BA War, Peace and International Relations with a Placement Year
Specialise in warfare and strategy within international politics, drawing on the research strengths of strategic specialists with our BA War, Peace and International Relations with a Placement Year.
Learn about the role of military force and defence policy, study war in a historical context and consider challenging questions such as whether the use of military force can ever be justified or whether peace should be maintained at all costs.
As a student at the University of Reading’s Department of Politics and International Relations you will benefit from a learning environment driven by high-quality research. Our Department of Politics and International Relations is ranked 6th in the UK for research outputs and 97% of our research outputs are rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (Times Higher Education analysis of the latest REF 2021 – Politics and International Studies, when scoring by GPA Output). Learn more about our research impact.
Our areas of strength include:
- Strategy and Conflict and Security
- International Relations
- Applied Political Theory
- Comparative Politics
- Public Policy Analysis.
Integrated Placement Year
This four-year course features a year-long placement in industry between your second and final year of study.
This is an opportunity to enhance your employability, build your network and develop excellent professional contacts. A successful industry placement can also lead to a job offer with your placement company upon graduation.
We have a dedicated placement coordinator who can provide advice and support in your search for a placement.
Real world modules
Bring your studies to life and relate to what is happening outside the classroom, with compulsory modules such as:
- Contemporary Strategy – Explore the theoretical foundation of strategy and examine real-world examples of military strategy and its relationship with war and politics.
- Modern International Relations – Analyse the main theoretical approaches to international politics, and cover a selection of major issues on the international stage, including globalisation, conflict, nuclear weapons and terrorism.
- Intelligence, War and International Relations – Examine the relevance and diversity of the intelligence function within war, strategy and international politics.
The specialist focus of this programme can be complemented with modules in either political theory or comparative politics, while you also have the opportunity to take modules from other departments, tailoring your study around the subjects you're most passionate about. Optional modules can include:
- International Terrorism – Examine what terrorism is and what distinguishes it from other forms of conflict and warfare in the international system before tracing the causes and consequences of terrorism throughout history.
- Model United Nations – Visit an overseas conference and take part in a simulation of the United Nations in action engaging with students and academics from other universities across Europe and the UK.
- US Foreign Policy – Explore historical and contemporary cases and analyse how foreign policy decisions are made, who influences them, and how this has evolved overtime.
Please note, our modules vary by year and may be subject to change and availability.
How you’ll learn
Most of your teaching time will be spent in small group seminars. This allows you to interact directly with faculty as well as other students and add your own voice to the discussion.
Learn from experts
At Reading, you will learn from researchers with deep expertise in their subject. Our academics regularly feature in academic literature and the media, offering their expertise on current issues. As such our teaching is research-led and relevant.
We have an exceptional faculty who conduct world-leading research on military strategy and international relations, such as:
- Dr Geoff Sloan, who researches the development of geopolitical ideas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and how this affects the use of military force. He teaches a module on War and Peace since 1800.
- Dr Vladimir Rauta who explores how proxy wars act a vehicle in the delegation of war from states to armed non-state actors in the contemporary security environment. He teaches a module on the Dynamics of Civil Wars.
- Dr Kenton White, who examines how military strategy moves from theory into practice, and how the use of military force enables political policy goals to be achieved. He teaches a module on Contemporary Strategy.
In the National Student Survey 2023, 94% of our students said that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (93.75% of respondents studying in the Department of Politics and International Relations).