Introduction to Security, Intelligence and Terrorism Studies
International Relations and Politics
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
In an age of globalisation, our daily lives are affected by what happens across the world. From the financial crisis to war and conflict, international relations matters. It shapes government policy, affects our job prospects and impacts the lives of people from all parts of the world. If you want to explore the role of state and organisation in an increasingly interconnected world, this international relations and politics degree is the right choice for you.
In many cases, global politics and the decisions made by those in power can have significant consequences for populations and how they live. As part of this politics and international relations course, you’ll debate different ideologies and policies in global politics, developing your understanding of why wars occur, why states cooperate (or don’t cooperate) with each other, and how these ideas affect lives.
Designed with a strong international focus, you’ll also have the opportunity to spend your second year studying abroad, immersing yourself in a different culture and experiencing new ways of life. These experiences will provide you with the real-world experience needed to stand out in a competitive employment industry.
Want to find out more about our politics and international relations undergraduate course? You can sign-up to an Open Day.
- Develop a thorough understanding of different ideologies and policies in global politics
- Acquire a range of transferable skills needed to launch your professional career
- Understand how lives are affected by both politics and the relations between relations
This is for you if...
You want to develop your understanding of how international relations shapes government policy and affects the lives of populations around the world.
You have a keen interest in global relations and are concerned about major problems in world politics.
You want to launch a professional career working in politics, government or international security.
All about the course
This degree in international relations and politics is designed to deepen your knowledge of global issues being faced by contemporary society. In your first year, you’ll explore your ideas in a unique range of contexts, from intelligence and terrorism to theories of power and domination.
As you progress your studies - in your second year – you’ll take two core modules and then develop your interests in international relations or politics that interest with four optional modules of your choosing. You can also study abroad for a semester or two, or take a language module
Your third-year dissertation gives you the chance to explore a topic you are passionate about, and you also get to choose from a wide variety of module option choices or take up our placement opportunities. Our placement opportunity means you can apply your newly-acquired skills in a real-world setting.
Gain a deeper understanding of what you'll explore within each module below.
This module introduces various conceptualisations of ‘intelligence studies’, ‘terrorism studies’ and ‘security studies’. You then analyse the historical evolution of the idea and practice of security, intelligence and terrorism in the 20th and 21st centuries. The theoretical discussion is illustrated by case studies and examples form current policy debates around terrorism and intelligence.
International History (2) 1945-Present
This module examines the history of international relations from the end of the Second World War to the present day. In conjunction with International History I, this module emphasises the changing character of international politics over the course of the ‘Long Twentieth Century’. Particular emphasis will be given to the origins of the Cold War in Europe and Asia, decolonisation in Asia and Africa, the evolution of European unity, the rise and fall of superpower détente, the resurgent political and economic power of China and Japan, the causes and consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and concludes with the nature of international relations in the post-Cold War world and the conduct of the Global War on Terrorism.
Britain and the World
In this module you will study the British political system, political parties and elections. You will also compare cabinet and presidential government and examine legislatures in detail. This module will also look at the international context, covering British foreign policy, decolonisation, and Britain's role in Europe and the 'special relationship' with the USA.
International Politics I
This module introduces you to key political concepts and ideologies and uses them in the study of international politics and the history of international relations. Concepts such as state, power, politics, nation, sovereignty and rights; and ideologies such as conservatism and liberalism; are used in everyday speech. They are complex ideas with contested meanings, yet central to analysis in politics and international relations. The module examines these ideas and applies them to significant developments in international politics such as the attempts to construct lasting arrangements for peace in the wake of major conflicts.
International Politics II
Here you will explore a range of topics that are studied in international politics as well as gaining a more detailed introduction to the study of International Relations. You will analyse the core theories of International Relations and will be able to explain why the key decision makers act the way they do. Through an understanding of these approaches, you will also discuss contemporary developments (e.g., globalisation) in International Politics.
Introduction to Contemporary Politics
Theories of Power and Domination
The module explores how political systems create mechanisms for controlling the population and generating legitimacy. At the heart of this study are questions about what makes individuals acts as they do and how political power often leaves them powerless whilst maintaining that they have complete control.
