Introduction

Politics and International Relations at Aberdeen, a unique combination in Scotland, focuses on the role of politics, power, states, and governments in an ever-changing global context, taught by internationally renowned academics regularly appearing as experts in the media on events unfolding in the world today. This programme offers the perfect foundation for careers in politics, international affairs, NGOs, media and more.

This programme is studied on campus.

Politics and International Relations explores the world in which we live by considering how the decisions we make collectively affect the culture, society and economy of the world as a whole, including an in-depth look at how various political actors including governments and international institutions influence our world.

You will explore voting behaviour, different political systems, making and implementing policy, nationalism and concepts of democracy. You will study organisations, how states interact, global wealth and poverty and the ever-present concerns of conflict and peace.

You can also take advantage of unique options made possible by the research pedigree of our academic team with a strong track record in publishing international papers and articles.

The knowledge and skills you will gain from this unique subject combination will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. You may well join the many Aberdeen graduates who are household names in politics and journalism, senior figures in global business, international affairs and diplomacy and leading thinkers, authors and experts in their fields.

You’ll enjoy a special, warm welcome at the University of Aberdeen, benefit from excellent teaching, research with international impact, and a truly global experience as part of our friendly and vibrant international community. You’ll love our beautiful campus, great facilities for learning, sports and leisure, and the many opportunities to add the skills and attributes to give you a competitive advantage in the career path you choose, and wide horizons from study abroad.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
L240

What You'll Study

Politics and International Relations at Aberdeen offers a diverse range of courses that will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the subject. The analysis and evaluation skills that you develop will help you in your future career. Some of the topics that you will study throughout the programme include Liberalism, Patterns of Global Wealth and Inequality, Human and Economic Rights, Migration and Citizenship, Political Parties in Britain and Islamist Ideologies and Practices.

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

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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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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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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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 90 credit points from courses of choice
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

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 a further 60 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Researching Into 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 at least 60 credit points from Politics and International Relations courses
  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice
Year 4

Year 4

Optional Courses

  • Dissertation (Politics) (PI4071) or Dissertation (International Relations) (IR4031)
  • Select 90 credit points from Politics and International Relations courses, of which at least 60 must be at level 4
Dissertation (Politics) (PI4071) - 30 Credit Points

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills in the broad 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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Dissertation (International Relations) (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.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

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

Teaching at levels 1 and 2 is by a combination of formal lectures and small group tutorials. Honours teaching varies in style, although many courses are based on seminars. Assessment is generally by traditional exams and assessed essays, although, in some courses group work, projects, quizzes and other techniques are used. Students are expected to write a dissertation in their final year.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • 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 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.
  • Teaching staff with specialist expertise in political parties and elections, democracy and democratisation, energy politics, European politics, integration and regionalism, human rights, interest groups, modernity and religion, international political economy, nationalism, conflict resolution, regional international relations and security studies.
  • Opportunities to take advantage of spending your second year studying abroad, in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong or North America.
  • A vibrant Politics & International Relations Society – voted Aberdeen ‘Society of the Year’ for the last three years and Best Event 2013-14 with The Legacy of Nelson Mandela.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with top-class study environment and state-of-the-art technology.
  • A packed campus programme of events, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May festival, engaging local communities and interest groups in debate and discussion on major world issues.
  • 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

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, offers, advanced entry, and changing your subject.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen, it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,000
All Students
International Students £13,800
Students admitted in 2016/17
International Students £14,300
Students admitted in 2017/18

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.

Undergraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out More

Careers

The analytical and communication skills that you develop from studying Politics and International Relations at Aberdeen will give you a competitive advantage in the job market. The in-depth knowledge of contemporary world issues you will gain will help position you to pursue a career with top employers in the UK and overseas. Previous graduates of this programme have gone on to work in areas such as central and local government, diplomacy, foreign affairs and journalism.

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.

World Class Facilities

At Aberdeen, you will have access to some of the best facilities that UK universities have to offer. You will benefit from being taught by our extremely knowledgeable staff, many of whom are internationally recognised researchers in Politics and International Relations. At Aberdeen, you will also have the opportunity to spend your second year of the programme overseas in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong or North America, which will further your knowledge of the subject.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

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