Question regarding IR at St Andrews Watch

Nick Wang
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Hey guys, I am currently a Chinese student studying at a US private school. I recently got unconditional offers from St Andrews(IR) and Edinburgh (MA in IR and law) and am still waiting for LSE. Here I am really wondering how good IR at St A it.

From the internet I heard a lot of people talking about how good it is and the league table clearly shows that it is one of the best in UK (I know how some people do not regard it as credible. But since I'll be studying as an undergrad, I think a good study experience as well as the graduate prospect, which St A is good at according to the rankings, are more important to me than mere academic strength of a department), but in other threads people tend to forget about St A when discussing "what are the good schools in UK for IR". Are its graduates really highly sought and respected after graduation? And is it really one of the best for IR in UK or even in Europe(at least for Undergrad level)? And...how is it compared to IR @ Edinburgh?

Finally, what is the US equivalent of st andrews? I know it is kinda hard make this comparison but I hope your guys can help me out.

Oh, also, I am completely fine with the size of the town St Andrews. So please don't worry about that with me. I am a rather active person and can usually make the most of the environment. I also believe that the small size of the university itself means more chances of involvement in the activities and etc. provided by the school--but of course I also acknowledge that this not the case for everybody.

谢谢! (means "thank you" in Chinese)
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Nick Wang
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Calllu-m
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
Hey guys, I am currently a Chinese student studying at a US private school. I recently got unconditional offers from St Andrews(IR) and Edinburgh (MA in IR and law) and am still waiting for LSE. Here I am really wondering how good IR at St A it.

From the internet I heard a lot of people talking about how good it is and the league table clearly shows that it is one of the best in UK (I know how some people do not regard it as credible. But since I'll be studying as an undergrad, I think a good study experience as well as the graduate prospect, which St A is good at according to the rankings, are more important to me than mere academic strength of a department), but in other threads people tend to forget about St A when discussing "what are the good schools in UK for IR". Are its graduates really highly sought and respected after graduation? And is it really one of the best for IR in UK or even in Europe(at least for Undergrad level)? And...how is it compared to IR @ Edinburgh?

Finally, what is the US equivalent of st andrews? I know it is kinda hard make this comparison but I hope your guys can help me out.

Oh, also, I am completely fine with the size of the town St Andrews. So please don't worry about that with me. I am a rather active person and can usually make the most of the environment. I also believe that the small size of the university itself means more chances of involvement in the activities and etc. provided by the school--but of course I also acknowledge that this not the case for everybody.

谢谢! (means "thank you" in Chinese)
St Andrews IR > Edinburgh IR. By a long way. St Andrews graduates have excellent employment prospects.

I'd say St Andrews is on the same level as places like Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, William and Mary. Probably better than Cornell.
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rumbles_ubamba
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(Original post by Calllu-m)
St Andrews IR > Edinburgh IR. By a long way. St Andrews graduates have excellent employment prospects.

I'd say St Andrews is on the same level as places like Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, William and Mary. Probably better than Cornell.
Why do you say that St Andrews is so much better at IR than Edinburgh? Is it the prestige, professors, course structure, or something else that makes it so unique?

I know St Andrews is great for IR, but I would like to know why you think it is better than Edinburgh.
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ukmed108
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
Hey guys, I am currently a Chinese student studying at a US private school. I recently got unconditional offers from St Andrews(IR) and Edinburgh (MA in IR and law) and am still waiting for LSE. Here I am really wondering how good IR at St A it.

From the internet I heard a lot of people talking about how good it is and the league table clearly shows that it is one of the best in UK (I know how some people do not regard it as credible. But since I'll be studying as an undergrad, I think a good study experience as well as the graduate prospect, which St A is good at according to the rankings, are more important to me than mere academic strength of a department), but in other threads people tend to forget about St A when discussing "what are the good schools in UK for IR". Are its graduates really highly sought and respected after graduation? And is it really one of the best for IR in UK or even in Europe(at least for Undergrad level)? And...how is it compared to IR @ Edinburgh?

Finally, what is the US equivalent of st andrews? I know it is kinda hard make this comparison but I hope your guys can help me out.

Oh, also, I am completely fine with the size of the town St Andrews. So please don't worry about that with me. I am a rather active person and can usually make the most of the environment. I also believe that the small size of the university itself means more chances of involvement in the activities and etc. provided by the school--but of course I also acknowledge that this not the case for everybody.

谢谢! (means "thank you" in Chinese)
St Andrews's US equivalent broadly speaking would be Brown or Dartmouth. Similar size (Brown's student population and UG/PG ratio is exactly the same as St Andrews), similar prestige and similar rankings in the world stage. For US/International applicants, St Andrews is easier to get into than Brown or Dartmouth but St Andrews is about as competitive for UK/EU applicants as Brown is for US applicants. Brown and Dartmouth are much wealthier than St Andrews however.

