BA in International Studies (Honours)

The Open University

Programme Description

BA in International Studies (Honours)

The Open University

Our world is divided into different societies. Yet it is increasingly interconnected. Relationships between nations, companies, cultures and individuals extend across regions and the globe.

This course explores the political, economic and cultural issues that these complex interconnections create – focusing on international politics, diplomacy, cooperation, war and security; international economics and development; cultural and religious interactions between different societies; and global environmental problems.

Key features of the course

  • Considers the overall political makeup of the international system
  • Investigates sources of order and disorder within it
  • Emphasises development issues and the challenges faced by developing countries
  • Applicable to a wide range of career paths

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll begin Stage 1 with a choice of two introductory modules – one with a focus on social sciences or one with a focus on the environment. You’ll follow this with a module that examines the issues that face contemporary society.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study a core module in international development followed by a module selected from a range of options.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll take a core module in international relations and conclude your degree with further study, either build on topics already encountered or broadening your study into a new area.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) International Studies uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • working in a group with other students
  • finding external/third party material online.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increase as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Career relevance

An international studies degree is applicable to a wide range of professions in the private and public sectors, including international agencies and government bodies (national and European), businesses and non-governmental organisations.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated January 19, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
3 - 16 
Part time
Full time