PROSPECTIVE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
The Department offers courses in both, Politics and International Relations. Students can chose whether to pursue a combined degree (MA) in Politics & IR, or to combine either one with a subject taught in another department.
Many, if not all our actions have political implications, and take place in a context framed by politics and political options and choices. It is for this reason alone that the study of politics has sometimes been referred to as the ‘master science’. Whether you are an economist or a social worker, when you take decisions, they are in some way political acts. They are political in that you often have to pick from several options, each of which will have different consequences in the way it will benefit some people, and disadvantage others. With Laswell, we can say that politics is the study of who gets what, where, when and how.
These questions can be explored from a variety of perspectives (Comparative Politics, Political Theory, Political Behaviour, Policy Process), most of which are the themes of courses offered by the Department.
The objective of the study of Politics at the University of Aberdeen is to introduce you to the rich political world and how we might attempt to make sense of what often seems to be the dominance of randomness and accident in human affairs, and as a consequence enable you not only to understand why things are the way they are, but also to develop views about what the consequences might be, and about what future outcomes might look like.
IR is an exciting subject, studying for instance the implications of contact between and among different peoples, cultures and civilisations, and why such contact is sometimes peaceful, friendly and integrative, and sometimes violent, destructive, or full of friction. Our courses reflect the broad spectrum of the discipline, covering more ‘conventional’ IR topics such as the (comparative) study of international systems, conflict and security, foreign policy and diplomacy, as well as regionalism and area studies (European Union, Asia, Africa), globalisation and global governance, the environment in IR, development and global political economy, identity and inter-cultural dialogue, and international political theory.
The study of IR at Aberdeen offers an opportunity to get a better grasp on what drives and frames major developments which affect the lives and prospects of people across the globe.