About Politics


As a department we’re interested in what happens at the edges of cultures, societies or systems – but we’re also covering the core ground.

The Department of Politics and International Relations provides a lively interdisciplinary environment, specialising in the study of institutions and conflicts in a way that crosses boundaries between traditional understandings of political phenomena. Politics is much more than what happens in parliaments and the formal corridors of power – it is something that pervades the whole of society, domestically and internationally.

Our innovative approach to teaching stresses the ‘politics of Politics’. We believe that behind the formal veneer of political parties and institutions, there are major ideological, economic, social and cultural conflicts which must be investigated in depth if we are to have any comprehensive understanding of our world.

Our experts teach and research on many aspects of political life, and we offer exciting modules in variety of areas including: international relations; the politics of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East; US, UK and European politics; political theory; economics and political economy; and visual politics.

As a student here you’ll graduate with an excellent all-round degree but you’ll also be able to take advantage of our specialist strengths in international relations, political theory, political economy and the politics of culture.

Why choose Politics and International Relations?

  • We offer a distinctive approach that combines the study of politics and international relations, giving you the opportunity to gain broad knowledge and experience of both disciplines
  • We have a lively events programme that attracts renowned speakers, meaning that you'll have the opportunity to hear the latest political arguments, theories and ideas
  • Our unique work placement module gives students the opportunity to gain work experience relevant to the degree
  • We offer exciting study abroad opportunities through the programme
  • We've been recognised as one of the UK's top political universities as voted for by students (Which? University 2014)

We’re unconventional

We'll challenge what you think you already know. We see politics and international relations as an expansive discipline and use it as a lens to view the world critically. So you may be working on group projects, writing a blog, or submitting a Manga comic instead of an essay, but you’ll be at the sharp edge of the subject.

We’re challenging

Because we work beyond the boundaries of conventional politics and international relations, you graduate with a University of London degree that’s as rigorous as it is broad. And, we have a whole range of options to support and inspire you while you’re here, from personal tutor sessions and embedded work placements to Goldsmiths seminars and guest lectures.

We’re curious

It’s why we have specialists teaching an unusually wide range of module options, exploring topics as diverse as the aesthetics of terrorism, the politics of development, US politics and foreign policy, and contemporary movements from the Arab Spring to ISIS. Our interests cover areas from the Middle East, China and East Asia, to Africa and Latin America.

But it’s also why want to know what you think. Come with an agenda of your own and test out your debating skills within small, diverse teaching groups led by experts in the field.

We’re great at teaching

Don’t take out word for it  – listen to what our students say. In the last National Student Survey (2015-16) we scored 90% for overall satisfaction. 92% said we ‘made the subject interesting’; 96% said we are ‘enthusiastic about what we teaching’; and 96% said ‘the course is intellectually interesting’.

See what students say

See what some of our students had to say about their experience studying here in the National Student Survey:

  •  “Goldsmiths Politics and International Relations Department modules are highly diverse. Recommended to those who want to look at politics from a non-western critical perspective. It is a fantastic place with fantastic modules.” (2014-15)
  • “The lecturers were the best part of my course. So qualified and very enthusiastic. … I love my department.” (2014-15)
  •  “My time at Goldsmiths has changed my life … I'm grateful for the efforts and passion from the Politics and International Relations Department staff. This has made all the difference to my growth in confidence and character during my time at Goldsmiths. I will leave my time here with more of understanding of who I am and where I am in the world.” (2014-15)
  •  “Goldsmiths is brilliant at providing you with a broad spectrum of knowledge that critically re-considers and questions mainstream ideas. This has enabled me to see the world more critically than before. The teaching staff are … very enthusiastic about their respective subjects and never fail to make sufficient time to explain things.” (2014-15)
  •  “I have been immensely satisfied with the Department of Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths. [It] has been a wonderful 3 years. Learning about Africa, Asia and Latin America has allowed me to be more open-minded and think more critically about the world around me. This is what makes Goldsmiths a special university and I hope they do not change.” (2014-15)
  •  “The staff are really passionate about what they teach and really go out of their way to help us, as students, to achieve our goals and to make us do the best that we can. If you don't understand something, lecturers will take the time to ensure you know what you're being taught.” (2015-16)
  •  “The choices for modules are varied and intellectually stimulating. Some courses, such as Politics of the Vision and Art, War Terror, have given me the opportunity to explore Politics in an unconventional way. In addition, the department is creative in how it assesses us, for example, I've had the opportunity to create Manga, go on work experience, and write dictionary entries and even intervention projects.” (2015-16)
  • “Continues to teach me in a way that I'm able to think outside the box.” (2015-16)
  •  “It's amazing that we learn unconventional material. It opens our brains.” (2015-16)

How do our international students feel?

  • In the latest International Student Barometer (ISB, 2016) the department scored 100% overall satisfaction amongst international students and EU students - well above the global average and the UK average.
  • 85% of international and EU students said they would recommend our programmes.

(See Staff pages for teaching and research expertise)

Let our students take you around our department