Introduction

English and International Relations at Aberdeen combines all the advantages of the UK’s second most highly-rated research and creative hub for English literature, language and creative writing with in-depth study of our world then and now – providing the international, political and social context for great works in the English language to the present day. This programme will open up brilliant career opportunities at the forefront of world events.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
QL32
Pathway Programme Available
Undergraduate Foundation Programme
Degree marketing image

Aberdeen is a leading centre for the study of literature, language and creative writing, rated second in the UK for its research output. You will study poetry and prose through the dynamic relationship between author, reader and literary text, covering every period from Chaucer to contemporary English, Scottish, Irish, European and American writing and the cultural and critical impact of powerful and controversial modern works. You will be inspired by enthusiastic teachers and researchers, themselves acclaimed authors and poets and will be encouraged to develop your own creative writing skills.

In International Relations, you will look closely at how nations and organisations interact, the many contributors to global wealth and poverty and why inequalities persist. You will study regional and international tensions, nationalism, concepts of democracy – and ever-present concerns of conflict and peace. You will be taught by internationally renowned academics with strong track records in publishing international papers and articles and who appear regularly in the media, analysing and explaining national, European and world developments from the viewpoint of their own area of expertise and research.

You will gain the perfect foundation to add international career possibilities to your appeal to employers in all sectors, including international business, NGOs and international development, local and national government, politics, and journalism, plus transferable skills including critical analysis and communication ideally suited to a range of careers.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Acts of Reading (EL1009)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to the study of English by exploring the dynamic relationship between author, reader and text in a series of classic works of fiction and poetry. It covers a broad historical range (from Folk Tales and ballads to 21st century postmodernity) and offers a basic grounding in key elements of literary theory, literary history and the varieties of literary form.

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Politics & International Relations 2: Power and Conflict (PI1518)

15 Credit Points

Politics and International Relations impacts on all parts of our lives, with more specifically it being the study of ideas, events, institutions and choice. Studying these provides us with both knowledge of the world and also how it operates and functions. It also changes our perception of our surroundings and makes us aware of an ever changing global context. This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

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Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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Politics & International Relations 1: Democracy and Governance (PI1018)

15 Credit Points

Politics and International Relations impacts on all parts of our lives, with more specifically it being the study of ideas, events, institutions and choice. Studying these provides us with both knowledge of the world and also how it operates and functions. It also changes our perception of our surroundings and makes us aware of an ever changing global context. This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

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Optional Courses

Controversial Classics (EL1513) AND/OR Rethinking Reading (EL1536)

Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Encounters with Shakespeare (EL2011)

30 Credit Points

So you think you know Shakespeare? This course invites you to think again. Studying a range of plays we get behind the mythology of Shakespeare, and rediscover the dynamic inventiveness of the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the principal players in a period of literary experimentation that reinvented the possibilities of literature. Encounters with Shakespeare is your chance to find out more.

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Ideas and Ideologies in Politics and International Relations (PI2009)

30 Credit Points

Ideas and ideologies are core to teaching, learning and research in Politics and International Relations. Theoretical developments are at the forefront of academic debates within the discipline, demonstrated by the appearance of a number of new approaches as more traditional theories have struggled to account for an ever changing world. This course will introduce students to these with profound questions and struggles over identity, belonging, justice and rights underpinning these theoretical debates.

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Global Politics: Equality and Inequality (PI2508)

30 Credit Points

Equality and inequality are at the forefront of many debates within contemporary Politics and International Relations. This course will examine the historical context, theoretical underpinnings, and also key concepts which continue to uphold equality and inequality on a global scale.

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Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following courses:

The Tragedy of Knowledge (EL2512)

30 Credit Points

This course traces the use of key Western myths from antiquity to the present to examine the way knowledge is often presented as both dangerous and compelling. As well as introducing students to a range of historical, social, and formal variations on the theme of knowledge, the course also highlights the role of storytelling and adaptation in the formation of knowledge and understanding.

