BA (Hons)
International Relations and Politics

Key Information


3-4 Years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Subject to Revalidation



Academic Year

Course Overview

From British politics and global conflicts, to policies tackling challenging and sometimes controversial issues, a degree in International Relations and Politics can provide students with the chance to examine some of the most interesting and important issues of our time.

Lincoln's BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree enables students to develop the international knowledge and skill sets central to participation within a global society. Throughout the degree, students can build their professional skills and enhance their employability, and modules such as the Model United Nations help to develop valuable negotiating, speech-making, and diplomacy skills via a simulation of the UN General Assembly.

Why Choose Lincoln

Options to study abroad for a year

Undertake voluntary placements in local councils

Conduct research alongside our expert academic team

Choose from optional modules to suite your preferences

Student studying in the library.

How You Study

The first year of the course introduces central issues and concepts in inernational relations, global, and UK politics. Core modules focus on British government and on global politics, introducing the key concepts that underpin the disciplines of politics and international relations.

In the second and third years, students can explore theoretical foundations of the subject, offering a range of optional modules in specialist areas spanning global, national, and local levels of analysis for students to choose to suit their own preference. Students can build on this by undertaking an independent study in a research area of their choice.

The core module, Model United Nations, provides an opportunity for students to learn about the operation of international diplomacy via simulation learning. The optional module Applied Politics explores the skills and values needed to be successful in a variety of politics-related roles. They are able to conduct in-depth analysis of the institutions of British government through modules such as Parliamentary Studies, which is co-taught with the Houses of Parliament.

