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    I don't know whether this would be a question which is possible to answer, but I was wondering what subject (apart from politics) that is taught at the majority of secondary schools is most like International Relations?
    Thanks
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    There really isn't one. Politics would be closest but even that isn't the best fit. I'd say that taking Politics, History and Economics would make someone as well placed as secondary school subjects can get them to being able to study IR at university.
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    Did you take IR? I've been trying to find some information about it but can't find anything particularly detailed or about what it actually covers as most explanations include politics, or I'm just being stupid and not looking in the right place.
    Is it anything like Human Geography?
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    I'm doing a PhD in IR, and I did my Bachelor's in IR too.

    International Relations is the academic study of international relations (what goes on in the world) - this can be relations between states, between states and non-state actors, between religions; the study of international trade and its impacts on domestic and international life; the study of the role of international law; the causes of war; terrorism; 'normative' issues like human rights; international development, forced migration etc..

    There are only a handful of universities in the UK (including the one I study at) that offer a single honours degree in International Relations. Most universities offer degrees in Politics and International Relations. In these degrees you'll study modules in IR and in Politics. Politics classes tend to be concerned with democratic theory, comparative political systems, electoral processes, the role of the media and the like. While IR is by nature international in focus (though it doesn't take long to realise that the distinction isn't quite as clear as all that).

    What differentiates IR from human geography, history, economics, etc., or a degree in reading the newspaper, is its basis in theory. This is not to say that economics is not based in theory, it is. Just that theories of International Relations are different from theories of economics, or from historiography. Theories of IR aim to equip you with tools to answer questions of how we should understand the world and how we should act in it.

    There are many different theories from Realism and Liberalism to Constructivism, Marxism, Feminism, post-colonialism, to name a few. Any IR degree that calls itself an IR degree will have classes on IR theory, as it forms the academic basis of the subject. However, you don't just study IR theory - in fact, in my PhD I am not touching IR theory at all. I'm working on political philosophy more broadly speaking and issues of subjectivity and agency in relation to the global refugee problem.

    You study issues in international politics (including those listed above). The actual issues you get to study will depend on which university you go to as it will depend on the research interests of the faculty. If the faculty has a number of regional specialists then there will be courses on the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia; practically every department offers courses on terrorism and security, international political economy, and conflict resolution. If the department has a strength in political philosophy then there will be more broadly conceptual classes on the history of political thought. For example, in my undergrad I took classes in theories of IR, foreign policy, terrorist finance, the political philosophy of war and peace, human rights, genocide, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and ethics and the use of force. Then in my Master's I focused on international political theory and took classes in the history of international political thought, textual analysis, language and politics, and ethics.

    I hope some of this info helps. IR is a broad subject, with its own theoretical base. This can be confusing/daunting when you are trying to figure out exactly what it is as a subject, but also great because it gives you the opportunity to explore those international issues that are of most interest to you.

    Let me know if I can help out any more
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    Wow! This is so helpful thank you. I think I'll take some time and think about it but I might ask something at a later date if you don't mind. Thanks again
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    (Original post by Dazed.)
    I don't know whether this would be a question which is possible to answer, but I was wondering what subject (apart from politics) that is taught at the majority of secondary schools is most like International Relations?
    Thanks
    Bits of History like diplomatic History e.g. the Cold War- I'm a 2nd year IR student and the Cold War has come up quite a bit in what I'm studying at uni.

    For a guide on what you'll study in it have a look at uni course profiles. This is mine:
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/study/undergrad...course-profile

    International Relations is basically about the interaction between states whether in the past (Cold War, Appeasement between Britain and Germany) or present (EU, UN e.c.t) and the behaviour of states in the world- it looks at why they behave in the way they do when interacting with other states.

    I've found that increasing numbers of unis are offering IR as a standalone degree.
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    I have a quick question, that I'm hoping one of the previous posters could maybe answer? I'm trying to think of a topic to do for my EPQ and it was suggested at a university open day that I should try to incorporate History, IR and Geography into it... So today I thought of basing it on a topic surrounding dictatorships. But, I just want to be certain, do dictatorships/dictators come into IR, and how?
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    Dictatorships/dictators can come into IR - foreign policy being the most obvious example. But also regarding issues such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, population transfer, human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation (thinking about a couple of states at the moment). What sort of thing were you thinking of?
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    (Original post by Dazed.)
    I have a quick question, that I'm hoping one of the previous posters could maybe answer? I'm trying to think of a topic to do for my EPQ and it was suggested at a university open day that I should try to incorporate History, IR and Geography into it... So today I thought of basing it on a topic surrounding dictatorships. But, I just want to be certain, do dictatorships/dictators come into IR, and how?
    Thanks
    To combine history and IR, the Cold War is a fairly obvious choice. To combine geography and IR, you could look at treaties relating to climate change, why they don't work, and what the impact of that will be.

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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    Dictatorships/dictators can come into IR - foreign policy being the most obvious example. But also regarding issues such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, population transfer, human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation (thinking about a couple of states at the moment). What sort of thing were you thinking of?

