An important feature of the modern world which is widely recognised and commented upon by business people, journalists, politicians, diplomats, teachers and virtually anyone with the alertness to look about them, is its increasing inter-dependence and ‘internationalisation’. Your ability to read this message on the World Wide Web is itself a manifestation of the power of ideas to transcend national boundaries with great rapidity and at low cost. Technology has proved to be an agent which encourages co-operation across national boundaries. Technological developments in transport, telecommunications and computing have encouraged economic changes such as the decline in barriers to trade, the internationalisation of financial markets, the rise of global companies, and a massive increase in the volume of international trade in goods and services. These trends have been accompanied by political developments such as the rise of regional trading groupings of countries, international efforts to agree about common legal and technical rules to govern business dealings, arguments about ‘tax competition’ between countries, as well as increasing concern about the environmental consequences associated with world economic development. Enormous social tensions arise as these international forces come into conflict with long established ways of doing things in every country. Political and social systems are in a continuous process of adjustment to an increasingly open world. The International Studies programme at Buckingham gives you an opportunity to learn about these fundamental problems. With students coming to Buckingham from over 80 countries, it is an ideal environment to learn about matters of international concern and to discuss them with people from differing cultural backgrounds. The programme is inter-disciplinary and covers economic, political, legal, historical and cultural dimensions. Graduates from the International Studies programme will have acquired a knowledge of economics sufficient to analyse and understand the global marketplace; a familiarity with political systems in a range of different countries; and a good historical understanding of how the international framework has evolved over time. Students wishing to pursue careers in the media, journalism, international business, politics, diplomacy or education should find the programme very attractive for their first degree. Many students following an International Studies degree programme will be aiming to work in an international environment where the knowledge of several languages is expected. Some may wish to acquire language skills in order better to understand particular regional political and economic developments. The Department therefore offers programmes in which students can take a language along with an International Studies ‘major’. The ‘major’ comprises the main politics, international relations and history components of International Studies.