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BA (Hons) International Studies
An important feature of the modern world which is widely recognised and commented upon by business people, journalists, politicians, diplomats, teachers and virtually anyone with the alertness to look about them, is its increasing inter-dependence and ‘internationalisation’. Your ability to read this message on the World Wide Web is itself a manifestation of the power of ideas to transcend national boundaries with great rapidity and at low cost. Technology has proved to be an agent which encourages co-operation across national boundaries. Technological developments in transport, telecommunications and computing have encouraged economic changes such as the decline in barriers to trade, the internationalisation of financial markets, the rise of global companies, and a massive increase in the volume of international trade in goods and services. These trends have been accompanied by political developments such as the rise of regional trading groupings of countries, international efforts to agree about common legal and technical rules to govern business dealings, arguments about ‘tax competition’ between countries, as well as increasing concern about the environmental consequences associated with world economic development. Enormous social tensions arise as these international forces come into conflict with long established ways of doing things in every country. Political and social systems are in a continuous process of adjustment to an increasingly open world.
The International Studies programme at Buckingham gives you an opportunity to learn about these fundamental problems. With students coming to Buckingham from over 80 countries, it is an ideal environment to learn about matters of international concern and to discuss them with people from differing cultural backgrounds. The programme is inter-disciplinary and covers economic, political, legal, historical and cultural dimensions. Graduates from the International Studies programme will have acquired a knowledge of economics sufficient to analyse and understand the global marketplace; a familiarity with political systems in a range of different countries; and a good historical understanding of how the international framework has evolved over time.
Students wishing to pursue careers in the media, journalism, international business, politics, diplomacy or education should find the programme very attractive for their first degree.
This is the 2-year, or 2-year (+ 1 term) format of the BA degree. You get the same number of teaching weeks as the 3-year degree, but complete the syllabus in a shorter time by working an extra summer term. This is for those who want to complete more quickly, and so begin their career, or progress earlier to further training or a higher degree. For the traditional 3-year format of this BA, with summer break, see BA International Studies 3 Years | September.
Modules available on this course
- Africa and the Dominions
- Appeasement and War
- Business Ethics
- Competing Approaches to Political Analysis
- European Industrial Revolutions
- Government and Politics of China
- Government and Politics of the UK and the US
- International Economics
- International Law
- International Relations: Theories and Concepts
- Intervention, Free Trade and Protection
- Introduction to Political Thought
- Issues in Developing Economies and the MENA Region
- Liberalism and Nationalism
- Political Communication
- Political Psychology
- Politics of Latin America
- Politics of the Middle East
- Principles of Macroeconomics
- Principles of Microeconomics
- Regulation and Privatisation
- Rivalries and Alliances 1879-1914
- Service Management (September entry)
- The Bipolar World 1945-1975
- The Economics of Europe
- The Economics of the Labour Market
- The European Union in the International System
- The New International Society 1975-2005
- The Rise of the Dictators
- Theories of Empire and India
- US Foreign Policy in Post Cold War Era
The A-level (or equivalent) requirements for this course are shown in the blue box (above). Applicants must also have GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or above (or equivalent).
If you do not meet our minimum requirements at A-level you may be considered for our Foundation Pathway, depending on grades.
Applicants with no previous knowledge of the chosen language must begin in September for a fast-track induction programme. To commence studies in January, applicants must have at least grade ‘C’ GCSE in their chosen language.
You may apply either through the national UCAS university admissions system, or at any time directly to the University using our own online application form.
Because of our two-year degree we find that the age range of our student body varies between those who have recently completed A-levels (or equivalent) to more mature students. Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.
We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.
The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.
If English is not your first language, please check our undergraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.
Wherever possible, you will be invited to the University to meet the Admissions Tutor for an informal interview and to have a tour of our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so if the Admissions Tutor has any queries about your application you may be conducted by skype, email or phone.
The Admissions Officer for International Studies would be happy to answer any questions you may have:
We offer high quality, traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, which leads to our degrees being recognised around the world. The standards of degrees and awards are safeguarded by distinguished external examiners – senior academic staff from other universities in the UK – who approve and moderate assessed work.
High calibre staff
Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers, many of whom also have a background in business or industry and can offer networking opportunities for students.
Teaching is carried out through a combination of lectures supported by seminars and tutorials. A key feature of the Buckingham teaching method is the use of small tutorial groups which provide the most effective means of ensuring that the students benefit from the academic expertise at their disposal. It is also the philosophy of Buckingham’s faculty to be available to students outside the scheduled tutorial times and to encourage good working relationships between staff and students.
A range of activities is pursued within the tutorial groups depending upon the module. Some modules emphasise problem solving as a means of reinforcing and cementing the important ideas – for example the module in Microeconomic Theory. Occasionally we use game playing to encourage discussion and understanding – for example when competing groups of students try to control a computer model of the economy in Principles of Macroeconomics. Other modules place greater emphasis on writing short and accurate technical pieces (Welfare Economics) or longer more discursive papers.
The assessment of individual modules within each course varies according to the subject. Assessment is usually by examination, assessed coursework, or a combination of the two. Please check module information for more details.