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Power, Equality and Empire (EL2517)

30 Credit Points

This optional course in literature allows students at pre-Honours to learn about the impact of global colonialism through the writings of those who experienced it and its repercussions. It includes theorists of our time and texts like Aphra Behn’s Oronoko and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. The texts on this course are necessarily concerned with enslavement and freedom, with how one encounters difference, and what it means to possess or claim territory. In examining these issues students will engage with issues of power and equality over centuries of writing about colonialism and empire.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses
Researching in the 21st Century (PI3069)

30 Credit Points

Research methods and techniques are fundamental to the study of Politics and International Relations. In addition, they are highly desired by employers. This course will introduce students to a number of different research techniques which they will use throughout their studies at Honours and in particular their Honours dissertation. Moreover, they will also constitute a significant part of their graduate attributes.

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Optional Courses

Select TWO courses from EACH of the following categories:

Medieval/Renaissance Literature

  • EL30EH: Classical Epic
  • EL30CP: Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1640
  • EL35EJ: Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century

Romantic/Victorian Literature

  • EL30XR: Romanticism
  • EL35SB: Britain and the 19th Century World
  • EL30QA: Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories
  • EL35VB: From Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion: Exploring Genre

Contemporary/Modern Literature

  • EL35KN: Haunted Texts
  • EL30FF: Modernism: Make it New
  • EL30RD: American Voices: Self and Society,1850-1930
  • EL35WC: Queer Times
  • EL35UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma

Plus ONE course from the following:

  • EL30YB: Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft
  • EL30VC: Fallen Women and Self-Made Men
  • CE351C: Celtic Encounters: The Gaelic World in Irish and Scottish Literature
  • EL35JS: Anglo-American Children's Literature
  • EL35ZF: Images Adequate to our Predicament: Art in the Anthropocene

Plus, select a further 30 credit points from level 3 courses in Politics & International Relations.

Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500 - 1640 (EL30CP)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the poetry, drama and prose of a period often referred to as the golden age of English literature. A period which saw Shakespeare and his contemporaries produce innovative new literary works in which the language of desire took centre stage.

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Classical Epic (EL30EH)

30 Credit Points

This course is your opportunity to study four of the most influential and gripping texts of world literature. We begin in the oral culture of ancient Greece, with the Iliad's stark meditation on war and death, and the Odyssey's consolatory reflections on divine justice, poetry and love. In imperial Rome, we see the genre transformed into a monument to political power in Virgil's Aeneid, then thrown into disarray by Ovid's irreverent anti-epic, the Metamorphoses. We end by considering some of the ways these texts have been exploited and adapted across the intervening centuries, in poetry and prose, art and film.

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Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (EL35EJ)

30 Credit Points

Literature has the power to reimagine society. The course will explore how poetry, drama and other literary forms across the century sought new literary approaches to meet the challenges of these times. We will examine different literary strategies adopted by authors to engage with their times, from those who drew upon classical precedent to others who brought new voices, and new publics, into the forum of literature. Texts on the course will vary each year, but will feature such authors as Ben Jonson, John Donne, Katharine Philips, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and Samuel Daniel.

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Romanticism (EL30XR)

30 Credit Points

The Romantic movement swept Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and produced some of the most innovative and exciting literature that has ever been seen. This rule breaking art helped shape the way that we consider art today and underpins many of our ideas about imagination, originality, creativity and self-expression. This course will explore the ways in which the Romantic movement manifested itself across Britain and Ireland and will consider writers such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Austen and Byron.

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Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories (EL30QA)

30 Credit Points

While the short story is often said to have developed in America, nineteenth-century Scottish writing is in fact instrumental in the emergence of the form. Often drawing on oral and folk traditions Scottish writers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employ the supernatural, or our fear of it, to explore subjects such as guilt, fear, remorse and the extent to which we can control our own destinies. This course will explore the ways in which the short story in Scotland develops from the early nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. It will include writers such as Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Findlater and Lewis Grassic Gibbon

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Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion (EL35VB)

30 Credit Points

This module covers some of the most prominent and popular genres of the Victorian period, including realism, detective fiction, sensation fiction, the ghost story and the social problem novel. We will learn how to identify a genre’s distinctive features, but also how it may overlap with other forms of fiction. By reading authors such as George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and H. G. Wells, we will think about how writers help to create and challenge generic boundaries.