There is a strong emphasis on skills development on this course and students can learn how to collect and analyse data, draft policy proposals, produce oral and written presentations, and work at a high level of individuality, and as part of a team.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Britain and the World 2024-25POL1107Level 42024-25CoreComparative Politics in the 21st Century 2024-25POL1105Level 42024-25How is it possible to compare government in different states in international politics and what can such an exercise tell us about global politics? This module invites students to address this question. In doing so, the module introduces students to the central themes, theories, concepts, and questions of the study of global comparative politics in the 21st Century. he module introduces students to the central themes, theories, concepts, and questions of the study of global comparative politics in the 21st Century. The module begins with a consideration of the development of comparative approaches and the different levels of analysis at which we compare. It then moves on to discuss the core concepts and elements of comparative politics in the modern world such as, democracy, autocracy, parliaments, electoral systems, political parties, bureaucracies, political culture, and political communication and compare those elements across different political systems from around the globe.CoreGlobal Issues, Challenges and Justice 2024-25IST1103Level 42024-25CoreGlobal Politics: Ideas, Institutions and Orders 2024-25IST1102Level 42024-25CoreKey Social Science Concepts 2024-25SOS1005MLevel 42024-25This module aims to give students the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of key social science thinkers and concepts pertinent to all of the disciplines taught within the School. Throughout, students will be encouraged to think critically about the ideas presented and to examine social problems in the light of a range of academic perspectives.CorePeople, Power and Politics 2024-25POL1106Level 42024-25CoreSkills for Social and Political Sciences 2024-25Level 42024-25This module will prepare you for a successful degree journey, by supporting and scaffolding you to learn the skills that you need to excel in your social and political science degree. Each week you'll cover a crucial academic skill, which will be tied to the assignment expectations of your specific degree topic, so that the progress you make in this module will also be progress towards your overall degree success.CoreWho Runs Britain? 2024-25POL1100MLevel 42024-25This module introduces students to the key institutions and actors in the British political system. The module begins by introducing students to key concepts such as politics, government, representation, pluralism and power before moving on to examine these through the key institutions and actors in British political system. These include the monarchy, the government, the judiciary, political parties, the civil service, and the media. The module also aims to provide students with an introduction to the literature on British politics through an examination of a range of key texts and scholarly debatesCoreApplying Research (Social Sciences) 2025-26SOS1004MLevel 42025-26This module aims to enable students to both recognise and also understand the different methodologies employed in social research and to apply these to their own research project and critique of methods. Overall, the aim of this module is to set out methodological skills, and involve students in their application, and to encourage critical reflection on a variety of levels.CoreModel United Nations 2025-26IST2003MLevel 52025-26This module is designed to provide an introduction to the activities of the United Nations, as well as providing an understanding of the practices of international diplomacy and governance. The module will use a discussion of contemporary international issues to explore some of the protocol and procedures of diplomacy at the United Nations. It will also provide students with an introduction to issues of international organization and international law and treaty-making. All of this will assist students in preparing for their role as a “diplomat” at simulated United Nations General Assembly.CoreThinking International Relations 2025-26IST2004MLevel 52025-26This module is designed to place theory at the centre of the study of world politics. It aims to provides a critical overview of the disciplinary literature of international relations from both mainstream and critical perspectives. The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to both understand and critically employ the concepts, approaches and methods of International Relations theory, and to develop an understanding of their contested nature and the problematic character of inquiry in the discipline.CoreThinking Politics 2025-26POL2003Level 52025-26Building upon some of the major ideas and concepts introduced in the first year (level four), this module aims to examine in more depth key debates both in the history of political ideas and in contemporary political analysis. In particular, reference is made to key thinkers from the past who have left their intellectual imprint on political ideas, as well as important contemporary thinkers, in order to assess the contribution that they have made to political theory and the extent to which they have impacted on the practice and analysis of politics.CoreWorking in Politics and International Relations 2025-26POL2010Level 52025-26Core(Re)Reading the Sociological Canon I 2025-26SOS2007MLevel 52025-26This module aims to analyse some of the seminal works which have been significant to the academic development of sociology. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of classical and contemporary texts, with the aim of providing them with an in-depth understanding of sociological themes and theories across time.Optional(Re)reading the Sociological Canon II 2025-26SOS2008MLevel 52025-26This module aims to analyse some of the seminal works which have been significant to the academic development of sociology. This module will seek to examine a series of articles and books which are of sociological significance and have emerged from the late 20th Century into the 21st Century.OptionalApplied Politics 2025-26POL2068MLevel 52025-26The motivation of many students entering a politics/IR degree programme is an interest in engaging with politics, as opposed to simply studying it. Many of our students have ambitions to work in politics-related roles and wish to improve their prospects. This module seeks to improve employability by providing an awareness of the practice of politics in a range of job roles, as well as developing awareness of, and improving competence in, relevant modes of political behaviour, and exploring personal motivations and values. It will not restrict this focus, however, to employability and professional politics alone. Much political activity takes place outside of or alongside a career, and the module will pay due attention to politics as a voluntary activity too. There is an increasing awareness across the political science community of the need to respond to student interests with regard to the practice of politics. A growing literature on this topic, including by the module co-ordinator, offers helpful ideas, as well as providing testimony to the positive student response where such modules have been introduced.OptionalChallenges of European Politics 2025-26IST2011MLevel 52025-26This module seeks to introduce students to politics at the European level through an analysis of challenges in European politics and policy making. Beginning with the history of European integration and the first attempts to secure peace through economic interdependency, the module focuses on the development of the EU institutions and the ways in which policy-makers, bureaucrats, intellectuals and civil society actors have attempted