, you might be interested in our International Foundation Programme. This pre-university programme is equivalent in standard to qualifications studied in Year 13 (i.e. A levels) and must also be studied at an approved local teaching centre.
Graduate entry route
You may apply for graduate entry if you hold an acceptable undergraduate or postgraduate award. The award must be at least one year full-time in duration and considered at least comparable in level to a UK bachelor degree. Professional qualifications and memberships will be considered on an individual basis.
You must also satisfy English language and any mathematics requirements for your chosen degree.
What do I need for graduate entry?
English Language requirements
You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.
Do I hold the English requirements?
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
Recognition of prior Learning
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content, level and standard to our EMFSS modules, you might be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award.
To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying online. Alternatively, this can be done through an online enquiry, once you have submitted your application.
This is available for both Standard Entry Route and Graduate Entry Route.
We will not consider any application for RPL if you have already entered the exam for the course concerned.
Some qualifications are automatically recognised as meeting the learning outcomes of our courses. If you satisfy the conditions, make a formal request and supply the necessary evidence, we will accredit your prior learning as detailed here: Recognition of Prior Learning degrees in EMFSS. No fees are charged for this service.
Other qualifications will need to be assessed;' by specialist academics on a case by case basis, before we can potentially approve RPL. A formal application is required and an RPL application fee is payable. The RPL application fee is non-refundable, even if your prior learning is not recognised. Further details can be found here
Note: The application/ request for Discretionary RPL and all required supporting evidence must be received before the deadlines stated, in the year that you apply, to be processed.
Further information on rules regarding RPL is covered in the Recognition of Prior Learning section of the appropriate Programme Regulations and Section 3 of the General Regulations.
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session, and are effective from 25 January 2023. The following fees apply for students first registered on a programme in 2017-18 or after.
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool
The indicative totals reflect average annual fee increases and assume that you complete the qualification within the minimum time – without resits, and with no law courses (which require additional fees). Indicative totals will be available shortly.
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions. This fee will be charged at the point of exam entry and is in addition to the exam entry fee listed above.
You may also need to budget for:
- Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
- Teaching centre tuition costs
- Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.
We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Further information on Sales Tax
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.
How you apply
This programme is only available to study at a Recognised Teaching Centre and cannot be studied independently. Before you apply for this programme with University of London, you should contact your Recognised Teaching Centre of choice for advice on application/admission requirements, including any additional requirements that the teaching centre might have.
Once the Recognised Teaching Centre is happy to offer you a place in principle, they will provide you with an Application Validation Code (AVC) to be used to complete your University of London application. Please remember that any Recognised Teaching Centre offer is subject to formal University of London approval. This will be in the form of you receiving an offer from your University of London application. Your Recognised Teaching Centre can contact University of London on your behalf for eligibility advice, prior to you submitting a formal online application.
This degree will help to prepare you for careers in politics, research, management and consultancy. You could also gain entry to a master’s programme in this field.
The course will help you to question and analyse information, develop arguments, and boost your analytical and communication skills – all of which are valued by employers.
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) provides academic direction for this programme. LSE is regarded as an international centre of academic excellence and innovation in the social sciences.
Dr Uli Sedelmeier is an Associate Professor (Reader) in International Relations in the Department of International Relations at LSE, specialising in International institutions, the European Union and conditionality. He obtained his MA and PhD from the University of Sussex.
Funding your study
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live.
The University of London also offers some awards based on performance. If you are among the top five performing students in the first year of a degree led by LSE, you receive an Academic Achievement Award.
LSE Summer School
About the LSE Summer School
LSE’s Summer School is the most well-established and the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe, with over 80 academically rigorous courses on offer. Each year over 6,000 students from 120 nations study at the LSE campus in the heart of Central London.
Courses are taught by LSE faculty and complement the content of this degree. If you complete two Summer School courses you may be able to earn credit equivalent to one course on the degree. As a student on this programme you will receive a 15% discount on tuition fees to attend the LSE Summer School.
Full details and how to apply are available on the LSE Summer School website.