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Bachelor of Arts in International Relations

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of International Relations
Study System
Total Credit Hours
123 Cr.Hrs
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations

The International Relations department seeks to equip students with the skills needed to engage effectively in regional and world affairs, and to pursue a range of possible careers in the public and private sectors, as well as in academia. Overall, the proposed programme meets the ambitions of the University of Sharjah, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and HH’s vision in expanding its programs to meet local, regional, and global needs on knowledge in liberal arts and sciences. 


1.    Provide students with a sound understanding of the history, theory, and practice of International Relations
2.    Equip graduates with the knowledge and skills needed for effective communication in the field of International Relations .
3.    Provide students with basic research skills.
4.    Develop students’ critical and analytical abilities to help them to pursue higher studies.
5.    Help graduates understand the international relations process and its techniques.


Admission requirements:

  •  High School certificate.
  • The UAE Secondary School Scientific or Literary Stream Certificate, or its equivalent, as approved by the Ministry of Education and Youth.
  • The average should be  70% .
  • In order to be admitted to the program, students are required to have 500 or more on TOEFL exam, or an IELTS certificate with a minimum overall score of Band 5. Students with a TOEFL score of less than 500 may join the English Language Center or sit for the TOEFL in order to be reconsidered for admission

 Program Learning Outcomes

By the end of successful completion of the program, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the principal theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, and the relationships between them.
  2. Compare and contrast alternative systems of governance throughout the Arab Gulf region and other parts of the world that are of particular significance to the United Arab Emirates and the Arab Gulf region.
  3. Analyze international affairs by using theoretical concepts and ideas from more than one international relations-related discipline.
  4. Apply qualitative and quantitative methods and problem-solving skills to analyze
  5. Evaluate and apply diverse perspectives to complex subjects within natural and human systems in the face of multiple and even conflicting positions.
  6. Adapt existing arguments, hypotheses, models, etc. or propose alternative ones to describe, explain, or predict instances of cooperation and conflict in regional and/or international relations.
  7. Develop scenarios of the possible outcomes of the interactions between socioeconomic and political realities in specific national context(s) and regional and international actors and institutions. 

Career Opportunities

•    Academia
•    Journalism
•    Diplomacy and Government Service
•    International Organizations
•    International Business
•    Global Finance
•    Mass Communication and Media

  •  Program Structure

The International Relations Program encompasses three course categories:  university, college, and department courses. Those courses include both compulsory and elective.



University RequirementsCollege RequirementsDepartmental RequirementsTotal
Mandatory Credits15153360
Electives Credits905163


A student undertaking this program must complete a total of 123 credits covering University Requirements (UR), College Requirements (CR), and Program Requirements (PR). The courses subsuming under each one of these category requirements are listed below.

a) University Requirements

Every student working for the B.A. in International Relations is required to take 24 credit hours of general education courses distributed over four domains.  Nine elective credit hours are selected from Domains 1, 2, and 3. Fifteen mandatory credit hours are selected from domains 4 as indicated below.

Domain 1: 3 Credits (1 course)

0203100Islamic Civilization3
0602246Human Rights in Islam and International Declarations3
0201140Introduction to Arabic Language3
0203200History of the Sciences among Muslims3
0710109Arts and Medicine3
0203102History of the Arabian Gulf3
0202130French Language3
0900107History of Medical and Health Sciences3


Domain 2:  3 Credits (1 course)

1430101Astronomy and Space Sciences3
0401142Man and the Environment3
0500210Health Awareness and Nutrition3
0505101Fitness and Wellness3


Domain 3: 3 Credits (1 course)

0206102Fundamentals of Islamic Education3
0204102UAE society3
0206103Introduction to Psychology3
0305110Introduction to Economics ( for non B)3
0302120Introduction to Business 3
0800107Media in Modern Societies3
0302327Personal Finance3
0104130Analytical Biography of the Prophet3


Domain 4: 15 Credits (5courses)

0104100Islamic Culture3
0201102Arabic Language (For Arabic Speakers)3
0201105Arabic Language (For Non-Arabic Speakers)3
0202112English for Academic Purposes3
1411100Introduction to IT3
0302200Fund of  Innovation3


b) College Requirements

Students must complete a total of 15 credits from the following list:




Course TitleCredit HoursPrerequisites
0201203Art of writing Arabic30201100
0203103Islamic History3 
0203114History of the Islamic City3 
0204111Arab Society3 
0206101Introduction to Education3 
0202113English for Humanities3 
0206101Woman and Development3 


Department Electives

Students are required to take 51 credits of elective courses: 24 credits chosen from Group 1, 24 credits from Group 2, and 3 credits from Group3, as indicated below.