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Britain and the Nineteenth - Century World (EL35SB)

30 Credit Points

The Romantic (1782-1832) and Victorian (1832-1901) periods were ones of remarkable activity for British citizens abroad. Imperial expansion, increasing international trade, major conflicts and growing mass migration all drew more British citizens than ever into contact with the wider world. This course explores the footprints left by these interactions in nineteenth-century literature: critically examining how Britain saw the world and how the English-speaking world saw Britain during a century of unprecedented international activity. This course will combine canonical writers of empire and migration with less well-known accounts of the period. Writers covered may include Mary Shelley, Henry Derozio, Fergus Hume, Cornelia Sorabji, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle. The course will apply a range of critical lenses to this material offering students an introduction to key concepts and debates from nation theory, settler studies and postcolonial studies.

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Modernism: Make IT New (EL30FF)

30 Credit Points

The early twentieth century was a time of great literary experimentation as literary modernists rose to the challenge to make it new. We will explore modernism’s stylistic experimentation while also considering the social contexts and changes that shaped this literature. The course will examine a range of writers, genres, movements and locations which prompt us to consider what, when and where was modernism.

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American Voices: Self and Society, 1850 - 1930 (EL30RD)

30 Credit Points

This course examines an important and diverse period in the development of American literature, lasting from the mid-nineteenth century until the 1930s. During the course we will be analysing works by a variety of American writers from this period in their historical, social and political contexts as well as considering the ways in which they pioneered innovative literary forms and techniques.

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Haunted Texts (EL35KN)

30 Credit Points

This course offers an overview of a wide range of twentieth-century Scottish literature, focusing on themes of haunting, death, and place. Including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama, the course explores questions of the relationship between self and society, the legacy of the past, and the formation of gendered and regional identities. There are lots of ghosts.

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Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma (EL35UT)

30 Credit Points

How is the artist to respond when the virtual becomes the real and when words cannot carry the weight of trauma? How can an author avoid the accusations of voyeuristic prurience or crass opportunism when he or she attempts to re-present events of public violence? This multi-disciplinary course examines work from a wide range of modes, including fiction, poetry, film and graphic art, and looks at the difficulties of inscribing trauma and the ethics and praxis of remembrance. Key events covered include the Holocaust, the Sabra and Shatila massacre, 9-11, the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans.

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Queer Times (EL35WC)

30 Credit Points

This course adopts a cross-period approach, bringing contemporary and premodern texts into conversation in exploring representations of queer experiences and themes in diverse forms. Divided into three sections, queer presents, queer pasts, and queer futures, the course will introduce a selection of theoretical and critical readings in thinking about how representation is shaped by temporal and cultural context. We will consider the relationship between representation of queer experience and formal experimentation, and how queer forms impact on our sense of queer possibilities.

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Fallen Women and Self - Made Men (EL30VC)

30 Credit Points

The Victorian period is often seen as a time of sexual repression and rigid gender roles, in which men and women were expected to perform in accordance with established codes of behaviour that were based on assumptions about innate masculinity and femininity. While this perception of Victorian attitudes may be true to some extent, many Victorians were well aware of the dangers of gender stereotyping, and wrote fiction in order to interrogate and challenge these expectations. Focussing mainly on the novel, but including some poetry and drama, this module explores how Victorian writers engaged with gender stereotypes, and considers the literary tactics that authors used to re-examine, overthrow and sometimes reaffirm them. We will also consider how these stereotypes changed during the nineteenth century in response to public controversies and campaigns that kept questions of gender at the forefront of public consciousness. Figures such as the Fallen Woman, the Self-Made man and the Angel in the House will be explored in texts by authors including Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Hardy.

