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International relations: postgraduate or undergraduate?

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    So I was wondering which would be better, employment-wise? I have a firm and insurance for joint honours history and geography which I am really happy with, because I love these subjects at A Level. However I have recently become interested in international relations and was wondering if doing it as postgraduate or undergraduate was better. I would love to work for an NGO, or international organisation and so I think international relations could be valuable, would doing it as a postgraduate degree make this more likely?

    Anyone with experience would be great!
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    (Original post by Targaryan)
    ...............
    You mostly need a postgraduate degree to get into that type of organisation, so a History/Geography undergrad followed by an IR Masters would be a strong combination. They are still very competitive organisations through.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    They are still very competitive organisations through.
    Any other advice then? I understand doing internships/volunteering is important?
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    (Original post by Targaryan)
    Any other advice then? I understand doing internships/volunteering is important?
    Can be, but it depends what specifically interests you. I mean if you want to work in EU social policy, then writing think pieces and getting them published in student papers and upwards would be relevant. But if your 'thing' is emergency operations in war zones, you need to get out there and get some field experience.
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    Postgrad.

    Jobs I see in development nearly always have niched Masters requirements and just a 2:1 at undergrad.
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    It depends precisely what you want to do. Where are your undergraduate offers from? Parliament, Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh Assembly are all good places to start.
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    I work in that field at the moment. I haven't done a masters and studied history at undergraduate.

    Most of my colleagues have masters degrees, but they also did have 2 - 3 years experience before starting.

    If you want to work for an INGO then I would recommend getting abroad, studying a language, getting some experience at a local NGO, then apply for INGOs after a couple of years.
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    (Original post by PossibleMPP)
    Where are your undergraduate offers from
    Newcastle, Glasgow and I'm waiting to hear from Trinity and DCU in Dublin in August. I haven't really found an area I specifically want to work in, I have just been looking at a bit of everything! I know someone who works for Human Rights Watch which is really interesting.
    In terms of studying abroad I was planning to do a year at another univeristy, is there any particular countries which would be better, language/opportunity wise?
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    (Original post by Targaryan)
    Newcastle, Glasgow and I'm waiting to hear from Trinity and DCU in Dublin in August. I haven't really found an area I specifically want to work in, I have just been looking at a bit of everything! I know someone who works for Human Rights Watch which is really interesting.
    In terms of studying abroad I was planning to do a year at another univeristy, is there any particular countries which would be better, language/opportunity wise?
    If you get into TCD, go absolutely. Of those four it is the most world-renowned and in Dublin there will be a fair number of public sector internships.
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    You also have to look at the content of the course, studying international relations isn't a degree preparing for NGO work like an engineering degree for engineering or a medicine degree for a doctor. When you want to work in a NGO or for your government than a lot of degrees can lead to this goal.

    When you aren't really interested in the Theory behind the subject International Relations, than it doesn't makes to much sense or at least it isn't necessary, because you will find people from various backgrounds.

    In addition as already said your choice of subject can also determine the kind of work you are doing, so thinking and writing essays over the different theories of international relations isn't the same as as actual experience in agriculture in South East Asia.
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    I agree with the last post, if you want to break into a competitive NGO, don't do the same BS social science degree all other candidates already have, bring new skills to the table by doing something such as math or computer science. Any organization needs people with these skills. Plus do an internship at an NGO to show them this is what you like.
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    Thanks so much for all this advice, all this information is great! Does anyone know of any other post-grad degrees which would be useful for this line of work (although obviously there is no point doing a degree if your not interested in it), so I can do some more research?
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    (Original post by Ghost6)
    I agree with the last post, if you want to break into a competitive NGO, don't do the same BS social science degree all other candidates already have, bring new skills to the table by doing something such as math or computer science. Any organization needs people with these skills. Plus do an internship at an NGO to show them this is what you like.
    Totally in agreement with you, mixed degrees is the key

    (Original post by Targaryan)
    Thanks so much for all this advice, all this information is great! Does anyone know of any other post-grad degrees which would be useful for this line of work (although obviously there is no point doing a degree if your not interested in it), so I can do some more research?
    Having a B.A. in IR, experiences of studying abroad and a particular interest in the subject I can help you and give you more detailed tips but you should be a bit more specific about what kind of job you like or which particular sector of these studies you prefer
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    (Original post by EvanM300)
    Totally in agreement with you, mixed degrees is the key



    Having a B.A. in IR, experiences of studying abroad and a particular interest in the subject I can help you and give you more detailed tips but you should be a bit more specific about what kind of job you like or which particular sector of these studies you prefer
    I haven't really decided what kind of job I would like the most. In terms of history I prefer modern history, and topics like genocide, regimes (soviet union, nazis, Mussolini) but I want to do more world history topics at uni rather than focusing on Europe. For geography I'm more interested in the human side of things, development, populations, the more social aspects of things? I have heard a lot about the use of satellite imaging in geography as well though, which sound interesting given it's uses in mapping movements of people.

    Not sure if this is useful at all, sorry!

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