Contemporary International Relations
This module examines the foreign policies of the main actors in contemporary international relations – the USA, China, Russia, and the EU – in relation to current issues in world politics. It considers the interests and aims of the major powers and fields of conflict such as the Middle East. It also looks at enduring problems associated with issues such as security, armed conflicts, the environment, and globalisation and problems associated with them such as movement of peoples, humanitarian intervention, peace-keeping and the construction of international agreements.
Optional modules may include:
Political Communication: Media and Democracy
This module explores the relationship between the media and politics in liberal democracies. You will focus on the nature of political media and reporting, the media's influence on politics, and how political actors use the media. You will also study the rise of the internet and new media technologies and what this means for democracy.
Civil War and Development
As the Cold War ended, optimism for a more peaceful, secure and “globalised” world was dampened by the prevalence of widespread political violence in the form of civil war. With many conflicts located in less developed countries, research increasingly investigated the links between civil war and core development issues such as poverty and inequality. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of civil war and development, examining the core debates within the field. Students will learn how to analyse the root causes, dynamics and consequences of civil wars, with an understanding of how this type of conflict interacts with economic development and prosperity.
Regimes and Dictatorships from 1918
This module is based on the comparative history of a number of different dictatorships, beginning at the end of World War I - examples include Italy, Spain, Germany, Chile, China, Greece, Uganda and Hungary.
This module will raise your awareness of UK government systems, providing you with an overview of national, regional and local government and the relationship of each with the news media. You will learn how to report council meetings, parliamentary committees and understand the relationship between journalists and local and central government.
US Foreign Policy Since 1945
On this module we examine the role of the US in contemporary international relations. You will engage with US Foreign Policy after World War Two and understand key domestic and international factors that have shaped US Foreign Policy. You will develop a greater appreciation for how American presidents use their Foreign Policy to cement domestic and global power whilst understanding some of the diverse scholarly perspectives on the subject.
The Politics of European Union
You will learn about the history of EU enlargements, tracing the expansion of the EU to include more member states. You will also study the key ideas behind enlargement and the concepts that guide it.
Terrorism and Irregular Conflict
On this module you will gain a comprehensive view of the nature of modern conflicts with irregular non-state forces. You will examine the main motivations and worldviews of terrorist and insurgent groups, and the main theories of Western counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. By the end of the module you will be able to analyse counterinsurgency and counterterrorism campaigns, and understand the dynamics of state support for irregular violent movements.
Intelligence, Security and Politics in Britain 1909-94
This module examines the British intelligence community from the birth of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) in 1909 through to the 1994 Intelligence Services Act, exploring its activities primarily within the context of British domestic policy, while considering the links between the worlds of intelligence and politics. The module considers the reaction of the intelligence community to the Russian revolution, and its subsequent battle against the Soviet Union and Communism from the inter-war years through to the end of the Cold War.
The work project aims to mix classroom-based learning with project based work and employability skills. The module is intended to allow students to work independently with staff or outside organisations to produce. It is not timetabled as with normal classroom modules and provides students a degree of flexibility with their learning. However, the normal expectation is that students with spend around a day week carrying out their work and be consistent in terms of work and communication. There will also be some classroom sessions which students are expected to attend.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
You will complete a dissertation on the subject of your choice. This is your opportunity to develop your ideas and research a topic that you have selected. The dissertation counts as two modules.
Optional modules may include:
Chinese Foreign Policy Since 1949
The module provides a comprehensive introduction to Chinese foreign policy since 1949 in terms of its history, traditions and characteristics; examines the key economic, diplomatic, security and geopolitical issues so as to identify and explain Chinese foreign policy goals and their implementation; explores the sources of conflict, competition and cooperation in Chinese foreign policy behaviours, assessing competing theoretical explanations in International Relations for key events and policies. Moreover, the module investigates the implications of China’s rise for the distribution of power at the international and regional levels as well as for global governance.
International Political Economy
Develop your knowledge of political economy in this module, which aims to help develop critical ways of thinking about the contemporary world of work and the political economies of production our post-industrial world.
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
This module offers an introduction into the Arab Israeli conflict since the beginning of the 20th century by examining the main events and actors that have helped shape its course. You will also undertake a computer-based simulation where you can decide on issues of war and peace from the perspectives of the Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian President.
