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We are big enough to make a difference, but small enough to know our students as individuals.  Our close-knit community is made up of staff and students from all over the world who all bring their own rich perspective to our Department. 

Life as an undergraduate

You will have lots of opportunities to explore politics and international relations in exciting ways and develop your ideas during your degree. Get to know your peers as you learn through debate and discussion.

You will balance your time in lectures and seminars with independent study. We encourage and help you to become an independent learner by giving you the knowledge to pursue your own background reading – not just what's on the reading list we give you.

You will also have the opportunity to join the active Politics and International Relations Society, which organises talks by notable guest speakers and fun social events.


Learn from academics who are engaged in current affairs

Our staff regularly share their expertise in the media. We have academics who have informed and influenced policymakers, advising NATO and the UK government. Their involvement in modern-day politics means our teaching and research is always up to date and relevant. You'll get to engage in discussion on today's big issues.

Dr Sarah von Billerbeck

Dr Sarah von Billerbeck's experience of working for the UN, and her research, directly feed into her postgraduate teaching. 

Read Sarah's story

Dr Joseph O'Mahoney

Dr Joseph O'Mahoney specialises in international norm dynamics, including norms surrounding war and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, in his research and teaching. 

Read Joseph's story

Dr Jonathan Golub

Dr Jonathan Golub has given a number of interviews concerning Brexit. He was interviewed by Voice of Islam Radio to discuss the UK's withdrawal and the dynamics of British-EU negotiations. He was also interviewed by CTN News TV (Canada) to discuss Brexit and Theresa May's announcement about invoking Article 50.

Take part in exciting events

As a student in the Department of Politics and International Politics, you'll have chance to get involved in events that bring you in direct contact with the world of politics.

In 2019, we hosted an edition of BBC Radio 4's flagship politics discussion programme Any Questions?. Our Department arranged the broadcast, which saw a panel that included host Chris Mason, Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, the Daily Telegraph's Madeline Grant and Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy.

Our students helped run the event and got to ask the panelists questions after the programme.

"I attended and helped out at the largest BBC Radio 4 Any Questions? event in its history. I even got to meet David Lammy MP and the other panellists afterwards. It's amazing experiencing first-hand politics from within the core of our political system and getting to talk to those who really make a difference."

Cait Pilkington, BA History and Politics student

Political Voices Lecture - A thorn in the government's side

Reading University Politics and International Relations Society (RUPIRS) and the Department of Politics & International Relations recently welcomed Emily Thornberry for the latest in our series of 'Political Voices' events. Emily Thornberry is the Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury.


How we support you

We do everything we can to support our students during their studies, so that they can achieve their full potential and go on to pursue rewarding careers.

You will have the opportunity to meet with your academic tutor regularly, to ensure you’re getting the best out of your time at Reading. 

The University also has a range of services available to you to support your personal and professional development during your studies.

Learn more about the University's support services

Find out how we create an inclusive and supportive environment within the Department


Learning environment

Thanks to our mostly small-group seminar teaching, we've created a friendly, inclusive learning environment where you can grow in confidence and build relevant transferable skills such as communication and analytical skills.

As well as learning in seminar rooms and lecture halls, you will have access to the University's recently refurbished Library, which is full of resources and study space that's ideal for independent study.


Athena Swan Bronze Award

The School of Philosophy, Politics and Economics is thrilled to announce that it has received an Athena SWAN Bronze Award! The award recognizes the School’s work to advance gender equality and commits us to continuing our efforts through a 5 year action plan. 

Please visit our Wellbeing, Inclusion, Diversity and Equality pages for more details on our current efforts and plans, including the implementation of our five-year Athena SWAN Action Plan and a School Race Equality Review.

All the staff are experts in their field and are always enthusiastic about what they teach. They welcome questions and discussion. The students also love what they do, so the community feel of the Department is unique and friendly.

Izabel Coleman-Wood

BA Politics and International Relations


Student and staff stories

Find out more about our students' experiences of studying with us, and our academics' exciting research.
Student using a laptop outdoors

Life on campus

Our main campus is set on 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you'll find plenty of places to relax. Our campus is home to a thriving community and features the Students' Union, Library and places to eat.

Life in Reading

Reading's bustling town centre has strong transport links to London and the south east. London and Oxford are both just 25 minutes away by train, where you have access to great research resources and a wide variety of speaker meetings and other events.