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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Controversial Classics (EL1513)

15 Credit Points

Literature can provoke, offend and disturb as well as entertain. This course considers some of the most powerful and controversial works of modern literature. It examines the circumstances of publication, the nature of the controversy, and the cultural and critical impact of each work. The course shows how poems, plays and novels can raise searching questions about national, racial and personal identity, and looks at the methods used by writers to challenge their readers, as well the responses of readers to such challenges.

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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

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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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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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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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 a total of two courses from the following groups, each from a different group:

Medieval/Renaissance

  • EL30DQ: Knights, Virgins and Viragos, Chaucer and Medieval Writing
  • EL30CP: Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1640
  • EL35EJ: Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century

Romantic/Victorian

  • EL3009: American Innovation
  • EL35XR: Romanticism
  • EL30QA: Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories
  • EL35SB: Britain and the 19th Century World
  • EL35VB: Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion

Contemporary/Modern

  • EL35KN Haunted Texts
  • EL30FF: Modernism: Make it New
  • EL30UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma
  • EL35UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma

Plus one course from the following:

  • EL35WC: Queer Times
  • EL35YB: Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft
  • EL35EH: Classical Epic
  • CE3594: Dangerous Liaisons: Love, Sex and Romance in the Celtic West and Old North
  • EL30VC: Fallen Women and Self-Made Men

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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Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing (EL30DQ)

30 Credit Points

An introduction to late medieval-literature, challenging modern assumptions about the medieval and exploring the diverse range of medieval literary culture, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the autobiographical narrative of Margery Kempe and surprising profanity of medieval lyric.

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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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American Innovation (EL3009)

30 Credit Points

This level-three course offers an introduction to American literature and culture between 1850 and 1950, a century in which the United States was transformed from a rural economy to an industrialised super-power. You will learn about the key writers of this period, the issues that sparked their imaginations, and the literary strategies which they adopted, or at times invented, to express their response to the changing world around them. This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.

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Romanticism (EL35XR)

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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Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma (EL30UT)

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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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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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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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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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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Dangerous Liaisons: Love, Sex and Romance in Celtic West and Old North (CE3594)

30 Credit Points

The literature of the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages is famous for tragic tales of forbidden love, and for the frankness with which its poetry approaches the subject of sexual attraction. This course will explore how the interwoven themes of love, sex and romance were dramatized in Celtic, Norse-Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon stories and poetry. Topics covered may include: the love-triangle, maiden-kings, cross-dressing, amorous trolls, the stepmother as temptress, elopements and abductions, otherworldly lovers, unrequited love.

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Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL35YB)

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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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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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 exploiring them through concrete problems in Middle East politics, from the region's exprience 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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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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Energy and Climate Politics (PI4072)

30 Credit Points

Energy and Climate Politics is a course designed to increase understanding of how energy and climate politics affects conventional political analysis and vice versa. EU politics of energy, controversies surrounding electricity market reform in the UK, how problems of energy security and climate change interact are among the topics.How contemporary political issues are illustrated by energy issues is an important subject for discussion - for example electricity policy and the debate about the referendum and devolution and the issue of how different political systems work in their policy consultation patterns are important topics in the course.

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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 Constitutional Imagination (AT4525)

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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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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War and Peace in International Politics (IR4528)

30 Credit Points

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of how conflict between ethno-national groups impacts on international politics. It explores the responses of the international community to intra-state conflict. Following an initial exploration of the relevant theories, the course focuses on a number of key conflicts in international politics. What explains violent conflict between ethnic groups? What role do external actors play in peace processes? Should the international community intervene to stop violent conflict? What kind of institutional frameworks do external actors promote in post-conflict states?

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Science, Technology & International Relations (IR4534)

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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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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Wealth, Poverty and International Order (PI4576)

30 Credit Points

This course introduces advanced Politics and International Relations students to different ways of thinking about how the production of wealth and poverty serves to sediment economic, political and cultural hierarchies globally, especially how international practices depend on the re-production of these hierarchies for their legitimation.

Beginning with a reading of some classic texts on the sources of wealth and poverty, the course offers a close theoretical and historical investigation of the silences around questions of wealth and poverty in dominant understandings of the contemporary shape of the world, including questions of development, gender, security, and human rights.

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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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Democratization (PI4583)

30 Credit Points

This course offers a broad introduction to the changing nature of why countries become and stay democratic and to the problems of putting democracy into practice in today’s world. The module introduces to the process of conducting empirical research by introducing the nature, limitations and possible applications of different analytical tools, and research methods including simple quantitative analysis.

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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.
  • A vibrant Politics & International Relations Society – voted Aberdeen ‘Society of the Year’ for the last three years and Best Event 2013-14 for The Legacy of Nelson Mandela.
  • 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

2020 Entry
2021 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 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above).

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 - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & 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
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2020/21
International Students £17,200
Students Admitted in 2020/21

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 Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX