Politics and International Relations Subject Area

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. It is the perfect foundation for careers in politics, international affairs, NGOs, media and much more.


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 even join the many Aberdeen graduates who are today 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 will 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 will 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.

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.
  • 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.

What You'll Study

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