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Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL30YB)

30 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity, through lectures and interactive workshops, to develop their understanding of, and practical skills in, the writing of prose fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Taught by widely published, award-winning writers, it provides a thorough, practice-based understanding of creative process and of the technical challenges involved in developing an original idea into a completed literary artefact, presented to a professional standard. It also contributes to students' future career potential, whether as ‘creative’ or other kinds of professional writers/communicators.

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Anglo - American Childrens Literature (EL35JS)

30 Credit Points

From the picture book to the fairy tale, literature for children offers a wide range of literary modes of engaging with questions of human becoming. This course explores American and British children’s literature from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We will look at a range of genres including poetry, the school story, the adventure story and fantasy, as well as examining the construction of children’s literature as a genre of its own. We will engage in close reading, and consider historical and social context and questions of gender, race and sexuality.

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Celtic Encounters: the Gaelic World in Irish and Scottish Literature (CE351C)

30 Credit Points

Celtic Encounters looks at the ways in which Irish and Scottish writers have reimagined texts of Celtic origin in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, from the Irish Literary Revival through the Scottish Literary Renaissance, to the present day. Writers have adapted Old Gaelic sagas and hero tales for modern consumption, reinvented themselves as latter-day bardic poets, and been inspired by the Celtic and Gaelic past to produce daringly modernist and experimental new work.

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Images Adequate to Our Predicament: Art for the Anthropocene (EL35ZF)

30 Credit Points

Through the effects of technological progress, industrialisation, deforestation, mining, our dependence on fossil fuels and plastics, and the testing of nuclear weapons, humans have become geological agents – radically transforming the Earth System in ways that will leave a trace for millions of years to come. This realisation has come to be known as the ‘Anthropocene’ – the time of humans. The implications – materially, emotionally and intellectually – are vast and complex. How do writers and artists respond to this complexity? What role can literature, film and visual art play in our understanding of it? This course addresses these and other questions. By studying select works of literature, film and visual art from the last sixty years alongside critical, theoretical and scientific writing on the Anthropocene, can we identify those images that might be thought adequate to our predicament?

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African Security (IR3021)

30 Credit Points

This course introduces students to contemporary challenges to African security from societal, political, economic and environmental security sectors. As a result, students are introduced to the African state as a security actor and referent, leading approaches to African security and an overview of African security literature.

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The Eu: Contemporary Challenges (PI3073)

30 Credit Points

The EU has recently gained heightened academic and policy interest, particularly in the aftermath of the recent debates about the UK’s withdrawal. In addition to introducing the main theoretical approaches and concepts, the course aims to address the policy and practical dimensions regarding current status and future prospects for the EU. This will certainly be valuable for PIR students with an interest in international organisations, government, and policy debates.

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American Politics (PI3074)

30 Credit Points

The 2016 American Presidential election further intensified global interest in the politics of the USA. The course takes an in-depth look at the institutions, the actors and the issues that make American politics a fascinating subject for observers the world over.

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Working Together: Employability for Arts and Social Sciences (ED3536)

30 Credit Points

This course provides the opportunity for students to work in small groups to develop solutions for projects posed by industry, businesses and the public sector. It involves workshops on employability skills along with site visits. Students will experience the issues that surround the work environment, including the pressures of working to a deadline, explore the challenges of working with a group of colleagues towards a common aim, and reflect upon their own strengths and areas for development. They will explore how the graduate attributes they have acquired in the course of their degree map onto the experience of work.