Edinburgh's US equivalent broadly speaking would be Penn. Same reasons as above, Penn was modeled on Edinburgh and Penn Med was founded by an Edinburgh grad.

Harvard Kennedy and JHU SAIS regularly visit St Andrews to give presentations.

St Andrews IR > Edinburgh IR generally speaking, but its not a big difference. More importantly is where you want to spend 4 years. St Andrews is quite a small town, make sure you wouldn't mind it.
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Nick Wang
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Thank you all for your insights above!
But again, I am wondering based on what knowledge do you all make claims about St Andrews and the IR major? And specifically about IR: how good are the professors, teaching, classes there, how respected/employable are its graduates, and what areas do its graduates head on to?
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TJ263
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
Hey guys, I am currently a Chinese student studying at a US private school. I recently got unconditional offers from St Andrews(IR) and Edinburgh (MA in IR and law) and am still waiting for LSE. Here I am really wondering how good IR at St A it.

From the internet I heard a lot of people talking about how good it is and the league table clearly shows that it is one of the best in UK (I know how some people do not regard it as credible. But since I'll be studying as an undergrad, I think a good study experience as well as the graduate prospect, which St A is good at according to the rankings, are more important to me than mere academic strength of a department), but in other threads people tend to forget about St A when discussing "what are the good schools in UK for IR". Are its graduates really highly sought and respected after graduation? And is it really one of the best for IR in UK or even in Europe(at least for Undergrad level)? And...how is it compared to IR @ Edinburgh?

Finally, what is the US equivalent of st andrews? I know it is kinda hard make this comparison but I hope your guys can help me out.

Oh, also, I am completely fine with the size of the town St Andrews. So please don't worry about that with me. I am a rather active person and can usually make the most of the environment. I also believe that the small size of the university itself means more chances of involvement in the activities and etc. provided by the school--but of course I also acknowledge that this not the case for everybody.

谢谢! (means "thank you" in Chinese)
Hey Nick, I also applied to St Andrews (home student) and recently received an offer for an MA in Economics and International Relations. Like yourself, I have an inclination towards studying International Relations, it is a truly intriguing field of study (especially with the world today).

St Andrews hosts some of the UK's best faculty and the course structure is extremely interesting, that's a reason for why I chose to study the course. However I am confused as to whether or not I should attend as I also have offers from Durham (BA Combined Honours Social Sciences), LSE (BSc International Relations) and Warwick (Economics, Politics and International Studies).

LSE is supposed to have (disputed) worst student life in contrast to St Andrews where it's supposed to be awesome! And St Andrews being a largely liberal arts school, it is regarded to very highly world over. In terms of a comparison I'm leaning towards UPenn.

Anyways, tell me what you choose to do. Bye!
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ukmed108
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
Thank you all for your insights above!
But again, I am wondering based on what knowledge do you all make claims about St Andrews and the IR major? And specifically about IR: how good are the professors, teaching, classes there, how respected/employable are its graduates, and what areas do its graduates head on to?
Professors seem to be quite good. Almost all of them have published several books, and some regularly contribute on TV to different world issues. The principal of St Andrews, is actually a terrorism studies expert, again lots of books, lots of TV appearances and shes testified in front of the US Senate.

Some have wikipedia pages:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_English
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Richardson

I know a lot of the US grads head to law or grad school, others get jobs, but St Andrews seems to be well respected. I can't really comment from personal experience though.
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Calllu-m
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(Original post by rumbles_ubamba)
Why do you say that St Andrews is so much better at IR than Edinburgh? Is it the prestige, professors, course structure, or something else that makes it so unique?

I know St Andrews is great for IR, but I would like to know why you think it is better than Edinburgh.
Well firstly, the course here has it's own department. In Edinburgh it's incorporated into Politics, and thus isn't as specialised and research isn't as related to IR. The Professors are also fantastic, the Principal of the University is Louise Richardson and is an expert on terrorism studies with a PhD from Harvard. We have numerous experts in their respective fields. Gabriella Slomp in the theory of realism and Richard English on terrorism. Edinburgh doesn't have nearly as big names attached to it's IR department. The course also has a lot more varied modules in honours to take, and you can choose from over 40.
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Nick Wang
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(Original post by TJ263)
Hey Nick, I also applied to St Andrews (home student) and recently received an offer for an MA in Economics and International Relations. Like yourself, I have an inclination towards studying International Relations, it is a truly intriguing field of study (especially with the world today).

St Andrews hosts some of the UK's best faculty and the course structure is extremely interesting, that's a reason for why I chose to study the course. However I am confused as to whether or not I should attend as I also have offers from Durham (BA Combined Honours Social Sciences), LSE (BSc International Relations) and Warwick (Economics, Politics and International Studies).

