International Year One in International Relations and Politics

Engage with the world around you.

Your pathway to the world of politics

Studying the International Year One in International Relations and Politics will introduce you to the world of politics and global development. You will learn about the different political systems around the world and begin to understand how international issues are connected.

What will I study?

The International Year One in International Relations and Politics is a 2-semester programme that will prepare you to enter the second year of a wide range of related dual and single honours degrees at Keele. You will study a combination of core English modules and subject-specific modules that are carefully designed to focus on the academic areas most relevant to your chosen degree.

Introduction to English and Skills for University Study (3 and 2.5 semester only)

This module will help you achieve the level of English language proficiency and study skills that you will need for university study. You will also learn independent research skills.

Academic English Skills

Academic English Skills aims to provide you with thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable you to best achieve your academic potential at the University. These skills include the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Thinking Skills for international Relations and Politics

A thorough introduction to the thinking skills required for studying International Relations and Politics. Students will be encouraged to develop as questioning, independent learners and to apply rigorous analytical skills in the context of International Relations and Politics

Introduction to International Relations

An introduction to a variety of theoretical approaches included in the study of international relations, including realism, liberalism and globalisation. You will have an opportunity to apply these approaches to a range of international events through case studies.

Introduction to the Global Political Economy

An introduction to the study of international political economy through the examination of key theories and concepts. The module includes the identification of the patterns of development in the global political economy since World War II and an interdisciplinary approach demonstrating the interaction of international history, politics and economics as a means of understanding contemporary global issues.

Introduction to Politics

This module is designed to orientate students in the demands and expectations of the study of politics in a British university context, as well as providing core knowledge of political ideas, for example classical ideological traditions and the UK political parties, parliament and constitution.

Justice, Authority and Power

Study key ancient and early-modern political thinkers and their different approaches to issues of justice, authority and power. This module explores modern and contemporary political issues with a focus on justice.

The Changing World

Study international history as it relates to international relations since 1945. This module covers events since the end of World War II including the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the beginning and progress of the Cold War, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the modern origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iraq war and the rise of China.

Introduction to Security Studies

This module introduces the study of international security through the study of key theories and perspectives employed in analysing security issues. Students are made aware that security is a contested concept and while the module takes a sectoral approach to security, it also considers examples of security approaches outside of this framework.

The World Today: Comparative Politics

This module introduces the theories and methods of comparative politics. It explores key aspects of comparative politics such as regime types, institutions, electoral systems and voters. Specific states are examined in greater depth and provide context for consideration of institutions and processes.

British Politics Since 1945

This module introduces the study of British Politics. It presents an overview of the key themes in Britain's domestic politics, its relations with the rest of the world and the debates surrounding the issues of consensus and conflict in post-war Britain.

You will choose four additional modules from the following. We will recommend the modules that will best align with your chosen undergraduate degree or combined honours.

Managing and Developing People

Learn about the role of the manager, employee engagement, teamwork, leadership and management issues and managing change.

International Business Management

Study how firms operate in international markets, how they set about identifying and evaluating opportunities, quantify and minimise the risks, manage the practicalities, explore alternatives to exporting and become multinational enterprises.


How does the marketing role drive success and deliver results? Study topics such as understanding customer needs and consumer behaviour, marketing research, market segmentation, the marketing mix and digital re-mix and marketing ethics. Explore emerging processes for engaging the marketing function in digital spaces.

Introduction to Human Resource Management

The success of a business often relies on its relationships with its employees. Study the theory and practice of human resource management focusing on current human resources practice and the impact of topical issues and legislation.

Introduction to the Global Economy

Whilst international trade provides great opportunities to organisations and national economies, its complexity, diversity and scale of operation present significant risk. Learn about the key differences, complexities and risks involved in trading in a global context.

Law for Business

Study the legal foundation of employer's rights and duties in the context of a UK corporation, the English Legal System, Contract, Employment and Company Law. The module also provides an opportunity to develop and strengthen analytical and problem solving skills.

Accounting Principles

Develop the techniques to produce financial statements, prepare budgets and complete analytical problem solving tasks which reflect workplace practices.

Financial Accounts

Building on the knowledge and skills developed in Accounting Principles, this module focuses on Financial Accounting in practice, more advanced accounting study and includes a concise study of the legal requirements for publication and the process of incorporation.

Financial Markets

Study the institutional framework that underpins financial markets and the instruments that are traded by financial institutions and enterprises. Develop and apply your knowledge and skills in economic theory such as supply and demand, market efficiency, risk and arbitrage, as well as practical analysis using discounting and investment appraisal. The module allows access to "live" data, thereby enhancing employability skills.


Learn about how markets work and the behaviour of individuals, firms and government through applying economic theory to a series of applied case studies. You will also learn how to express models and theories mathematically.


This module focuses on how the economy as a whole works and the nature and determinants of economic success. It introduces the concept of national income accounting and an economy's key performance indicators.

