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International Year One in International Relations

The International Year One in International Relations builds your subject knowledge, English skills and confidence so that you have the best possible start to your degree. 

Once you complete the programme and achieve the required grades, you will enter the second year  of a degree at Cardiff University.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Check our academic and English language entry requirements


Visit the Fees page for full details.

Programme is subject to approval

Open up worldwide career opportunities in international relations

Why study international relations or politics at Cardiff University?

Studying at the School of Politics and International Relations, one of the largest departments in the UK, you will be taught by an internationally renowned team who are experts in political theory, public policy and electoral politics, cyber security, feminism, cold war history, environmental politics, security, intelligence studies and postcolonial politics. 

Cardiff has links to the Welsh Government, Westminster, G7, the United Nations and NATO, NGOs, policymakers and journalists. 

Professional placements are available on the single honours Politics and International Relations degree programmes.

What will I study?

On the International Year One, you will study a selection of modules designed to give you a broad knowledge of international relations and politics.


The Academic English Skills course teaches students the specific academic language skills they need to develop for success at Cardiff University. The course focuses on the receptive (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing) skills through practice in semi and authentic task-based activities which build a strong foundation in preparation for each student's future studies. This critical module places particular emphasis on developing academic reading and research skills; research-based writing along with presentation and seminar speaking skills.

International relations is an interesting and practical subject, which aims to explain how countries interact with each other. This module introduces students to the main concepts and perspectives in the study of international relations, as well how these theories can explain current global problems. The module covers students to the history of how modern countries came to be and how the discipline is shaping as interactions between states develop. The module also introduces students to core theories in political science, examples of which may include feminism and behaviouralism.

Governance is an essential component to our conceptions of modern society, and government is increasingly seen as an important entity in solving problems that affect the interconnected world. This module introduces students to the key perspectives on the nature, purpose(s) and vital institutions of the state and the practices of contemporary democratic governments. The module considers the role of political parties, the role and nature of democracy in the governance of a nation and the features of political leadership.

This module firstly introduces students to the often-contentious concept of “globalisation”, including the interdisciplinary aspects of this topic as globalisation has economic, political, social and cultural consequences. These consequences will be the subject of analysis and evaluation, as students consider different perspectives on the opportunities and costs of globalisation in the modern world. Students will consider the development of globalisation and consider questions about whether, on balance, globalisation has been a positive or negative force. The second core component of the course introduces students to the historical development of European integration since 1945; key concepts used to explain the process of integration; and the contemporary challenges facing the European Union, such as the financial crisis of 2008, Brexit, and the role of the EU as a global actor. European integration can be a contentious topic, and this module will help students explore and navigate the competing perspectives on this topic.

Politics is primarily about navigating social existence and tackling the issues that arise from this context. This module will introduce students to some of the key perspectives on the nature of the state, the powers and role of the government and other important issues. Students will study a range of theories including competing perspectives on the social contract, the debate between capitalism and socialism, the role of social justice theories (such as Marxism and feminism) in political practice, and theories about key topics such as rights and political power. As much as possible, there will be an emphasis on grounding these theories in practice.

Progress to your degree

After completing your International Year One and achieving the necessary grades, you can transition to your chosen undergraduate degree. Choose from the following degrees:

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish GradeGrade Module
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of graduates in employment and/or further study, due to start a new job or course, or doing other activities such as travelling, 15 months after the end of their course.

(Graduate Outcomes survey 2020/21)

Join us today

We're here to support you throughout the application process. Use our online application form and our student enrolment advisors will be available to answer your questions.