Course NumberCourse TitleCredit HoursPrerequisites
Group I: Choose 24 credits (8 courses)
0205220Identity,Nationas,and Nationalisim
0205301Ethinc conflict
0205310International Organization3 
0205330International Human Rights 3 
0205370International Terrorism3 
0205311Environment and Sustainable Development3 
0205270Refugees and Displacement3 
0205440Selected Topics in International Relations3 
0205499Independent Study 30205200
Group II: 24 credits (8 courses) must be chosen from this list.
0205100Governance in the UAE3 
0205201Homeland Security3 
0205240Comparative Governments of GCC3 
0205250Islamic Political System3 
0205255Islamic World in IR3 
0205287American National Government3 
0205333Great Powers Foreign Policy3 
0205225Middle East in International  Relations3 
0205309Political Economy of the Middle East30205225; 0205111; 0205345
0205377EU's International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205379China in International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205381Japan in International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205382Africa in International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205383Russia in International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205384Central Asia in International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205387Turkey in International Relations30205101; 0205111; 0205160
0205388The Palestinian Question3 
Group III: One of these courses must be taken.
0205350National Internships 3 
0205351International Internships 3 
0205352International Programs3 


Courses Descriptions Mandatory Courses

Description of the 33 credit hours, 11 mandatory core courses are given below.

0205101                  Introduction to International Relations         (3-0:3)

The Introduction to International Relations is aiming to provide students with basic concepts and knowledge in the field of International Relations. The course will address the following questions – what is international relations? When international relations began? What is the state? What is sovereignty? What theoretical tools can we use to analyses relations between states?

The first part of the course will focus on the development of the state system. It will address such questions as when the states emerge; what is Westphalian concept of sovereignty and how the sovereignty has evolved and spread across the world since Westphalia. In the second part of the course we shall look at the impact of two world wars on the state system, emergence of the UN, decolonization and Cold War. Finally we shall study some of the major theoretical schools of IR – Realism, Liberalism and Marxism.

0205110                  Introduction to Political Science                       (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the basic concepts, institutions, processes, and theories of political science. Concepts such as state, society, government, the political system, political behavior, power, and authority will be discussed thoroughly to provide students with a solid foundation necessary to prepare them for future course work in the field.

0205160                  Introduction to Comparative Politics              (3-0:3)

This course compares national governments in terms of their political system, institutions, structures, and the process of development, modernization, democratization, political culture, nationalism, and state-society relations.

0205200                  Research Methods                                              (3-0:3)

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the relevant concepts, theories, and practices that together comprise political science research methods, including epistemology, ontology, qualitative and quantitative methods, and statistics.

0205204                  Political Theory                                                    (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the major contributions of political philosophers spanning from ancient Greece, through the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment Age. Major works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas will be surveyed.

0205280                  Theory of International Relations                    (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to major theories in International Relations. The course surveys the development of the field, its scope, and its methods.

0205300                  International Law                                                (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to International Law in terms of its theoretical foundations, development, institutions, and enforcement.

0205320                  International Security                                        (3-0:3)

This course is a survey of the main theoretical foundations of International Security as a sub-field in International Relations. It also addresses main issues of debate in the fields of defense, offence, peace, peacemaking, peace keeping, strategies, tactics, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and arms reduction.

0205345                  International Political Economy (IPE)              (3-0:3)

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the politics of International Economic Relations. It introduces students to the main theoretical approaches in the field as well as deals with trade relations, international finance, economic assistance, and international economic organization.

0205390                  Foreign Policy                                                       (3-0:3)

This course deals with the analysis of foreign policy. It provides students with an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of foreign policy making processes. It covers theoretical discussions as well as empirical analysis of how a country formulates its foreign policy and conducts it in international affairs. Its main goal is to equip students with analytical capabilities in assessing foreign policy and anticipating future developments in a country's external behavior.

0205340                  Diplomacy                                                             (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the art of diplomacy in terms of its history, foundations, approaches, models, and goals. It deals with major concepts like diplomatic recognition, negotiations, foreign policy, and bilateral relations.

Elective Courses

Group – I: Description of Group I - electives follows.

0205220Identity,Nationas,and Nationalisim                                            (3-0:3)


To answer these questions we need to turn to the idea of a nation-state and the "glue" that holds it together – national identity. This course will therefore look at the idea of nationalism and national identity as a part of state-centric International Relations. We shall study several major theoretical works that explain the rise of nationalism in the last few centuries, the role and place it plays in the modern nation-state and the means by which a strong national identity is being formed.

While the course is largely theoretical it is advisable that students take it before signing up for IR Theories course. It is expected that after completing this course students will be familiar with the fundamental texts on national identity, can apply their knowledge to analyze international affairs and if necessary formulate state policies based on their knowledge.

