Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655


3 years full-time

Course overview

If you want to understand the impact of the Arab Spring or the ideology of ISIS, how US foreign policy is shaped by domestic politics, how international trade affects various parts of the world, how different cultures shape political decision making, or how international NGOs operate, this is the degree for you.

Why study BA International Relations at Goldsmiths

  • Our International Relations degree allows you to investigate the dynamics of a constantly changing world and develop the knowledge and skills to address the global challenges of the 21st century.
  • You'll study the theory of international relations, global governance, international political economy, foreign policy and diplomacy, complemented by specialist area-focused modules on the Middle East, Africa, China and East Asia.
  • You can also enhance your knowledge in your personal areas of interest, with option modules as diverse as security, development and human rights, foreign policy, conflict, and genocide.
  • We’ll encourage you to put your knowledge into practice with our work placement module. Work with organisations in the international relations sector, such as policy think tanks, development agencies and NGOs and get real experience before you graduate.
  • Studying an international relations degree in London means that Westminster, global business and diverse diasporas are all in easy reach.
  • When you join Goldsmiths you’ll become part of a global academic family, with students from 140 countries and alumni around the globe.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Saul Newman (for information about applying).

What you'll study

Year 1 (credit level 4)

Students take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
World Politics 30 credits
Colonialism, Power, Resistance 30 credits
Identity, Agency & Environment 1 15 credits
Identity, Agency & Environment 2 15 credits

You then choose from the following optional modules:

Module title Credits
Political Theory and Ideologies 30 credits
Issues in Political and Cultural Economy 30 credits
UK and European Comparative Governance and Politics 30 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

You will then choose optional modules up to the value of 75 credits from an approved list produced annually by the Department of Politics and International Relations. 

As part of this, you have the option of taking up to 15 credits from another department or from another University of London Institution (if deemed suitable by the department) AND/OR

Module title Credits
The Goldsmiths Elective 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

Students write a dissertation (30 credits) and will then choose a total of 90 credits of optional modules from the Politics and International Relations department. Credits total 120 credits. Current examples include:

Module title Credits
Critical Security Studies 15 credits
International Political Economy 2 15 Credits
Movements and Conflict in the Middle East: from the Arab Spring to ISIS 15 credits
Politics of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Contemporary Africa 15 credits
Art, War, Terror 15 Credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - 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 - 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, examinations, group work and projects.

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

  • Year 1 - 63% coursework, 38% written exam
  • Year 2 - 76% coursework, 21% written exam, 3% practical
  • Year 3 - 99% coursework, 1% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2022/23. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

Download the programme specification.

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

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 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 2023/2024 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: £18440

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 under a student visa. 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.



Throughout your degree you’ll gain a broad knowledge of the international system, foreign affairs and relations between state and non-state actors. This will be complemented by specialist in-depth knowledge of political conflicts and cultures in different parts of the world. Your hands-on experience working for an NGO or organisation involved in international activities and policy development will foster your professional skills and knowledge.


This degree will equip you for a range of careers in international relations, such as:

  • Government, for example in the Foreign Office or Department of International Development
  • International Institutions such as the UN
  • Foreign aid development agencies
  • International NGOs, for example Oxfam, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International
  • International policy think-tanks and consultancies
  • Private sector organisations and companies who trade and invest internationally

As a graduate from the BA International Relations you will also be well placed to continue to higher level study, such as masters-level study or postgraduate research in areas relating to international relations.

Student work

Miranda Saul, a second year International Relations student at Goldsmiths speaks about her recent visit to the UN as an activist against gender based violence.