Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
IB: Three HL subjects with 655


4 years full-time (including a year in China)


Politics and International Relations
Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance

Course overview

Please note, applications to start this programme in 2022 are still open.

Goldsmiths' operating principles for 2022-23 have not yet been finalised but should changes be required to teaching in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will publish these as early as possible for prospective students wishing to start their programme in September 2022.

China has been at the forefront of a global economic power shift in the aftermath of the global economic crisis in 2008. This undergraduate degree gives you the chance to study international relations with a year abroad in China at Capital Normal University in Beijing.

Why study BA International Relations and Chinese at Goldsmiths?

  • You’ll explore the key concepts, policies, practices and institutions of international relations while developing your Chinese language skills.
  • Your time studying in China will give you the chance to gain first-hand experience of the culture, to consolidate your knowledge and language skills, and offer you the chance to discover your own area of interest in China within the larger global context.
  • The study of international systems and relations is complemented by studies centred on regions of crucial geopolitical and economic significance today: you’ll focus on China, but will also look at the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
  • You can enhance your knowledge in your personal areas of interest, with option modules in security, development and human rights, foreign policy, and conflict and genocide.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to apply your academic knowledge to an optional work placement in the international relations sector. This valuable experience will set you apart as you pursue a career in areas such as government, international institutions, policy thinktanks, development agencies and NGOs.
  • After graduating you’ll be given the option to study for another year at Beijing Capital Normal University and gain a BA in Chinese Studies. This option to gain an additional BA degree is a unique opportunity and the only programme of its type to be approved by the Ministry of Education in China, which will help to open doors for further employment opportunities.
  • During your studies, you’ll be eligible to apply for funding to take part in our annual Summer/Winter Camp to China. In previous years, students have visited Beijing and Shanghai and seen cultural sights including the Great Wall of China, visited the Forbidden City and cruised along Huangpu River.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Michael Dutton or Dr Paul Gunn (for information about applying).

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Students take the following compulsory modules in the Department of Politics and International Relations:

Module title Credits
World Politics 30 credits
Political Theory and Ideologies 30 credits

You will also study two consecutive Mandarin modules (ie. Mandarin 1 and Mandarin 2). The module you start with will depend on your language ability, which will be determined by the Confucius Centre at the start of the academic year.

Module title Credits
Mandarin 1 30 credits
Mandarin 2 30 credits
Mandarin 3 30 credits
Mandarin 4 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

You will study the following International Relations modules:

Module title Credits
Contemporary International Relations Theories 15 credits
Global Governance and World Order 15 credits
Security Studies 15 credits

You then choose ONE module from a list of IR/area studies modules. Current examples include:

Module title Credits
US Politics and Foreign Policy 15 credits
International Politics of the Middle East 15 credits
Rough Politics 15 credits

You will also study 2 more consecutive Mandarin modules, which should follow on from the Mandarin modules you studied in the first year. For example, if you studied Mandarin 1 and Mandarin 2 then you will study Mandarin 3 and Mandarin 4.


Module title Credits
Mandarin 3 30 credits
Mandarin 4 30 credits
Mandarin 5 30 credits
Mandarin 6 30 credits

Year abroad at Capital Normal University in Beijing

In your third year you will spend a year studying at Capital Normal University in Beijing. You will take compulsory modules to the value of 120 credits. 

Although you will be assessed as part of the course at Capital Normal University, these marks will not count towards your final degree classification. 


Year 3 (credit level 6)

Returning to Goldsmiths in the final year, you'll complete a dissertation worth 30 credits in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

You’ll also study the following Confucius modules:

  • Advanced Audio-Visual News Comprehension
  • Advanced Practical Writing
  • Advanced Chinese Journal Reading
  • Contemporary Chinese Issues

And choose a total of 30 credits from a list of IR/area studies modules. Current examples include:

Module title Credits
An(other) China: Streetscenes of Politics 15 credits
Critical Security Studies 15 credits
An(other) IR – Views from the South 15 credits
Nationalist Conflict and International Intervention 15 credits
Political Islam: Ideology and Discourse 15 credits
Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Africa 15 credits
The Politics and Economics of Immigration 15 credits
Finance and the Global Political Economy 15 credits
Colonialism and Non-Western Political Thought 15 credits
The Political Economy of International Development Assistance 15 credits
Armed Politics and Political Violence 30 credits
The Politics of Popular Music 15 credits
Feminist Economics 15 Credits

Teaching style

This programme is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 100% placement (Year abroad)
  • Year 4 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework along with unseen written, listening and oral exams.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 33% coursework, 48% written exam, 20% practical
  • Year 2 - 34% coursework, 44% written exam, 23% practical
  • Year 3 - Year abroad
  • Year 2 - 60% coursework, 26% written exam, 14% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: Three HL subjects with 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £17560

The fee for your year abroad will be different to that listed above. Please contact the Fees Office for details.

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.



This programme will develop you intellectually, and will enhance your transferable and communication skills – learning to plan your workload, to research solutions, and to express your ideas coherently. In addition to these generic skills students will also gain fluency in the language of the world’s fastest growing economy.


Graduates of this programme will be in a unique employment position having gained broader disciplinary based theoretical skills than China area studies programmes, yet have advanced Chinese language skills and experience in China that are usually only available to China area studies scholars.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to a wide variety of careers. Some go on to postgraduate study or further training in law, accountancy, social work, business administration, or to specialise in one area of their academic studies, whilst others go directly into employment.

Recent graduates have found employment in administration and management; in various departments of central and local government; in finance, in the media; in research and computing; in voluntary agencies; in health, education and housing management; the probation service; in company management, and as lecturers and teachers. You can find out more about different career options open to you on our Politics careers pages.

With the addition of Chinese languages plus the one year in country training students of this programme will also have more specialised skills and experiential knowledge of a country that is economically, politically and socially fast becoming the world’s second super-power.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

Michael Yeoman
Jamie Lee
Tayfun Isin
Jonathan Leary-Hemans
Edward Ritchie
Michael Yeoman