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International Security (IR3518)

30 Credit Points

This course explores salient concepts of security and conflict, focusing on contemporary issues and problems. It examines traditional, state-centred topics ie. interstate and intrastate war, as well as the ‘new security agenda’ involving issues like terrorism, organized crime, environmental security, health security and population trends. Students will gain knowledge of international security and its role in contemporary International Relations through analysis of conceptual factors and case studies. In addition, students will develop critical thinking skills, communication skills and analytical skills, including being able to formulate lucid, concise and rigorous accounts of international security affairs

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Political Parties in Britain (PI3562)

30 Credit Points

The course involves a detailed examination of Britain’s party system and the individual political parties. Through this course, students should acquire a knowledge and understanding of a number of inter-related themes, including the role and democratic function of political parties in Britain, the development of party philosophies and how these relate to the realities of party policy, the organisation and distribution of power within Britain’s political parties, and elections and party campaigns. In this way, the course examines the contested and changing nature of political debate in British politics.

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International Terrorism Counterterrorism & International Relations (PI3567)

30 Credit Points

International terrorism and counterterrorism are at the top of today’s agenda – of scholarly debates in International Relations (IR) as well as of policy discussions on international politics. The course focuses on both the (individual and/or structural) causes and different manifestations of terrorism and reviews the debates on how to respond to terrorism not only effectively but also without violating humanitarian principles and international law. The course is interdisciplinary and will provide both an overview on current research on international terrorism and counterterrorism in IR and also with in-depth knowledge of core aspects of the issue.

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Memory and Politics of the Past (PI3570)

30 Credit Points

This course examines the ways in which societal understandings of the past shape political outcomes in the present. Introducing students to the concept of ‘Collective Memory’, the course engages with key theoretical and empirical debates in this emerging field of Politics and IR. It asks such questions as: How can narratives of the past reproduce or challenge contemporary power relations? To what extent do political actors and institutions engineer particular historical narratives that serve their current interests? To what extent are societal ideas of the past malleable? What is the relationship between ‘remembering’, ‘forgetting’ and political power?

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Human Rights in Global Politics (PI3572)

30 Credit Points

Human Rights have long been at the epicentre of heated debates in contemporary global politics. This course will examine the theoretical and philosophical foundations of human rights within their historical context, along with the key controversies that shape current implementation and enforcement of the human rights regime in global politics. This course is suitable for specialist and non-specialist alike. No prior knowledge is required.

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Three Lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics (PI3577)

30 Credit Points

This course is a how-to-guide to enquiring research questions in politics and international relations using quantitative methods. We uncover lies and damned lies about statistics in reporting about politics and international relations and learn how to correctly analyse different kinds of quantitative data using statistical software package Stata. We will learn how to produce analyses that is replicable.

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Digital Politics: Political Communication in the Internet Age(S) (PI3579)

30 Credit Points

This course is about political communication - how media, politicians and citizens interact, and how parties run their election campaigns - in the digital age(s). Students will learn topics like how journalism is changing, who social media empower, whether echo chambers divide, how populists treat the media, who runs campaigns, how parties target citizens, and whether digital media jeopardise democracy. These themes are explored through cases from the UK and US, but also from across the globe.

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Global Challenges in an Ethnographic Perspective (SL3504)

30 Credit Points

This course addresses major global challenges of the contemporary world as they emerge is specific local contexts. It offers an understanding of these challenges from a local point of view. The challenges the course will discuss include: global warming and rising sea levels; the ecological crisis; oil and energy; war and terrorism; religion and politics; sexual violence; the economic crisis; mining in post-colonial contexts; animal rights; the war on drugs; human rights and global justice; animal rights; science and the state.

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Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

Select one of the following dissertation options:

Option 1:

  • Dissertation (International Relations) (IR4031)
  • One second-half session level 4 Politics and International Relations course
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in English (30 credits in each semester)

Option 2:

  • English Dissertation (EL4502)
  • One first-half session level 4 English course
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Politics and International Relations (30 credits in each semester)
Dissertation (IR4031)

30 Credit Points

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge/research skills in the field of Politics & International Relations to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a supervising member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather data where necessary, analyse data, and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

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English Dissertation (EL4502)

30 Credit Points

Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within English literature.