to resolve problems of cooperation in an ever larger Union.OptionalChinese Politics and Society 2025-26POL2006MLevel 52025-26OptionalComparative Criminology Virtual Exchange: Criminal Justice Policy Analysis in the USA and UK 2025-26CRI2011Level 52025-26Policies help to provide guidance to criminal justice officials. Whether in the UK or the USA, policy can help to inform decisions where there may be higher levels of discretion in sentencing guidelines, or where there are important and complex issues that require attention. In this course, you will work alongside students in the UK and the USA to compare criminal justice practices and theory informed by policy. You will learn policy analysis skills, and apply these to understand how criminal justice policy is made, and how it can be used to solve issues across different countries. This module is delivered online, in collaboration with staff and students from Clemson University, USA.OptionalConceptualising Sex Work 2025-26SOS2003MLevel 52025-26This module aims to explore the cultural, practical and theoretical developments relating to sex work, drawing upon national and international examples. Taking a comparative approach, this module seeks to understand how scholars conceptualise sex work within different competing feminist frameworks and how these ideas reflect, or are at odds with, popular public and political discourse.OptionalConflict Analysis 2025-26IST2016MLevel 52025-26OptionalCrime in Literature 2025-26CRI2003MLevel 52025-26This module aims to explore the subject of crime through a range of literature. Crime and criminals have prompted some of the most innovative literature in history and by attempting to examine a few of these students will have the opportunity to think about crime in a new way, to engage with fiction and the opportunity to understand crime and criminality from a humanistic and philosophical perspective.OptionalDebating Welfare States 2025-26SOP2012MLevel 52025-26This module aims to enable students to analyse the priorities and developments of welfare states over time, and through analysis of these developments, equip students with the tools to interpret key contemporary social, political, and economic trends.OptionalDemocracy and Development in Latin America 2025-26POL2011Level 52025-26This module provides an overview of the main questions facing Latin America’s politics and economy. Students will analyse some features of Latin American regimes, such as inequality, violence, economic development, and authoritarianism. We will also analyse how political systems foster or hinder economic growth, and the ways in which corruption, clientelism, and crime affect the welfare of citizens in Latin American countries. Finally, we will discuss the rise of left-wing parties in the 2000s as well as the subsequent resurgence of right-wing politics.OptionalDiversity, Difference and Exclusion 2025-26SOP2004MLevel 52025-26This module examines the impact of difference and diversity in social policy, with a particular concern around social exclusion. It begins with an introduction to the concepts of 'diversity', 'difference' and 'exclusion' and then moves on to consider the relationship between social policy and a variety of forms of diversity and difference, particularly in the context of new thinking around social exclusion that has emerged since the 1990s. The module explores the origins and meanings of key concepts such as 'diversity' and 'social exclusion', the relationship of these key concepts with others, such as poverty, social class and the 'underclass', and the impact and lack of impact of policies on social groups such as young people, families, women, black and ethnic minorities and disabled people.OptionalForeign Policy Analysis 2025-26IST2010MLevel 52025-26This module aims to introduce students to the area of foreign policy analysis. It is designed to explore competing explanations for state behaviour and the conduct of inter-state relations in the international domain. The module encourages students to consider the contested role of human agency in global affairs in contrast to disciplinary international relations’ preoccupation with structural considerations. A range of historical and contemporary case studies are used to illuminate the issues under discussion.OptionalGoverning America 2025-26POL2008MLevel 52025-26This module examines the main challenges facing democratic politics in today’s United States and the main features of the US political system. Why has politics in the United States become so intense and polarised? How different is the US from other countries in terms of its social controversies (guns, immigration, and abortion) or its economic model? And, how endangered is democracy in America? The module aims to provide a detailed historical and theoretical appreciation of the development of US democracy. It examines the principal institutions and actors in the US political system and traces the impact of key ideas, taking account of the impact of wider societal factors on US political life. Students will consider the challenges facing US democracy and what impact these may have on US policymaking both at home and abroad.OptionalIdeology into Practice 2025-26SOP2001MLevel 52025-26This module aims to examine the impact (and sometimes the lack of impact) of ideology on practice in social policy. Whilst the focus of the module is on the experience of the United Kingdom, comparison with other states will be made where appropriate.OptionalIntelligence and Security Law 2025-26LAW2164MLevel 52025-26OptionalMedia, Culture and Power 2025-26POL2012Level 52025-26OptionalMoney and Politics 2025-26IST2012MLevel 52025-26OptionalNations and Nationalism 2025-26POL2069MLevel 52025-26Resurgent nationalist violence, transnational migration, and the rise of anti-European populist nationalist parties, have forced academics and policy makers to engage and confront the enduring power of national and ethnic identities and the role they play in contemporary political life. This module explores nations and nationalism, examining the sources of our most basic and powerful feelings of political loyalty and attachment – our ideas about who we are, why we are and who has the right to rule over us. After examining the competing and contrasting approaches to understanding nations and nationalism the module then explores the intersection between nationalism and other key categories in social science such as: political mobilisation, populism, violence, culture, gender, the environment and globalisation.OptionalOrganised Crime in Global Perspective 2025-26CRI2013Level 52025-26In the Organised Crime in Global Perspective module, you will delve into the complex and evolving world of organised crime. You will be challenged to critically reflect on the definitions and meanings of organised crime, both in academic discussions and in public discourse. This module guides you through the international nature of organised crime and lets you explore the various social and economic factors that influence it. By the end of this module, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the intricate issues associated with organised crime and its impact on society. You will also develop robust critical thinking and analytical skills to address these challenges. If you are interested in deepening your understanding of the global impact of organised crime and its relevance in contemporary society, this module is an excellent choice for you.OptionalPolicing Crime and Deviance 2026-27CRI2012Level 62026-27In the Policing Crime and Deviance module, you will explore the diverse forms of policing and the control of criminal activities in society in depth. You will engage in a critical analysis of private and state policing, concepts that have grown increasingly complex and are a hot topic of debate among criminologists. You will be encouraged to draw upon relevant theoretical explanations to understand the changes in policing crime and deviance, and to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the challenges modern policing faces in the 21st century. By examining the role of various institutions in surveillance, control, and management of human behaviour and populations, you will gain a nuanced understanding of the evolving nature of policing. This module provides a valuable opportunity for you to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills and to gain a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding policing and crime in contemporary society.OptionalPolitical Parties 2025-26POL2005MLevel 52025-26This module aims to address a variety of issues relating to political parties in the United Kingdom. The political science literature covers a wide variety of topics around parties. Amongst those which are examined in this module are the following; the historical development of parties; the role of parties in terms of mobilisation of support, electioneering and campaigning, recruitment of personnel; representation of the electorate and issue-based politics; the partisan divide; and the relationship with the media. These will be examined primarily within the context of a discussion of the three major parties within the British political system including their development, their ideological tenets and their contemporary positions. However, these will be set against the position of other parties within the UK including the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Northern Irish parties, to which will be added a comparative perspective, drawing upon the roles and experiences of parties in Western Europe.OptionalPower, Sex and Sexuality 2025-26POL2070MLevel 52025-26This module introduces students to analytical and theoretical approaches to sex and sexuality, with special attention to how these are of interest and utility to scholars of politics and society. Central to the module's concerns are the ways in which gender and sexuality are key sites where political claims are made, and through which regulatory processes are imposed and resisted. Thus, the module draws upon the rich literature and scholarship at the intersection of issues of sex, sexuality and politics in order to equip students to both use materials on sex and sexuality in political analysis and to understand the ways in which sex and sexuality are domains central to the operation of power and the constitution of political and social identity.OptionalPsychology in the Criminal Justice Process 2025-26CRI2005MLevel 52025-26This module is designed as an introduction to how psychology might contribute to our understanding of the various actors and organisations within the criminal justice process. Students are expected to critically compare and contrast the theories and methodologies employed in creating psychological knowledges, with those commonly used in the discipline of criminology and in this context, they will be expected to recognise both the contributions and problems presented by the use of psychological knowledges in the criminal justice process. Students will also be expected to undertake their own research project around a psychological theme and present (individually) on how their results might impact on a relevant criminal justice issue.OptionalRegions and Regionalisms 2025-26IST2015MLevel 52025-26OptionalSocial Engagement 2025-26SOP2011MLevel 52025-26This module encourages students to undertake one or more external activities relevant to their programme of study, and to engage in a critical reflection of the nature of this activity and how it relates to society as a whole and to their personal development as individuals. Relevant activities may involve significant interaction with an organisation outside the University providing an appropriate experience additional to the student’s programme of studies, such as voluntary work or mentoring within a service-providing organisation. Please note that students will be expected to play a significant role in initiating and arranging their programme of experience and to take responsibility for the frequency and form of experience. There may be additional costs in the form of transportation and accommodation depending on where students wish to pursue experience. The experience will be required to consist of a minimum of 30 hours.OptionalSociology of Law 2025-26SOS2013MLevel 52025-26OptionalSociology of Religion 2025-26SOS2014MLevel 52025-26OptionalStrategic Studies 2025-26IST2020MLevel 52025-26Strategic studies introduce students to the concepts of strategy and war through different case studies. The module offers students the opportunity to explore the different theories and forms of strategy. It also enables student to understand key themes, including the changing nature of war, the security implications of new technologies, the rise of new actors, as well as the different dimensions of conflict in world politics today. The main task students would need to engage with is to evaluate and explain contemporary issues and thus deepen their understanding of Strategic Studies. The transformation in the nature of the current warfare as well as surprising events, such as 9/11 or the rise of new pandemics, have created a new context for study with great implications on core concepts of Strategic Studies.OptionalStudy Abroad 2025-26CRI2009MLevel 52025-26OptionalThe Vigilant State: intelligence and national security 2025-26POL2007MLevel 52025-26This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the study of intelligence. It focuses on the basic concepts in intelligence by establishing first what is meant by intelligence, before examining the various elements of intelligence - collection, analysis, counterintelligence and associated activities such as covert political action.OptionalTransnational Security Studies 2025-26IST2018MLevel 52025-26This course aims to provide students with an advanced and comprehensive overview of transnational security in the 21st century. Specifically, it seeks to understand the issues, actors and solutions that drive security agendas in various parts of the world. Through a detailed study of key debates and key issues in the study and practice of security, the module engages with the following three questions: Security for whom and from what?; Security by whom?; Security of what and where? Emphasis will be placed on the philosophical and political connotations of certain security problems, the impact of security actors in the meaning and practice of security, and the ‘constructed’ nature of our understanding of certain contemporary security challenges.OptionalUnderstanding Domestic Abuse 2025-26CRI2010MLevel 52025-26This module will critically examine the nature, extent and impact of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Taking a criminological approach, the module will explore a wide range of academic, policy and practitioner perspectives. Students will explore the recent development of domestic violence and abuse as a criminological problem within a changing political landscape. This will include understanding a survivor’s journey in the context of victimology and examining the legal, criminal justice and community responses. The module will also explore the emerging literature on primary and secondary prevention perpetrator programmes.OptionalUnderstanding the City 2025-26SOP2009MLevel 52025-26Over half the planet’s population now lives in an urban area and urbanisation across the globe looks set to continue spreading inexorably. However, cities are contradictory sites of human development patterned by opportunity, inequality, exploitation and conflict. These traits pose challenges for the meeting of human welfare needs and for our understandings of contemporary life within cities. This module aims to enable students to analyse the emergence of cities across time and space, and through analysis of the city, enable students the opportunity to develop the tools to interpret