BA (Hons) in International Relations | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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BA (Hons) in International Relations


3 Years (6 Semesters)

Degree Award:

Staffordshire University, UK

Study Loan Options:



19 September 2018
13 November 2018


The BA (Hons) in International Relations 3+0 in collaboration with Staffordshire University, UK aims to produce graduates who are reflective and critical learners, with a global perspective, and who are prepared for the world of work.  This is achieved through a number of measures: 

  • Across all levels of the degrees and across all Environmental modules, we aim to provide our graduates with discipline expertise. We instill a critical knowledge of the discipline that is underpinned by the experience, research and scholarship of the academic staff and which strives to reflect the key environmental issues that affect the world in which we live.
  • As part of our commitment to ensuring that graduates demonstrate professionalism, we aim to produce graduates who are equipped to enter the world of work and are enterprising or entrepreneurial by nature.  We use tutorial modules, practical work, field work, dissertations and professional practice, to develop and refine the transferable skills (and the confidence and proficiencies that such skills endow) that create graduates with the abilities that employers seek. In addition, modules develop knowledge and skills that relate directly to issues that are important to all businesses in today’s global environment.
  • In order to capitalize on the knowledge and understanding that the degree aims to develop, effective communication and an ability to work in teams and with diverse stakeholders, are seen as essential attributes of our graduates. The development of communication, presentation and team working skills lie at the heart of the degree and are nurtured from first principles to a high level of proficiency in many of the thematic modules and, especially, through tutorial programmes.  
  • Employers also value independence of thought and a creative ability to find solutions. The degree enables students to take ownership of their learning – whether individually or in groups – and encourages independence of thought and problem-solving across a spectrum of activities: in the conduct of a research dissertation; in critical reading and writing in thematic modules; or in tutorial discussions and presentations.
These are essential attributes of the critical, reflective and life-long learners that graduates are expected to become. Throughout the three years of the degree, students are encouraged to develop their understanding through critical reflection; to question different views and perspectives and to use both their generic and specialist skills to recognize and resolve problems.
Increasingly those problems are set in a global context and globalisation and global citizenship are central to the way that graduates of this degree look at the world. The majority of the thematic modules that structure these awards explore understandings of how global systems work; how those systems impact upon individuals; and how graduates can work professionally to manage global issues. In addition the degree explores issues of sustainability and the environment.  Atmospheric and many other pollutions are inevitably global issues as they know no boundaries and are included here because sustainability and the environment are increasingly important global issues, including the international competition for scarce resources such as oil and water.

We welcome applications from people with a wide variety of qualifications, skills and experience. Applications are individually assessed. However typically you will have:

  • Route 1:  Entry to Year 1 Degree
    • 2 Principal passes at STPM Level and 4 credit passes at SPM, 
    • 2 Passes at “A” Levels and 4 Grade C Passes at O Levels/GCSE, or
    • The APU / APIIT Foundation or equivalent
    • A Qualification accepted by APU as equivalent to the above
  • Route 2: Direct Entry to Year 2 Degree
    • Successful completion of the relevant APIIT Diploma, or
    • Successful completion of study in another recognised institution with academic credits equivalent to level 4 of an honours degree in relevant subjects


Topics you will experience include:

Year 1 (Core)

  • Cinema Film Analysis
  • Issues in World Politics
  • Making History: Debating the Past
  • Making History: Local & Global Perspectives
  • Modern Political Ideas
  • Philosophy, Life and Existence
  • Sustainable Lifestyles & Communities
  • War, Peace & Cooperation

Year 2 (Core)

  • Environmental Policy, Legislation & Regulation
  • Concepts in International Relations
  • Dissertation: Preparation Plan
  • Money, Trade and Development
  • Development of the Global System
  • International Security
  • Broadcast Journalism and Government
  • South Asian History, Politics and Culture

Year 2 (Internship - 16 Weeks)

Year 3 (Core)

  • Journalism Project I
  • Journalism Project II
  • Understanding Photojournalism
  • Reporting Live I
  • Reporting Live II
  • Reporting Live III
  • Work Placement + Career Development I
  • Work Placement + Career Development II

In addition to the above, all students are required to successfully complete General Studies modules as stipulated by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, as well as fulfill credit requirements for Co-Curricular Activities.


The award equips students with practical and academic skills attractive to employers. These include independent judgement, self-reflection and critical debate. Students may choose to use the specialist knowledge acquired, to work in one of the many international institutions, national foreign or defence ministries or internationally oriented organisations of many sorts. Graduates will find employment across a wide range of careers destinations including the education sector, government agencies, local authorities, political consultancies, or will enter the industrial or commercial sectors. Others will undertake further postgraduate training across a range of academic and vocational courses.


Key modules are designed to introduce students to the nature of the discipline of International Relations (IR), its content, and its organising procedures. This is combined with the development of essential skills that have a value and utility beyond the discipline, but which are essential to it: comprehension, analysis, evaluation, conceptualisation, synthesis, imagination and communication, both written and oral.

The teaching and learning strategy requires students to engage with the curriculum that encapsulates the programme aims through a variety of means. Teaching techniques include lectures, student-led seminars and workshops, tutorials, research projects, supported by Technology. 

This diversity helps to create a positive educational experience for students. It also stimulates learning, generates a sense of student ownership over the acquisition of knowledge, and fosters an environment that facilitates the development of new and transferable skills. Independent learning is important on all modules, the purpose being to allow students to develop their subject and key skills, and to prepare for written and oral communication.  IR students will progress by gaining experience and knowledge as they take a successive diet of modules.

For all students the IR award constitutes a cumulative process of learning. The overall process is one of initially developing and then buttressing similar skills and qualities throughout the programme. Advances in value-added are achieved through increasing conceptual sophistication. This is seen in the progression of students through the modules War, Peace and Cooperation, Issues in World Politics, Making History in year 1 to Concepts in International Relations, Development of the Global System and the Dissertation Preparation Plan in year 2. The summation to this process for Honours students is found in the Dissertation and Governance and Global Policy in Year 3.


The aim of the assessment is that it reflects upon intended learning outcomes and the teaching and learning practices within individual modules and the award as a whole. All learning outcomes indicated for each module are assessed. The assessment strategy is designed to enable students to benefit from different forms of assessment, both summative and formative. 

Assessment is varied, offering students the opportunity of working very much to their strengths. Essays, portfolios, case study work, an unseen class test and research projects are included in the assessment strategy. 

Assessment of all modules is designed to deliver both formative and summative feedback, allowing students the opportunity to reflect on their progress at various points. Thus, there is  a formative diagnostic essay which must be completed by all students in year 1. This is marked and returned to them in a personal tutorial. There are other examples of formative assessment in feedback on seminar presentations and advice in their preparation. The Dissertation Preparation Project, for example, is assessed by means of a project proposal that can form the basis for the Dissertation in the third year. 

Formative feedback is essential to student progression and throughout the awards, located within the modules at all 3 levels are opportunities for formative assessment. Seminar presentations, research proposal presentations, group work and team work tasks are all methods of formative assessment which will receive feedback from the tutors either during the workshops or in private individual tutorials throughout the year.

Malaysian Student Fees:
Course Fees:
Year 1: RM 23,800 + £250
Year 2: RM 24,500 + £250
Year 3: RM 25,500 + £250
Total: RM 73,800 + £750
International Student Fees:
Course Fees:
Year 1: RM 25,200 (USD 6,000) + £250
Year 2: RM 26,800 (USD 6,390) + £250
Year 3: RM 27,300 (USD 6,500) + £250
Total: RM 79,300 (USD 18,890) + £750