International Relations BA (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
UCAS code:
L250
Start date:
September 2025

How is humanity organised at the world level, and where does power really lie? When and why did the modern global international system come into being? What are the key ideas people have used to try and understand big international issues such as war and peace, and wealth and poverty? And how can we use these ideas to address the urgent challenges – climate change, human rights, terrorism and international inequality – facing the world today?

At Sussex, we pioneer new critical approaches to these questions. Because we are one of the largest dedicated International Relations departments in the world, we have a wide range of expertiseFrom philosophy to law and modern languages, you take electives from other subjects to open your mind to other disciplines and tailor your degree to your interests. And that gives you plenty of choice in how you shape your degree.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

I feel Sussex gave me a voice to question and to challenge.Marina Mahathir
International Relations BA graduate
Journalist and activist
Read Marina’s story

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a single-honours course, allowing you to focus in depth on your core subject.

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you

If your application to study abroad is successful, you’ll have to meet the academic requirements at Sussex and also at the partner university. Find out more about studying abroad as a Sussex student

My year abroad has instilled in me new confidence and enthusiasm. I feel better equipped for my final year.Eva Brittin-Snell
International Relations BA
Studied abroad at University of Ottawa Canada

Placement (optional)

To help you gain experience and increase your employability, you can apply for an optional placement as part of your course. You’ll be responsible for applying for and securing your placement. Our dedicated careers team can provide you with information and advice. If you’re successful in obtaining a placement, this will form part of your course.

Find out more about placements and internships

Not only did I get to attend meetings at European institutions but I also improved my French. It made me a more confident and capable person.Ioana Badea
International Relations BA, Research Executive, FleishmanHilliard, Brussels

Please note that if you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of your course with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA if the number of credits for the placement/internship exceeds 25% of the total credits for your course. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests. This list gives you a flavour of our options, which are kept under review and may change, for example in response to student feedback or the latest research.

While it’s our aim for students to take their preferred combinations of options, this can’t be guaranteed and will be subject to timetabling. Options may be grouped and if so, students will be able to choose a set number of options from the selection available in any particular group.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

My lecturers are not only published academics in their field, but are also friendly, approachable people that are passionate about their subject and always excited to hear a student’s perspective on things.” Lucy Turk
International Relations BA

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

Develop communication, analytical and cultural awareness skills with an International Relations degree. These skills mean you could go into graduate jobs at multinational companies, and national and international organisations such as: 

  • the Civil Service and government
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • charities and voluntary organisations.

You also benefit from careers-based events where you can meet employers and find out more about graduate jobs in the UK and abroad. Recent events have included advice sessions on the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate programme and NGO opportunities.

Graduate destinations

Recent International Relations graduates have started jobs as:

  • programmes administrator, International Rescue Committee
  • consultant, UN Migration Agency
  • project manager, American Express.

(Department of International Relations careers database)

Working while you study

Our Careers and Entrepreneurship team can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

I’ve acquired analytical skills vital for a career in international affairs. Sussex has helped me secure a great professional future.”Francisco Perez Gonzalez
International Relations BA 
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+44 (0)1273 876787
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