key contemporary sociological, political and policy trends.OptionalUnderstanding the European Union 2025-26IST2013MLevel 52025-26This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the history, institutions, policies and general workings of the European Union.OptionalWelfare Policy and Work 2025-26SOP2010MLevel 52025-26The module is designed to examine the ways in which the state, through its social security and labour market policies, has affected the lives of those in paid work and those outside it. A particular focus of the course is on the emerging all-party consensus on welfare policy, in which mainstream politicians agree that benefits should no longer be paid to people of working age who refuse work or training, and that governments must ensure that jobs pay more than out-of-work benefits.OptionalWork and Society 2025-26SOS2015MLevel 52025-26This module seeks to explore the relationship between work and society, drawing on different classical and contemporary sociological theories of work. It aims to examine key areas within the sociology of work such as concepts of work, work-place inequalities, resistance and the reality and challenges of engaging in paid work in the 21st Century.OptionalYouth Justice 2025-26CRI2006MLevel 52025-26This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to explore the youth justice system in depth, including the theoretical and historical contexts of youth justice, contemporary policy and practice developments and the salience of political agendas in constructing responses to young people’s offending behaviour.OptionalYouth, Deviance and Society 2025-26CRI2020Level 52025-26This module prompts students to reflect upon contemporary examples of 'youth deviance' utilising theoretical ideas from the sociologies of youth and deviance. Through a reflection upon contemporary narratives of young people as 'deviant', 'dangerous' and 'out of control', the module encourages critical reflection upon the construction of these narratives. Through engagement with sociological approaches to understanding youth and deviance, students are introduced to explanations for young people's engagement in activities regarded as 'deviant'. The module will focus upon contemporary examples, such as, youth violence, recreational substance use, and young people's engagement in differing forms of protest movements.OptionalChallenges of the Global Public Sphere 2026-27IST3010Level 62026-27Since the end of the Cold War, politics has taken on more global dimensions. Intensified globalisation, lower barriers to international travel and communication, and the growth of international social movements and non-governmental organisations have provided more opportunities than ever before for people to become active in the global public sphere. How should we go about trying to make global change? Can we legitimately take action on issues in national or cultural contexts far from our own? How should we understand the connections between local action and global solutions? This module will examine the opportunities and obstacles for our meaningful participation in a global public sphere. The module will help students to gain a more critical and nuanced understanding of the possibilities of (their own) global citizenship.CoreIndependent Study (Social Science) 2026-27SOP3009MLevel 62026-27This module is designed to be the capstone of the research skills training developed in students’ programmes. It aims to build their capacity for independent research: thinking and problem solving, design of an independent research project, selection of an appropriate topic and methodology, and writing up of results in a substantial dissertation. Guidance will be provided throughout by a designated supervisor. To support students with an applied and practical interest in the subject matter, the module coordinator and supervisor may decide to allow students to base their research project on a negotiated work placement, whether arranged independently by the student or through the University, where the learning outcomes will be demonstrated by a work-placed project along with a reflective report on their experience that engages with relevant academic literature.CoreAnalysing the Policy Process 2026-27SOP3005MLevel 62026-27Aiming to build upon Understanding the Policy Process, this module is designed to support students not only to continue to develop their knowledge of a range of perspectives on the policy process but, in addition, to use these to analyse a case study relevant to their degree programme.OptionalBody Politics 2026-27SOS3002MLevel 62026-27This module aims to introduce students to different paradigms of the 'body' and 'embodiment'. Recent research suggests that our understandings and our relationship with our own and other ‘bodies’ has been and is continuing to undergo radical changes. This module will seek to explore these ongoing developments in Western and non-Western cultures and societies.OptionalCentral Asia in Global Politics 2026-27POL3084MLevel 62026-27This module serves as an introduction to the international politics of Central Asia. The module explores Central Asia’s domestic post-Soviet transition and analyses the tension between tradition and modernity, the legacies of Soviet rule, political and economic transformation, the rise of absurdist dictatorships, nation-building, clan politics and conflict, protest and revolution. Students will also examine Central Asia in global context by assessing the challenges faced by the region. This includes addressing the region’s geo-strategic significance to international security. It will explore issues such as political Islam and the threat of terrorism, energy security, organised crime and migration, the so-called ‘New Great Game’ for power and influence in the region between Russia the US, EU and China, the international security challenges related to the region’s proximity to Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan and the issue of regional cooperation through Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Organisation Cooperation. There are few places in the UK where students have the opportunity to study the politics and international relations of Central Asia. Thus, students will have a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of this fascinating and vital region for global politics.OptionalChildren, Families and the State 2026-27SOS3004MLevel 62026-27This module aims to encourage critical thinking about the impacts of family policies on children and families through the application of sociological theories and concepts to develop critical explanations. Students who engage with this module will develop an understanding of the nature and complexity of family policies and their impacts; of family change and diversity over time; and how and why particular services and institutions might intervene in family life and shape social experiences and relationships.OptionalCommunity and Conflict 1 2026-27SOP3006MLevel 62026-27OptionalCommunity and Conflict 2 2026-27SOP3007MLevel 62026-27OptionalCounter-Terrorism Studies 2026-27POL3085MLevel 62026-27Throughout this module students will have the opportunity to explore how state agencies respond to real and perceived threats of extremism and terrorism. This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the extent to which the state and the media frame extremism and terrorism.OptionalCrimes of the Powerful 2026-27CRI3076MLevel 62026-27This module critically examines the deviant activities of the powerful and their impact on the struggle for social justice. In contrast to much of orthodox criminology, which tends to focus its attention ‘downwards’, and onto the actions of the poor, dispossessed and relatively powerless, this module shifts the gaze ‘upwards’, and onto the harmful activities of states, corporations and similarly powerful collectives. Drawing from a myriad of human rights frameworks, a critical stance is taken