Offering fascinating perspectives on current affairs and international events as they affect people around the world, this course will help you to become a better-informed global citizen.
Play your part
Our BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy will equip you to contribute to peace-building initiatives that promote and foster good relations between states and peoples at all levels.
You will study key themes such as advocacy, democracy, human rights, social policy and international security in the context of global conflict, peace and international law.
At the same time, you will develop valuable vocational and transferable skills which will prepare you to work within diplomatic communities and in a wide variety of settings in the general field of international politics.
A strong emphasis on diplomacy
This course reflects the growing need to resolve intra-national and international conflicts through diplomacy rather than the use of military force. You will learn about the key functions of international political institutions and their role in promoting democracy, world peace, political stability and development.
We will strengthen your knowledge and understanding of the varied diplomatic exchanges that take place between governments and inter-government institutions. You will also have the opportunity to undertake specialist training in diplomacy and diplomatic practice, so you can get real experience of working in the field.
Study in The Hague
A distinctive feature of the BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy is the exciting chance for you to spend the second stage of your programme studying at the highly regarded Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands where you will join a community of 25,000 students representing 135 nationalities.
The Hague is the legal capital of the world and the third largest city in the Netherlands. In total, the city has a population of more than 35,000 students, including 4,500 international students.
Our year-long Hague Exchange programme offers an experience that will broaden your international and educational perspectives, adding real substance to your CV.
Inspiring visits – in the UK and overseas
One of the highlights of the course is a week-long fieldtrip to Geneva, taking in the United Nations Office and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Alternatively, if you choose to spend your second year in The Hague, you will visit the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
There is also the opportunity to visit the Foreign Office and embassies to see how they work with diplomats, ambassadors and other government representatives around the world.
In addition, you will benefit from a vibrant programme of lectures and tutorials led by government representatives, UN officials and professionals who work in the field of international relations and diplomacy.
These experiences are designed to link the practice of international relations with your theoretical knowledge of the subject. They will foster your understanding of the environment in which political decisions are made, especially in the context of an international or supra-state inter-governmental institution.
Real-world learning in action
Thanks to our strong links with institutions such as the United Nations and the wider diplomatic community, the course opens up unique opportunities for internships that can significantly enhance your employability.
You could also undertake vocational training with international institutions, governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or charities involved in promoting good relations internationally.
Expertise and enthusiasm
Our experienced and enthusiastic teaching team are passionate about their subject and keen to share their knowledge with you. They will inspire and encourage you to do your best throughout your studies as part of a student-centred and varied learning experience.
The team is made up of research-active lecturers with an established record of publications. Their scholarship in areas such as diplomatic practice, international security, arbitration, international dispute resolution, international institutions, human rights and public international law underpins every aspect of their teaching.
Broaden your perspective
We will develop your awareness of latest debates around power, justice, order, conflict, legitimacy, accountability, obligation, sovereignty, mediation, security, governance and other themes relating to inter-governmental relations and decision-making processes within the international system.
You will also learn about concepts such as anarchy, statism, security-dilemma, self-help, nationalism, institutionalism, regimes, realism, neo-realism, liberalism, globalisation, peace-building, conflict resolution and arbitration. Each of these concepts can help you understand, analyse and interpret political developments.
Having explored the breadth of your subject, you will have the chance – in stage three of the course – to focus on an area which particularly interests you. Building on the analytical and statistical skills you have developed, you will complete an independent study leading to a dissertation. Our teaching staff will provide expert individual tuition to help you succeed.
A professional learning environment
This course is delivered at One Friar Gate Square, the new home of our Social and Political Sciences programmes. A modern, iconic building in the heart of the vibrant city centre, it is the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching.
We offer a student-centred and varied learning experience, employing different approaches to teaching and learning, including formal lectures, student-led seminars, workshops and tutorials. We encourage active student participation and foster a relaxed, inclusive environment where students learn from each other and with one another.
You will be provided with copies of module handbooks including lecture and seminar notes. You will also find it easy to communicate with your tutors via e-mail and online noticeboards as well as face to face.
Overall, we aim to nurture an atmosphere in which your enthusiasm for reading, writing and debating about international relations, diplomacy and world affairs flourishes as you progress through the course.
How you'll be assessed
Most core modules in our BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy (Hague Exchange) programme are assessed entirely by coursework incorporating different tasks and modes such as essays of varied length, scale and scope; document analyses; book, film and music reviews; project and dissertation work; individual and group oral presentations; poster exhibitions; portfolio compilation; and seminar presentation and participation.
The range of coursework assessments is varied and weightings ensure that account is taken of a breadth of written and oral skills. Apart from essays and individual or group presentations, you will be able to undertake case studies and small research projects. There is also the opportunity to design web pages, create posters and to write book reviews.
Who you'll meet
Our highly qualified and experienced lecturers are committed to the interdisciplinary exploration of this subject in its broadest sense but all have individual areas of expertise, publication and research interests. They include:
Dr Francesco Belcastro, the Subject Leader for International Relations with wide-ranging research interests in the fields of international relations and Middle East studies. He is particularly interested in the application of traditional international relations theories and concepts at regional level and his current studies focus on regional involvement in civil wars both at theoretical level and with reference to Syria. Dr Belcastro is also a Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews.
Dr Franc Jegede, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Diplomacy. His research interests include international security, terrorism, international development and international institutions. Dr Jegede has well-established links with a number of international organisations and has published chapters in books and journal articles relating to his areas of research. He has also undertaken consultancy services for a number of international organisations including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and European Union (EU).
Dr Helen Brocklehurst, Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Dr Brocklehurst is currently undertaking research into issues surrounding children’s consumption of global politics in an age of terror, engaging with teachers and public bodies responsible for the production of education materials. She is also investigating the regulation and ethical issues raised by the circulation of photographs of children in conflict.
Rachael Ita, Lecturer in Law whose areas of expertise include international human rights law, public international law and constitutional law. She is currently conducting research into the margin of appreciation doctrine in the interpretation of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Dr Sung-Hee Lee, Lecturer in Sociology with particular research interests in social policy in Europe and East Asia, social policy and gender, and social care services. She also specialises in qualitative research methods and organises our Sociology Research Seminar Series.
Joel Klaff, Senior Lecturer in Law whose teaching and research interests include contractual obligations, commercial law, international trade, international business and commercial theory. He is keenly interested in sustainability, including the sustainability of international political relations and international environmental laws.
Dr Phil Burton-Cartledge, Lecturer in Sociology whose research interests centre on the sociology of politics and power, political economy and social theory, and digital media. Phil’s previous experience includes working for a leading shadow cabinet member and his current research initiatives include studies into the BBC’s Question Time and so-called Corbynmania and the Labour Party.
A broad choice
The skills you gain on this course will make you highly competitive in the graduate employment market. You could pursue a career working for government embassies, international institutions and agencies, international development organisations, public and voluntary bodies or transnational corporations.
You could also work in many other fields, including teaching, political analysis, media, law, the civil service, and the uniformed services.
Skills for success
This degree will help set you apart as an independent and confident individual who can view the world from different perspectives. Your experience of work-based learning – through study visits and internship opportunities with international organisations such as the UN and UNITAR – will signal to any prospective employer that you are adept at linking international relations and diplomacy theories to practice.
As the business world becomes increasingly global, your knowledge of international politics, together with your understanding of the complex relations between governments around the world, will help you to secure a rewarding career.
Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure that you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising.
Throughout your studies, you will also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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, state-of-the-art 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.
Included in your fees
- United Nations Geneva field trip - 1 week in Switzerland for stage 2 students
- Embassy visit – 2 nights in London for stage 1 students
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.