BA (Hons)
International Relations and Social Policy

Key Information


3-4 Years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool



Academic Year

Course Overview

From European politics and global conflicts, to policies tackling challenging and sometimes controversial issues, these degrees enable students to examine some of the most important issues of our time.

This degree draws on a range of social science disciplines to examine these issues. It explores how political, economic, and cultural forces interact to mould relationships between nations, and how this impacts on the social policies that determine the way we live our lives.

Studying these two interdisciplinary subjects together provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the way in which the national concerns of a country feed into its social policy agenda.

Teaching on this course is informed by the research expertise of academic staff from the School of Social and Political Sciences. These staff contribute to national policy debates and are engaged in research across a range of specialisms, including the politics of welfare, gender and sexuality, the international political economy, war crimes, and genocide, the politics of global health, migration, British politics, UK social policy, and political theory and security.

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 suit your preferences

Student studying in the library.

How You Study

As the course progresses, students can expand their knowledge and choose from a range of optional modules that match their individual interests. Topics include intelligence and national security, international relations in the Middle East, war crimes, community and policy making, families, and human rights. Students can take this further in their final year, where they are expected to produce an independent research study in an area of their choice.


† 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.

Applying Research (Social Sciences) 2023-24SOS1004MLevel 42023-24This 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.CoreGlobal Conflicts and Contexts 2023-24IST1100MLevel 42023-24This module aims to introduce students to core issues of relevance to international relations study. These include global inequality, international political economy, globalization and emerging transnational civil societies. The module is intended to expose students to the breadth of issues and approaches relevant to the study of international relations and international politics more broadly.CoreKey Social Science Concepts 2023-24SOS1005MLevel 42023-24This module aims to give students the opportunity to develop a 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.CoreSocial Issues and Social Justice 2023-24SOP1001MLevel 42023-24This foundation module aims to examine some key contexts and practices of social policy in the UK. It aims to provide an overview of contemporary British society and some of its pressing issues and challenges. It explores how social policy, as a broad framework of welfare, justice and rights agendas and interventions has sought to address these issues and challenges. This is set in a historical and comparative context. The module highlights the importance of understanding how social policies are framed, made and implemented and how these can be analysed within understandings of societal inequality and poverty.CoreComparative Politics and Policy 2024-25POL2001MLevel 52024-25This module is based on the belief that comparative methodology can be a useful tool for social and political analysis. The module begins with a consideration of the development of comparative approaches, the use of a range of comparative techniques and the validity of comparison. It proceeds to an examination of some basic concepts that can help provide an understanding of the bases upon which governments are built and operate. Students then have the opportunity to apply the analytical and theoretical tools from the early parts of the module to consider a variety of features of contemporary politics and policy, particularly in the context of democratic transition in different regions of the world.CoreIdeology into Practice 2024-25SOP2001MLevel 52024-25This 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.CoreModel United Nations 2024-25IST2003MLevel 52024-25This module is designed to provide an introduction to the activities of the United Nations, as well as an understanding of the practices of international diplomacy and governance. The module will aim to use a discussion of contemporary international issues to explore some of the protocol and procedures of diplomacy. It will also seek to provide students with an introduction to issues of international organisation and international law and treaty-making. All of this is designed to assist students in preparing for their role as a 'diplomat' at a Model United Nations conference.CoreThinking International Relations 2024-25IST2004MLevel 52024-25This 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.CoreChallenges of European Politics 2024-25IST2011MLevel 52024-25This 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.OptionalComparative Criminology Virtual Exchange: Criminal Justice Policy Analysis in the USA and UK 2024-25CRI2011Level 52024-25Policies 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 2024-25SOS2003MLevel 52024-25This 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 2024-25IST2016MLevel 52024-25OptionalDebating Welfare States 2024-25SOP2012MLevel 52024-25This 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.OptionalForeign Policy Analysis 2024-25IST2010MLevel 52024-25This 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 2024-25POL2008MLevel 52024-25This module will seek to examine the key components of the US political system, and the main challenges facing democratic politics in modern