Other options

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

Study   ›  Undergraduate courses  ›   XJTLU 2+2

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

Tuition fees

All XJTLU 2+2 students receive a partnership discount of 10% on the standard fees for international students. We also offer 50 XJTLU Excellence Scholarships providing a 25% discount on tuition fees to the students that score most highly in stage 2 at XJTLU across the different subject areas. Allocation is based on the number of applications received per programme.

The net fees (inclusive of the discounts) can be seen below.

XJTLU 2+2 fees
2024 tuition fee (full) £22,400
2024 tuition fee for XJTLU 2+2 students (inclusive of 10% discount) £20,160
2024 tuition fee for XJTLU 2+2 students qualifying for Excellence Scholarship (inclusive of 25% discount) £16,800
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

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 year two you will select from a pool of modules including: International Organisations, International Political Economy, Security in a Globalised World, Foreign Analysis and World Politics, and Politics of International Human Rights, as well as having the choice of a wide variety of modules that deal with the international political sphere. These include, but are not limited to: American Politics and Society, Regimes and their Consequences, and Gender and Feminist Politics: Core concepts and theories.

Students take 60 credits of optional modules in each semester.

Students must take 45 credits of specifically International Relations modules across the year, from a choice of:

  • POLI225
  • POLI231
  • POLI251
  • POLI203
  • POLI209

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.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.



Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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: semester 1

This module will train students to be a skilful political thinker with a critical attitude appropriate for the challenges of the twenty-first century. It is distinctive in offering a toolbox of practical critical thinking techniques as well as exploring a range of cutting-edge theoretical debates.

After completing this module, students will be able to clearly dismantle bias, faulty reasoning, and rhetoric in political debate, understand the mechanics of how different kinds of arguments work, and construct powerful – and fair – arguments of their own. They will also explore some of the most important questions emerging in the current crisis of Western democracy. Is it possible to think freely in an era of echo chambers and fake news? What kind of thinking does a legitimate democracy require? Does the education system really do its job? And what role can critical thinking play in tackling issues of social justice? The module will also examine different philosophical frameworks for understanding human culture. Can a culture be investigated using the scientific method? What other methods might be used? To what extent does academic research reinforce elite interests? The module will include a weekly two-hour interactive workshop and one-hour seminar with a hybrid skills/theory approach each week. Both workshops and seminars will include a diverse range of hands-on multimedia activities, a combination of individual and collaborative exercises, and debates and cooperative dialogues.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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: semester 1

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


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

The module provides an overview of struggle for democracy in contemporary history. It challenges students to reflect upon 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 it endures.

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 key cases in the history of democracy as the course follows the so called ‘waves of democracy’ and ‘reverse waves’ of democratic breakdown.

Moving to the frontier of democratic struggle, the course examines the prospects for democracy in the global South, or amongst countries that democratised during the most recent ‘Third Wave.’ Is there any reason to expect that democracy will take root and consolidate, or might new hybrid political systems establish themselves? Will struggles over the legitimate basis of political rule continue? What can this tell us about the future of democracy in an interdependent world?


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This is the first module offered to second year undergraduate students to examine the process of political speech and its impact upon the quality of democratic discourse. The module will scrutinise the kind of audiences political figures face, issues of freedom of speech, the development of authentic political rhetoric, the advancement of ideological perspectives, the impact of political manipulation through concepts such as ‘fake news’, and also the process of delivering political speeches.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will introduce core concepts in contemporary gender politics –including feminist theoretical understandings of nation, state, family and the market. Gender and feminist politics will be explored more deeply by engaging with intersecting identities and current theories of the concept ‘woman’. Concepts will be illustrated with real world, contemporary case studies (for example, gender based violence and reproductive rights) and also consider non-traditional forms of political engagement including activist organising. The module will encourage students to critically engage with topics through popular culture, media sources, films, books and podcasts and reflection on their own experience. Research, critical thinking and presentation skills will be developed through coursework assessment.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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.

