Politics and International Relations


The Politics and International Relations Gap Year Course is an academic project for the politicians and leaders of the future.

Start dates*: January and March Location: Yarnton Manor, Oxford
Duration: 1 term (10 weeks) Price: £13,995
This course is ideal for: 17s – 19s English requirement: IELTS 5.5 (it is not compulsory to have taken an English test)

*Availability subject to a minimum of 4 students enrolling per term

“We learn about a range of topics: Social Justice, Equality, Liberty and Democracy. During the lessons we have the opportunity to compare politics nowadays with each topic we study and we have very interesting in-class debates.” (Steffen, Politics and International Relations Course, Gap Year Programme)


The programme aims to introduce aspiring politicians, diplomats, civil servants and business leaders to the study of politics as a social science. We also encourage students to evaluate beyond their local political science and explore international issues.

Students are provided with an academic grounding in the key principles of Politics and International Relations, including political theory, international politics, comparative politics and globalisation. This foundation is invaluable for students wishing to study Politics and International Relations at a top university and those seeking a potential career in government, whilst also being accessible for those with a general interest in this diverse field.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the programme, students will:

  • Understand the need for methodology in Politics;
  • Be able to critically analyse key issues happening in current politics;
  • Have gained an insight into key founders of the study including Machiavelli, John Rawls and Robert Nozick.


Topics Covered

Students are introduced to the fundamental areas of Politics and International Relations. Topics covered in core classes may include:

  • Basics of Political Science
  • Basics of International Relations
  • Introduction to Political Systems
  • International Institutions Presentations
  • Democracy and Political Participation
  • Global issues
  • Global Perspectives on Politics and International Relations
  • Nation, nationalism and their internationalisation

The Extended Project

The Project typically consists of a thesis on a specific topic within Politics and International Relations that the student chooses, often an area of debate or something featuring heavily in the news, although there is scope for producing something other than a thesis. The emphasis of the programme is not only on developing a deeper understanding of your chosen subject area, but also in training broader skills in research, communication, analysis and independent study.

Recent topics have included:

  • New Superpowers in a Changing World and the Future of the West
  • Brexit: the Consequences of Britain Leaving the EU
  • The New, Not-So-Cold, War With Russia
  • The Politics of Climate Change: Seeking Sustainability in a Divided World
  • The creation of a ‘beginner’s guide’ to Politics and International Relations for beginner students


Academic Trip Example

Using the International Study Centre’s fantastic location, students on the Politics and International Relations programme visit the Houses of Parliament in London. Taking a tour around these highly prestigious buildings, students learn about the inner workings of the British political system, as well as visiting the street where the Prime Minister lives: Downing Street. This fascinating day out not only develops students’ knowledge within the political realm, but inspires them for the thesis or extended project that they are working on.

Why take the Politics and International Relations Course?

Politics and International Relations is now one of the most popular degree choices in the UK, as well as being one of the most popular options for international students studying in the UK. It can provide a pathway into some interesting jobs within government and politics, both on a national and international level, and is also attractive to employers in other disciplines who will be impressed by the knowledge of current affairs and global matters awarded by these disciplines.

The Politics and International Relations  Gap Year Course will help you to gain the knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the crowd in a university application or job interview, whilst also providing an in-depth understanding of the fundamental areas of Politics and International Relations, which are fascinating in their own right, regardless of the career prospects they provide.

Register Your Interest

Gap Year Programme interest form
  • Please specify your course(s) of interest