America. The module aims to provide a detailed historical and theoretical appreciation of the development of US democracy. It will give students the opportunity to examine the principal institutions and actors in the US political system including the President, Congress, the Supreme Court, political parties, interest groups and the media. It will also aim to trace the impact of key ideas such as constitutionalism, federalism and exceptionalism. Finally the module will aim to examine the impact of wider societal factors on US political life, such as shifting demographics and the role of religion.OptionalIdeas and Issues in Political Economy 2024-25IST2012MLevel 52024-25OptionalIntelligence and Security Law 2024-25LAW2164MLevel 52024-25This module aims to complement the study of topics such as human rights and police powers by providing students with the opportunity to examine a number of similar themes but from the less-explored point of view of the State and the exercise of its powers to protect itself. The module also aims to consider the law relating to the intelligence services and surveillance, and seeks to introduce students to certain International Law principles and issues and their impact in the UK. The examination of topical case studies aims to enable students to analyse and apply relevant law and constitutional principles to contemporary issues of UK security, and to develop awareness of their practical and everyday function.OptionalInternationalising Cultural Studies 2024-25SOS2002MLevel 52024-25This module aims to introduce a range of critical approaches within media and cultural studies frameworks to examine the contemporary distribution, reception and impact of cultural forms across national boundaries. It is designed to consider how popular cultures are constructed, marketed and then consumed by their audiences. By the conclusion of the module students will have had the opportunity to gain knowledge of significant debates in the academic cultural studies as well as the critical skills necessary for them to carry out their own small-scale studies of examples.OptionalMedical Law and Ethics 2024-25LAW2165MLevel 52024-25OptionalNations and Nationalism 2024-25POL2069MLevel 52024-25This module explores 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. The module introduces students to the competing approaches to understanding nations and nationalism by examining the ways in which nationalism can influence state development, economic relations and democratic practice.The module also engages students in the intersection between nations and other key categories in social science such as: political mobilisation, conflict, culture, gender, religion and globalisation.OptionalOrganised Crime in Global Perspective 2024-25CRI2013Level 52024-25The Organised Crime in Global Perspective module offers an in-depth exploration of the complex and ever-changing world of organised crime. This module challenges students to engage in critical reflection on the definitions and meanings of organised crime, both in academic and public discourse. We will also examine the transnational nature of organised crime and consider the various social and economic factors that shape organised criminality. By the end of this module, students will have gained a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding organised crime and its impact on society, and will have developed critical thinking and analytical skills to address these issues. This module is ideal for anyone seeking to deepen their knowledge of the global phenomenon of organised crime and its implications for contemporary society.OptionalPolicing Crime and Deviance 2024-25CRI2012Level 52024-25The Policing Crime and Deviance module offers a comprehensive exploration of the diverse forms of policing and the control of criminal activities in society. This module engages students in a critical analysis of the concepts of private and state policing, which have become increasingly complex and the subject of intense debate amongst criminologists. Students will be encouraged to draw upon relevant theoretical explanations to understand the changes in the policing of crime and deviance, and to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the challenges that modern policing faces in the 21st century. By examining the role of various institutions in surveillance, control, and management of human behavior and populations, students will gain a nuanced understanding of the evolving nature of policing. This module provides a valuable opportunity for students to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills and gain a deep understanding of the complex issues surrounding policing and crime in contemporary society.OptionalPolitical Parties 2024-25POL2005MLevel 52024-25This 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; and the partisan divide. 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, towards the end of the module 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.OptionalPolitics and Society in Contemporary China 2024-25POL2006MLevel 52024-25OptionalResearching in Social Science 2024-25SOS2012MLevel 52024-25Building on the level 1 module Applying Research, this module seeks to systematically scrutinise examples of research undertaken in the subject area of Social Policy/Sociology. The module has two main aims. First, to enable students to understand, in concrete terms, what constitutes research in Social Policy/Sociology and how the research process leads to the production of specific research outputs including dissertations, theses, published academic articles and research monographs. Second, the module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge base necessary for the production of research proposals and outputs.OptionalResearching Politics and International Relations 2024-25IST2006MLevel 52024-25Aiming to