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The Constitutional Imagination (AT4025)

30 Credit Points

This course will examine anthropological theories of the state, political organization and violence. Through an analysis of both modern and historical case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we will critically examine theories of state of modern and non-modern state formation and organisation, and the nexus of religion and colonial history. In the second half of the course, particular attention will we paid to the ethnography of violence as a mode of state and proto-state political action.

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Global Politics from the Middle East (IR4032)

30 Credit Points

The course draws on key debates in global political theory to examine the politics of the modern and contemporary Middle East. The course focuses first on theoretical debates (e.g. sovereignty, security and surveillance, revolution, democracy, debt, poverty), and then encourages the development of an analysis of those debates, their applicability, strengths, weaknesses and possible innovation by exploring them through concrete problems in Middle East politics, from the region's experience with colonialism and neocolonialism to the emergence of nationalism and 'political Islam', from the Palestinian-Israeli question to the Arab Uprisings.

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Science, Technology & International Relations (IR4034)

30 Credit Points

This course investigates the international relations of science and technology, focusing on both the causes and effects of technology in terms of domestic and global governance. It examines issues such as ‘big science’ projects, technology transfer, the regulation of technology, competition in technology, and state policies toward technology using examples such as the nuclear industry, biotechnology, the internet, and others.

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Extreme Right in Western Europe (PI4060)

30 Credit Points

This course will provide an in-depth analysis of a European party family which is growing in electoral support as well as political influence. Individual countries and parties will be covered, as well as key concepts such as fascism, racism, xenophobia and populism. Students will also be familiarised with different theoretical approaches explaining the growth of extreme right parties, and responses from the political environment. The course will be beneficial to future study and work in a wide range of areas and contexts, and has relevance to social and political challenges such as integration, internationalisation, globalisation and social cohesion.

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Global Power Shifts, Hegemony and Knowledge (PI4081)

30 Credit Points

While the discourse over the transfer of power from West to East is gaining momentum, this course provides a rethink of global power shifts throughout history on the one hand, and explores the relations between hegemony and knowledge on the other.

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Between Peace and Conflict: Societies in Transition (TR4004)

30 Credit Points

This course utilises a range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches to analyse the concept of ‘transition’ as a fundamental condition of world history. It examines this through two related processes: the transition from peace to conflict and from conflict to peace at both a macro and micro level. Topics include how states transition through revolutionary violence or through peaceful means, how individuals are radicalized into terrorist groups or become involved in non-violent movements, and transitions in global institutions, norms and technology that generate local and individual changes.

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The Political Anthropology of Indigenous Rights (AT4547)

30 Credit Points

Indigeneity is one of the more controversial relations created by globalisation. Widely criticised for being ‘essentialist’ and ‘anti-liberal’, it is one of the more quickly growing identities recognized by the United Nations and defended in the constitutions of many nation-states. Using anthropological insight, this course survey the history of the term, study its expansion from the ‘salt-water colonies’ and ‘settler states’ to the heartland of Europe, and explore some of the challenges and advantages of the term. The seminar will explore how the term has come to be used in different post-colonial situations from the classic “heartlands” if indigeneity in North America, Latin America, and Northern Fennoscandia, to new contexts in China, India, Africa. The course will also explore how the politics of aboriginal rights has become closely linked to struggles for recognition, environmentalism, and collective struggles against neo-liberalism. The course is run in a seminar format with students encouraged to weigh and evaluate the results of their reading.

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Maritime Security (IR4535)

30 Credit Points

This course aims to introduce students to Maritime Security from a strategic perspective. As a result, students are introduced to maritime strategic thinkers, maritime (naval) power and contemporary issues in Maritime Security. This course is a multidisciplinary course that combines elements from Maritime and International Law, Environmental Politics and Security, Economics (Blue Economy) and International Relations. The senior honours variant of this course will include an element of Policy analysis (Maritime Security Policy).

