Year of entry 2024
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2024
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 4 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- ABB (specific subject requirements)
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
- BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.
Full entry requirements
You can study international relations at Leeds with one of 10 languages.
On this four-year course, you’ll examine the issues facing international society today and the challenges facing some of the most important players in international relations. Optional topics range from ongoing debates and conflicts within international relations and security, decolonial approaches, social movements across cultures, and translation and interpreting. You’ll also study the society and culture of the countries where your chosen language is spoken.
Your intensive language modules will prepare you for your year abroad, where you’ll further enhance your linguistic skills and enrich your knowledge of how your host country interacts with other countries and regional or global institutions.
You’ll be able to choose to take your Final Year Project either with international relations or with your chosen language.
The international outlook and knowledge you develop alongside advanced language skills will allow you to consider career options in a range of fields when you graduate.
Choose one of the following languages:
We offer the following languages at two entry levels: beginners or with prior experience (e.g. A-level or equivalent). If you have prior experience in Arabic or Thai, please contact us before applying:
- Arabic (from beginners' level only)
- Thai (from beginners' level only)
You must include your chosen language in the ‘Further Details’ section of your UCAS application.
With a variety of specialist facilities and four libraries on campus, you’ll find plenty of space for study, group work and research.
The world-class Brotherton Library is home to a wide variety of manuscripts, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. These include rare copies of magazines and unpublished letters with materials across the range of languages that we teach, from medieval Latin to the Leeds Russian Archive. Our main library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.
The Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The Language Zone offers excellent learning material in more than 50 languages, including online resources and advice. The Language Exchange and the Language Groups programme provide opportunities to practice with other learners and native speakers. You can also volunteer to help other learners and enhance your CV at the same time.
Our Martin Thomas Translation Labs feature state-of-the-art computing facilities for translation studies as well as Interpreter Training Suites – ideal if you are considering a career in interpreting.
We also have links with several institutions that support language-learning on campus, such as Instituto Cervantes (Spanish), Instituto Camoes (Portuguese) and Institut Ramon Llull (Catalan).
Whether you’re starting your language from beginners’ level, or with prior knowledge, you’ll reach a professional standard in your chosen language through intensive learning practice and residence abroad – where you’ll spend up to a year in a country where your chosen language is spoken. You’ll complement your language studies by exploring cultures and societies around the world, choosing from a range of topics, including literature, cinema, popular culture, history and politics.
In your first year you’ll have the option to study a module that introduces concepts which are important to a wider understanding of languages, cultures and societies.
In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to enhance your professional language skills, through modules on translation, interpreting or languages for business. Your final year will involve working on a research project, which could be a dissertation, translation or podcast. You'll also have the flexibility to choose from a range of language and cultural modules to deepen your knowledge. The international outlook and knowledge you develop alongside advanced language skills will allow you to consider career options in a range of fields when you graduate.
Every student takes compulsory weekly classes in their chosen language and a selection of compulsory and optional modules in international relations. They also take further modules in culture and society.
Click on the link below, which will take you to the module pages for the different language combinations that we offer:
Find out more information on typical modules for the different language combinations of this course. You can study the following languages as part of your Modern Languages degree:
The international relations modules follow the structure below. These represent typical modules studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Students take the following compulsory international relations modules, plus further options or discovery modules:
Comparative Politics (20 credits) - Comparative politics involves two separate yet integrated components: it compares the nature of politics and processes across different political systems, and it studies how and why we make these comparisons. As such, this course is organized along both theoretical and substantive lines, taking advantage of case studies to provide context and example.
International Politics (20 credits) - This module starts by providing a brief historical context, to cover some of the key developments in world politics to date. Some of the most important concepts in International Politics are introduced in this context: the international system, war, peace, sovereignty, collective security, inequality, and international organisations.The main aim of this module is to introduce students to the key international issues we face today, and the puzzles these raise.
Students also take this module in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies:
Politics, Culture and Society (20 credits)
Students take the following compulsory international relations modules, plus further options or discovery modules:
Theories of International Relations (20 credits) - We live in one world but there are many theories which offer competing interpretations of international events. This module offers you advanced training in International Relations Theory (IR) by critically analysing rival theories.
Security Studies (20 credits) - This module provides an introduction to the debates on security in international relations. It examines the concept, role and making of security in the contemporary international system. It outlines the main theoretical approaches and conceptualizations used in security studies and analyses a selection of important challenges that have been framed as security threats.