Global News, Media and War (COMM213)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

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: semester 1

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: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module is introduced to increase the variety of modules offered to second-year BA students. With increasing student numbers and diversity of students in terms of their programme choices and their interests, this module offers a degree of specialisation and deepening of understanding of transnational security and the ways in which state and non-state actors (especially in the Global South) are responding to ‘new’ security challenges. The focus on the Global South aims at challenging dominant framings of regions such as Africa, Asia and Latin America as sources of insecurities that lack agency on transnational security issues. This module builds student’s understanding and knowledge of the processes and the politics of securitisation, crucial for understanding international peace and security in the context of shifts in global power distribution.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

International (or Global) Political Economy (IPE/GPE) is a sub-discipline of International Relations. This module examines the interplay between politics and economics and the way this relationship is influenced by domestic and international forces. It examines the social underpinnings of economic transactions, the political frameworks that shape economic activity at national, regional and global levels, and the economic imperatives that impinge upon political decision-makers. During the module, you will be introduced to influential perspectives, theories and ideas that have been advanced to explain and anticipate events and developments in political economy. The module covers the most important issue-areas in international political economy and examines recent developments, including the global financial crisis of 2008, challenges to the western liberal order, and the impact of the ecological crisis on global political economy. Firms, individuals, markets, societies, social classes, and states are all important elements of IPE. Theories differ in the way they deal with these elements and the relative significance they accord to each of them. The tension between the elements, resulting in cooperation and conflict, is a major feature in the theory and practice of IPE.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

The module examines the factors that give rise to international crises and shape the foreign policy responses of states. 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. Concurrently, we will examine statistical patterns in international crises, using data from the International Crisis Behavior (ICB) project. We will also discuss specific inter-state crises in depth, including India- Pakistan conflicts, the first Gulf War, and the Cuban missile crisis. The main 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.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module provides an overview of theories of peace and conflict studies by tracing the conflict process from conflict onset and participation, conflict dynamics, through to the conclusion of conflict and peace processes. Students will develop the tools to critically explore whose voices and experiences are centred in conflict and peace processes and to understand how conflict affects different identities and communities. In so doing this course covers cultural, economic, and political explanations, as well as conceptual debates in the field and different strategies of peace and conflict. This course analyses case studies of conflicts that espouse different ideological and theological orientations from different parts of the world. This module introduces students to the core ideas and debates in peace and conflict studies in preparation for specialised peace and conflict modules offered to final year BA students.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

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: semester 2

This module explores the ethical dilemmas that arise in some of the most controversial public policy debates. We will explore questions such as: should people have the right to euthanasia? Should we ban pornography? Should the consumption of, or testing on, animals be banned? Should we criminally punish people for taking recreational drugs? Are reparations morally justified? We will explore these questions by critically assessing the arguments of political, moral and legal philosophers, and evaluate the implications of their arguments for policy making.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module aims to provide students with an in depth analysis of British Foreign Policy. The module covers Britain’s responses to the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as the two main superpowers; the end of Empire and the emergence of the Commonwealth; relations with Africa and the Middle East; the growth of new institutions of global governance; Britain and Europe; and the ethical foreign policy, and the long road to Brexit. As such, this module seeks to fill that gap by providing further optionality to already popular programmes in the Department of Politics.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

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.

As of March 2022, this course was awarded a Fulbright Global Challenges Teaching Award (GCTA). The GCTA requires that a Liverpool class be adapted for co-teaching with a US counterpart as part of a virtual exchange. For 2022, POLI265 will be a COIL class. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) refers to a learning and teaching paradigm aimed at developing cross-cultural awareness through shared learning environments. This means that those who participate in this class will be now co-taught by journalism and creative media Professor George Daniels of the University of Alabama. They will now collaborate with and learn alongside an American cohort of students. The module will also now incorporate Professor Daniel’s expertise on race, gender, and media.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module explores contemporary sexual politics, connecting key debates in European sexual politics to global flows of regulation and resistance. We will examine topics such as: moral panic; sex tourism, sex work and sex trafficking; reproductive technologies; and sexual rights. Through the module, students will explore these contested political arenas, critically engaging with intersectional feminist and queer scholarship, activist campaigns and policy approaches.

Political Economies of Globalisation (ENVS264)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

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: semester 2

This module offers 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 as 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, 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.


Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

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.

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

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why Politics at University of Liverpool?

  • We are able to offer an excellent range of modules providing both a national and international focus. Pathways offer students module choices to develop their own specialist interests
  • We are a small department that works to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Due to the small size of the seminar groups and the MA programmes in general, lecturers know students individually, and are easily accessible
  • The Department of Politics is home to the Europe and the World Research Centre, through which you will you will be able to take advantage of the strong programme of organised activities such as conferences, guest lectures, seminars
  • We aim to be a flexible and open department. We adopt a positive and flexible policy towards the postgraduate requirements of overseas and/or part-time students, including effective timetabling on taught programmes and facilitation of language training.

What students say...

At Liverpool, many of the lectures are given by famous professors and politicians. We can also meet students from all over the world. This really helps me move forward into my political career.