BA (Hons) International Studies

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Key information


BA (Hons) International Studies

Types of study

Full time


Three or four years depending on entry qualifications

Start date

September 2024


International Studies / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Study model


Note: For the 2+2 study model courses, the student will spend the last two years at our UK campus. For the 4+0 study model courses, the student will spend the entire degree programme in Ningbo, China with 'study abroad' opportunities from year three.

Introductory video


Entry requirements

Depending on your academic and English language qualifications, you may be eligible for a traditional three year degree programme, or a four year programme with a preliminary year enabling you to gain the subject-specific knowledge and skills required to embark on degree-level studies.

Please find the entry requirement relevant to your country of origin here. If your country is not listed, please email  

If you are a mainland Chinese student, your Gaokao score should be in the first division as a minimum requirement, and your English test score should be no less than 115/150. For more details, please check the Chinese version prospectus.

English language requirements 

If your first language is not English or your entry qualification was not obtained in the English medium (from an approved institution) you are required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English.

Minimum requirements for the four-year programme:

  • IELTS 5.5 (no less than 5.0 in any element) or 
  • PTE Academic 59 (minimum 53) or 
  • TOEFL (IBT) 80 (minimum 17 in Writing and Listening, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking)

Minimum requirements for the three-year programme:

  • IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in writing) or 
  • PTE Academic 71 (minimum 65) or
  • TOEFL (IBT) 90 (minimum 19 in Writing)

Minimum age requirements

You should be at least 18 years of age on admission to the University. The date of "admission" is defined as the first day of September in the relevant academic year. This requirement may be waived on an individual basis if your parents or guardians give their written agreement in advance to additional safeguards and requirements. Visit here for more information.

Course overview

This degree is the core undergraduate programme in the School of International Studies. Building on the foundation training in Year 1, the core modules in Years 2-4 are designed to enhance students' knowledge and understanding of past and present societies and cultures, especially in Europe, North America and Asia. The Nottingham approach of combining lectures with in-depth interactive seminars develops their intellectual skills and allows them to practice the transferable skills they will need to perform in the international arena. Globalisation has made it more important than ever for young professionals to exhibit a high level of international awareness in the 21st-century workplace, whether it be in government organisations, businesses or academic study.

The International Studies degree provides the core training they will need to perform to their full potential, by developing the analytical and communication skills increasingly in demand throughout the world today.

This course provides you with the historical foundations of Western cultures and political system, independent research skills, knowledge of contemporary issues.

Special features

  • Choose from an exceptionally large range of modules
  • Develop a global experience of history and politics
  • Build key, transferable skills sought after by top employers

Course structure

Year 1 (Preliminary Year)

This year is not compulsory for students with appropriate qualifications for year two entry.

The first year comprises a special programme of English for Academic Purposes designed by highly experienced staff from the acclaimed Centre of English Language Learning (CELE) at The University of Nottingham. This is carefully integrated with the study programmes offered by each academic school so as to prepare students fully for years 2-4 of the degree.

Visit Year One programme for more details.

Year 2 (Qualifying Year)

In this first year of specialist study you are introduced to the historical foundations of Western cultures and political systems together with themes and theories central to modern international organisations. Twenty-credit modules are structured around the student-centred approach with extensive reading as you practice the study skills you will need for more independent research later in your degree. Each semester you take twenty credits of options.

Year 3 (Part I)

In this year, you consolidate what you have learnt so far by applying the knowledge you have acquired so far with more in-depth study of contemporary issues covering regions including the West and Asia. Each semester you take twenty credits of options.

Visit exchange programme for more details.

Year 4 (Part II)

Besides taught modules and options the focus of your study in this final year is an individual dissertation project. This is on a topic of your own choice and consists of guided research spread over the whole academic year.

The BA International Studies is organised in three thematic pathways. We strongly recommend students studying in the International Studies programme to follow one of these pathways. For each pathway the modules have been designed to sequentially build upon each other. Each pathway gives you a thorough introduction into a more specific area of international studies in the second year, develops the scope of the themes in the third year and allows for specialisation in the fourth year. In each pathway there is a core module for every semester and a number of options. The pathways are: International relations/comparative politics pathway; Development and gender studies pathway; World History Pathway.

Careers and further study

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Career Development Office can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

Most graduates found jobs with prominent Chinese and international employers in business and government agencies.

Of the 71 undergraduates who graduated from the school in 2023 and continued onto postgraduate studies, 77.1% were admitted by the world top 50 universities including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, University of Pennsylvania and so on.


Mainland Chinese students

100,000 RMB / year

Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan students

100,000 RMB / year

International students

110,000 RMB / year

Scholarships, sponsorships and bursaries

To encourage academic excellence, we offer a comprehensive and expanding range of full and partial scholarships. 

Historically nearly 30% of our undergraduate students were awarded scholarships for their entry. Once enrolled, current students are eligible for additional merit and/or performance-based scholarships and awards, which covers approximately 32.5% of our whole student body.

Please check here for scholarship types and policies for applicants from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas countries. If you are a mainland Chinese student, please visit the Chinese language prospectus.

More information

Visit the School of International Studies Homepage to learn more about us.

Contact us

Student Recruitment and Admission Office

University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China

T. +86 (0574) 8818 0182

Faculty Office of Humanities and Social Sciences

Room 306, Innovation and Enterprise Building (IEB)
University of Nottingham Ningbo China
199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


Ready to apply? Browse our how to apply page to find our more on how to prepare and submit your application.