Other options

If you study International Affairs and International Relations BA at XJTLU you can choose from these options to study at the University of Liverpool on the XJTLU 2+2 programme.

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International Relations BA (Hons): XJTLU 2+2 programme

Course details

Studying International Relations brings a focus on power, authority, citizenship, conflict and cooperation in the world around us, it is an opportunity to engage with politics on an international scale and to think deeply about the changing world.

Course overview

Current international trends are interpreted in a historical perspective yet with a view to future directions and likely developments. Politics affects all our lives and with a deeper understanding you can join in conversations that address key issues.

As an XJTLU 2+2 student, you will have the opportunity to learn from internationally recognised scholars and to hear about their cutting edge research examining a wide range of aspects of international relations. You will explore political ideas, systems and processes, learn to question and to challenge, how to collect data, develop knowledge, construct arguments and communicate your findings in different ways.

Course content and modules

Discover what you’ll learn in each year, the kinds of modules you’ll study, and how you’ll be taught and assessed.

Year two

In your first year in Liverpool, you will expand on the foundation you’ve built at XJTLU by taking a combination of compulsory and optional modules that deal with the international political sphere.

On the 2+2 programme, you'll study your third and fourth years at the University of Liverpool. These will be year two and year three of the University of Liverpool's programme of study.



Credits: 15 / Semester:

The module examines the factors that shape foreign policy, examining why states pursue the goals that they do within the context of world politics. It examines the making of foreign policy from a number of different analytical perspectives. Successive weeks examine factors at different scales that influence foreign policy. These include the distribution of power and interests in the overall international system, the role of public opinion, the operation of foreign policy bureaucracies, and psychological processes in the minds of national leaders. The assignment for the module, which is submitted at the end of the semester, will encourage students to combine different levels of analysis into a convincing explanation of a foreign policy scenario in world politics.

Whilst the focus of the module is on explaining patterns of inter-state interaction and decisions made on behalf of states, lectures and seminars will also include discussion of the significance of sub-state and non-state actors. The course provides an analytical toolbox that students might find useful for research and advanced study, for example in a dissertation on international relations. It draws on recent research to analyse key turning points in world politics, including the India-Pakistan rivalry, the outbreak of the First World War, and the Cuban missile crisis.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

The international system has no central authority that makes and enforces laws, yet it is not totally anarchic. A large number of international organisations allows states to co-operate in areas as diverse as the economy, international security, or the protection of the environment. The aim of this module is to enable students to systematically study international organisations. We focus on key questions: How do international organisations become (and remain) legitimate? Are they independent from their member-states? What inequalities and hierarchies do they transform or reproduce? Through a series of empirical examples – such as the United Nations, the WTO, the World Bank – students will be able to systematically analyse the role and functions of international organisations in global politics.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module focuses on the concept, institutionalization, and politics of human rights in international politics. It will provide an overview of the philosophical foundations and debates on human rights. Students will learn about the history and development of human rights in international politics. The module will explore how policies, institutions, and actors aim to improve human rights regionally and globally. It will critically assess the efforts to promote and protect human rights in international politics. At the same time, the module will look at human rights in various regions in the world, as well as issues including war crimes, genocide, torture, environmental rights, women and children’s rights and others.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

Understanding security in international relations and how it is challenged by contemporary globalisation.



Credits: 15 / Semester:

The module covers the media’s relationship to politics, with a particular (but not exclusive) focus on Britain. It touches on the political, economic, moral and legal contexts in which journalists cover politics, and looks at how subsequent coverage relates to citizen’s attitides and to democratic politics. The module deals with a range of key topics, such as ‘the economy’, ‘climate change’ and ‘Europe’. Students should, as a result, get a rounded appreciation of the media’s role in contemporary society and politics. The module is delivered via a standard lecture and tutorial format.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

After years of authoritarian stasis, the tectonic plates of Middle East politics began to shift with the "Arab Spring" of 2011. Much media analysis reduces political explanation of the region’s politics to a single variable (Islam) or its impact on Europe (refugees, terrorism). This module will provide students with the tools to analyse the region’s politics in its richness. Students will critically engage with key concepts and debates in the study of Middle East comparative politics. These include the role of oil and the "rentier-state", democratisation and authoritarian resilience, and the role of religion in politics.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

The module develops a decolonial approach to the history of Italy, Africa and the Mediterranean, focusing on trajectories of colonialism and migration to and from Italy, from the age of the empires to the present. Adopting a decolonial perspective on the history of the Italian empire, its languages and cultures, the module examines some of the cultural and geopolitical tensions that shape ideas of heritage, citizenship and belonging between Italy and Africa. Exploring the making of individual and collective memories through a variety of media and languages, the module develops a language-sensitive approach to the study of history, memory and culture in the 21 st century.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module examines struggles for democracy across history from a comparative perspective, focusing on contemporary Southeast Asia. It challenges students to reflect on why a particular variety of democracy, representative government (or ‘polyarchy’), has become one of the dominant political systems in the modern world. It explores the circumstances under which dictatorship gives way to representative government, and the conditions under which representative systems have the best chance of surviving. We will examine the prospects for democracy in Southeast Asia, asking whether the region will follow the examples of Europe and Latin America or whether new hybrid political systems might consolidate themselves. The course focuses on three major approaches to questions of democratisation: modernisation theory; the social forces tradition; and transition theory. These rival theories provide the framework for an exploration of global trends (‘waves of democracy’, and ‘reverse waves’ of democratic breakdown) and recent Southeast Asian developments. The course assists in the development of student skills, specifically in conducting case studies and performing straightforward statistical analyses using a spreadsheet.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

The Basque language is the axis of a long-standing culture that came to feel at risk around the late 19th century. The Basque nation has since embarked on a fight for survival that has largely contributed to transform the Basque Country into an open, modern, and dynamic society. But contemporary Basque society is characterised by its conflicting identities, Basque and Spanish being the most noted of them. This module will analyse the most relevant areas of that conflict from a cultural, historical, and anthropological perspective. It will also offer a taste of contemporary Basque arts and the identity play between the local and the global in which they are inscribed. This is not a theoretical module. It is practical through and through. But by means of studying contemporary Basque society and culture students are invited to reflect about the concept of identity, both its importance to all of us and its striking fragility, and the way all that is linked to their own experience of nationality.