Preparation for work
All our degree courses combine academic challenge with the transferable skills that will stand you in good stead for future employment. Many of our more vocationally-focused degrees offer the opportunity of work placements and experience in industry.
We have a high graduate employment rate, The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked Buckingham top for graduate employability with 98.1% in July 2015.
Our graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.
What our students and alumni say
“I chose to study at the University of Buckingham for several reasons: first of all, I found the programme that was of great interest to me (International Studies), and I also found out that I could combine it with Spanish Language, which is another passion of mine. I was always interested in international relations, but I never thought that studying this programme at this university would be such a rewarding experience. Secondly, the University of Buckingham offered me the opportunity to complete my Bachelor degree in just 2 years; thirdly, it was not only through classes that I have been learning something new on the subject, but also in my every day student life: the University of Buckingham has representatives of 92 different nationalities! What else could be better than understanding international relations through living in such an international community? For me, this university became a home, where I was surrounded by excellent support from academic and non – academic staff, willing to assist me at any time; by students just like me, who came here from different parts of the world – this experience is unforgettable!
I am very happy that I have chosen to study at the University of Buckingham. All my expectations in terms of academic support and guidance at lectures and tutorials, the on-campus multicultural atmosphere and the ideal location of the University, have been met. I am proud of being the University of Buckingham graduate and I would definitely recommend to all my friends, who want to study in the UK, to come study here!”
International Studies with Spanish, 2008
“The only two factors necessary for learning any language are motivation and a good learning method. So the motivated amongst you are indeed lucky: Buckingham sports a wonderful language department with very friendly teachers. I was lucky enough to study both French and Spanish and, thanks to the efforts of my tutors, I achieved excellent results in both.
Why study a language as part of your degree? Two reasons. Firstly, knowledge of a foreign language gives you a clear advantage in an increasingly competitive and globalised job market. Second, and perhaps most crucially, it gives one a certain je ne sais quoi, a particular charm which can be most favourable when engaging in courtship rituals with your fellow lady or gentleman. Think James Bond.”
International Studies with French
“I studied International Studies and Spanish at Buckingham University; to learn another language can be invaluable whether professionally or for pleasure. Spanish is at the moment the fourth most spoken language in the world and growing in numbers, so I thought to be able to combine learning another language with my degree subjects would be perfect.
In my experience I have found that the university is committed to helping you achieve your potential and best possible grades and this is reflected in the dedicated hard work of the lecturers. The department offers you the chance to begin at a level that suits you if you have had previous experience of learning the language or to start from the beginning – like I did. The classes in Spanish are small numbers and this means you get the attention of the lecturers that you otherwise may lack from a larger university; lecturers also reassure you that they are always available to assist even outside of lesson times, which is especially helpful near exam time!
I have totally enjoyed my course at Buckingham University and would definitely recommend learning another language!”
International Studies with Spanish
The following fee illustrations provide an insight into the cost savings which can be made by studying at the University of Buckingham.
You may also find it useful to visit the following fee related information on our site:
Students who graduate from the University and plan to continue their studies with a postgraduate degree at Buckingham can benefit from a very generous automatic discount on their fees:
- 33%, those with a first class honours degree from Buckingham
- 25%, those with a Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) degree from Buckingham
The following automatic awards are available to undergraduate Home students:
- High Achiever Scholarship
We offer a reduction of £2,500 on your tuition fees if you achieve ABB or above in your A levels (or equivalent) excluding General Studies. This scholarship is dependent on your making Buckingham your firm choice. It will be reviewed after your preliminary and subsequent examinations and will continue if your average mark is in the upper second or first class.
- Five Counties Scholarship
If you live in Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes), Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire* or Oxfordshire, you will be entitled to a local scholarship of £2,500 per annum providing you meet the conditions of your offer. This scholarship is dependent on your making Buckingham your firm choice. You are not eligible for this award if you hold another scholarship from the University.(* from July 2015)
- Buckingham Bursaries
If, when you join the University, you are in receipt of a Maintenance Loan of £5,000 or more from Student Finance, you will receive a further bursary of £1,100 towards your tuition fees. This bursary may not be held with any other scholarship from the University (please note that because of the significant increase in the Five Counties Scholarship, this bursary is no longer awarded in addition).
An International Law Scholarship, worth up to 25% of the LLB international fees is available through our Law School.
Details of other scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page.
*The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering educational services. If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.
We guarantee on-campus accommodation to all new students for their first four terms of study, as long as it is booked and paid for in good time, so you’re assured of a safe and secure home from home when you arrive at the University. Most new students choose this option.
Living on campus enables you to become involved in University activities, make friends, and integrate with the University community. For some of you this will be your first time in the UK; for others it will be the first time living away from home – and independence brings its challenges as well as its excitements. Whatever your circumstances, we know how important it is for you to feel comfortable in your accommodation.
All our study bedrooms are fully furnished, centrally heated, and connected to the internet. With few exceptions they have a wash basin and small refrigerator. We have a large number of ensuite rooms, and are upgrading more rooms each year. There are shared kitchens for when you wish to cook for yourself.
Find out more
We recommend that all prospective students visit our campus if they are able to, and campus tours include a typical student room. Arrange a tour via your Admissions Officer.