charlmay
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Can someone who's studied or is thinking of studying IR give me some info on the course? Is it thought of highly, where is best to study it, what does it cover (I've read online but the sentences unis use are ridiculous), generally if you've studied it have you enjoyed it, does it open up career opportunities etc?
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jelly1000
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(Original post by charlmay)
Can someone who's studied or is thinking of studying IR give me some info on the course? Is it thought of highly, where is best to study it, what does it cover (I've read online but the sentences unis use are ridiculous), generally if you've studied it have you enjoyed it, does it open up career opportunities etc?
I studied it as an undergraduate, where is best depends on the sort of environment you want, what course content you want and what grades you can achieve. LSE & St Andrews are known for being the best in IR but ask for top grades. All courses look at IR theory- theory about how states behave- are they selfish or altruistic e.c.t and IR organisations- the UN, EU, IMF, World Bank- what do they do, have they succeeded in doing what they are supposed to e.c.t Many unis include globalisation now- looking at the interconnectedness of the world. Ther rest of the modules vary by university. At mine I had the chance to do some Modern European History (1700's-1900's) American History (1850's-1950's) and British Politics in first year I could have chosen basic economics or media instead. Second year plus I had more free choice with politics modules- focusing on one countries government and IR modules- looking at international states co-operating/fighting.

Career wise its the same as any other humanities degree really- as a degree it opens up options not available to non degree holders, but work experience and how you complete the applications are important too.
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charlmay
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(Original post by jelly1000)
I studied it as an undergraduate, where is best depends on the sort of environment you want, what course content you want and what grades you can achieve. LSE & St Andrews are known for being the best in IR but ask for top grades. All courses look at IR theory- theory about how states behave- are they selfish or altruistic e.c.t and IR organisations- the UN, EU, IMF, World Bank- what do they do, have they succeeded in doing what they are supposed to e.c.t Many unis include globalisation now- looking at the interconnectedness of the world. Ther rest of the modules vary by university. At mine I had the chance to do some Modern European History (1700's-1900's) American History (1850's-1950's) and British Politics in first year I could have chosen basic economics or media instead. Second year plus I had more free choice with politics modules- focusing on one countries government and IR modules- looking at international states co-operating/fighting.

Career wise its the same as any other humanities degree really- as a degree it opens up options not available to non degree holders, but work experience and how you complete the applications are important too.

Thank you for responding!! So, personally I'm really interested in Middle Eastern politics, terrorism, human rights and Eastern European politics.. I've looked at Exeter uni and it looks great, and it gives lots of options such as Arabic which all sounds brilliant, but it's 30 minutes away from where I live which for me is a negative because I really want more independence SOAS also looks fantastic though!! Do you think IR would be an enjoyable course if I have these sort of interests?
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jelly1000
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(Original post by charlmay)
Thank you for responding!! So, personally I'm really interested in Middle Eastern politics, terrorism, human rights and Eastern European politics.. I've looked at Exeter uni and it looks great, and it gives lots of options such as Arabic which all sounds brilliant, but it's 30 minutes away from where I live which for me is a negative because I really want more independence SOAS also looks fantastic though!! Do you think IR would be an enjoyable course if I have these sort of interests?
Definitley as it can cover all these things.
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War and Peace
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(Original post by charlmay)
Thank you for responding!! So, personally I'm really interested in Middle Eastern politics, terrorism, human rights and Eastern European politics.. I've looked at Exeter uni and it looks great, and it gives lots of options such as Arabic which all sounds brilliant, but it's 30 minutes away from where I live which for me is a negative because I really want more independence SOAS also looks fantastic though!! Do you think IR would be an enjoyable course if I have these sort of interests?
Go for St Andrews. The department is built around your interests.
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Protagoras
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For IR, you need: Economics, Geography, Government and Politics, History.

King's College London has a new B.A. in International Relations in their War Studies department. This course has more focus on security it could be B.A. International Security.

War studies is a unique subject that discusses the history of wars and philosophical issues of the experience of war etc. King's College recognised the prestige of their course and the graduates that were going on to the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces: Army, Navy and RAF.

International Relations is about the systems connecting the many states around the world: NATO, European Union, consequences of the former USSR, etc. IR was more appropriate for the senior levels of the MOD and H.M. Armed Forces, for the future Chief of the Defence Staff.

King's College has a postgraduate degree in M.A. Geopolitics, Territory and Security.