Quantitative Methods for Business

This module is specifically designed to develop understanding of the technical and quantitative aspects of finance and economics to inform decision making. Develop your skills in data collection, presentation, interpretation and analysis, conditional probability and probability distributions, statistical inference and calculus.

The Mediated World

Media, Communications and Culture form a central part of our contemporary lives: from the way we access the news, to the way meaning is produced in cultural forms such as television, film, literature and music. We rely on media technology to sustain our everyday social relationships as well as to engage in the worlds of business, politics, and international affairs. This module focuses on the key ideas, theories and thinkers in media, communications and cultural studies.

The Photographic Message

This module places an emphasis on the critical analysis of visual communication, the way in which we look at and interpret visual imagery and issues surrounding photographic representation. It also introduces both photographic methods of image production and the theory of representation. Students will be required to develop a photomontage as part of the assessment.

Digital Video

This module provides a broad introduction to the theoretical and practical elements of filmmaking. Key technologies, techniques, practices, genres, auteurs and critical perspectives are considered as well as the ways in which they can be situated against social, political, economic and institutional contexts.

Understanding Culture

An introduction to the cultural theories that are essential in analysing not only the mass media but everyday communicative practices more broadly. Explore the role of culture both in creating and understanding meaningful media texts and a range of media issues such as how media texts relate to broader cultural norms and values; the difficulties of intercultural communication and political questions about the way that issues, people and products are represented.

Fundamentals of Computing

Develop your theoretical and practical knowledge of the essentials of hardware and software and the human interaction between them This module introduces the elements and topics that underpin computing and networking principles in modern day computers and computer systems.

Introduction to Programming

Use programming concepts and skills in a standard object oriented language (Java) and develop the concepts and techniques used in business applications. Alongside programming skills, students will also develop simple project management techniques and be introduced to applying systematic approaches in testing software.

Professionalism and Requirements Evaluation

Information systems do not simply come to be; develop a professional approach in identifying and meeting user needs, as well as developing your knowledge of the ethical issues and other responsibilities involved.

Information Systems and Interaction

Study the concepts, functions and operation of information systems and the underlying database technology that supports them. Develop your understanding of how people can effectively interact with such systems and how information is best presented to users, especially in an "access anywhere" paradigm that utilises web technology.

Subject-specific modules include core modules which must be taken for your International Relations and Politics programme, alongside options from other pathways. If you choose to progress to one of the combined honours programs with Business and Management, Media or Computing, you may choose options from one of these pathways. We will provide recommendations on suitable options during your programme at the International Study Centre.

Improve your English

If your English language level does not meet the minimum requirements for entry to the International Year One, we offer specialist English training to get you there. You can study Pre-sessional English for 5 or 10 weeks, depending on your current level of English.

Prepare for your future

After you successfully complete your International Year One in International Relations and Politics programme and achieve the required grades, you can enter the second year of your chosen undergraduate degree at Keele University.

Progress to your degree

Your programme will be structured to give you regular feedback on your progress and make sure you are meeting all the learning outcomes required for success on your Keele University degree course. Progression is subject to achieving the minimum English requirements and subject module grades.

The grades outlined below indicate the entry requirements to progress for the 2019/20 academic year and these are for illustration purposes only. You will be advised of the minimum requirements for progression for 2020/21 on arrival at the International Study Centre.

To enter Year 2 of your chosen degree, you need to:

  • Achieve at least 40% in all subject modules
  • Achieve at least 60% in Academic English skills.

 If you do not achieve the grades needed to enter Year 2, you may be able to enter Year 1 of your chosen degree. You need to:

  • Achieve at least 30% in all subject modules
  • Achieve at least 60% in Academic English skills.

In order to meet UKVI requirements, students should also reach the minimum of 40% in each of the individual skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - as part of their assessments.

Degree Programmes Award Overall Grade English Grade
International Relations BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
International Relations and Business Management BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
International Relations and International Business BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
International Relations and Politics BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
Politics BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
Politics and Economics BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
Politics and International Business BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
Politics and International Relations BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
Politics and Marketing BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -
Politics and Media, Communications and Culture BA (Hons) 30% and above in all subject modules -

What do our students say?

International student Hassan

"The advice I would give is that you shouldn't be afraid to ask questions from anyone. Especially strangers around the university that you might not know, as everyone here is really polite and really helpful. And they tend to answer your questions and any problems that you have. There's nothing to be scared about."

These degrees and grades are subject to change.

Combined honours

You can broaden your skills and career options by studying two subjects in equal depth.

Subject 1 subject 2
International Relations and: Business Management BA (Hons)
Human Resource Management BA(Hons)
International Business BA (Hons)
Marketing BA (Hons)
Politics BA (Hons)
Politics and: Accounting BA (Hons)
Business Management BA (Hons)
Computer Science BSc (Hons)
Economics BA (Hons)
International Business BA (Hons)
International Relations BA (Hons)
Marketing BA (Hons)
Media, Communications and Culture BA (Hons)


These degrees and grades are subject to change.

How to prepare for Keele

Hassan from Hong Kong is studying International Year One in International Relations and Politics