Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

Course description

“This course offers the perfect mix because it isn’t solely learning about world politics but covers diplomacy too. It’s a very rare course that includes trips to the UN and different embassies, as well as a chance to study abroad in The Hague.” Tyra Tucker Current International Relations and Diplomacy student

Why you should study International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Derby

Stimulating, topical and challenging, the BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy offers fascinating perspectives on how to promote good relations between people, communities and countries, equipping you for careers where you can play your part in international peace-building initiatives.

The degree reflects the growing need to resolve intra-national and international conflicts through diplomacy rather than the use of military force. You will therefore learn about the role of international political institutions in promoting democracy, world peace, political stability and development. You will also deepen your understanding of the varied diplomatic exchanges that take place between governments and inter-government institutions.

Throughout, you will develop your intellectual flexibility, confidence and critical skills by exploring key themes such as advocacy, democracy, human rights, social policy and international security in the context of global conflict, peace and international law.

Study overseas

One of the most exciting aspects of the BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy is the option to spend the second stage of your programme studying at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) in the Netherlands.

At THUAS you will join a community of 25,000 students – representing 135 nationalities – at what is an internationally acclaimed institution. The year-long exchange will broaden your educational perspectives and provide an impressive addition to your CV.

The legal capital of the world and the third largest city in the Netherlands, The Hague has a long tradition of welcoming and inspiring students from overseas. In total, the city has a population of more than 35,000 students, including 4,500 international students.

Hands-on learning

Our emphasis on real-world learning helps you take the theory from the page and translate it into practice in ways that will significantly enhance your employability. Thanks to our strong links with institutions such as the UN and UNITAR, and our contacts in the wider diplomatic community, we can offer you unique opportunities for work-based learning and experience within the field.

As part of the course, there is the opportunity to undertake specialist training in diplomacy and diplomatic practice, giving you real experience of working in this vitally important field. You could complete vocational training with international institutions, governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or charities which are involved in promoting good relations internationally.

Fieldtrips are a highlight of the degree too. At Stage 1, all students have a national trip included in their fees. Past trips have included London which has given the opportunity to visit organisations such as embassies and the Foreign Office to see how they work with diplomats, ambassadors and other government representatives around the world.

Further experiences include a week-long visit to Geneva, taking in the United Nations Office and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). This visit is included in the fees for Derby-based Stage 2 students.

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.

Expert teaching

Our enthusiastic, research-active lecturers are passionate about all aspects of international relations and diplomacy and are keen to share their knowledge and experience with you.

They have an established record of publication and scholarship in areas such as diplomatic practice, international security, arbitration, international dispute resolution, international institutions, human rights and public international law.  

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.

Global thinking

The BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy introduces you to the very latest global debates surrounding power, justice, order, conflict, legitimacy, accountability, obligation, sovereignty, mediation, security, governance and other themes relating to inter-governmental relations and decision-making processes.

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 will help you understand, analyse and interpret political developments on the world stage.

What you will study

You will gain a broad knowledge of theoretical and practical issues and themes in international relations and diplomacy. Personal Development Planning is embedded into certain modules and you will hone important analytical skills, including quantitative and qualitative research, to help you interpret, explain and forecast national and international political events.

You will study modules such as:

  • Introduction to International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Diplomatic Induction
  • Contemporary Issues in International Politics
  • Introduction to Foreign Policy and International Security
  • Theoretical Approaches to International Relations and Diplomacy
  • International Relations and Political Negotiation

For your second year, you will have the choice of studying at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) in the Netherlands or continuing your course at Derby.

You will study modules such as:

  • International Institutions and Diplomacy
  • Research Methods in International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Diplomatic Practice
  • International Political Economy
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Public International Law  
  • Middle East Politics
  • Globalisation and Social Change

Having explored the breadth of your subject, you will have the chance – at this stage of the course – to focus on the 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 on a theme of your choice. You will also have the opportunity to complete an internship module in which you will find a 21-day placement for any international organisation.

You will study modules such as:

  • International Security
  • Independent Study in International Relations and Diplomacy
  • International Economic Relations
  • Arbitration and International Dispute Resolution
  • Global Watch: International Events and the Media
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Internship/Vocational Module
  • Failed State and State Building
  • Gender and Inequality in the Global Age.

Please note: modules are subject to availability and may change as we update the course content.

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

We nurture an atmosphere in which your enthusiasm for reading, writing and debating about international relations, diplomacy and world affairs will flourish as you progress through the course.

You will enjoy a student-centred and varied learning experience which employs different approaches including:

We encourage active student participation in a relaxed, inclusive environment where you can learn from each other and with each other.

How you are assessed

Most core modules in the BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy are assessed entirely by coursework which incorporates a variety of tasks and modes such as:

Who you’ll meet

We pride ourselves on being approachable, welcoming and supportive. A personal tutor will help and advise you throughout your degree, providing an exceptional level of support which has been commended by external examiners.

Our teaching team is made up of highly qualified, experienced and research-active lecturers. They are committed to exploring the broad interdisciplinary aspects of the subject but all have their own individual areas of expertise, publication and research interests. They include:

Dr Francesco Belcastro

Dr Franc Jegede

Dr Lesley Masters

Dr Paul White

Dr Helen Brocklehurst

Rachael Ita

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

At least a C in any Social Science subject such as Politics, History, Sociology or Geography at A-level (or equivalent qualification)

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


The BA (Hons) International Relations and Diplomacy sets you apart as an independent and confident individual who can see the world from multiple perspectives. Your understanding of the complex relationships between governments internationally will prepare you for career success in an era when business operations are becoming increasingly global.

The work-based learning experience you gain on the degree will help you build an impressive CV and make you highly competitive in the graduate employment market. You will be able to show prospective employers that you are adept at linking theories to practice.

Your career opportunities could span to organisations such as government embassies, international agencies, international development organisations, public and voluntary bodies, and transnational corporations.  You will also be well equipped for roles in the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) including teaching, political analysis, media, law, the civil service and the uniformed services. 

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll 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.

Further study

You could consider taking your studies to the next level and if you have a particular interest in research, our MRes Social Sciences and Humanities enables you to undertake an original research project in a specialist area of your choice. We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) Understanding Radicalisation which explores vital issues around terrorism, security and intelligence and our MSc Intelligence Security and Disaster Management develops your professional focus and ability in emergency preparedness, resilience and response.

As a graduate of the University of Derby, you can benefit from a 25% Alumni discount on your postgraduate course fees. Terms and conditions apply.

“I have been able to immerse myself into a world of research and study in areas that I am passionate about. I really respect every academic who has taught me. They are very approachable and have a great sense of humor which is so important when doing a course as intense as a Masters.” Danielle Roe, MA Social and Political Studies.

Dr Francesco Belcastro
Programme leader

Francesco Belcastro is a Lecturer and the programme leader of International Relations at the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences here at the University of Derby. He is currently the admissions tutor for International Relations and Diplomacy. He is also a Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews.

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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.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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.

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.

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