    Thanks. I was thinking of maybe trying to do something about dictatorships as a comparison, but I need to make sure I don't try to do too much at once. I'm generally interested in dictatorships anyway. Maybe one of the following something along the lines of how they come to power, relations with other countries, how population/development is impacted. One person suggested maybe doing something about life after dictatoship and the possibility of not only considering the country but also the actual dictator, or about countries that aren't technically in a dictatorship but are pratically in one. Too many ideas, but at least its useful for part of the EPQ process.
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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    Dictatorships/dictators can come into IR - foreign policy being the most obvious example. But also regarding issues such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, population transfer, human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation (thinking about a couple of states at the moment). What sort of thing were you thinking of?
    Hi,

    Im also applying for IR this year and am doing an EPQ. Having had so much experience, could I have your opinion as to what you think would be good for an IR EPQ and what topic would make it stand out? Also, ik you're not an admissions tutor or anything so sorry for the pestering, but would you recommend any IR books that would wow the admissions tutors or impress them by showing extensive reading or knowledge?

    Thanks again!!
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    How are employment opportunities for IR graduates? under and postgrad?
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    (Original post by fatimaja)
    Hi,

    Im also applying for IR this year and am doing an EPQ. Having had so much experience, could I have your opinion as to what you think would be good for an IR EPQ and what topic would make it stand out? Also, ik you're not an admissions tutor or anything so sorry for the pestering, but would you recommend any IR books that would wow the admissions tutors or impress them by showing extensive reading or knowledge?

    Thanks again!!
    In all honesty I am not familiar enough with the EPQ to advise you on what topic you should choose or which topic would stand out, especially since I don't know how long they have to be. I would, however, recommend that you pick a topic that interests you, something that you are passionate about. Is there a particular conflict happening at the moment that you find yourself checking up on all the time and would like to understand better? Is there a human rights issue like human trafficking or asylum seeking that interests you? Is there a particular country's foreign policy that fascinates/baffles you?

    It's important to remember that you aren't going to be expected to be original or reinvent the wheel. From what I understand, an EPQ is there to teach you how to research, and work independently. This is going to be easier to do if you pick something that interests YOU rather than what you think might interest admissions tutors.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
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    (Original post by nohaynada)
    How are employment opportunities for IR graduates? under and postgrad?
    Most degrees do not lead directly into specific careers like medicine, law, architecture etc. do. An IR degree could help you get into work in the foreign service, international banking, teaching, NGO work etc.. I often think that what gets lost in the obsession with 'employment prospects' for different degrees is that all degrees equip you with a range of transferable skills that will be of use to you in many different career areas. Skills like independent working, time management, research, writing and argumentation, are desired by employers in all sectors. So try not to get too hung up on the 'employment prospects' of a degree, and go for a degree that you know you will find interesting but will also challenge you, and be sure to get work experience while you are at university - long summer breaks are great, but try to do some internships or paid work to help you stand out come graduation.
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    (Original post by fatimaja)
    Hi,

    Im also applying for IR this year and am doing an EPQ. Having had so much experience, could I have your opinion as to what you think would be good for an IR EPQ and what topic would make it stand out? Also, ik you're not an admissions tutor or anything so sorry for the pestering, but would you recommend any IR books that would wow the admissions tutors or impress them by showing extensive reading or knowledge?

    Thanks again!!
    Sorry, I just realised that I didn't address your question about books. Again the answer will depend on what interests you. The only books which would strictly speaking be classified as 'IR books' would be text books which offer introductions to the different theories of IR and the basis of IR as an academic subject. But in all honesty they are too dry to be of much interest to anyone. The most popular for universities to introduce their students to IR is by Baylis and Smith and is called The Globalization of World Politics: an introduction to international relations. If your local library has a copy then it might be worth having a flick through. Then you'd at least know a bit more than the average entrant about the academic foundations of the subject.

    Not knowing what interests you about IR/world politics it's hard to advise. Admissions tutors are pretty good at figuring out if you've included a book in your personal statement because you actually find it interesting and useful or if you've included it because you think it's what they want to see - same with things like The Economist or Time. They are often buzzwords for "look I am interested, honest, I have a subscription and everything".

    If there is something in particular that you are interested in then I would be happy to recommend something for you to read
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    (Original post by Tasha1986)
    Sorry, I just realised that I didn't address your question about books. Again the answer will depend on what interests you. The only books which would strictly speaking be classified as 'IR books' would be text books which offer introductions to the different theories of IR and the basis of IR as an academic subject. But in all honesty they are too dry to be of much interest to anyone. The most popular for universities to introduce their students to IR is by Baylis and Smith and is called The Globalization of World Politics: an introduction to international relations. If your local library has a copy then it might be worth having a flick through. Then you'd at least know a bit more than the average entrant about the academic foundations of the subject.

    Not knowing what interests you about IR/world politics it's hard to advise. Admissions tutors are pretty good at figuring out if you've included a book in your personal statement because you actually find it interesting and useful or if you've included it because you think it's what they want to see - same with things like The Economist or Time. They are often buzzwords for "look I am interested, honest, I have a subscription and everything".

    If there is something in particular that you are interested in then I would be happy to recommend something for you to read
    Thats brilliant and so much help thank you! my EPQ is focused broadly on current USA-Russia relations. Any suggestions on good background reading for that? Thanks again
 
 
 
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