Politics and International Relations


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

Start dates: January, March and September Location: Yarnton Manor, Oxford
Duration: 1 term (10-12 weeks) Price: £12,995 (£13,995 from September 2017)
This course is ideal for: 17s – 19s English requirement: IELTS 5.5 (it is not compulsory to have taken an English test)

“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 Oxford Gap Year)


This course provides aspiring politicians, diplomats, civil servants and business leaders with an academic grounding in the key principles of Politics and International Relations, including political theory, international politics, comparative politics and globalisation. This grounding 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.

The Project

The Project focuses on the production of an extended piece of writing that the student must research and produce independently under the guidance of our tutors. Typically this 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 course 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. Some sample thesis topics include:

  • 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

Other possibilities beyond the production of a thesis include:

  • The creation of a ‘beginner’s guide’ to Politics and International Relations for beginner students.

Politics & IR

Topics Covered

Following Orientation Week, tuition at our International Study Centre begins. This phase introduces the student to some of the fundamental areas of Politics and International Relations, covering the following modules:

  • An Introduction to International Politics
  • Political Theory
  • International History
  • Comparative Politics
  • Globalisation and World Politics

Supplementary study workshops are also available at an additional cost:

  • Academic writing
  • General English
  • Debating and public speaking
  • Management, leadership and team building
  • UCAS, personal statements and university applications
  • IELTS preparation

Example Trip

Using the International Study Centre’s fantastic location, students on the Politics and International Relations Gap Year 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 will write in the second half of their term.

Why take the Politics and International Relations Gap Year programme?

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 fascinating 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. This 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.