International Relations: Politics and History

Bachelor of Arts - Undergraduate Program

The IRPH program is designed to address complex and pressing global issues today. The program takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining theories and methods from political science, history, law, and philosophy to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of international relations. The overarching goal of the program is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to analyze and tackle the historical origins and potential solutions to these global challenges.

The program has a proven track record of preparing students for success in further academic pursuits and the job market. Approximately 60% of IRPH graduates go on to attend prestigious graduate schools, including Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and Sciences Po. The remaining 40% of graduates enter a variety of careers, including traditional international relations roles, public policy, development work, business, consulting, and more. The IRPH program has received high marks from the Centre for Higher Education (CHE), a further testament to the program's quality and effectiveness in preparing students for successful careers.

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Interested in the program?
Why study at Constructor University
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Train your intercultural skills by studying with talents from more than 100 countries and excellent study abroad options.
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Benefit from highest standards in teaching, interdisciplinary learning, early research involvement, and hands-on education.
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Key facts
Constructor University, Bremen, Germany
€ 20,000 per academic year (two semesters) + € 8,000 on-campus room and board (full meal plan)
Fall intake 2023:
Apply by June 1 (global) and July 15 (for applicants who do not need a visa)
Start last week of August (orientation week), first week of September (classes)
All students are considered for an academic achievement scholarship based on their school grade point average (GPA).
EU students are eligible for a minimum guaranteed scholarship of € 4.000.
3 years full-time
Financing options:
Each admitted candidate will receive an individual financial package.
Ready for your future?
The program

The undergraduate program at Constructor University is a three-year, 180-credit-point program designed to prepare students for a wide range of career paths.

The “4C Model” is the program's backbone, with disciplinary content grouped into three themes according to study years: CHOICE-CORE-CAREER. Additionally, the “CONSTRUCTOR Track”, an integral part of the program, runs parallel throughout the program. It provides students with multidisciplinary content and essential skills such as argumentation, data visualization, societal engagement, and communication.

The curriculum allows students to tailor their education to their goals and to explore different fields of study, with the flexibility to change their major within the first year. Moreover, the programs include a mandatory internship and a study-abroad opportunity in the fifth semester to provide students with hands-on experience and a global perspective.

4C Curriculum
Study program structure

The first study year is designed to build on and enhance the students' prior knowledge and qualifications. The program offers a wide range of introductory modules from which IRPH students can choose a total of 45 credits (CP) from various study programs, with 15 credits designated for their chosen major.

Students can switch to a different major at the beginning of the second year of studies if they have taken the corresponding modules of the study program in the first year of studies.

IRPH students take the following discipline-specific CHOICE Modules in their first year of study:

  • CHOICE Module: Introduction to International Relations (7.5 CP)
  • CHOICE Module: Introduction to Modern European History (7.5 CP)

While students have the option to switch to a different major at the start of their second year, the IRPH program requires students to complete two discipline-specific modules in their first year: "Introduction to International Relations" and "Introduction to Modern European History."  These modules provide students with a comprehensive overview of international relations and European history. The "Introduction to International Relations" module delves into the fundamental theories of international relations, cooperation, and collective security through examining texts by noted scholars and hands-on activities. The "Introduction to Modern European History" module focuses on European political, socio-economic, and cultural developments over the past two centuries. It provides students with opportunities to analyze scholarship and primary sources. Both modules aim to sharpen students' argumentation and academic writing skills.

The second year of study offers IRPH students the opportunity to delve deeper into their chosen major through 45 credit points (CP) worth of CORE modules. These modules are designed to enhance the student's critical understanding of their major's fundamental theories, principles, and methodologies.

IRPH students take 30 CP from the following CORE modules:

  • CORE Module: Understanding International Political Economy (7.5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Advanced International Relations Theory (7.5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Empires and Nation States (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: History of Globalization (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: International Law (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Regional Integration (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: International Resource Politics (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: Diplomacy and Foreign Policy (5 CP)

In addition, students can select 15 CP worth of CORE modules to align with their interests or to pursue a minor in a secondary field of study.

The module “Understanding International Political Economy” focuses on the relationship between international relations and economics, particularly emphasizing the rise of China and East Asia since the 1970s.

The “Advanced International Relations Theory” module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the past 60 years of theorizing about world politics, including opportunities for developing debate skills.

The “Empires and Nation States” module examines the events, ideas, and processes that have shaped modern politics and societies.

The “History of Globalization” module explores the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural spheres and its roots and evolution.

In the module "International Law," students are introduced to public international law and how it governs the international conduct of states and non-state actors.

The module "Regional Integration" examines states' efforts to overcome their boundaries and forge economic, political, and strategic integration on a regional level.

The module "International Resource Politics" investigates the intersection of politics, economics, and resources, particularly energy, and examines the geopolitical conflicts that have arisen over resources since the late 19th century.

Finally, the “Diplomacy and Foreign Policy” module teaches students about the concepts and tools used in foreign policy and the practical skills employed by diplomats, foreign policy experts, and international civil servants.

In their third year, IRPH students take the opportunity to prepare for their post-graduation career by completing a mandatory summer internship to gain professional experience and explore their interests.

This year also includes the option of studying abroad during the 5th semester, providing a unique opportunity for students to broaden their cultural horizons. In the 6th semester, students are fully immersed in research focusing on completing an extended Bachelor's thesis project.

