International Study Centre

International Year One in International Relations and International Development

Hands under hose

Studying International Relations and International Development

The International Year One in International Relations and International Development is your route to a range of International Relations and International Development degrees at the University of Sussex. You will explore subjects such as colonialism, international development, global affairs, international relations and the modern international system.

Along with English language and career skills training, your subject-specific modules will fully prepare you to study your chosen degree.

Why study the International Year One in International Relations and International Development with us?

There are many reasons to study this preparational programme and progress straight to the second year of one of three progressive undergraduate degrees. These include:

  • The University of Sussex is ranked 1st in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)
  • 91% of International Relation research at Sussex judged to be either 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
  • The university is ranked 8th in the UK for Social Sciences (The Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2024).

Discover more about International Relations

If you're interested in studying international relations at university, read more about your degree options and related career opportunities on our dedicated International Relations subject page.

What you’ll study

Academic English Skills aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to one of the foundation pillars of the modern international system. The content will include slavery, imperialism, colonialism, development and under development and post-colonial IR theory. Themes of independence and oppression and its effects on identity will echo throughout the module.

This module aims to introduce you to the key issues facing low income economies in the global south.

The objective of this module is for you to develop an understanding of the key issues surrounding defining historical occurrences in the shaping of the International system. The course begins with a review of the city state and moves to the introduction of the Westphalian state as the basis of the international system. It discusses key concepts such as fascism, communism, the league of nations, WW2, the re-emergence of China and decolonisation. The cold war and post-cold war periods are also explored. Major international events are examined from the point of view that understanding varying perspectives and how they influence interpretation of these events is a major tool for social scientists.

This module is designed to complement the other International Relations and International Development modules in International Year One. The aim of the module is to develop skills which students can utilise when reading articles and text books specifically related to IR and ID. The objective of this module is to advance the basic skills of how to engage with a particular text, annotating, summarising, critical review and developing various reading strategies. The skills learnt in this module will provide a strong foundation for Years 2 and 3 of degree studies which involve engaging with a significant number of articles. The module also provides transferrable skills which can be used in any discipline in future studies.

The objective of this module is for you to develop an appreciation of the dynamics at play in global politics. Issues and debates which inform international political economy and global affairs will be introduced as a foundation for understanding more detailed analysis in future studies. The module will demonstrate how political life at all levels, both nationally and regionally, influences affairs and policy around the world.

This module will acquaint you with the theories which form the basis of International Relations study. You will also be introduced to the historical development of the Global system and the inter relatedness which critical analysis of issues and debates in the field must take into account. Key concepts will also be delivered.

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the life and work of some of the seminal thinkers in the field of International Development. With its emergence during the era of decolonisation half a century ago to its contemporary emphasis on poverty reduction, the field has attracted thinkers and practitioners from diverse multidisciplinary backgrounds and geographical regions.

Your degree at Sussex

This course can lead to the second year of an undergraduate degree listed below (subject to meeting the grades outlined). The degrees and grades listed are valid for 2022/23 intakes only and are subject to change.

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish GradeGrade Module
No Results
Students in cafe

How to apply

Ready to apply? Discover how to submit an application and learn more about fees, semester dates and entry requirements.

Sussex graduate smiling in Brighton

University of Sussex International Study Centre

Develop skills to change the world at the University of Sussex International Study Centre. Improve your English, develop your academic skills, and grow the confidence you need to succeed in your degree.

Sussex students studying together

English language courses

Our online English Language preparation courses will help you develop your English language skills to the level required to begin your chosen pathway programme.

Join us today

Our Student Enrolment Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and help you with your application. We can't wait to meet you!