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IR Students-to-be!

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    Hey, I just got my offer today, and I thought this would be a good thread to make so people can get to know each other before we go - just post if and when you get an offer!
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    No on who does IR comes on here, they're too busy getting drunk.
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    haha, not legal in my country yet, so I haunt these forums for a few months more anyways. I got my offer back in October
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    Eee, congrats from a third year IR student! Let me know if you want to know anything about the course!
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    Thanks! Not really got any specific questions, but just wondering how you found/are finding the course? How challenging actually is it; did you enjoy the course material; what are the lecturers like, etc? Thank you!
    Aaalso, just wondering what the sort of student demographic is: I mean, I've heard there's loads of Americans and English public-schoolers and barely any Scottish people! Is that right?

    Thanks a bunch (:
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    (Original post by pssp)
    Thanks! Not really got any specific questions, but just wondering how you found/are finding the course? How challenging actually is it; did you enjoy the course material; what are the lecturers like, etc? Thank you!
    Aaalso, just wondering what the sort of student demographic is: I mean, I've heard there's loads of Americans and English public-schoolers and barely any Scottish people! Is that right?

    Thanks a bunch (:
    Sure Well IR's by far the most popular course at St Andrews, so popular in fact that this year they've had to move out of lecture rooms and into the music centre because there just wasn't enough seats for everyone in every lecture! Because of this I think they try to make the first two or three lectures quite boring so that the undedicated drop it and they have more manageable numbers :P It does get better, I promise!
    First year you have a different lecturer for every week, so there's quite a variety of personalities and teaching styles going on. Your tutor is the one you really get to know, and for first and second year your tutors are likely to be PhD students or recently qualified lecturers, which is quite nice
    It is definitely quite challenging, but that's to be expected of course! First year is a little more theory based, and they've changed the format of second year around since I took it so I can't comment on that, but IR covers such a broad range of topics that you can expect to study lots of stuff you're interested in, and quite a bit of stuff you're not so interested in too. Third year, where you get to pick and choose your specialities, is much much more fun- I study joint IR and Russian so last semester I did a course on Russian Politics and Foreign Policy, which I found super interesting, and I'm just as excited for this semester's module as well
    As for demographics... unsurprisingly, IR does attract a lot of international students. Many of these are American, but there are people from all over the world, really. In my last tutor group there were around five Americans, a couple of English people, a couple of Scottish, one Norwegian, one Georgian, and a Pole. There's such a mix of backgrounds that it doesn't really matter where you come from, and I wouldn't say anyone is discriminated against on the basis of their background or anything like that.
    Hope that was helpful, I've tried to be as honest as possible... some of the theoretical stuff you will study in first year is a little dry, but if you stick with it it does become genuinely interesting. I read articles on my lecture topics purely for interest now, but maybe that's because I'm a bit of a geek :P
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    Thanks for the big answer - I'll rep you tomorrow! (I've run out today aha)
    Well, that's good to hear. Glad there's Europeans too - I thought it was just going to be really Anglo-Americo dominated!

    I'm just waiting for Edinburgh to get back to me and then I'll confirm St Andrews, so excited! (:
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    (Original post by pssp)

    I'm just waiting for Edinburgh to get back to me and then I'll confirm St Andrews, so excited! (:
    Aha, I remember these days Edinburgh never did get back to me, so I got bored waiting and withdrew from them :P
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    (Original post by Bella_trixxx)
    Sure Well IR's by far the most popular course at St Andrews, so popular in fact that this year they've had to move out of lecture rooms and into the music centre because there just wasn't enough seats for everyone in every lecture! Because of this I think they try to make the first two or three lectures quite boring so that the undedicated drop it and they have more manageable numbers :P It does get better, I promise!
    First year you have a different lecturer for every week, so there's quite a variety of personalities and teaching styles going on. Your tutor is the one you really get to know, and for first and second year your tutors are likely to be PhD students or recently qualified lecturers, which is quite nice
    It is definitely quite challenging, but that's to be expected of course! First year is a little more theory based, and they've changed the format of second year around since I took it so I can't comment on that, but IR covers such a broad range of topics that you can expect to study lots of stuff you're interested in, and quite a bit of stuff you're not so interested in too. Third year, where you get to pick and choose your specialities, is much much more fun- I study joint IR and Russian so last semester I did a course on Russian Politics and Foreign Policy, which I found super interesting, and I'm just as excited for this semester's module as well
    As for demographics... unsurprisingly, IR does attract a lot of international students. Many of these are American, but there are people from all over the world, really. In my last tutor group there were around five Americans, a couple of English people, a couple of Scottish, one Norwegian, one Georgian, and a Pole. There's such a mix of backgrounds that it doesn't really matter where you come from, and I wouldn't say anyone is discriminated against on the basis of their background or anything like that.
    Hope that was helpful, I've tried to be as honest as possible... some of the theoretical stuff you will study in first year is a little dry, but if you stick with it it does become genuinely interesting. I read articles on my lecture topics purely for interest now, but maybe that's because I'm a bit of a geek :P
    Yes we were in Younger Hall for a decent amount of first term but we did, eventually, make the move to Buchanan. As the intro lecture for 1006 is today it will be interesting to see the change in numbers as Econ went down but SD went up! IR is one of the universities best subjects and it's graduate counterterrorism faculty is especially notable worldwide so one will find most PhD's on that track.

    In terms of demographics yes, there are a large amount of internationals (and hence Americans) on the course. However, I must say whilst I myself found the course extremely interesting others who actually applied for it as their degree subject were quite quick to change their degree or not take 1006. IR can be a difficult subject and does require a bit more work than other subjects but I did manage a 2:1 even with a horrible first essay grade last term and I didn't really put a decent amount of work in. That being said, university as a whole is pretty much determining what is worth reading.

    I must say the tutorials are my favourite part of IR, with our last tutor we did kind of take control and had some very interesting, and sometimes heated, discussions which quickly moved off of structural realism to more practical examples.

    So yes I do second Bella; though IR students as a whole are somewhat jokingly disparaged as being overly hardworking/competitive (not quite medic level though) I had a great 1st semester with every facet of the programme impressing (ok my tutor was a bit of a looney). It is very much worth stressing that the lecturers are the very best the university has to offer.
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    just got an offer from st. andrews! So, thanks bella & con for providing such great & lenghty insight!
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    I've got a conditional offer from st.andrews! I'm so excited!
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    Got a conditional for IR

    The only thing I'm worried about is the actual location... I'm more of a city girl so I'm not sure if St. Andrews will be right for me... but who knows! I'm visiting in a couple of weeks
    (Btw, I posted this almost exact same thing in another topic so my apologies if someone is reading this twice)
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    Got a conditional offer for IR. trying to pick between politics at Bristol and IR at St. A any one else the same?
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    Got an unconditional offer for IR! It was back in December but I just found this forum lol St Andrews is basically my number one and I'm almost positive that I'm going!

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Updated: February 27, 2012
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