0205281                  Globalization                                                         (3-0:3)

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the concept and institution of globalization. It will focus mainly on the three aspects of globalization: economic, political, and cultural globalization.

0205301                  Ethinc conflict                                         (3-0:3)

This course examines the topic of World Conflict in terms of the root causes of war, its destructive impacts on humans and society, and the mechanisms of war prevention and peacemaking.

0205310                  International Organization                                (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the international organization in terms of its structure, processes, and its impact on international relations. It deals with both governmental and non-governmental institutions and their impact on international affairs. Special attention will be devoted to the United Nations and its role in world affairs.

0205330                  International Human Rights                              (3-0:3)

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of human rights in terms of origins, types, development, institutions, obstacles, etc. It also deals with major international agreements and covenants that govern human rights worldwide, such as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention.

0205370                  International Terrorism                                     (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to political violence and terrorism in terms of theories, forms, causal factors, goals, and consequences. Terrorism and political violence have been a part of human condition since the beginning of recorded history. Terror and mass killings have become recurring realties throughout the world, and it is essential to understand their root causes and patterns.

0205311                  Environment & Sustainable Development     (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to environmental problems and national and global policy interventions to deal with those problems. The course also examines various theoretical and political-ideology-based perspectives on environmental problems and related approaches to dealing with them.

0205270                  Refugees and Displacement                              (3-0:3)

The course provides a stimulating interdisciplinary environment in which we explore contemporary issues in refugee and forced migration studies. Relevant international instruments, research, case studies, agency policies, and reports will be examined in order to develop students' skills necessary for understanding the current status of the field. The course will critically assess international humanitarian assistance and protection frameworks and discuss how refugees' experiences of assistance and protection are gendered and racialized. Specific emphasis will be placed on recent developments in refugee terminology, refugee status determination, durable solutions, and extremely vulnerable refugees. The voices of refugees are emphasized throughout the course.


0205440                  Selected Topics in International Relations     (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to an in-depth understanding of a selected group of topics. Issues to be considered include global warming, international debt, and sustainable development.

0205499                  Independent Study                                             (3-0:3)

This course is designed to provide individual students with the opportunity to study in detail certain issues in international relations. In coordination with a faculty member, students sign up for the class, and coordinate with their supervisors on a list of readings and evaluation mechanisms.

Group – II: Description of Group II - electives follows

0205100                  Governance in the UAE                                        (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the political system of the United Arab Emirates in terms of its modern history, state structure, institutions, branches, authorities and the foreign policy of the UAE.

0205201                  Homeland Security                                              (3-0:3)

This course deals with homeland security, and identifies threats that undermine stability and social peace. It also deals with nation's efforts to combat threats that target the homeland, and the efforts of national, regional, and local authorities to confront such threat

0205240                  Comparative Governments of the GCC          (3-0:3)

This course is devoted to the study of the political systems of the Gulf Cooperation Council's member states, as well as to the understanding of the GCC's structure and role in regional stability and development. The class will compare and contrast the political systems in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.

0205225                  Middle East in International Relations            (3-0:3)

This course examines the governments and politics of the Middle East. In doing so, it combines the subject and methods of history, geography, political science, religion, and political philosophy. The primary goal of this course is to develop the analytical skills, conceptual tools, and historical foundations necessary to understand Middle East politics. Moreover, the course invites and emphasizes students' role in engaging in discussions and debates about the topics covered in the course with reference to broad academic literature on the topics.

0205250                  Islamic Political Systems                                     (3-0:3)

This course is devoted to the study of Islam, the Islamic state, governance in Islam, authority, and state-society relations. Major texts, historical perspectives, and schools of thought will be examined in the study of Islam and its politics such as the Holy Quran, the Prophet's Sunna, and the practice of the Islamic Caliphate throughout history.

0205255                  Islamic World in International Relations        (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the Islamic world in the context of International Relations. It examines cooperation among Muslim countries and conflicts in those countries.  The status of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim majority countries is analyzed, as are the regional and international implications of the treatment of those minorities in those countries. The course also includes discussions on issues, including case studies on failed states in the Islamic World, Islamophobia, and non-state actors in the Islamic World outside the Middle East.

0205287                  American National Government                      (3-0:3)

This course is designed to introduce students to the foundation, structure, organization and functioning of [North] American National Government. It will examine the three major branches of the government: executive, legislative, and judicial, as well as [North] American foreign and defense policy. The ultimate goal is to develop the analytical skills, conceptual tools, and historical foundations necessary to understand [North] American politics.