towards the concepts of crime, power and legitimacy to understand and explain the deviant activities of these ‘elites’, and illuminate potential avenues for prevention, protection and redress.OptionalDecolonial Futures 2026-27IST3007MLevel 62026-27This module responds to calls for scholars of the social sciences - especially those working in areas such as international relations, development studies and transnational and globalization studies - to more fully understand and more critically engage with the complex dynamics that shape relations between the majority and minority worlds. At this outset, this involves identifying how these relationships are informed by the politics of representation and processes of knowledge production and dissemination. In doing so, the module draws upon contemporary debates surrounding postcolonialism and decoloniality. By analysing the complexities of representing diverse voices, experiences and cultures, the module investigates the ethical implications and challenges of speaking for others.OptionalEmotions in Everyday Social Life 2026-27SOS3005MLevel 62026-27This module seeks to emphasise the significance of emotions in everyday social life and to challenge some of the essentialist explanations of human emotion by exploring ‘emotions’ as social constructs. In doing so, the module aims to explore the role emotions play in social action, considering, for example, how we form personal relationships, make sense of death, dying and falling in love. Furthermore, this module will also consider how emotions are ‘gendered’, ‘racialised’ and explore the role they play in the workplace, and in laws and governance.OptionalExperiencing Prison 2026-27CRI3077MLevel 62026-27This module explores the varied and diverse experiences of imprisonment. The aim of the module is to empower students to critically consider both the intended and unintended effects of prison and to enable students to develop an independent and reflexive understanding of policy and practice within the prison environment.OptionalExtremism, Terrorism and Counterterrorism 2026-27CRI****Level 62026-27Stories of extremism and political violence are all around us. Media and social media stories on terrorism and counterterrorism are common, despite terrorism being quite rare in many Western countries. In this module, you will explore the complex issues of extremism and terrorism: what they entail, why they have captured the imagination of so many, and why individuals and groups become radicalised and are willing to commit acts of terrorism. You will learn about the threats we face and what governments can do to address these issues. You will examine counterterrorism through the lens of the four Ps: Prevention, Pursuit, Protective Security, and Emergency Preparedness. By understanding what extremism and terrorism are, the true threat we face, and how the government responds, you will gain insight into why extremism is escalating and why terrorism will continue to be a significant problem for years to come.OptionalGlobal Cyber Governance 2026-27IST3012Level 62026-27OptionalGlobal Governance 2026-27IST3005MLevel 62026-27This module explores the concept and practice of global governance. International Relations scholars are increasingly concerned with how international organisations work and how they might work better. Of particular interest is the governance of issues that are inherently global; that is, those that transcend national borders. Examples include migration, health, conflict, poverty, trade, finance, the environment and science and technology. The module begins with the historical development of international institutions and key theories that seek to explain how global governance operates currently. It then considers how global governance might be improved, in theory and practice. These ideas are then applied to a range of case studies.OptionalGlobal Health Governance 2026-27IST3008MLevel 62026-27In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governance of global health has become a major issue in world politics. Increasingly, health and healthcare issues cross national borders. Intergovernmental organizations (e.g. the World Health Organization), non-governmental organizations (e.g. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and multinational corporations (‘big pharma’) play key roles in global health, as well as national governments and health systems. This module examines the key actors in global health and their contributions to the governance of a range of global health issues, such as infectious disease, reproductive health and medical tourism.OptionalGreen Criminology 2026-27CRI3079MLevel 62026-27OptionalInternational Human Rights (Social Sciences) 2026-27SOS3152MLevel 62026-27This module is designed to introduce students to human rights at both the conceptual and practical level. It aims to explore the theoretical arguments around the source of human rights and identifies some of the problems and possibilities which emerge from such readings.OptionalInternational Law 2026-27LAW3066MLevel 62026-27The aim of this module is to introduce students to the dynamic, constantly evolving area of international law. Students will have the opportunity to study legal rules which operate in a much broader theatre than national law, with the aim of helping them develop a greater understanding of a changing world order. The module seeks to examine both theoretical and practical applications of International Law and aims to provide students with ample scope for research and independent study.OptionalInternational Protection Mechanisms and Policy Practices 2026-27IST3011Level 62026-27OptionalInternational Relations of the Middle East 2026-27IST3009MLevel 62026-27The module aims to enhance the knowledge of Modern Middle East and its international relations through the creation of links between different approaches of IR and regional cases. In this context, it aims to inform the students about the realities of decision making at the foreign policy level but also look at the relations between state and non-state entities on both the regional and international level. The thematic division of the module helps the students acquire knowledge in a range of topical issues of critical importance for the international relations of the Middle Eastern region.OptionalLife After Prison: Reintegration and Rehabilitation 2026-27CRI3078MLevel 62026-27The 'Life After Prison' module, designed for third-year criminology students, provides a comprehensive look at the challenges and strategies involved in the reintegration and rehabilitation of individuals post-incarceration. This course covers key topics such as social stigma, legal barriers, mental health problems, and the role of supportive networks.OptionalMasculinity, Gender and Power 2026-27POL3001MLevel 62026-27Gender and masculinity are contested in contemporary academic and public debates. Polarised popular narratives construct masculinity as either inherently “toxic”, powerful, and damaging to women (and men), or, in stark contrast, as fragile, under siege, and in urgent need of reclamation. Critical masculinity scholars have scrutinised these claims, examining the role of men and masculinity in creating equality and/or reinforcing inequality in a world profoundly shaped by continuing gendered inequalities and power relations. The module draws on feminist, interdisciplinary masculinity studies to examine academic concepts of masculinity, notions of hegemonic (or ‘dominant’) masculinity, and intersections between masculinity and other factors (for example, race, culture, and sexuality, amongst others). It applies these concepts to understanding how constructions of masculinities function in different empirical contexts to reproduce power and inequalities and/or to provide opportunities for resistance. Students will be encouraged to develop their own critical, informed perspectives on how gender and masculinity shape