LSE is supposed to have (disputed) worst student life in contrast to St Andrews where it's supposed to be awesome! And St Andrews being a largely liberal arts school, it is regarded to very highly world over. In terms of a comparison I'm leaning towards UPenn.

Anyways, tell me what you choose to do. Bye!
I also just got a conditional offer from LSE for IR today ! But the condition is kinda tough and I am not sure if I can actually achieve that at the end of summer....

I really like the fact that if I am doing single honor IR, I have plenty of chances to explore classes outside IR department. And I am also amazed by the variety and amount of IR honor-level modules I can choose from at st A!
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Nick Wang
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(Original post by Calllu-m)
Well firstly, the course here has it's own department. In Edinburgh it's incorporated into Politics, and thus isn't as specialised and research isn't as related to IR. The Professors are also fantastic, the Principal of the University is Louise Richardson and is an expert on terrorism studies with a PhD from Harvard. We have numerous experts in their respective fields. Gabriella Slomp in the theory of realism and Richard English on terrorism. Edinburgh doesn't have nearly as big names attached to it's IR department. The course also has a lot more varied modules in honours to take, and you can choose from over 40.
Wow! Do these great experts actually teach undergrad students?
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Calllu-m
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
Wow! Do these great experts actually teach undergrad students?
Yeah I had Slomp for my realism lectures in the last module. Richard English teaches third and fourth year modules in terrorism.
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tlunn223
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Hey guys - I got offers at both St Andrews and King's College London and was just wondering which you think has the superior IR department. All other differences between the unis aside, which is stronger?
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Nick Wang
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(Original post by tlunn223)
Hey guys - I got offers at both St Andrews and King's College London and was just wondering which you think has the superior IR department. All other differences between the unis aside, which is stronger?
I am wondering the same question. What do you guys think about IR @ st andrews in comparison to other top IR universities like LSE, KCL, Warwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, York, etc.?
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ukmed108
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(Original post by tlunn223)
Hey guys - I got offers at both St Andrews and King's College London and was just wondering which you think has the superior IR department. All other differences between the unis aside, which is stronger?
I believe St Andrews has a better IR department, but I've heard the War Studies at KCL is very good. It really depends on where you want to spend your next 4 years. I personally would choose KCL, because I'm a big city type of person. Course wise though, I think St Andrews is probably better at teaching (better student satisfaction). From my experience at St Andrews, teaching here is really great, no complaints.
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ukmed108
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
I am wondering the same question. What do you guys think about IR @ st andrews in comparison to other top IR universities like LSE, KCL, Warwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, York, etc.?
IMO, I would choose LSE over St Andrews for IR in your case. I think there are advantages of being in London provided you don't mind the big city. Also, LSE has a world wide reputation.
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Nick Wang
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(Original post by ukmed108)
IMO, I would choose LSE over St Andrews for IR in your case. I think there are advantages of being in London provided you don't mind the big city. Also, LSE has a world wide reputation.
Agree. I think I will firm LSE. But just not sure whether to insurance St A or Edinburgh. But either way, I will be pretty happy ending up at St A.
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Calllu-m
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
Agree. I think I will firm LSE. But just not sure whether to insurance St A or Edinburgh. But either way, I will be pretty happy ending up at St A.
For me, id choose St Andrews over LSE. My friend at LSE hated his time there, he was drawn in by the academics and didn't look at student satisfaction.
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Nick Wang
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(Original post by Calllu-m)
For me, id choose St Andrews over LSE. My friend at LSE hated his time there, he was drawn in by the academics and didn't look at student satisfaction.
I actually did hear about people complaining about how LSE students don't have a "normal college life" primarily due to the lack of a sense of "together-ness" and the lack of attention from the professors--they simply focused too much on their research and grad students. Also, I heard the workload in LSE is awfully huge.

While on the other hand, I think LSE has better faculty members overall than St A‘s(I am not saying St A's professors aren't great--from what I've learned from this post, they are awesome!) and...better international reputation, which is really important to me.
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Calllu-m
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(Original post by Nick Wang)
I actually did hear about people complaining about how LSE students don't have a "normal college life" primarily due to the lack of a sense of "together-ness" and the lack of attention from the professors--they simply focused too much on their research and grad students. Also, I heard the workload in LSE is awfully huge.

While on the other hand, I think LSE has better faculty members overall than St A‘s(I am not saying St A's professors aren't great--from what I've learned from this post, they are awesome!) and...better international reputation, which is really important to me.
Well IR is our specialism whilst it isn't LSEs. They do have fantastic IR professors however ours are probably on par, especially in terrorism studies, if you wanted to specialise in that in third and fourth year.
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