You really want to be in London, scrap that, you HAVE to be in London. It's not only feeling the pulse of the international arena it is very much the heart and it is where everything happens; Chatham House, International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Another to consider is Aberystwyth which was the first IR course in the United Kingdom, but it is out in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Wales, so while it is commendable, you really need to be in London.
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Protagoras
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This is something that if I could go back and do my undergraduate again, I would seriously consider this and be very enthusiastic about pursuing it:

Sciences Po, Paris
M.S. International Security (with semester 3 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Human Rights and International Criminal Court
  • WMD Counter-proliferation: interdiction, deterrence & defense
  • Security Issues in Post-Soviet States
  • The political economy of the defence industry
  • The UN Security Council
  • Crisis Management in Practice
  • Law of Armed Conflict
  • Defense and Security Economics
  • Cybersecurity operational and policy challenges
  • American Military Power in the World Today
  • Foundations of Strategic Thinking
King's College, University of London
B.A. Geography (joint with International Relations at SOAS).
  • Political Economy of Hazardscapes
  • Development Geographies: Livelihood and Policy Contexts
  • Economic and Social Change in Post War Europe
  • Territoriality,State and Nation: Political Geography in the Developing World
  • The Changing Natural Environment
  • Geographical Foundations: the Making of the Modern World
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
B.A. International Relations (joint with Geography at King's College).
  • Political Economy of the International Investment Regime
  • Globalisation and Global Governance
  • War and the International
  • Politics of the World Economy
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Political Analysis
KCL and SOAS are joined by a 5 minute one road bus journey. KCL is right next to LSE and their world famous evening lectures. It would be good to use all the resources available at central campus: UCL, Birkbeck, SOAS and Institute of Advanced Study.
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War and Peace
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(Original post by Protagoras)
For IR, you need: Economics, Geography, Government and Politics, History.

King's College London has a new B.A. in International Relations in their War Studies department. This course has more focus on security it could be B.A. International Security.

War studies is a unique subject that discusses the history of wars and philosophical issues of the experience of war etc. King's College recognised the prestige of their course and the graduates that were going on to the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces: Army, Navy and RAF.

International Relations is about the systems connecting the many states around the world: NATO, European Union, consequences of the former USSR, etc. IR was more appropriate for the senior levels of the MOD and H.M. Armed Forces, for the future Chief of the Defence Staff.

King's College has a postgraduate degree in M.A. Geopolitics, Territory and Security.

You really want to be in London, scrap that, you HAVE to be in London. It's not only feeling the pulse of the international arena it is very much the heart and it is where everything happens; Chatham House, International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Another to consider is Aberystwyth which was the first IR course in the United Kingdom, but it is out in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Wales, so while it is commendable, you really need to be in London.
Of course KCL is an amazing place to study IR, but perhaps not as much for undergraduate as postgraduate. Here are a few points for the OP to consider: 1) KCL's undergraduate IR program (the War Studies program is a different matter) is new so it's not going to offer the same coherance or carry the reputation of other more established IR programs (LSE, St Andrews, etc.); 2) KCL can place you well for internship opportunities in London, but most are aimed at postgraduates; and 3) IR undergraduates at LSE and St Andrews tend to be more academically capable than those at KCL. Median entry tariff for LSE and St Andrews hovers around 530, while KCL sits at 470. Many LSE and St Andrews undergraduates go on to do postgraduate in War Studies at KCL. It's a great place, but maybe think about your longterm goals and whether or not they include postgraduate education.
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charlmay
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(Original post by Protagoras)
This is something that if I could go back and do my undergraduate again, I would seriously consider this and be very enthusiastic about pursuing it:

Sciences Po, Paris
M.S. International Security (with semester 3 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Human Rights and International Criminal Court
  • WMD Counter-proliferation: interdiction, deterrence & defense
  • Security Issues in Post-Soviet States
  • The political economy of the defence industry
  • The UN Security Council
  • Crisis Management in Practice
  • Law of Armed Conflict
  • Defense and Security Economics
  • Cybersecurity operational and policy challenges
  • American Military Power in the World Today
  • Foundations of Strategic Thinking
King's College, University of London
B.A. Geography (joint with International Relations at SOAS).
  • Political Economy of Hazardscapes
  • Development Geographies: Livelihood and Policy Contexts
  • Economic and Social Change in Post War Europe
  • Territoriality,State and Nation: Political Geography in the Developing World
  • The Changing Natural Environment
  • Geographical Foundations: the Making of the Modern World
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
B.A. International Relations (joint with Geography at King's College).
  • Political Economy of the International Investment Regime
  • Globalisation and Global Governance
  • War and the International
  • Politics of the World Economy
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Political Analysis
KCL and SOAS are joined by a 5 minute one road bus journey. KCL is right next to LSE and their world famous evening lectures. It would be good to use all the resources available at central campus: UCL, Birkbeck, SOAS and Institute of Advanced Study.
Thank you so much for your response - that's all really helpful! I've been looking at SOAS, LSE and KCL and the courses they run and yes, I feel that London definitely is the place to be, and hopefully I could achieve the grades they're asking for. Thank you ever so much
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Protagoras
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(Original post by War and Peace)
Of course KCL is an amazing place to study IR, but perhaps not as much for undergraduate as postgraduate. Here are a few points for the OP to consider: 1) KCL's undergraduate IR program (the War Studies program is a different matter) is new so it's not going to offer the same coherence or carry the reputation of other more established IR programs (LSE, St Andrews, etc.); 2) KCL can place you well for internship opportunities in London, but most are aimed at postgraduates; and 3) IR undergraduates at LSE and St Andrews tend to be more academically capable than those at KCL. Median entry tariff for LSE and St Andrews hovers around 530, while KCL sits at 470. Many LSE and St Andrews undergraduates go on to do postgraduate in War Studies at KCL. It's a great place, but maybe think about your longterm goals and whether or not they include postgraduate education.
Regardless if IR at KCL is a new programme, the War Studies department is highly respected around the world so it would carry the reputation and the coherence has to be there or they wouldn't publish it to the future generation of military/government leaders, as it would be designed by people with a lot of cross-over between academia and government/armed forces.

I have a friend that did IR at St. Andrews after having applied to his first choice LSE and he really wishes he got into LSE for it being in the epicentre, as St. Andrews is just out in the middle of nowhere, good community, but still not in the heart of it like you would be with KCL.

So, anyway, KCL is highly regarded if you want to the next Chief of the Defence Staff.

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jelly1000
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(Original post by Protagoras)
For IR, you need: Economics, Geography, Government and Politics, History.

King's College London has a new B.A. in International Relations in their War Studies department. This course has more focus on security it could be B.A. International Security.

War studies is a unique subject that discusses the history of wars and philosophical issues of the experience of war etc. King's College recognised the prestige of their course and the graduates that were going on to the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces: Army, Navy and RAF.

International Relations is about the systems connecting the many states around the world: NATO, European Union, consequences of the former USSR, etc. IR was more appropriate for the senior levels of the MOD and H.M. Armed Forces, for the future Chief of the Defence Staff.

King's College has a postgraduate degree in M.A. Geopolitics, Territory and Security.

You really want to be in London, scrap that, you HAVE to be in London. It's not only feeling the pulse of the international arena it is very much the heart and it is where everything happens; Chatham House, International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Another to consider is Aberystwyth which was the first IR course in the United Kingdom, but it is out in the middle of nowhere on the west coast of Wales, so while it is commendable, you really need to be in London.
There are no specific A-Levels you need for IR, if thats what you are trying to say.
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War and Peace
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(Original post by Protagoras)
Regardless if IR at KCL is a new programme, the War Studies department is highly respected around the world so it would carry the reputation and the coherence has to be there or they wouldn't publish it to the future generation of military/government leaders, as it would be designed by people with a lot of cross-over between academia and government/armed forces.

I have a friend that did IR at St. Andrews after having applied to his first choice LSE and he really wishes he got into LSE for it being in the epicentre, as St. Andrews is just out in the middle of nowhere, good community, but still not in the heart of it like you would be with KCL.

So, anyway, KCL is highly regarded if you want to the next Chief of the Defence Staff.

Or you could go to St Andrews and be Chief of the Defense Staff's boss:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Fallon

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Protagoras
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(Original post by War and Peace)
Or you could go to St Andrews and be Chief of the Defense Staff's boss:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Fallon

I think the Defence Secretary and the CDS are considered equal as advisors to the Prime Minister. One rose through experience in government, the other experience in the armed forces.
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War and Peace
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(Original post by Protagoras)
I think the Defence Secretary and the CDS are considered equal as advisors to the Prime Minister. One rose through experience in government, the other experience in the armed forces.
Well, no offense, then you'd be wrong. The CDS is an advisor to the Defense Secretary and the PM. He clearly has plenty of influence. That being said, there's a clear chain of command and the Defense Secretary is the senior official leading the MoD.
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Protagoras
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Hijacking this thread.. but I would aim to get to the National Security Secretariat at the Cabinet Office of H.M. Government.

Cabinet Office of H.M. Government
  • National Security Secretariat
Royal College of Defence Studies (for future leaders of government and armed forces)

- additional M.A. International Strategy and Security (delivered by King's College)

RCDS Programme (10 month programme at Seaford House, Belgravia, London)
  • Leadership in the strategic environment
  • Term 3: Regional understanding and strategic issues
  • Term 2: Contemporary strategic thinking and analysis
  • Term 1: The current and future strategic context
Ministry of Defence of H.M. Government
  • Defence Policy Advisor
King's College, University of London

Ph.D. International Relations (War Studies)

M.A. Intelligence and International Security
  • Contemporary British Defence Policy
  • The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and British Intelligence
  • Intelligence in Peace and War
B.A. International Relations

- exchange year at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. with internship
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