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International Year One in International Relations

International Year One

What is the International Year One in International Relations?

With a core focus on English language development, this two-semester programme additionally prepares you for further study with introductions to topics such as politics, international trade and global economy. Once you have successfully completed the programme, and achieved the required grades, you will be fully equipped to join the second year of your chosen undergraduate degree.

Key facts

Two semesters

Find out the specific term dates for this programme.

Biological Sciences/International Relations* - September, November (with Enhanced Induction) or January

Business Management/Business Management with Marketing/Civil Engineering - September only

*please note that applications for the International Relations pathway are now closed for the 2024/2025 academic year.

Find out more about the entry requirements and course fees for this programme.


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.

This module contributes to the development of research and analysis skills by using and comparing different theoretical frameworks. The module exists to provide you with the capacity to identify multiple theoretical perspectives of viewing the world and apply them to empirical examples. This will broaden your analytical skills which will aid in undertaking other modules.

This module examines why and how the British political system evolved from plutocracy to mass democracy and introduces you to British political history and politics since 1789. Including Research and Activity Portfolio to embed and nurture academic skills, the module is part of the IY1 IR programme.

This module seeks to enable you to reflect critically on political theory and provide you with a foundation in the key ideas and theories that have shaped modern politics. In doing this it aims to go beyond the west in its investigation of key thinkers. It also aims to highlight the continuing relevance of these ideas in the 21st century with the application of these theories to modern case studies.

The overall aim of the module is to develop your fundamental knowledge of research philosophies and data collection methods, and to give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge to derive a research proposal within your area of study.

Why study International Relations with us?

This International Year One pathway will prepare you to progress on to International Relations BA at the University of Leeds, which is one of the UK’s leading universities. Some of the benefits of this stimulating academic environment are as follows.

School of Politics and International Studies

The University of Leeds is home to the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), a vibrant educational body that holds academic research at its core. A diverse community of academics work with students to address and shape policy, debate real-world issues and go beyond the realms of higher education. Informed teaching and theoretical training are applied to provide students with insightful knowledge of contemporary global societies.

Valuable global exposure

International Relations offers a deep contextual understanding of the societies we live in, and how it is changing today. This pathway will provide you with the intuitive skills to take on a career in the international field, and apply what you have learnt to business and the world around you.

Support tailored to you

This programme is designed for international students, with a unique, focused teaching approach put in place to welcome you into the British education system. Your learning will be structured in the same way as the University’s curriculum, to wholly support and prepare you for your next step.

University of Leeds subject rankings

Research is at the heart of learning at the University of Leeds and it is ranked 14th in the world for International Research Network (QS World University Rankings 2025).

Ranked top 30 in the world for Development Studies (QS World Rankings by Subject 2024)

87% of students

who completed their International Year One programme in International Relations at Leeds International Study Centre were eligible to progress to a degree course at the University of Leeds in 2023.

Progression Degrees

You will be required to take an Academic English Skills test at the end of your programme, details of English language grade requirements below. This means that once you successfully complete the International Year One, you will be ready to start the second year of your degree at the University of Leeds.

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish GradeGrade Module
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How to apply

Discover how to apply for a programme at the International Study Centre. You can also find the documents you need to provide alongside your application.

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International Study Centre

Study abroad programs at the International Study Centre offers opportunities for international students to study in the UK. Discover how to progress to an undergraduate degree at the University of Leeds.

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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!