To deepen their understanding of their chosen major, IRPH students can select four major-specific and major-related advanced Specialization modules. These modules are designed to provide the students with up-to-date knowledge on various areas within the IRPH field. The following are the approved Specialization Modules:

IRPH students can choose four of the following Specialization Modules:

  • Specialization: Political Philosophy (5 CP)
  • Specialization: China: Politics, Economy and Society (5 CP)
  • Specialization: Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships (5 CP)
  • Specialization: A New Cold War? EU-Russian Relations (5 CP)

In the "Political Philosophy" module, students delve into the political ideas that shape society and their impact through philosophical tools and analysis. The "China: Politics, Economy and Society" module focuses on current topics such as the transformation of the Chinese party-state and socio-economic challenges. The "Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships" module provides an in-depth look at everyday life under a dictatorship, focusing on European 20th-century regimes.

For students who wish to expand their knowledge beyond IRPH, they have the option to take approved Specialization modules from other programs. With IRPH SPC approval and prerequisite requirements, these modules can be selected from the SMP study program. The following modules are approved without further approval:

  • CORE Module: Systems of Democratic Governance (5 CP)
  • CORE Module: The Sociology of Conflict and Crisis (5 CP)
  • Specialization: A New Cold War? EU-Russian Relations (5 CP)

At Constructor University, students are given a unique opportunity to boost their employability through a mandatory two-month internship worth 15 credits. This opportunity usually takes place during the summer between the second and third year of study, providing students with the chance to gain practical experience in a professional setting. Through this internship, students can apply the knowledge and understanding they have gained from their major to real-world contexts, evaluate the significance of their major in the employment sector and society, reflect on their role in employment and society, and make informed career decisions. For students interested in starting their own company, an alternative to the full-time internship is offered as a start-up option, which allows them to focus on developing their business plan.

The Jacobs Track, an important feature of Constructor University’s educational concept, runs parallel to the disciplinary modules across all study years and is an integral part of the study program. It reflects a university-wide commitment to in-depth training in scientific methods, fosters an interdisciplinary approach, raises awareness of global challenges and societal responsibility, enhances employability, and equips students with extra skills desirable in the general field of study. Additionally, it integrates (German) language and culture modules.

Methods and Skills modules
Methods and skills such as mathematics, statistics, programming, data handling, presentation skills, academic writing, and scientific and experimental skills are offered to all students as part of the Methods and Skills area modules. Students are required to take 20 CP in the Methods/Skills area.

IRPH students take the following Methods modules:

  • Methods Module: Academic Writing and Academic Skills (5 CP)
  • Methods Module: Data Collection and Empirical Research Methodologies (5 CP)
  • Methods Module: Qualitative Research Methods (5 CP)

For the remaining 5 CP, IRPH students can choose between the following two Methods modules:

  • Methods Module: Applied Statistics with R (5 CP)
  • Methods Module: Applied Statistics with SPSS (5 CP)

Big Questions modules
The modules of the Big Questions area intend to broaden the students’ horizon with applied problem-solving between and beyond the disciplines. The offerings comprise problem-solving oriented modules that tackle global challenges from the perspectives of different disciplinary backgrounds and that allow, in particular, a reflection of the acquired disciplinary knowledge in economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts.

IRPH students take 2-4 courses from a broad portfolio of Big Questions modules.

Community Impact Project
In their 5th semester, students must take a 5 CP Community Impact Project (CIP) module. Students engage in on-campus or off-campus activities that challenge their social responsibility, i.e., they typically work on major-related projects that make a difference in the community life on campus, in its neighborhood, in Bremen, or on a cross-regional level.

Language modules
Constructor University supports its students in acquiring and improving these skills by offering a variety of language modules at all proficiency levels. Emphasis is put on fostering the German language skills of international students as they are an essential prerequisite for non-native-speaking students to learn about, explore, and eventually integrate into their host country and its professional environment.
All students take four language courses in the first and second years.

The curriculum of the study program is outlined in the schematic study plan:

Study Program Handbook Fall 2022 - International Relations: Politics and History
Study Program Handbook Fall 2021 - International Relations: Politics and History
Students and teacher
Career perspectives

The IRPH program provides students with the foundations for a variety of careers. By equipping them with an in-depth understanding of international relations and history, from both empirical and theoretical perspectives, they gain the knowledge and the analytical tools required for fields like politics and diplomacy, public policy and administration, communications and journalism.

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Students & alumni
Leonoor Cornelissen
I sought an international community that celebrated its diversity—and that’s exactly what I found.
Leonoor Cornelissen
Lisa Begusch
The university is an excellent way to constantly push yourself to go the extra mile and not give up at the first wind coming your way.
Lisa Begusch
School of Business, Social & Decision Sciences

This study program is part of the School of Business, Social & Decision Sciences.

The School of Business, Social and Decision Sciences focuses on interdisciplinary research and education in business sciences, finance and economics, political sciences, as well as in fields related social interactions and to cognitive processes underlying behavior of individuals, groups, or institutions.

Key disciplines in the school include Management Science, Finance, Economics, Industrial Engineering, Logistics, Political Science, Cognitive Psychology, and Sociology.

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Global Community
Life on campus

Become part of a global community

Constructor University Students come from all over the world to live and learn at Constructor University. Our student body represents 110 nations. They form an ambitious campus community whose internationality is unprecedented in Europe. Constructor University’s green and tree-shaded 80-acre campus provides much more than buildings for teaching and research.

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