It can be very overwhelming looking at different universities and the way they structure their courses. Above all, you have to pick the one that you think will be best suited to you. I choose York because I liked the way the course was structured over the three years as well as the variety of modules on offer for your second and third years.

Here is a whistle-stop tour of a Politics with International Relations degree at York

Central Hall, University of York on a winter’s morning

The great thing about York is that in first year they cover all the basics with these four compulsory modules:

  • Power, Politics and Society
  • Introduction to Democratic Politics
  • Introduction to International Politics
  • Introduction to Political Theory

They cover pretty much what they say in the title. The upside of doing all four compulsory modules is that you might find a new interest in one of the subjects. I thought I would hate Political Theory as I don’t like Philosophy but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I actually quite enjoyed it… I even choose a Philosophy-based module in my second year which I never thought would happen.

In the second year, there are two compulsory modules (Political Enquiry and Theories of International Relations) and then you get to choose two modules and can begin to narrow down your interests. The list of modules varies slightly from year to year depending on the staff and their research interests. Below is a couple of modules as examples:

  • War and Peace (a very popular module!)
  • Politics of Development
  • State, Economy and Society
  • History of Political Thought

By far the best year, in my opinion, is third year. You get to choose all four modules! Again, this list varies slightly depending on the staff and their research. So, for example, a few modules available this year were:

  • Africa and International Politics
  • Border Politics
  • British Foreign Policy after the Cold War
  • Health and World Politics
  • South African Politics

I choose to do the Africa and International Relations module and South African Politics as I hadn’t had the chance to comprehensively study Africa before. Like I mentioned in my last blog, I spent the summer in Zimbabwe. It was really interesting for me to come back to university to focus upon Africa and compare what I was learning to what I had experienced whilst out there.

As well as your modules, in third year, there is your dissertation to research and write on a topic of your choosing. For the Politics and International Relations degree, there has to be some sort of international aspect to your dissertation.

Politics Reception

There are a lot more examples of modules available on the department website with additional information about each module if you want to know more.

Like I said, this was a quick whistle stop tour! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment so I can get back to you!


You can also follow the department on Twitter @uniyorkpolitics

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I am a third year undergraduate studying Politics with International Relations.