Populism in Politics
The module will introduce students to the key concepts, theories and debates in the study of contemporary populism in politics. You will examine the historical context shaping the emergence of a wide range of populist movements, parties and leaders in Europe and elsewhere. Additionally, you analyse the causes and consequence of populism in contemporary politics. This will involve discussions of recent and current populist leaders and movements such as Berlusconi in Italy, Trump in the US, and Euroscepticism across the EU.
Corruption in Contemporary Politics
Studying political corruption in detail you will explore the dynamics and impact of this problem for western democracies through key theories and case studies.
British Counter-Insurgency Since 1945
This module allows you to examine Britain’s varied involvement in counter-insurgency operations since 1945. After an initial engagement with the theories and principles of insurgency and counter-insurgency, the module will cover the cases of Kenya, Malaya, Northern Ireland, Britain’s continuing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some lesser known cases.
Politics and the Internet
This module assesses the growing influence of internet on democracy and politics. The study of the internet is placed in context of the evolution of media technologies over past thirty years. In doing so, you examine whether the internet: is stimulating more global protest movements and also new form of terrorism; is a liberation technology potential undermining the power of authoritarian regimes; or alternatively is a tool for increased surveillance and control; is changing the nature of lections and election campaigning. These issues are explored through case studies such as: the rise of Corbyn in the Labour Party and the role played social media or, how the rise of so-called fake news is impacting on political debate.
Global Environmental Politics
An exciting and unique opportunity to work in an area relating to politics including with an MP in London or in their constituency office , Non-governmental organizations, and Trade Unions as part of your degree. There is also the chance to develop your own placement which would be accredited by us. You will put your research and communication skills to work in a challenging setting that places you at the centre of British politics.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
As part of this International Relations and Politics degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our Peel Park campus.
You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching methods.
Lectures will be where you gain an overview of the key concepts, ideas and events that relate to politics and contemporary history.
You’ll then be able to discuss these topics in more depth with your fellow students in seminars.
Workshops will give you the opportunity to learn and develop core skills that will be vital to your success on this course, and your wider career. Alongside your studies, you’ll also partake in debates, constructing and putting forward compelling arguments on a variety of issues.
A large portion of your studies will be managed by you, meaning that you will be in control of the direction and pace of your work. Finally, you will also be assigned a personal tutor who will be on hand to help you with all aspects of your studies.
Assessments will be an important part of your academic journey. They will help you to refine crucial skills that you can transfer into your career, as well as give you an indication of which areas you need to improve on. You will be assessed through a variety of methods, such as essays, presentations, podcasts and portfolios. Your module assessments will allow you to take on board any feedback prior to taking your final exam
Lecturers and tutors were very good not only in the field of international relations, but also in transferring their knowledge to students. They had time for students, which was also a key factor to my valuable experience, as it gave me the chance to develop an interest in areas that I had never previously thought about.
I really enjoyed the professionalism of the lecturers, the informal teaching environment, the easy availability of academic support, and was amazed at the up-to-date learning facilities. I strongly recommend studying at Salford.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Politics and History courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
What about after uni?
What will studying international relations mean for you? Combining academic study with hands-on experience, this course will prepare you to secure employment in a vast range of organisations, from local government to the civil service. The variety of modules on this degree will give you the flexibility to work in a variety of contexts, whether that’s working in public administration or consultancy. Many of our graduates have also gone on to pursue roles in related areas like research and teaching.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
You may be able to take part in a politics placement scheme, spending time in the office of an MP or other organisation. You are also encouraged to attend seminars throughout the year, which will give you the chance to meet with people from the industry.
The placements we offer, along with the opportunity to meet guest speakers, will help you to understand how the industry works and shape your career path after leaving university
What you need to know
To gain a place on this international relations and politics degree, we’re looking for candidates who are passionate about global politics. This could mean you’re simply keen to learn more about global relations, or you’re concerned about major problems in global politics. As this course will require you to grapple with complex theories of international relations, you should also be prepared to question and challenge a range of phenomena.
You’ll also have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements. A personal statement is a personal summary (360 to 500 words) of your academic, professional/life experience and future goals. We’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what you’ve learnt on your current academic journey;
- your future career aspirations;
- why the University of Salford and this course is right your future goals.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
104-112 points. General studies accepted, history or politics desirable
BTEC National Diploma
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 104-112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate
Pass Diploma with 71% overall
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course.
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£15,120per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International Students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID L290