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Engage with today's most pressing global issues

On our undergraduate courses, you'll acquire a deep understanding of the ideas and institutions that shape today's world through rigorous discussion and debate.

We look at politics in countries across the globe, and investigate key international issues of our day. Issues such as the nature of international terrorism, the opportunities and problems created by globalisation, and the challenge of climate change. 


Learn from world experts

Our academics are international experts in their field who have direct experience in modern-day international politics. They are regularly featured in the media, where they share their expertise on a broad range of issues including US politics, Brexit and the rise of the far right.

We also regularly welcome guest speakers who are active in politics and share their insights with our students. Previous visitors have included John Bercow, former Speaker of the House of Commons and Alastair Campbell, former political aide.

Find out more about our staff

Grow as an individual

We offer the chance to learn in an exciting environment, that's supportive but that will challenge you, and encourage you to thrive.  

You won't just build academic knowledge during your degree; you'll also develop confidence and skills that will help you to succeed. 

Find out more about life in our department

Placement opportunities

There are a number of ways for you to gain real-world experience in the field of politics and international relations at the University of Reading.

Watch our film to discover more about taking a placement as part of your studies.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme (UROP)

UROP gives you the opportunity to work alongside academics in a six-week placement across the summer. 

You will gain useful transferable skills and a greater understanding of research methods. 

Tailor your studies

We offer a wide range of optional modules so you can choose to study topics that reflect your interests. Examples of topics you can explore include inequality, critical security studies and European political integration. 95% of students said our teaching staff were very good or good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2023, 95% of respondents studying BA Politics and International Relations).

You can also choose to study one of our language modules or a university wide module on current issues such as climate change, offered by departments outside of the Department of Politics and International Relations.

We also offer innovative, hands-on modules where you can develop relevant, practical skills and gain real-world experience of politics and international relations in action. These include opportunities to participate in overseas conferences and crisis simulations, and even work on a radio show.

Your career

We place a strong emphasis on ensuring the employability of our students after they complete their studies.

Overall, 93% of graduates from Politics and International Relations are in work or further study within 15 months of graduation. (Based on our analysis of HESA data © HESA 2024, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021/22; includes first degree Politics and International Relations responders)

Our graduates have gone into a range of fields, such as public services, welfare and housing, media, business and finance, sales and marketing. Our goal is to ensure that you graduate with all the skills you need for a successful future career, including those in:

  • analysis and problem solving
  • written and oral communication
  • self-management
  • team working
  • numeracy and IT skills. 
The skills I've learned have proven to be very helpful during internships in finance, as I was required to find information quickly and evaluate the importance of such to the issue at hand, while being prepared for all sorts of questions.

Felix Johnston-Brunn

BA Politics and International Relations graduate

Study abroad

Through our campus in Malaysia and close partnerships with universities in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia, you can spend a semester during the second year studying abroad.

Our department has a dedicated Study Abroad co-ordinator who can help you find the ideal study abroad option to suit your interests.

More information on studying abroad

Read about Angelina Lotter-Jones's experience of Study Abroad

Learn a language

Get more out of your time at the University of Reading by learning a language through our Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP).

As a student with us, you'll have the opportunity to study one of 10 languages from beginner's to advanced level. 

Find out which languages you can learn on the Institution-Wide Language programme


Freddy's story

The knowledge and experience I gained as part of my degree has given a strong base to what I do now, and what I aim to do in the future.

Freddy Farias Arias

BA Politics and Economics graduate


Our research

97% of our research outputs are rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, meaning that the University of Reading is 6th highest in the UK for research outputs (Times Higher Education analysis of the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021 – Politics and International Studies, when scoring by GPA Output). Many of our academics have attracted prestigious funded fellowships and grants for their work.


Life in Reading

Step off campus and you'll find yourself in a bustling town centre offering a variety of shops, restaurants and activities. We're also well-connected – you can reach London Paddington within half an hour by train.