Undergraduate 

International Relations MA(SocSci)

Avenue of country flags

International relations is the study of how states and national societies interact across borders, especially in the areas of political, military, economic and cultural relations.

Glasgow has a growing reputation for its research and teaching in the field of international relations. We are particularly well known for our work in the area of global security and conflict. You will be taught by leading academics who are experts in this field. The School of Social & Political Sciences is an important part of the University and home to a vibrant community of dynamic, innovative, and engaged staff and students.

  • September start: session dates
  • International Relations MA(SocSci) (Hons): L250 4 year degree
  • International Relations with Quantitative Methods MA(SocSci) (Hons): L2G3 4 year degree

Programme structure

Like all disciplines in the social sciences, international relations is a subject that is open to interpretation and debate. Our methods of teaching are based largely on classroom discussion. You will attend lectures that identify important themes in international relations and then explore these themes in depth during seminars.

You will think about ethical questions such as the role and limits of state power, the nature of “just war”, conflict and political violence, and the obligations that one state has to another. You will also consider empirical questions such as what are the causes of war, under what conditions do states cooperate to address common problems such as global warming, human rights violations and development, and how influential are non-state actors.

Year 1

  • Comparative politics in a globalising world: examines the British and Scottish political systems in a comparative perspective to introduce key concepts in the study of politics and foreign policymaking.
  • International relations: uses the ideas of important writers to explain key aspects of the international order.

Year 2

  • History of political thought: examines political thought from the ancients, primarily Aristotle, through Machiavelli, Hobbes and Locke to Rousseau and Karl Marx.
  • Comparative politics: explores and compares different countries to introduce students to the variety of political regimes that exist in the contemporary international system.

You will also study other subjects in year 1 and 2, with a high degree of flexibility and choice. You can choose from subjects such as Central & East European Studies and Economic & Social History: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

At Honours level (years 3 and 4) you can choose from over 30 courses in politics and international relations, including Post-colonial international relations theory, Global environmental politics, Gender and development, Narratives on conflict in the Middle East, International security and Latin American politics.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

We have a longstanding and active programme of international exchange. Each year, we welcome hundreds of students from around the globe. You will have the opportunity to spend your third year studying abroad in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America or South America.

You can also take part in international field trips, including our award-winning Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). OTI is an innovative programme which focuses on conflict analysis in the Middle East through a combination of academic study and experiential learning, including a three-week field trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2020

MA (SocSci)

A-levels

  • Standard entry requirements: AAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum entry requirements: BBB considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: One A-level Arts, Humanities or Language subject.

    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Economics must have a minimum of GCSE Mathematics at Grade B (or Grade 5-6).
     
    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes.

     

About A-level entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


International Relations and joint degrees that include International Relations may require higher entry grades due to high demand for the subject.

A-Level qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.


Highers

  • S5 standard entry requirements: AAAAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • S5 minimum entry requirements: AABB to be considered for S6 offer.
  • S6 standard entry requirements: AAAAAA cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders.
  • Additional requirements: Higher English or a Higher Humanities subject at Grades A or B.

    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Economics must have a minimum of National 5 Mathematics at Grade B.
     
    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. 

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow

  • Adjusted S5 standard entry requirements: AABBB/BBBBBB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Adjusted S5 minimum entry requirements: No minimum at S5.
  • Adjusted S6 standard entry requirements: AABBB/BBBBBB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders. Considered for offer at BBBBB.
  • Adjusted additional requirements: Higher English or a Higher Humanities subject at Grade B.

    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Economics must have a minimum of National 5 Mathematics at Grade B.
     
    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes.
     
    Successful completion and grades in either the Top-Up Programme or Summer School.

About Higher entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.


International Relations and joint degrees that include International Relations may require higher entry grades due to high demand for the subject.


International

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 38 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,6 guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: HL6 English and a Humanities subject at HL6/SL6

    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Economics must have a minimum of SL4 Mathematics or Mathematic Studies.
     
    Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. 

About International Baccalaureate entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


International Baccalureate qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.

European qualifications

International Relations and joint degrees that include International Relations may require higher entry grades due to high demand for the subject.


For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

This exciting programme will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. You will develop your research and analytical skills, writing abilities, and capacity to communicate effectively. Popular career destinations for our graduates include the civil and foreign service, local government, the charity sector, international organisations, teaching, business and the armed forces.

Degrees and UCAS codes

This is a new programme starting in September 2019 and available for Year 1 entry only.

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA(SocSci) (Hons)

International Relations: L250 (4 years)
International Relations with Quantitative Methods: L2G3 (4 years)
International Relations/Central & East European Studies: L252 (4 years)
International Relations/Economic & Social History: L253 (4 years)
International Relations/Social & Public Policy: L254 (4 years)
International Relations/Sociology: L251 (4 years)

Due to high demand, if you wish to be considered for International Relations you must apply using a UCAS codes for International Relations. It will not be possible to transfer to International Relations, or progress to Years 3 or 4 of an International Relations degree, unless you apply using an International Relations specific UCAS code. 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to both current and new applicants to the University.

More Information

The Ronald and Rita McAulay Scholarship

Mr Ronald McAulay, alumnus of the University (MA 1965), and his wife Rita wish to establish a Scholarship to support students who are Hong Kong nationals wishing to take up an undergraduate course of study at the University of Glasgow.

The McAulays would like to establish a scholarship which encourages Hong Kong residents to achieve an international education, therefore the award will cover course tuition fees and a living cost stipend.

More Information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

More Information

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2020. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Residential Services section on the website.

We are also offering four scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

Apply via UCAS

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