social and political structures and everyday lives.OptionalMigration and Borders in the UK and Europe 2026-27POL3083MLevel 62026-27This module explores how European countries have responded to increased migration, its challenges, and its opportunities. Students examine how and why European states (including the UK) have at times criminalised migration and at other times encouraged it. They labour migration, family migration, and refugee migration flows to and within Europe since World War II. The module explores how borders have become central to European politics and society, how various actors in the political arena have both propelled this development and responded to it. It examines the influence in this area that interest groups, the EU, and political parties have had. The module particularly examines the UK within this comparative context, using Lincolnshire as a case study.OptionalNew Social Movements 2026-27POL3004MLevel 62026-27OptionalParliamentary Studies 2026-27POL3005MLevel 62026-27This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of how the UK Parliament works, in theory and in practice. It will aim to examine Parliament’s twin relationships with the Executive and with the citizen, and situate these within broader theories and debates about democratic accountability and the nature of representation. The module also aims to bring students into closer contact with Parliament through handling Parliamentary materials and by facilitating contact with Parliamentarians through, for example an external speaker series, and when possible an optional visit to Parliament. Please note that where opportunities arise to take part in a trip to Parliament, students are expected to cover their own transportation and meal costs.OptionalPenology and Penal Policy 2026-27CRI3073MLevel 62026-27Overview: This third-year criminology module offers an in-depth exploration of penology and penal policy within the wider context of social control. It blends historical and theoretical perspectives with contemporary practices, preparing students for advanced understanding and critical analysis in the field. Key Topics: - Theories of punishment and social control - Philosophy of punishment (justice, deterrence, rehabilitation) - Engage with current debates in criminal justiceOptionalPolicing in Practice 2026-27CRI3005MLevel 62026-27This module looks at the way contemporary issues in UK policing affect Lincolnshire Police in practice. The module is run as a 2-hour workshop, exploring contemporary challenges in policing and how they play out in the operational realities of policing in Lincolnshire. You will be taught at least half of your workshops by policing professionals including serving police officers and other practitioners. Topics covered may include governance, armed police, public order, equality and diversity in policing, mental health, leadership, police culture and assaults.OptionalPolitical Transformations of Russia and China 2026-27POL3006MLevel 62026-27OptionalPolitics and its Discontents 2026-27POL3008Level 62026-27This module asks students to re-think ‘the political’ and the traditional cannon of Western political thinkers. The module is driven by a single question. What are the limitations of enlightenment ideas? The liberal order has governed our framing and understanding of politics, and earlier modules in the programme (People, Power and Politics, and Thinking Politics) introduced students to key ideas and theorists within the traditional canon of political thought. This module challenges students to critique and deconstruct core concepts that emerged from the enlightenment such as the state, modernity, freedom and rights, national self-determination, sex and sexuality, culture, media and communication, the environment and the public sphere and the module is structured around these themes.OptionalPsychology, Crime and Criminology 2026-27CRI3002MLevel 62026-27OptionalRace and Racism 2026-27SOS3155MLevel 62026-27This interdisciplinary module will explore the issues of race, racism, race relations, racial conflict, and practices of anti-racism in the contemporary UK and worldwide. Although the main focus of this module is on the UK, examples from different parts of the world and a comparative lens will enable us to examine these issues from a global perspective. Beginning with colonial discourses of the ‘racial other’ and the history of colonialism, slavery and indentured labour, this module will examine various theoretical and conceptual debates on race and racism, and critically assess how changing conceptualisations of race and racism arise in specific socio-political and historical contexts. The module will also provide students with the chance to assess the continued significance of race and racism in the contemporary world. Students can benefit from an cross-disciplinary approach that addresses themes across Sociology, Criminology, Politics, International Relations, and Social Policy.OptionalRussian Politics 2026-27POL3086MLevel 62026-27OptionalState and Society in Africa 2026-27POL3087Level 62026-27OptionalTerrorism and Extremism in the United Kingdom 2026-27CRI3009MLevel 62026-27The aims of the module are to: 1. Introduce students to the historical, contemporary and contentious debates concerning how the British state has and should respond to terrorism and extremism. 2. Encourage students to apply criminological and other relevant subject knowledge generated in different contexts to the study of terrorism and extremism in the United Kingdom. 3. Enable students to practice and demonstrate transferable skills in critical thinking, presentation, and oral and written communication.OptionalThe Colonial Present 2026-27IST3006MLevel 62026-27This international relations module seeks to explore the ways in which the contemporary international order can be explained as deriving from the global experience of European colonialism and imperialism. It aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop a knowledge of the nature, politics and consequences of Western colonial expansion.OptionalThe Politics of Energy 2026-27POL3007MLevel 62026-27This module is designed to cover a variety of issues relating to the politics of energy and climate change. It seeks to provide students with a history of energy and climate change policy, an exploration of theoretical approaches and political implications, and also an opportunity to develop a comparative perspective through the examination of examples of EU and global energy and climate change policy and the way in which this is now intrinsically global.OptionalUnderstanding Multiculturalism and Policy Practices 2026-27POL3003MLevel 62026-27The module explores political challenges, processes and debates around the presence of culturally diverse populations in the countries such as the UK, Germany, France and examines the role this presence plays in understanding of national identities.OptionalUnderstanding the Policy Process 2026-27SOP3004MLevel 62026-27This module is designed to focus upon the processes of policy making and implementation at both practical and theoretical levels. It aims to provide students with an introduction to a variety of models of policy making and seeks to discuss the complexities of the distribution of power and decision making, primarily, but not limited to, the field of social policy.OptionalWar Crimes and Genocide 2026-27IST3013Level 62026-27This module explores the origins of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. It investigates a diverse range of reasons for mass atrocities and genocides through placing them historical, political, philosophical and social contexts to illuminate the origins of such harms and their impact on societies.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Students are assessed in the form of essays, reports, presentations and reviews, and examinations. Assessment varies from module to module depending on the subject of study.