Credits: 30 / Semester:

The media are now central to any discussion of contemporary war and conflict while global news reporting is supposedly in decline. How can we understand the interplay between global news, media and war in the context of rapidly evolving communication technologies and journalistic practices? This module explores the broader context of global news focusing on media in different parts of the world and the way they report on global issues. It considers the professional practice of foreign reporting and the challenges that notions of ethics, objectivity and attachment present for journalists. Then it engages with both the responses of states, including the use of media management and persuasion, and those of audiences who are often conflicted in reaction to distant conflict. The module concludes with an investigation of specific wars of recent years and a look at the future of reporting war and beyond.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module offers an introduction to economic and social development in Latin America over the past fifty years and more recently the effects of globalisation in Latin America. We discuss key themes in the study of globalisation and development, including the nature of globalisation and the state, and the concept of development. After the introductory sessions, different weeks will look at changes in development policies in Latin America, from the post-war period to the most recent introduction of neoliberal reforms and the turn to left-wing politics. Subsequently, we will discuss key actors in the Latin American development process (the state, civil society, social movements, and international institutions). The module finishes with an overview of the international context of Latin American development, including US-Latin American relations.

Introduction to Political Economy (POLI259)

Credits: 15 / Semester:

Are voters rational? What is the effect of electoral systems on parties’ platforms? How do Special Interest Groups and the Media affect politics? What is the effect of economic shocks on the demand for populist parties? How do autocracies work? What is the role of violence in autocratic regimes? These are some of the puzzles this course aims to explore using seminal works in political economy. Political economy uses tools from economics to study how political actors, institutions, and choices shape economic or political outcomes. This course covers recent advances in both theoretical and empirical political economy. Students will be introduced to methods in empirical analysis (OLS, Instrumental Variable, Panel Data). These methods will be applied to modern day political problems, in particular, the study of democratic and autocratic politics.

Political Economies of Globalisation (ENVS264)

Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module introduces students to the study of globalisation in the early 21st century. In the 19th and 20th centuries there were big debates between those who think things work best when people are left to decide how they want to live and get what they need by trading with each other, and those who wanted a communist society where people get what they need and contribute what they can to the common good. Of course it did not work out that way, and now for many people free markets, or neoliberalism is the only serious game in town. The course examines those debates before moving on to examine case studies of how they have worked out in practice.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module is designed to introduce second year undergraduates to issues surrounding racialization in comparative politics. It will locate ‘race’ as an enduring feature of access to power and look at critical race theory in relation to national (UK) and international politics. This module will enable students to develop critical thinking skills about the construction of ‘race’ and ethnicity and how this construction affects certain marginalised communities and precipitates particular modes of democratic engagement and disengagement, participation and resistance and privilege and disadvantage.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module examines politics in the ancient world via narratives about the past (or ‘history’), and at the same time evaluates the role of history in politics. Moving from the Near East to Greece and then Rome, students learn about key political events (for example the battle of Marathon and the Jewish revolt), political phenomena (for example Persian kingship, Athenian imperialism, and Roman expansion), and influential persons (for example Pericles, Augustus and Boudica). In the process they become familiar with the different ways of telling history in antiquity: not only through written history (‘historiography’) but also poetic and theatrical performances, philosophical writings, biographical studies, public buildings and monuments and public ceremonies, such as the Roman funeral. While grappling with these different types of history, students develop understanding of the structures, strategies, debates and anxieties that characterized politics in the ancient world. And they recognize that in the ancient world, as today, to represent the past was to participate in politics.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module introduces students to the practices of state hegemony. It uses cases studies to introduce key debates regarding how state hegemony is practiced via censorship, state vetting, detention and torture, purging of political dissent and large-scale exclusion of those deemed to be a ‘danger’ to the state form public sector employment. There is a focus on developing students understanding of regime development, human rights abuse, state hegemony through law and the reproduction of state power. This module will operate through three case studies 1) post conflict criminalisation of conflict related prisoners in Northern Ireland 2) Laws of de-Ba’athification in Iraq 3) Lustration policies in Turkey. No advanced statistical skills are required.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

This module is about politics, about policies, political institutions, and the political culture of Rome in the Late Republic. It does not only trace the deterioration of political consensus amongst the senate aristocracy and the rise of powerful individuals like Marius, Sulla, Pompey, or Caesar
put also aims to explore the wider cultural context within which politics unfolds.


Credits: 15 / Semester:

The module offers students an in-depth examination of key themes in the cultural, social and political history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) from 1949-1990, as well questions of memory after 1990. It explores key milestones in the history and politics of the GDR (e.g. the uprisings of 17 June 1953, the building of the Berlin Wall and the demonstrations of 1989), as well as central themes within society and culture, such as gender, youth and cultural policy. Each theme will be examined through a range of texts, films and other primary and secondary resources, in order to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the meaning and significance of life and culture in the GDR and its relevance for contemporary eastern Germany.

Your experience

The department of Politics is part of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures and is based in 8-14 Abercromby Square. Students will be taught in a variety of buildings across campus.

Virtual tour