BA Sociology and International Relations
In this Section:
This course explores the organisation and structure of society alongside the ways in which states interact with each other.
You’ll examine social values and the changing nature of human action, and learn about the social, cultural, economic and political processes that shape human experience. Meanwhile, you’ll analyse the behaviour of states and what obligations they may have to wider conceptions of international society, alongside the specific roles played by international organisations like the UN.
Benefiting from the diverse research interests of both the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the School of Politics and International Studies, you’ll also have the freedom to shape your course to suit your interests. A wide range of optional modules will give you the chance to gain specialist knowledge of topics such as terrorism, class division, drug policy, globalization and political systems around the world.
Year 1 encourages you to think sociologically, examining the processes which led to the formation and emergence of modern societies. You’ll also gain an understanding of the current system of international politics and compare the systems used within different states. A choice of optional module will equip you with the skills you’ll need to conduct sociological research.
This provides the foundation for the following year, when you’ll explore the important thinkers and traditions in the history of sociology and developing your understanding of research methods in the subject. In addition, you’ll learn about key theories in the study of international relations and focus on debates around security in particular. You’ll complete the year with a choice of optional modules on topics in both subjects such as US politics, policy-making in the EU, the sociology of culture or racism and ethnicity studies.
In your final year, you’ll research a topic of your choice in depth to complete your dissertation, showcasing the skills you’ve gained throughout the course. You can choose to focus on a topic in either subject. Around this, you’ll choose further optional modules in both areas, examining issues such as sex work, terrorism, class divisions, using sanctions in international relations, British foreign policy and protest movements.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Comparative Politics 20 credits
- International Politics 20 credits
- Sociology of Modern Societies 20 credits
- Formations of Modernity 20 credits
- Understanding and Researching the City 20 credits
- Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society 20 credits
- Theories of International Relations 20 credits
- Security Studies 20 credits
- Sociology and Social Policy Research Methods 20 credits
- Central Problems in Sociology 20 credits
- British Central Government 20 credits
- Politics and Policy in the EU 20 credits
- Comparative Politics of Pacific Asia 20 credits
- Politics of Contemporary China 20 credits
- State and Politics in Africa 20 credits
- United States Politics 20 credits
- Dissertation 40 credits
- The Responsibility to Protect and to Prosecute 20 credits
- Crisis Diplomacy: Coercion, Sanctions and the Use of Force in International Relations 20 credits
- Terrorism: Concepts, Debates, Cases 20 credits
- Citizenship, Identity and Social Change 20 credits
- Contemporary Children, Young People and Families 20 credits
- Sex Work: Theory, Policy and Politics 20 credits
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you gain diverse skills. These will include seminars and workshops where you can discuss in more depth the topics set out in traditional lectures. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.
The teaching structure varies depending on your level of study – for example, in Year 1 you might expect to have six or seven lectures and three or four seminars per week. However, independent study is also a vital element of the course, as it allows you to develop your research and critical skills while preparing for taught sessions.
You’ll also have a personal tutor – one of our academics – who will be on hand to offer you guidance and support on academic issues, such as module choices, as well as career and personal matters.
Modules will use a variety of assessment methods. As well as traditional exams, you could also be asked to complete projects based on essays and case studies, policy briefs, group presentations, work logs, research briefs, project proposals or development agency reviews. In your final year you’ll also submit a 12,000 word dissertation.
Our graduates secure employment with some of the biggest UK companies in human resources, communications management, broadcasting and advertising. They are also ideally equipped to work in the public and third sector including in the civil service, teaching, youth work, fostering/children’s services, probation services, social work, prison service, housing and homelessness prevention.
Graduates from this programme are well prepared for postgraduate study across a range of disciplines. Our recent graduates have gone on to study sociology, social Policy, teacher training, journalism, occupational therapy, human resources, marketing, town planning, social work, criminal justice studies and social research.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.