build upon the level 1 module, Applying Research, this module is designed to focus more deeply on the nature of research undertaken in the subject areas of Politics and International Relations. The main aim of the module is to give students the opportunity to develop an understanding of what constitutes research in Politics and International Relations and how the research process leads to the production of specific research outputs including dissertations, theses, published academic articles and research monographs.OptionalSocial Engagement 2024-25SOP2011MLevel 52024-25This 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 students 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 Education 2024-25SOS2019MLevel 52024-25This module will introduce students to a range of key themes, theories and perspectives that critically reflect on the nature and purpose of education. The module will provide students with an overview of the history of education (formal and informal), including the development of education policies in the UK, but also extends beyond this to consider a range of international perspectives. The module will also introduce students to a range of sociological theories and perspectives that examine the nature and purpose of education in society. The module will also engage with issues of (in)equality in education and will examine concepts such as class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability citizenship and intersectionality. Furthermore, the module will also explore alternative approaches to education globally, including informal education provision, digital education, the home schooling movement and more liberatory, critical and popular pedagogies.OptionalStrategic Studies 2024-25IST2020MLevel 52024-25Strategic 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 2024-25CRI2009MLevel 52024-25OptionalThe Politics of Sex and Sexuality 2024-25POL2070MLevel 52024-25This 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.OptionalThe Vigilant State: intelligence and national security 2024-25POL2007MLevel 52024-25This 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.OptionalThinking Politics 2024-25POL2003MLevel 52024-25This modules seeks to examine the historical background to the various strands of political thought and ideas. In doing this, it aims to build upon some of the major ideas and concepts introduced at level one, by illustrating linkages between political theories and other aspects of politics. In particular, reference is made to key thinkers who have left their intellectual imprint on political ideas and beliefs.OptionalTransnational Security Studies 2024-25IST2018MLevel 52024-25This course aims to provide students with an advanced and comprehensive overview of international 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 the City 2024-25SOP2009MLevel 52024-25Over half the planets 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 2024-25IST2013MLevel 52024-25This 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 2024-25SOP2010MLevel 52024-25The 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 2024-25SOS2015MLevel 52024-25This 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 2024-25CRI2006MLevel 52024-25This 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 peoples offending behaviour.OptionalYouth, Culture and Resistance 2024-25SOS2001MLevel 52024-25This module seeks to prompt a sociological enquiry into youth cultures, addressing issues of identity and meaning within the behaviour, consumption and lifestyles of young people. Reflecting upon contemporary narratives of youth as dangerous or out of control, the module aims to investigate the plurality of youth cultures, and the diversity of young peoples cultural practices.OptionalAnalysing the Policy Process 2025-26SOP3005MLevel 62025-26Aiming 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.CoreGlobal Civil Society 2025-26IST3004MLevel 62025-26This module will aim to address the historical origins of global civil society (e.g. the anti-slavery movement), together with diverse and competing contemporary meanings of global civil and uncivil society.CoreGlobal Governance 2025-26IST3005MLevel 62025-26This 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 health, the environment, poverty, trade, finance, security, conflict and crime. The module begins with the historical development of international institutions and key theories of global governance. It then examines present day international organisations, in terms of their power, efficacy and impact. The final part of the module assesses whether current governance arrangements are addressing global challenges sufficiently well or whether there is potential and scope for improvement.CoreUnderstanding the Policy Process 2025-26SOP3004MLevel 62025-26This 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.CoreBody Politics 2025-26SOS3002MLevel 62025-26This 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.OptionalCare or control? Welfare institutions in Britain before the welfare state 2025-26SOP3035MLevel 62025-26This module focuses on welfare institutionalisation in Britain before the emergence of the welfare state. Through a series of case studies, the module explores why and how people entered welfare institutions and considers the extent to which they were caring and controlling. Students can benefit from an cross-disciplinary approach as this module addresses themes across Social Policy, Criminology, Sociology and Politics.OptionalChildren, Families and the State 2025-26SOS3004MLevel 62025-26This module aims to examine the nature of family policy as it has developed for different family forms and for different purposes, and seeks to consider why an understanding of family policy is important in the twenty-first century. This is set in historical, ideological and comparative contexts.OptionalCommunity