Asia Pacific Studies and International Relations BA
Year of entry 2023
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2023
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 3 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
- BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
BCC at A Level, an A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements
In this degree, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of two disciplines, studying international relations and the culture, history, politics and economics of the Asia Pacific region.
The region encompasses countries as diverse as Japan, China, Thailand and Indonesia, and is home to more than half the world’s population. It’s culturally, politically, and economically dynamic and vital to our understanding of the world.
You’ll choose from a range of optional modules exploring topics such as East Asian religions, modern Thai history and Japanese cinema.
Alongside this, you’ll study international relations, which explores how states interact with each other, and the roles of international organisations like the UN in promoting international peace and security. You’ll gain an understanding of how the ‘society of states’ has evolved and how it may be changing today.
With the international skills and outlook you develop, you’ll be well prepared for a global career.
The University Library has impressive collections of resources in English about the Asia Pacific region, its history and culture, backed up by a range of digital materials. From day one, you can access a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of the resources on offer.
If you choose to study language modules, our Language Zone gives you access to free learning resources, including space for personal study, language learning software, and video, audio, books and magazines.
A joint honours degree allows you to study the same core topics as students on each single honours course, but you’ll take fewer options and discovery modules so you can fit in both subjects. You’ll also undertake a major project in either subject in your final year.
In your first year, you’ll gain a foundational understanding of international relations. You’ll study the key debates and theories that shape international politics in the world today, and you’ll explore the nature of politics and processes across different political systems, analysing how and why we make these comparisons. You’ll look at political issues and patterns at an international level, such as war, peace, sovereignty, inequality and others, and use these to explain what shaped the world we live in today.
As well as this, you’ll choose from modules which will introduce you to the history and culture of the Asia Pacific region, with options to focus on the region itself or to gain more insight into specific countries within the region. Optional modules include topics such as Japanese culture and East Asian religions, or you could take language modules to learn Chinese, Japanese or Thai from beginner level.
In year two, you’ll further your understanding of international relations by critically analysing rival theories. You’ll also be introduced to the debates on security in international relations, examining the concept, role and making of security in today’s international system. From a choice of optional modules, you can examine the Asia Pacific region in global, political, historical and religious contexts, including Sino-Japanese relations, East Asia’s regional political economy, the making of modern-day Thailand and religion in China. You can also continue learning an East Asian language.
In your final year, you’ll undertake either an independent piece of research (a dissertation) or produce a digital documentary on a topic of your choosing. You’ll have a wide range of modules relating to the Asia Pacific region and international relations to choose from, giving you the flexibility to make choices based on your interests and career aspirations.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Asia Pacific Studies and International Relations BA in the course catalogue
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Politics, Culture and Society||20|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Basic Chinese Language 1||20|
|China in East Asian History||20|
|Modern China: History and Culture||20|
|Basic Japanese Language (1)||20|
|Japanese History and Society||20|
|Foundations of East Asia||20|
|Introduction to Religious and Philosophical Texts of East Asia||20|
|Introduction to East Asian Religions||20|
|Basic Thai Language and Culture 1||20|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Theories of International Relations||20|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|The Making of Modern Thailand||20|
|Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers 1||10|
|Japanese Literature in Translation: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan||20|
|Civil Society and the Non-Profit Sector in Contemporary China||20|
|East Asia's Regional Political Economy||20|
|The Labour Party Since 1945||20|
|Politics of Contemporary China||20|
|State and Politics in Africa||20|
|United States Politics||20|
|Analysing Data in Politics, Development and International Relations||20|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|China Since 1979||20|
|The Making of Modern Thailand||20|
|Society and Culture of Early Modern China||20|
|Intermediate Japanese (1)||20|
|Politics in Contemporary Japan||20|
|Japanese Development Assistance in a Globalising World||20|
|Topics in Contemporary Asia Pacific Societies||20|
|Religion in China||20|
|Women and Family in Chinese Society||20|
|Japanese Cinema in the World||20|
|Final Year Project: Digital Documentary (Podcast)||40|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Our tutors are experts in their fields, and their teaching is informed by their own research, meaning what you’ll learn on this course is based on the latest findings in each field.
To help you get the most out of your tutors’ expertise, we use a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops.
Independent study is also central to this degree, as it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You’ll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year project on a topic of your own choice.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use different types of assessment. Usually, we use a mixture of exams and essays, but you might also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking if you need them.
Other course specific tests:
Access to HE Diploma
Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
M1, M1, M2
34 points overall including 16 at Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
B in Advanced Highers and AAABB in Highers
AABBBB in Highers
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer:
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
BCC at A Level, an A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £22,250 (per year)
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
Read our guidance about applying.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
This course is taught by
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
School of Politics and International Studies
Asia Pacific Studies and International Relations will equip you with a range of skills that are very valuable to employers.
You’ll be an independent learner, who can use your research skills to find information from a range of sources and think critically about what you find. You’ll then be able to draw conclusions, communicate and defend them. Teamwork and presentation skills are also highly desirable for employers.
Asia Pacific graduates have begun careers in areas such as business and finance, teaching and publishing. East Asian studies graduates have progressed to careers in law, the civil service and foreign governments, finance, tourism, translation, interpreting, PR, journalism, publishing and research.
Postgraduate research in East Asian studies at Leeds or elsewhere provides an opportunity to continue to learn about this region and prepare for a PhD and a career in academia.
International Relations graduates have gone on to work in political research and analysis, the civil service, the media, marketing, PR, international organisations like the UN and World Bank and non-governmental organisations. They work as policy advisors, diplomats, advocacy workers, public affairs executives, youth or support workers and journalists. Others have pursued careers in education, the charity sector, banking and finance or law.
Graduate destinations have included the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, BBC, Oxfam, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Department for International Development, Amnesty International, the House of Commons, the New Statesman and many others.
We are committed to helping you achieve your career ambitions. The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies careers and employability support includes promoting internships, providing opportunities to work for the School and employer-led workshops and events.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.