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International Relations MA (Hons)
2017 entry

The MA (Hons) in International Relations will teach you to 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.

Students will develop the skills to assess developments in the international system and specific geographical regions; analyse the ways in which states relate to other international actors; and develop normative theories that relate the world as it is to the world as it might be.

UCAS code

L250

Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

Entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB
GCE A-Levels AAA
IB points 38

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of this subject is required.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.  

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Course information

The MA (Hons) in International Relations is a four-year course run by the School of International Relations. In the first two years, you will study key theoretical approaches and concepts in International Relations; explore foreign policy making and its relation to international security; and examine how theoretical approaches to International Relations relate to issues in global politics. This will equip you with the range of experience and critical skills necessary for more in-depth study of specialist subject areas at Honours level.

Specialist subjects areas include:

  • conflict and conflict resolution
  • human rights
  • international security
  • globalisation
  • terrorism
  • comparative politics of states in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Final year students must also complete a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with teaching staff at the School of International Relations.

Find out more about studying International Relations at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in International Relations alongside modules in at least one other subject.

Typically, you will take three modules per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take the following compulsory first year modules:

Students will take the following compulsory second year modules:

  • Theoretical Approaches to International Relations: explores the main current theories in international relations to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of how major scholars, past and contemporary, have theorised about the dynamics of international relations.
  • Issues in International Relations: focuses on the relationship between key theoretical approaches and the issues that confront those engaged in the world of international politics.

If you decide to take International Relations in your third and fourth years, you 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 in previous years:

  • International Political Economy
  • Case Studies in Conflict Analysis
  • International Security
  • Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Intervention
  • Armed Conflict in Postcolonial Africa
  • Global Public Policy
  • Identities, Belonging and Others
  • Activism and Resistance
  • Music, Politics and International Relations
  • Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East.

In fourth year, students also undertake a 10,000-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 modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take 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. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

 Undergraduates

Booking for our autumn visiting days will open in early September 2017.

  • Wednesday 27 September 2017
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017
  • Wednesday 18 October 2017
  • Wednesday 25 October 2017
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017

Teaching

Teaching format

Research-led teaching brings cutting-edge research directly to the classroom.

In your first and second years, you will have three lectures a week per module (approximately 360 students), which decreases to one lecture per module per week at Honours level (15 to 25 students).

Lectures are supported by weekly small group tutorials (10 to 15 students) to discuss the material covered in lectures.

Assessment

Modules in International Relations are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written exams. Some modules have only written essays rather than final exams.

Coursework takes the form of essays, along with other kinds of assessed work including oral presentations and group projects.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2017 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £20,570

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Faculty of Arts scholarships

The Dr Lawrence M Wodehouse Scholarship provides financial assistance for students studying in the Faculty of Arts who are academically gifted but would otherwise struggle with the cost of studying at St Andrews.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take International Relations as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one or more of the following subjects.

It is also possible to combine a degree in International Relations with two modern languages. Any combination of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Persian, Russian, and Spanish is possible.

"With" degrees

You can take International Relations as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degree in International Relations:

Your future

Careers

International Relations graduates go on to a very diverse range of careers.

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.

Career destinations for recent graduates include:

  • Reid-Howe Associates
  • The Scotsman newspaper
  • BBC
  • East-West Institute
  • Crown Office and Fiscal Service
  • Armed Forces
  • Fleishman-Hillard
  • UNESCO
  • United Nations.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of International Relations may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • International Politics Association aims to increase awareness of politics by providing a platform for political figures to express their views and insights. 
  • Model United Nations runs a programme of events throughout the year, culminating in a conference with nearly 700 international delegates.
  • The Foreign Affairs Society is a diverse and dynamic society that encourages the St Andrews community to explore global politics and current affairs.

International Relations is housed in the Arts Building, which is centrally located right next to the University library. Students will primarily attend lectures here, but may go to other buildings around St Andrews for larger lectures.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland. Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

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

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2938
Email: intrel@st-andrews.ac.uk 

International Relations website