International Relations with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 6

Final award and programme/pathway title

BSc (Hons) International Relations with Foundation Year

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
Ord International Relations with Foundation Year
DipHE International Relations with Foundation Year
CertHE International Relations with Foundation Year

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time ULB10019 360 credits and 180 ECTS credits
Full-time with PTY ULB10019 480 credits and 240 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Politics

Programme Leader


Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To develop in students the skills and aptitudes, academic and personal, for successful transition into HE4-6 level study.
  • To develop in students an ability to interpret real world social science events and critically assess a range of types of evidence
  • To develop in students the ability to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired to the solution of theoretical and applied problems in the social sciences
  • To develop in students, through the study of social sciences, a range of generic skills that will be of value in employment and self-employment
  • To embed digital skills.
  • To equip students with appropriate tools of analysis to tackle issues and problems associated with social science policy-making in a global context
  • To provide students with a knowledge of ethical frameworks and their repercussions for decision making
  • To provide students with analytical skills and an ability to develop simplifying frameworks for studying the real world
  • To provide students with knowledge in social science concepts, theories, ideas and tools and their application
  • The programme is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Key social science concepts and theories K
Models and approaches which facilitate decision making and application to real world contexts K
Different influences upon decision making (including ethical K
Awareness of the international environment, sustainability and current social science issues K
The impact of historical, cultural, political and socio-economic factors in difference contexts KC
Interpretation of data in order to compare and contrast the legal, social and political performance of nations and organisations C
Analyse, interpret and synthesise information CT
Critical analysis CT
Research skills CT
Data interpretation CT
Reflective learning incorporating feedback CT
Demonstrate independent learning C
Digital skills development CT
Presentation skills CT
writing CT
Referencing CT
Real world application CT
Communication and intercultural awareness KPT
Teamwork PT
Creative problem solving and decision making CPT
Capacity to work independently PT
Time management PT
Critical thinking CPT
Resilience PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over four academic years, consisting of a Foundation Year and 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are based on a 15-credit tariff
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Full-time with PTY

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over five academic years, consisting of a Foundation Year, an optional professional training year and 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are based on a 15-credit tariff
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 0 - FHEQ Level 3

Module Selection for Year 0 - FHEQ Level 3

For further information on FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6 please view the programme specification for the full-time BSc (Hons) International Relations programme.

Year 0 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 3

Module Selection for Year 0 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 3

For further information on FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6 and professional training year please view the programme specification for the full-time with PTY BSc (Hons) International Relations programme

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics N
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

The Foundation Year is effectively Year Zero of an undergraduate programme. It will be made up of five separate compulsory modules, three at 15 credits, one at 30 credits and one year-long module at 45 credits. Students will be full-time and will be expected to achieve 50% to pass. For progression they will need to achieve 50%. Taught aspects will include lectures, seminars, workshops and guest lectures and an experiential workshop. There will be no formal award on completion, but a letter will be supplied outlining personal and academic development across the year. In moving to the BSc programme students will develop the following.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Students are offered numerous opportunities for receiving support throughout their studies with the presence of a strong departmental network both in academic and pastoral terms. The programmes however are designed to increase students inquisitive nature and learn to go beyond their object of study, extend the scope of their knowledge and encouraged to challenge established knowledge. In this way, they develop a mindset based on grabbing opportunities, on seeking for alternative solutions, on leading the next generation of thinkers, and on standing on their own feet. Every module challenges conventional thinking, and offers a series of problems that require solutions. Hence, across the programme students learn to respond creatively, and with confidence, to opportunities, challenges and setbacks, find their own solutions with an increasing level of independence, and reflect and learn from their own experiences and from the world around them in social, political and economic terms.

Digital Capabilities: This programme offers a continuous engagement with the University¿s Virtual Learning Environment (SurreyLearn). Modules and assignments utilise SurreyLearn as a scaffolding platform that allows students to benefit from other digital resources, video content and online databases. The programme contains dedicated modules that facilitate the development of students as researchers, becoming well versed in statistics, visual analysis, qualitative content analysis, use of existing datasets and by extension, becoming well-versed in incorporating these tools in their own work (formative or summative). Within specific modules, online collaborative tools are encouraged as well as extensive training on our digital footprint in society and beyond, and the importance of digital capabilities in international affairs, modern democratic systems and policymaking processes.

Employability: All modules contain skills-based assignments and authentic assessment that helps students prepare for the real world and are designed with the feedback the Department receives from employers as to what they are looking for in graduates. The programme is designed as a Bachelor of Science, meaning the training in research methods prepares students for the job market. Exposure to R and other contemporary tools, preparation of policy briefs, simulation games, and direct engagement with practitioners through masterclasses and guest lectures means that students are acquiring a first-hand taste of the world beyond academia. The programme nurtures future leaders in politics and international relations, and public affairs more widely by developing critical thinking and analysis, applied skills in terms of methods and research design, high quality assessment of evidence and information, as well as generative thinking that can lead to innovative ideas and solution-driven graduates. The programme refreshes by default as it follows current affairs and political developments, so students remain always up to date. Finally, professional training opportunities are available to all students in between their second and final year as part of the PTY offering, alongside opportunities within the Department to engage in professional experience activities and projects.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: the nature of politics, international relations and public affairs more widely requires the development of global and cultural capabilities. Exploring issues that extend beyond domestic borders and jurisdictions, looking at transnational cooperation and dealing with issues of equality, diversity and inclusion, students are exposed to a spectrum of different opinions where they have to substantiate their point of view, demonstrate empathy for others¿ opinions and conditions, and debate contemporary issues that concern modern political dialogue. Discussions around inequalities, structural barriers, political traditions, policy styles and recognising the diversity of political systems across different parts of the world becomes central in the development of students¿ knowledge, and prominent lenses in completing assignments, reading, and other learning activities in the classroom and beyond. The programme benefits from the ability of students to take on a Professional Training Year opportunity and study and work anywhere in the world as they wish and according to University policy.

Sustainability: From the very beginning of their studies, students begin to consider the future of our societies within a political and international context and how decisions taken today may affect the world outlook tomorrow. Therefore, issues of sustainable societies are at the forefront, alongside the political aspects of global and transregional environmental problems that lead to conflict, migration, displacement, inequalities and availability of resources required for sustainable state, international system and global society. Students have the opportunity to further explore such issues in their own research project and benefit from the wider University opportunities for collaboration with relevant researchers and sustainability practitioners that are brought in as guests in many modules.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.