Program Overview

It will offer you a foundational theoretical underpinning in the discipline of International Relations, as well as the opportunity to specialise in particular thematic and regional areas of IR research, with an emphasis on China as a globally active state. You will develop linguistic proficiency in Mandarin through two study abroad periods at Fudan University in Shanghai, and through increasingly specialist language courses that focus on international relations and professional practice. Students will graduate able to work in Mandarin-language settings.

This programme was formerly known as BSc International Relations and Mandarin


LondonUnited Kingdom

  Course Duration

48 Months

  Tuition Fee

£ 22,430



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For the first, second and fourth years, the degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units, including a dissertation, plus LSE100. Half of your courses will be in International Relations, and half in Mandarin within the Language Centre.

You will spend a summer and the third year of your degree studying abroad at Fudan University .

In your fourth year, you will return to LSE and complete a dissertation and take other courses.

First year

(* denotes a half unit course) 

International Relations: Theories, Concepts and Debates

From Empire to Independence: The Extra-European World in the Twentieth Century

Or International Politics since 1914: Peace and War

Mandarin Language and Society, Beginner
Beginners to intermediate study of the Mandarin language within the framework of social sciences and culture. 

Or Mandarin Language and Society, Intermediate
Intermediate study of the Mandarin language within the framework of social sciences and culture. 

Intercultural Communication and Management
Looks at the main theories and concepts involved in inter-cultural communication to explain and analyse how they apply in real life, in business and in political communications.

Thinking Globally: Studying International Relations (un-assessed)
Helps students to acquire and develop the key skills needed to study international relations.

A half unit, running across Michaelmas and Lent Term in the first year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and is designed to build your capacity to tackle multidimensional problems through research-rich education.

Second year

Two from:

International Political Theory
Combines classical theory with modern ways of explaining and understanding international relations. 

Foreign Policy Analysis 1
Analyses various theoretical perspectives on foreign policy, and the means of conduct of the main actors in the international system towards each other.

International Organisations
Examines major theoretical and empirical aspects of the role of international organisations in international politics.

International Security
Gives students a thorough introduction to the literature on international security, both theoretical and policy-oriented. 

International Political Economy
Examines the role of power and politics in international economic relations.

Mandarin Language and Society, Advanced

Advanced study of the Mandarin language within the framework of social sciences and culture.

Mandarin for International Relations

Third year  

Study abroad year at Fudan University, China. See the study abroad section for more details

Fourth year
In your fourth year, you will choose to either complete a dissertation, or to take courses to the value of one unit from a range of options both in International Relations, politics, and related courses in other departments. You will also take a further International Relations option and take two language focussing on International Relations and the workplace.

Academic Chinese for International Relations

Mandarin in the Global Workplace

One further course from the options from second year


Di ssertation

An independent research project of 10,000 words.


Courses to the value of one unit from a selected list.


Below we list our entry requirements in terms of GCSEs, A-Levels (the entry requirements should be read alongside our A-level subject combinations information) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK and from overseas.




  • Applicants should have successfully completed at least a GCSE in a modern language at grade B or 6 (or equivalent).
  • There is no Mandarin pre-requisite as the programme is designed for beginners or those with some exposure to Mandarin.
  • A strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9)
  • Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B (or 6)
  • We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile




We also consider your AS grades, if available.

Contextual admissions A-level grades**

IB Diploma
38 points overall, including 766 at higher level

Contextual admissions IB grades**
37 points overall, including 666 at higher level

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

Home students:

The 2023 tuition fee for new Home students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2022 fee for Home students is £9,250 per year. The Home student undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

The degree programme will prepare you for a career in politics and government, diplomacy of international organisations, NGO charities and international development (including multi-national corporations).

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