and Conflict 1 2025-26SOP3006MLevel 62025-26OptionalCommunity and Conflict 2 2025-26SOP3007MLevel 62025-26OptionalCounselling and Guidance Skills 2025-26HEA3031MLevel 62025-26This module aims to introduce students to a range of contemporary models of counselling and guidance practice. The aim is to give students the opportunity to develop skills and attitudes that can be of value in a variety of human service settings. A key feature of the module will be to allow students the opportunity to make judgements as to the appropriateness of using such techniques in different scenarios.OptionalCounter-Terrorism Studies 2025-26POL3085MLevel 62025-26Throughout 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 2025-26CRI3076MLevel 62025-26This 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.OptionalFamily Law 2025-26LAW3073MLevel 62025-26This module aims to examine the law in England and Wales relating to the family and in particular the law on marriage, divorce, cohabiting couples, financial and property rights, and rights and duties relating to children. This module seeks to provide students with an interest in this area the opportunity to develop a detailed understanding of the practical law relating to the family and to examine ethical issues and the wider policy considerations that lie behind it.OptionalGender and Violence 2025-26SOS3006MLevel 62025-26This module explores the issue of gender-based violence (GBV) in contemporary society. GBV is understood as behaviour or attitudes underpinned by inequitable power relations that hurt, threaten or undermine people because of their gender or (perceived) sexuality. The module starts by addressing the definitions and conceptual boundaries utilised in understanding GBV, and key theoretical perspectives on GBV, taking an in-depth look at debates in GBV scholarship, such as issues around intersectionality, patriarchy and patriarchal bargain, e.g., whether this is a useful concept and how far it can explain (global) gendered power relations. These issues will be developed through case studies of specific forms of GBV such as domestic violence and sexual coercion and rape. These case studies will explore specific forms of GBV in the context of the broader theoretical debates, as well as the current knowledge base on incidence, prevalence and responses to GBV. The module will also explore theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations when researching GBV.OptionalGreen Criminology 2025-26CRI3079MLevel 62025-26OptionalHuman Rights (Social Sciences) 2025-26SOS3152MLevel 62025-26This 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.OptionalIndependent Study (Politics and International Relations) 2025-26POL3002MLevel 62025-26Students are expected to prepare and submit an Independent Study Proposal during semester B at Intermediate Level and appropriate supervisors will be allocated at this stage. The Independent Study preparation will be focused through the Research in Social Policy and Research in Politics and International Relations modules, which aim to familiarise students with real and active models of research in relevant areas.OptionalIndependent Study 2025-26SOP3009MLevel 62025-26This Level 3 Module will build upon the skills and knowledge gained during Level 2s research modules. At Level 3, students will work with their supervisors to produce a research project. The Independent Study module will be guided by a clear process of refining research proposals, working with supervisors, initiation of lines of enquiry; implementation and monitoring of research activities over the academic year. Therefore, the Independent Study module will be guided by a clearly demarcated process of: research proposal; refinement; supervisor allocation; critical comment; initiation of lines of enquiry; implementation and monitoring of research activities over the academic year. Therein student progress will be reviewed in relation to research undertaken, clarity of objectives, report/dissertation plan and the work/chapters undertaken thus far. The teaching support will be ongoing over the academic year; but will be primarily geared to assisting the student on issues/problems such as research methods and ethical considerations, managing and presenting research materials and suitable theoretical approaches in their chosen research area, rather than reviewing and substantively commenting upon written chapters.OptionalInternational Law 2025-26LAW3066MLevel 62025-26The 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 Relations of the Middle East 2025-26IST3009MLevel 62025-26The 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.OptionalMulticulturalism and Britishness 2025-26POL3003MLevel 62025-26This module is designed to explore political challenges and debates around the presence of culturally diverse populations in the United Kingdom and aims to examine the role this presence plays in understandings of British and English identities.OptionalNew Social Movements 2025-26POL3004MLevel 62025-26OptionalParliamentary Studies 2025-26POL3005MLevel 62025-26This 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 Parliaments 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 2025-26CRI3073MLevel 62025-26This module aims to locate the theory, practice and history of punishment and penal policy in the context of social control in general. As well as aiming to address the philosophy of punishment, in terms of core concepts of justice, desert, deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation and reparation, it seeks to examine the way in which social control is a fundamental aspect of social relations.OptionalPolice Studies 2025-26CRI3005MLevel 62025-26This module will instil a focused, substantial and critical understanding of the place of policing within the contemporary complex myriad of social controls, as well as the specific