Final Year Project: either dissertation in international relations, or dissertation, translation or podcast in your chosen language (40 credits)
Students can also take up to three of the following optional modules, depending on where they take their Final Year Project:
Gender and Security in Global Politics (20 credits)
Terrorism (20 credits)
US Foreign Policy (20 credits)
Climate Emergencies (20 credits)
Global Political Economy (20 credits)
Video Games (20 credits)
Violence and Reconciliation in Africa (20 credits)
Europe in the World (20 credits)
British Foreign Policy (20 credits)
Decolonial Approaches (20 credits)
Social Movements Across Cultures (20 credits)
Contemporary World Literature (20 credits)
Learning and teaching
Our tutors are experts in their fields whose teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research.
They are passionate researchers and dedicated teachers who use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.
Independent study is also central to this degree, since 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 research project on a topic of your own choice.
We're committed to an innovative and inclusive approach to teaching, which draws on a variety of activities, including flipped learning, group presentations, and bespoke digital resources to prepare you for your seminar discussions.
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 are creative in our approach to assessment and always use it to support your independent learning. We use a wide range of methods including essays, exams, presentations, podcasts, literature reviews, reflective logs, and group projects.
Assessments are designed to deliver the transferable skills needed for the world of work. Task-based activities are designed to evidence critical thinking, demonstrate initiative, and show knowledge of a range of relevant subjects and sources.
Support for assessments is integrated into our teaching, and you'll usually have the opportunity for formative assessments that allow you to practice your skills and do well in your formal assessments. We also run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam technique that you’ll be able to attend throughout your time at Leeds.
Where a post-A level language route is taken, a B grade in the relevant language is required.
Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required.
Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
M1, M1, M2. Where a post-A level language route is taken, M2 in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.
34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level. Where a post-A level language route is taken, 5 points at Higher Level in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3. Where a post-A level language route is taken, H3 in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers - OR B in Advanced Higher and AAABB in Highers - OR AABBBB at Higher Level. Where a post-A level language route is taken, a B grade in Advanced Higher in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.
The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.
European Baccalaureate: 75%. Where a post-A level language route is taken, 8.0 in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.
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.
Extended project and Access to Leeds: BCC at A Level and A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
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 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 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: £24,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
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 on our living costs and budgeting page.
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.
You need to tell us your language combination when you apply. Input your chosen language in the Further Details section on your UCAS application.
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.
This course is taught by
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions
By taking this joint honours course, you’ll gain proficiency in one of the world languages and attain an international perspective by exploring how nations interact on the global stage. You’ll acquire the language and professional skills to prepare you for an international career in a wide range of sectors.
As well as demonstrating that you’re intellectually versatile, this course will equip you with a wide range of transferrable skills that employers value such as:
- Research critical thinking skills, and the ability to analyse complex information from multiple sources before drawing your own conclusions.
- Communication skills, enabling you to defend your views clearly, either verbally or in writing.
- Strong organisational skills and the confidence to work independently or in a team.
- A deep understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours.
Leeds graduates have pursued careers across the globe and in a range of sectors including: education, the media, law, publishing, the civil service, business and finance and the charity sector. Many others have also pursued postgraduate study, including further training in language-based careers such as translating and interpreting.
Leeds is the 5th most targeted university in the UK by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2022). At Leeds, we are fully committed to developing your employability and career prospects. You’ll have a wealth of opportunities to develop your skills and make the most out of your time at Leeds and during the time you’ll spend abroad.
Experience of living abroad, combined with detailed study of languages and cultures, is valuable preparation for employment in a multicultural, multinational environment.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
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.
As a student with us, you'll be guided in your career choices and prepared for life after your degree in a variety of ways. Workshops and events are organised for you by the School throughout the year and focus on networking, understanding the value of your language skills, hearing from alumni about their career experiences and hosting graduate recruiters who want to hire you.
We’ll also keep you informed of work/voluntary placements for your time abroad and of any other part-time and volunteering opportunities that you can fit around your studies.
Study abroad and work placements
An integral part of your degree is the opportunity to spend a year abroad in a country where your chosen language is spoken. It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture while sharpening and refining your language skills every day. For many of our students, it’s the highlight of their degree.
If you're studying Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian or Thai, you’ll spend your second year abroad and you’ll be studying an intensive language course.
Otherwise, you’ll be spending your third year abroad and, depending on your hosting country, you may be able to complete a work placement, undertake a British Council school assistantship or study at one of our partner universities.
Whatever your options, you’ll gain a new perspective on other cultures and societies across the world.
Students studying French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish can carry out a work placement, including working as a Foreign Language Assistant.
Find out more about the options available for each of your chosen languages:
- Read more about Arabic Residence Abroad
- Read more about Chinese Residence Abroad
- Read more about French Residence Abroad
- Read more about German Residence Abroad
- Read more about Italian Residence Abroad
- Read more about Japanese Residence Abroad
- Read more about Spanish and Portuguese Residence Abroad
- Read more about Russian Residence Abroad
- Read more about Thai Residence Abroad
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.