International Relations BA (International Hons) 2021 entry
The BA (International Hons) in International Relations will teach you to understand how major features of the international system operate as well as the major challenges it faces. You will learn to approach issues from different epistemological and methodological angles, and to relate your knowledge to issues including development, international political economies, environmental politics, human rights, and the various impacts of globalisation, among others.
The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.
Bachelor of Arts (International Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 June 2025
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.
- Standard entry grades: AAAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Standard entry grades: AAA
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
If English is not your first language, you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.
How to apply
You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.
If you wish to begin your studies at William & Mary, you should apply through the William & Mary Common Application form.
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of this subject is required.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
The School of International Relations has been placed among the very best in the UK for the quality of its research.
The School was ranked second in Scotland for research by the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF), with 72% of its research rated world-leading and internationally excellent.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2020 as 92.7% of St Andrews final-year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Find out more about studying international relations at St Andrews.
Students studying the International Relations BA (International Hons) will take the required modules at both institutions in their first and second years.
The following modules are those offered at St Andrews. Find out more about module requirements at William & Mary.
At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in international relations in first year are:
- Concepts in Global Politics: introduces students to the foundation features of the academic discipline of international relations.
- Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in Global Politics: looks at the way states make foreign policy and engage in diplomacy to implement foreign policy.
You must also take the following economics modules:
- Macroeconomics: teaches you to use simple models to analyse such issues as the determinants of economic growth, unemployment, inflation and business cycles.
- Microeconomics: explores the basics of the market system and consumer and producer behaviour.
At St Andrews, the compulsory modules in international relations in second year are:
- Theoretical Approaches to International Relations: examines the main current theories in international relations (IR) and provides an overview of their main theoretical approaches to the study of IR, from Liberalism and Realism through Constructivism and the English School, to radical Marxist and Neo-Marxist perspectives as well as Feminism, Post-Colonialism and Postmodernism.
- Studying International Relations: explores how main current theories in international relations relate to some of the issues that confront those engaged in the world of international politics.
Students will spend either their third or fourth year in St Andrews. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules in conflict and conflict resolution, human rights, international law, international security, globalisation, terrorism, and comparative politics including Africa, Middle East, Latin America, China, Central and East Asia.
Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered at St Andrews in previous years:
- Activism and Resistance
- Armed Conflict in Postcolonial Africa
- Case Studies in Conflict Analysis
- Identities, Belonging and Others
- Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East
- International Political Economy
- International Security
- Music, Politics and International Relations
- Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Intervention.
If at St Andrews for fourth year, students also undertake a 12,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
“Joining the programme has been one of the best decisions of my life. The friends I have made on both campuses and amongst my WaMStA peers, the places I have explored, the materials I have studied in a subject I love dearly in two different academic styles, and the lessons I have learned transitioning between continents have changed me for the better in a way no study abroad opportunity could. I am a more well-rounded and knowledgeable person because of this programme, and I could not be more thankful for the chance to serve both institutions as a proud WaMStA student.”
Liam (Virginia, USA)