Studying at the University of Lincoln was an extremely rewarding experience that helped me define my future career path. The course offers fascinating and thought-provoking subjects during every term of study. I was guided by kind, passionate, and knowledgeable lecturers who gave me the opportunities to thrive and develop during my time at Lincoln.


You'll have the opportunity to apply for the voluntary, competitive work placements scheme which is run with a local council. These opportunities can offer valuable experience of a professional policy environment. Placements are undertaken at the student’s own expense and you'll be responsible for the costs associated with general living, accommodation, and travel.

Study Abroad Year

Students have the option to apply for a study abroad year at one of our partner institutions in Europe or the United States of America if they opt for the four year degree variant. In recent years, students have undertaken week long field trips to New York, Washington DC, Brussels, the Hague, Strasbourg, Geneva, Berlin and Krakow, where they have visited key international organisations, and national and international political institutions. 

During a year abroad, you won't need to pay a tuition fee to either the University of Lincoln or the host university, but will be responsible for covering travel, accommodation, and living costs and where applicable, visa costs.

What Can I Do with an International Relations and Politics Degree?

Graduates have gone on to positions in a a diverse range of areas, including roles in intergovernmental organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) and banking and accounting services.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels or equivalent qualifications

A Level: BBC.

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit or equivalent qualifications

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may also be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.


Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Find out More at an Open Day

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to join us for one of our Open Days. Visiting us in person is important and will help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

Book Your Place
Three students walking together on campus in the sunshine
The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.