0205333                  Great Powers Foreign Policy                             (3-0:3)

The course will address the foreign policy of great powers. In the first part of the it will introduce students to the theoretical approaches to the great power politics by studying two fundamental text of International Relations – Paul Kennedy's "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers" and John J. Mearsheimer's "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics". These works will provide students with analytical perspective to study the great power foreign policy. In the second part of the course we shall focus on practical aspects of several Great Powers foreign policies (USA, China, Russia, Great Britain, France, India).

0205225                  Middle East in International Relations            (3-0:3)

This course examines the governments and politics of the Middle East. In doing so, it combines the subject and methods of history, geography, political science, religion, and political philosophy. The primary goal of this course is to develop the analytical skills, conceptual tools, and historical foundations necessary to understand Middle East politics. Moreover, the course invites and emphasizes students' role in engaging in discussions and debates about the topics covered in the course with reference to broad academic literature on the topics.

0205309     Political Economy of the Middle East     (3-0:3)
This course explores the modern history of Middle Eastern economies, the impact of oil on regional economics, globalization, and the role of foreign aid, investment, and intervention in the region.

0205377                  EU's International Relations                              (3-0:3)

The European Union (EU), previously the European Community, is considered to be the most successful integration experience in international relations; it has had significant impact on world affairs since the end of WWII. The principal objective of this course is to provide students with an informed understanding of the EU's role in international relations. In order to achieve this, it will explore the nature of EU's external action in various issues and its interaction with major powers, emerging powers, multilateral organizations, and Islamism as well as its relations with the developing world paying attention to issues such as association and cooperation agreements, control of external migration, trade, sanctions, democracy and human rights promotion, humanitarian aid, and the links between development and security.

0205379                       China in International Relations                            (3-0:3)

This course provides in-depth understanding of the Chinese political system in terms of its modern history, regime-type, institutions, authorities, the rise of China, and its foreign policy. It also examines China's global engagement with special attention to Chinese-Arab Gulf and Middle Eastern relations. .  Readings, lectures, and discussion will focus on the sources of China's domestic and international conduct, interactions with major powers, relations with neighboring countries, "going global" into different regions of the world, participation in global governance and international regimes, and its national security environment and coercive capabilities.

0205381                  Japan in International Relations                       (3-0:3)

This course familiarizes students with Japan in terms of its history, culture, politics, economic development, and its foreign policy. Understanding Japan is vital in order for students to grasp the depth of the country's history, economic rise, and the delicate balance Japan is maintaining in a rapidly changing Asia.

0205382                  Africa in International Relations                       (3-0:3)

The course provides an overview of major linkages and relationships between today's sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world, focusing on selected case studies. Thus, it covers the continent's relations with major external powers as well as non-state actors, such as the International Criminal Court, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

0205383                  Russia in International Relations                      (3-0:3)

This course explores the modern political history of Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia in terms of ideology, power, authority, state-society relations, minorities, foreign policy, economic development, armament, disarmament, and the future of Russia in international relations.

0205384                  Central Asia in International Relations           (3-0:3)

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the politics, modern history, and culture of Central Asian Counties: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirgizstan, and Tajikistan. It also seeks to highlight the cultural, ethnic, and religious links between the Middle East and Central Asia.

This course introduces students to the government, governance, and economy of the United Arab Emirates. Topics covered include foreign policy, policy making, economic diversification, Emiratization, woman empowerment, government-driven innovation, and socioeconomic development of the United Arab Emirates. 

0205387                  Turkey in International Relations                                   (3-0:3)

This course examines Turkey's role in international relation. It deals with topics such as the Islamic Caliphate, secular Turkey, post-WWII Turkey, state, society, foreign policy, the rise of Turkey, and Turkish-Middle Eastern relations.

0205388                  The Palestinian Question                                   (3-0:3)

This course introduces students to the central issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In particular, it focuses on the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood, the status of Jerusalem (Particularly East Jerusalem), Jewish immigration and settlements in the West Bank, and the Right of Return for the Palestinians in diaspora. The course also addresses the responses of the international community to this conflict

Group – III: Description of Group III electives follows.

0205350                  National Internships                                           (3-0:3)

The objective of the National Internships is to provide students with the opportunity to gain a first-hand practical experience in a national institution. Students are required to contact local and national governmental institutions, local businesses, NGOs and alike to conduct a practical experience equivalent to (3) credit hours.

0205351                  International Internships                                  (3-0:3)

The objective of the International Internships is to provide students with the opportunity to obtain practical experience with an international organization such as the GCC, the Organization of Islamic States, The Arab League, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

0205352                  International Programs                                      (3-0:3)

Each student at the Department of International Relations is highly encouraged to take part in the international programs organized by the department. The goal of international programs is to provide students with the opportunity to gain first-hand understanding of a specific issue in international relations. International programs will visit Arab countries, Islamic countries, Africa, Russia, Central Asia, China, Japan, and the Americas.