organisational and political challenges faced by the police in the 21st century.OptionalPolitical Transformations of Russia and China 2025-26POL3006MLevel 62025-26OptionalRace and Racism 2025-26SOS3155MLevel 62025-26This interdisciplinary module will explore the issues of race, racism, race relations and racial conflict, and resistance to 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 2025-26POL3086MLevel 62025-26OptionalThe Developing World 2025-26IST3007MLevel 62025-26This module takes the politics, economics and societies of the developing world as its subject matter. The module aims to explore a range of contemporary issues confronting the developing world and the module seeks to use case studies extensively throughout, in order to illuminate theory and to demonstrate the broader relevance of the issues under discussion to the study of international relations.OptionalThe Politics of Energy 2025-26POL3007MLevel 62025-26This 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.OptionalThe Politics of Global Health 2025-26IST3008MLevel 62025-26This module aims to examine the concepts that shape debates in (and are shaped by) global health, including global health governance and global health diplomacy. It then seeks provide students with the opportunity to critically assesses programmes and strategies designed to address global health challenges such as pandemics, infectious and non-communicable diseases, reproductive health, biosecurity and inequalities of health.OptionalThe Politics of Masculinity 2025-26POL3001MLevel 62025-26This module is designed to explore the politics of masculinity in contemporary society. Overall, the module will aim to make the familiar strange and enable students to question their own assumptions, as well as popular and common sense notions of gender.OptionalThe Politics of Migration in the UK and Western Europe 2025-26POL3083MLevel 62025-26This module explores how different Western European states have responded to the challenges of increasing immigration. It examines the causes and dynamics of migration (labour and family) and refugee migration flows to, and within, Western Europe since World War II. It compares nation-state responses with respect to entry controls and philosophies of integration, examining the influence that interest groups, supranational institutions like the EU, and party politics (including populist radical-right politics) have on these policies. It particularly examines the UK within this comparative international context, using Lincolnshire as a case study with which students can explore academic and policy debates in this field. The module focuses on building students analytical skills and improving their understanding of the relative benefits and drawbacks of single-case and comparative approaches in assessing migration issuesOptionalWar Crimes and Genocide 2025-26SOS3062MLevel 62025-26This module is constructed as an attempt to understand the anatomy of war crimes and genocide their origins, ideological basis, socio-political contexts, the techniques and technologies used and relevant theoretical perspectives.OptionalWorking in Education and Children's Services 2025-26HEA3037MLevel 62025-26This module considers how to engage with children and families to assess and respond to needs and how to make professional judgements in decisions to safeguard and promote childrens welfare. A further key theme is working in partnership both with children and families and other agencies, considering how, in practice this can best be promoted at different levels and stages of decision-making. Emphasis will be on current research and developments. This module will be of particular value to students as a preparation for making career choices and to enhance their employability.OptionalWorking With People in Adult Social Care Settings 2025-26HEA3036MLevel 62025-26This module aims to offer students the opportunity to explore in depth the context and issues of adult health and social care and the work roles available within it. It focuses on both national policy developments and local provision, with the emphasis on the perspectives of service users and practitioners. The module will be of particular value to students as a preparation for making career choices and to enhance their employability.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

This degree uses a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures and seminars, group projects, and workshops. In an average week students are expected to attend a lecture in each of their modules, with a follow-up seminar. Seminars are usually more informal, to enable students to discuss the topic with their tutor in a smaller group and they sometimes involve students working together in groups to prepare presentations or reports.

Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment in the form of essays, reports, presentations, reviews, and examinations. Assessment varies from module to module depending on the subject of study.

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.


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.

What Can I Do with an International Relations and Social Policy 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 2023-24

United Kingdom

A Level: BCC (104 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels) or equivalent qualifications

International Baccalaureate: 28 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 104 UCAS Tariff points

A combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTEC, EPQ etc

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) 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. 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

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.

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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.