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, particularly in global security and conflict. You will be taught by leading academics who are experts in this field. 

  • 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

  • Introduction to politics examines the British and Scottish political systems in a comparative perspective to introduce key concepts in the study of politics and foreign policy making.
  • Introduction to international relations introduces students to key approaches to explaining and understanding key aspects of 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 in a globalising world 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: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

Year 3 students will take a core course on Advanced International Relations. During both of your Honours years (3 and 4) you can select from over 30 courses in Politics and International Relations, including Postcolonial international relations theory, Global environmental politics, War and 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

You will have the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities as part of your degree. This won’t add any extra time to your studies. 

Entry requirements

for entry in 2021

Summary of entry requirements for International Relations

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)

  • AAAAB (AABB S5 minimum for consideration)
  • Additional requirements: Higher English or Higher Humanities subject.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)

  • AABBB – BBBBB 
  • Additional requirements: Higher English or Higher Humanities subject. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: A-level English or Humanities subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 38 (6,6,6 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL English or Humanities subject. 

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

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

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

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 and be admitted using a UCAS code 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.

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.

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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