Politics and International Relations at Leicester

Why study Politics at Leicester?

Staff research

The School is internationally recognised for the quality of its research in many areas of the discipline. In international relations, the School’s research strengths include the theory and practice of diplomacy, the role of the intelligence services, the politics of arms sales, ethics and war, and South Africa’s democratic transition. Research in government and comparative politics includes work on democratisation in eastern Europe, the enlargement of the European Union, the Conservative Party, the peace process in Northern Ireland, legislative politics and American social policy. In political theory, Leicester is renowned for cutting edge research on animal rights, sovereignty and the state, and property rights.

Stimulating teaching

You will experience a variety of learning and teaching methods. We use the latest teaching resources, such as the Blackboard virtual learning environment where students can access support materials for all our modules. As well as traditional lectures and seminars, you will work in small groups, take part in debates and simulation exercises, and undertake a research project of your choice in your final year. Most modules are assessed through a combination of written examination and assessed essay.

All our staff are engaged in cutting-edge research. We believe that good teaching flourishes in an intellectual environment informed by original research. Final year modules reflect the research interests of academic staff, exposing students to the latest thinking.

The quality of teaching in the department is brilliant, and the International Relations aspect to the course makes it unique in comparison to other universities. The lectures are stimulating, and the tutorials alongside them create an important inter-personal link between students and tutors. The staff in the department are friendly and approachable, which I feel has made a huge difference to my achievements over the course of my degree.

Final year student


The development of transferable skills is a key feature of teaching at Leicester. Our courses are designed to improve your skills in written communications (from short reports to a long dissertation), oral presentation (both formal and informal), working as part of a team, independent learning (e.g. information gathering and time management), problem solving and information technology.

We participate actively in the University’s Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which encourages students to reflect on their skills and careers options. The University’s Leicester Award provides an opportunity to gain accreditation for leadership and management skills.

Supportive environment 

We provide a friendly and supportive environment, with helpful and accessible staff, and excellent pastoral care. We are proud of our reputation as one in which students who encounter academic or personal difficulties can be assured of a sympathetic and supportive response. Every student is allocated a personal tutor; the Senior Tutor and Departmental Administrator also have special responsibility for the welfare of undergraduates. The University also offers a range of specialist help through its Welfare and Counselling Services.

Students in the School run a thriving Politics Society. It organises a series of events, including visiting speakers, pub crawls and an annual Summer Ball attended by students and staff.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to spend one semester of your second year studying Politics and International Relations at one of our partner universities in Europe and the US. If you wish to study abroad, you should decide during your first year. Politics and the University award travel bursaries to students wishing to study the politics of another country in the Easter or summer vacations.

Career opportunities

Graduates in Politics and International Relations go on to a wide range of careers. Many of our students have used their subject specific knowledge to work in the civil service, parliament, local government, pressure groups and international organisations (e.g. the European Parliament). Our degrees also provide students with the transferable skills that equip them for careers in the media, education, administration, and management in industry and commerce. As with most degrees, a further period of training is often necessary.

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