International relations

Explore global issues in relation to the world of politics and international law, in times of peace and conflict.

At St Andrews, students draw on areas from diplomatic history and international law as well as political theory, economy and science to explain conflict and cooperation. Gain insight into theoretical perspectives from areas including:

  • foreign policy
  • international organisations and regimes
  • peace and conflict studies
  • political theory
  • terrorism and political violence.
School of International Relations Students


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of International Research at St Andrews offers PhD and MPhil programmes. Research in international relations typically falls into one of three main themes:

  • conflict, peace and security
  • the evolving character of global and supra-national institutions
  • interpenetration of civil societies and international relations. 

Applicants for research degrees in the School of International Relations are not required to determine a potential supervisor before applying. Applicants are encouraged to express a supervisor preference in their application; however, the allocation of applicants to supervisors is undertaken by the School's postgraduate committee. Find out about how to apply for a research degree in International Relations.

“I chose to study international relations because I find it genuinely fascinating. Moreover, international relations will always remain important because politics is ever-changing and keeps moving forward. The topics covered, especially as you specialise, are very interesting and are all taught by experts in the field.”

- Kuching, Malaysia


First in Scotland and fifth in the UK for politics

The Complete University Guide 2023

97% of research activity rated 3* or 4*

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)