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Political Islam: Islamist Ideologies and Practices (PI4573)

30 Credit Points

Taking a historical approach, the course will trace the key events that have led to current Political Islam (Islamism) concentrating on the ideology and practice of various movements and groups. It will explore contemporary constructs of identity and political arrangements within Islamism and encourage critical analysis and independent thought in relation to the challenges Islamist poses to existing theoretical paradigms. Areas to be explored will include: the political construct of early Islam, the Sunni/Shia divide, key ideologues, and contemporary movements such as the Muslim Brothers, Hamas and Hizbullah.

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Dirty War and Its Aftermath (PI4577)

30 Credit Points

The term 'dirty war' has gained currency within both popular and academic discourse, especially within the realm of conflict and terrorism. Popular and academic interest in the terms can be traced to the deployment of the tactics of 'dirty war' in a number of notorious cases by states seeking to quell internal conflict. This course will address the historical, social and political conditions in which 'dirty war' arose in specific contexts while analysing both its form and consequences.

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International Migration and Europe (PI4579)

30 Credit Points

International Migration has recently gained increased academic and policy interest. This course, while introducing the main analytical concepts concerning migration, addresses the policy dimension in the European context. Additionally the course will assist students in becoming active citizens in an ever changing world.

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Devolution and Constitutional Change (PI4582)

30 Credit Points

Constitutional change in the UK has been at the centre of political debate for close to two decades. Most recently, referendums in Wales (2011), Scotland (2014) and the UK-wide EU referendum (2016) have provided significant impetus to these discussions. This course will place these changes in a historical and comparative context and consider why these methods of decentralisation have been followed.

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Gender and Politics (PI4584)

30 Credit Points

This course introduces students to key ideas utilised in the analysis of gender and politics. It engages students with scholarship from the fields of Political Science and International Relations, offering an in-depth analysis of cases ranging from the racial politics of the #MeToo campaign to discussion of gender quotas, the politics of gendered labour, body and emotions, the causes and implications of gendered violence, political apologies and peace.

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We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study English and International Relations?

Why English

  • 94% Overall Satisfaction for Linguistics and Creative Writing. The Complete University Guide 2021
  • Rated second in the UK for the quality of Aberdeen research in English language and literature in the 2014 REF national assessment of research quality at UK universities.
  • An international profile through major literary projects such as the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen and the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels of Sir Walter Scott.
  • The WORD Centre for Creative Writing, promoting creative projects in fiction, non-fiction and collaborative mixed-media in all the languages of northeast Scotland (from Doric to Polish).
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, home to literary treasures collected over 500 years, charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.
  • Historic collections including rare printed books, the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, MacBean Stuart and Jacobite Collection, the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and an exceptional collection of Charles Dickens' first editions.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes internationally acclaimed authors to campus every spring to discuss literature, including European writers.
  • Research centres include the nationally recognised Centre for the Novel, the Centre for Modern Thought, and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.

Why Politics and International Relations

  • A core curriculum with topical themes of conflict and security, representation and democracy, comparative politics and policy.
  • Special focus on the Middle-East, Latin America, North and South Asia, the Nordic Countries, Central and Eastern Europe – as well as Scotland, the UK and the EU.
  • Staff with specialist expertise in political parties and elections, democracy, energy politics, European integration and regionalism, human rights and development issues, interest groups, nationalism, conflict resolution and more.
  • Opportunities to take advantage of spending your second year studying abroad, in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong or North America.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining a top-class study environment with state-of-the-art technology, and extensive reference collections for your studies.
  • A packed campus programme of events, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May festival, engaging prominent influencers, interest groups and public in debating major political issues such as Scottish independence and EU membership.
  • All the history and legacy of being part of a university developed over 500 years of national and international political turbulence, social change, and emerging democracy.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2022 Entry
2023 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

International Applicants who do not meet the Entry Requirements

The University of Aberdeen International Study Centre offers preparation programmes for international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for undergraduate study. Discover your foundation pathway here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
EU / International students £19,800
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX