International Relations MA (Hons) 2021 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, human rights, international law, 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
- develop normative theories that relate the world as it is to the world as it might be.
Master of Arts (single 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.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- Standard entry grades: AAAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- 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.
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 entry requirements as outlined on their pages.
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
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.
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.
Sub-honours students take one module each semester which introduces them to the concepts, theories and history of international relations. In addition, students will be introduced to study skills and research methods to enable them to undertake research during their Honours years.
First-year students take both:
- Concepts in Global Politics: introduces students to the foundational features of the academic discipline of international relations.
- Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in Global Politics: looks at the ways states make foreign policy and engage in diplomacy to implement it.
Second-year students take both:
- Theoretical Approaches to International Relations: examines the main current theories in international relations (IR) and provides an overview of their main application to the study of IR.
- Studying International Relations: addresses the relationship between theory and method in the study of international relations and how to frame the research process.
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:
- Activism and Resistance
- Armed Conflict in Postcolonial Africa
- Asian Security
- Gender and Terrorism
- Geopolitics of Energy in the Caspian Region
- Human Rights in Theory and Practice
- Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East
- Indian Foreign Policy
- International Political Economy
- International Security
- Music, Politics and International Relations
- Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Intervention
- Political Islam and International Relations
- Refugees and International Relations
- The Arab-Israeli Conflict
- US Foreign Policy: The Dilemma of Power.
In 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.
Joint Honours degrees
You can take International Relations as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.
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.
- International Relations with Persian
“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.”
Michaela (Kuching, Malaysia)