International Relations

International Relations is a distinct discipline which draws on diplomatic history, political theory, political economy, political science and international law to provide its own theoretical perspectives to explain conflict and cooperation in the modern world.

Students with a degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews are able to assess developments in the international system and specific geographical regions. They explore issues such as the origins of war and peace, the making of foreign policy, trade regimes, international terrorism, military alliances, and the interaction of political and economic development.



International Relations MA (Hons)
International Relations BA (International Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take International Relations MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree or a "with" degree.

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International Relations research areas

At St Andrews, research in International Relations is focused around three broad themes:

Careers for graduates in International Relations

International Relations graduates have expertise in area studies including Africa, Europe and the Middle East; foreign policy; international organisations and regimes; peace and conflict studies; political theory; and terrorism and political violence. Therefore, they are well equipped for careers in:

  • foreign services
  • armed services
  • public services (civil service, local governments, public corporations, hospital management)
  • social services (child care, youth employment, probation)
  • international business
  • media, radio and television
  • accountancy
  • banking and insurance
  • law
  • research.

See recent graduate employment case studies.


Joining a society, and particularly taking on a role of responsibility, can impress future employers and also enhance employability skills such as:

  • team working
  • negotiation
  • event management
  • controlling budgets
  • leadership.

Opportunities to join an International Relations society at St Andrews include:

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


There is a range of undergraduate funding opportunities offered by the University of St Andrews.

Undergraduate scholarships


ILCR MLitt scholarship
The Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research (ILCR) is offering £8,500 scholarships on the basis of academic merit for students applying for the MLitt in Legal and Constitutional Studies.

MLitt Bursary in Terrorism and Political Violence
Those who have been offered a place on the MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence can apply for the bursary which covers all fees for one full-time student on the programme.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

Find out more about funding at PhD level.

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

International Relations at St Andrews was ranked second in Scotland for research quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

University league tables

International Relations at St Andrews was ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2019 and first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2019.


School of International Relations
University of St Andrews
Arts Building
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2938

International Relations website

International Relations research portal