International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

What is politics and international relations?

Politics is about power and how it’s used to organise communities and nations. It looks at which people hold the power and how they use it. International relations is politics on a global scale. It studies the way different nations interact with each other. This includes political, economic and cultural interactions. Politics and international relations have an impact on every aspect of our lives, from food and travel, to education and justice.

By studying politics and international relations, you’ll understand more about how the world works. You’ll learn about different political systems and their impacts, and you’ll examine global concerns, such as migration, health and conflict. The skills and knowledge you’ll gain from a politics and international relations degree could lead to an exciting career in politics or international diplomacy.

Why study International Relations and Politics?

Politics and International Relations is a fascinating option to study at university. The reasons to choose it include:

Understand global issues in-depth

A Politics and International Relations degree gives you a deep understanding of global concerns and how they’re managed. You’ll go beyond the basic facts by analysing public policies, exploring how governments work together, and investigating conflicts from different points of view.

Change the world

You’ll become a well-informed member of society with clear opinions and an appreciation of other people’s views. With a clear understanding of how political systems work, you could influence changes on a local, national or international scale.

Career flexibility

When you graduate, you could pursue a range of careers in politics or international diplomacy. You’ll also have a diverse skill set that could be applied to many other careers, from journalism and marketing, to banking and law.

International Relations and Politics at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield’s Department of Politics is one of the top three in the UK for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014). With world-leading research across all disciplines, you’ll receive first-class teaching in every aspect of your degree. Inspiring academics will support you throughout your studies.

Your career goals are taken seriously at Sheffield. You’ll develop key skills that employers look for, including presentation techniques, statistical analysis and leadership. You’ll have the option to gain work experience that makes you stand out, and you’ll receive ongoing career support, even after you graduate.

International Relations and Politics degree options at the University of Sheffield

Explore some of the subjects you can study, the themes and topics you will learn about, and the career options available after you graduate.

Sheffield’s BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree focuses on political theory and analysis on an international scale. In years one and two, you’ll study core modules in global politics, international relations, research design and data analysis. You can also study specialist modules such as environmental politics, development, and the EU. In year three, you will carry out a personal dissertation and research project.

Related degrees:

Degree preparation at the International College

The International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities prepares you for your degree at Sheffield. You’ll improve your English language skills, study skills, and subject-specific knowledge. On completion, you'll have the confidence and skill to excel in your politics and international relations degree.

International relations and politics career prospects

A degree in International Relations and Politics equips you with transferable skills that can be used in a wide variety of careers.

Career options include:

  • Civil Service fast streamer
  • Government social research officer
  • Politician's assistant
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Public relations account executive
  • Social researcher
  • Charity officer
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Forensic accountant
  • Human resources officer
  • Local government officer
  • Market researcher
  • Journalist
  • Public relations officer
  • Stockbroker.

Top 3 in the UK

for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014)

Your pathway to studying BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics

Find out more about the International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Entry requirements

See the entry requirements and fees for studying International Relations and Politics at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield IC PMP student outside


Born in Malaysia.

Made in Sheffield.

“I decided to study here because Sheffield is one of the top 10 in the UK for international relations and politics. My biggest dream would be to work in the United Nations. It’s a really good experience, because you’re away from home, you learn something new and you find your voice. You learn to know yourself more.

Ewanina studied the Pre-Masters programme in Business, Law and Social Sciences, progressed to BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics