Undergraduate Course

Global Affairs and Politics with Foundation Year

BA (Hons)

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

72 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Derby Campus

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

The highlights

An image of the Black Lives Matter march - people marching, with someone holding up a Black Lives Matter placard.

Global Affairs and Politics - your questions answered

In the below video, Head of School of Humanities and Journalism, Alistair Hodge, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Global Affairs and Politics at the University of Derby. 

Alistair Hodge, Head of School of Humanities and Journalism.

View Global Affairs and Politics - your questions answered! video transcript

First understand. Then influence.

This unique BA (Hons) in Global Affairs and Politics is for people who want to understand and influence what is happening in the world — at either a local, regional, national or international level. It's the perfect time to launch this programme because never in human history has so much rapid change been apparent. The climate crisis, biodiversity and habitat loss, the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise of populism, threats to free speech and democracy around the world, ageing populations: these are just some of the challenges we face as we begin the 2020s. 

At the same time there are many areas of opportunity. New and sustainable technologies promise a future with clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles, while social media enables people to work together to challenge  prevailing orthodoxies, prejudices and governments. There is youth activism and widespread movements for racial and societal justice.

If you want to play a role in shaping some of these crucial global issues, this BA (Hons) in Global Affairs and Politics is a great starting point. The world needs well-informed, culturally aware citizens who can research and analyse the data, problem-solve and negotiate — and this is exactly what you will learn to do on this degree. 

If these quotes resonate with you, we think you're right for this course:

"I have learned that you are never too small to make a difference" 

— Greta Thunberg, environmental activist

"I'm an idealist without illusions"

— John F Kennedy

"The time is always right to do what is right."

— Martin Luther King Jr.

See issues from all angles

We'll discuss what's going on in the news each week and analyse the impact it's having — from political developments and technological or scientific breakthroughs, to economic matters and social movements. We'll also consider how the news is created and shaped, considering big issues such as freedom of the press and 'fake news'.

This course covers a huge variety of subjects, from politics and international affairs to anthropology, cultural studies, economics, data science, sociology, geography, history, languages, law, literature, international development, philosophy, marketing and media.

As well as giving you great all-round knowledge, this enables you to analyse issues from different viewpoints and learn that there is never just one way to look at a problem.

You will learn about:

We will also ensure you leave with a good understanding of the basics of data science, so that you can carefully assess some of the claims made by politicians and organisations in today's statistics-driven society.

Global and diverse

We expect this course to attract students from all over the world and are working with overseas universities to forge links. You will study issues from a wide range of countries including China, India, Brazil and America and you'll also learn from a diverse range of guest speakers. We also hope you will get involved in community projects, including those supporting the BAME (Black And Ethnic Minority) populations in our city and region.

Solve real problems

During this degree, you will get the opportunity to devise solutions to real problems and present your ideas to external audiences. In year two for example, there is a work experience module in which you'll be expected to work with a group, organisation or company on a project that either recommends or implements change. Then in year three, you'll get another opportunity to problem-solve with an advanced community or digital project, plus you'll develop a research paper about future sustainability and present its findings at a conference. So even while you're studying, you will have the chance to start making a difference.

Wind turbines on a hill with yellow flowers and a blue sky in the background.

What you will study

  • Literature
  • Study Skills 
  • Creative Project 
  • Culture and Ideas 
  • History 
  • Political Studies
  • Political Thought and Praxis
  • Interpreting the Past
  • A Century of World Politics 
  • Debating Current Global Affairs 
  • Journalism in Society
  • Approaches to Cultural and Political Understanding
  • Myriad Methods of Understanding
  • One Century of Earth’s Story 
  • Effecting and Negotiating Change*

You'll the choose three of the following optional modules:

  • Examining Global News
  • Economy and Environment 
  • The Cold War, Global Conflict, Culture and Diplomacy, 1945–91 
  • Power, Passion, and Persuasion 
  • Images of the World: cultural representation in the age of global communication and media 
  • Understanding the International

*modules in which students may require Research Ethics Approval

  • Sustainable Futures: conference module 
  • Global Affairs Dissertation*

You'll the choose three of the following optional modules:

  • Contemporary Conflicts in Context 
  • Advanced Community or Digital Project* 
  • Investigating Journalism and Politics
  • Activism, Equity, and Dissent 
  • Data Science and Data Journalism 
  • The Written World in the Twenty-first Century

*modules in which students may require Research Ethics Approval

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

Our teaching methods will be varied, interactive and engaging. They include:

How you are assessed

In your final year, you will undertake an Independent Study module which incorporates quantitative data analysis and you'll also need to write a dissertation.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Simon Philo

Simon Philo
Programme leader

Simon is Programme Leader for BA Liberal Arts; and Subject Leader for American Studies and Popular Music in Society.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
A LevelDDD
T LevelPass
GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 0, Merit: 24, Pass: 21

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year



£14,900 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


When you have completed this degree, you will be well-informed about the major global issues of our time and have a range of skills that employers really value, particularly:

You can put these skills to good use in a range of high-level careers, such as in politics, journalism, campaigning, think-tanks, NGOs (Non-Govermental Organisations), charities, the civil or diplomatic services, and inter-governmental institutions. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.