OliverVersini
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Hey guys, I'm deciding between Politics and International Relations courses and they seem to be similar. What would you say is better to choose and why? What are the biggest differences? Is it best to just take both as a Joint? Thanks a lot! Olly
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Michiyo
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(Original post by OliverVersini)
Hey guys, I'm deciding between Politics and International Relations courses and they seem to be similar. What would you say is better to choose and why? What are the biggest differences? Is it best to just take both as a Joint? Thanks a lot! Olly
International Relations student here :hi: I can confirm the courses are nearly identical; the only things that differ are some of our core and compulsory modules (to exemplify, as a first year student, I had to take Introduction to International Relations and Politics students had to take Introduction to Politics while Politics and International Relations students had to take both), and even then, an International Relations student can pick the core and compulsory modules of a Politics student and vice versa. You can definitely find a Politics student and an International Relations student who take the very same modules, but who get different degree titles based on what their core and compulsory modules were.

When it comes to career opportunities, it makes no difference whether you take Politics, International Relations or Politics and International Relations. Sure, the content differs slightly (Politics modules focus on a national scale and International Relations modules focus on a global scale), but they are still so related that most people think of them as interchangeable. At the end of the day, we are all politics students; we just focus on different branches of politics! Obviously, a Politics degree tends to prepare you for a career in the government better and an International Relations degree tends to prepare you for a career in international organisations better, but that is not a rule since how prepared you are for a career in those areas depends way more on the modules you study, transferrable skills and work experience.

Think of what parts of politics you are most interested in. Are you more passionate about local/national politics (e.g. political parties, elections, the government, policy, political journalism) or global politics (e.g. war, terrorism, international organisations, peacebuilding, international development)? If you have no strong preference, take both or either (see what university has modules that interest you). If you discover you have a relatively strong preference, pick the one that best fits your interests.

In my case, I do not care about political parties and national politics, but I am extremely fascinated by everything related to international relations, so I picked International Relations in the end

Even if you do have a preference, you can still take the other or both and simply pick the modules that interest you. I could definitely have applied for Politics or Politics and International Relations courses and I would still have been happy with my modules, because even when some module titles are different, the content is the same and just used in a different (national/international) context. What matters most is the modules that the universities you apply for offer and how much you would enjoy studying them.

To summarise, there is no 'better' one to pick. The differences are minimal and can be further minimised through optional modules. Just choose a course which you believe you would enjoy more, regardless of whether its title is Politics, International Relations or Politics and International Relations.
Last edited by Michiyo; 1 year ago
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Rio.H
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(Original post by Michiyo)
International Relations student here :hi: I can confirm the courses are nearly identical; the only things that differ are some of our core and compulsory modules (to exemplify, as a first year student, I had to take Introduction to International Relations and Politics students had to take Introduction to Politics while Politics and International Relations students had to take both), and even then, an International Relations student can pick the core and compulsory modules of a Politics student and vice versa. You can definitely find a Politics student and an International Relations student who take the very same modules, but who get different degree titles based on what their core and compulsory modules were.

When it comes to career opportunities, it makes no difference whether you take Politics, International Relations or Politics and International Relations. Sure, the content differs slightly (Politics modules focus on a national scale and International Relations modules focus on a global scale), but they are still so related that most people think of them as interchangeable. At the end of the day, we are all politics students; we just focus on different branches of politics! Obviously, a Politics degree tends to prepare you for a career in the government better and an International Relations degree tends to prepare you for a career in international organisations better, but that is not a rule since how prepared you are for a career in those areas depends way more on the modules you study, transferrable skills and work experience.

Think of what parts of politics you are most interested in. Are you more passionate about local/national politics (e.g. political parties, elections, the government, policy, political journalism) or global politics (e.g. war, terrorism, international organisations, peacebuilding, international development)? If you have no strong preference, take both or either (see what university has modules that interest you). If you discover you have a relatively strong preference, pick the one that best fits your interests.

In my case, I do not care about political parties and national politics, but I am extremely fascinated by everything related to international relations, so I picked International Relations in the end

Even if you do have a preference, you can still take the other or both and simply pick the modules that interest you. I could definitely have applied for Politics or Politics and International Relations courses and I would still have been happy with my modules, because even when some module titles are different, the content is the same and just used in a different (national/international) context. What matters most is the modules that the universities you apply for offer and how much you would enjoy studying them.

To summarise, there is no 'better' one to pick. The differences are minimal and can be further minimised through optional modules. Just choose a course which you believe you would enjoy more, regardless of whether its title is Politics, International Relations or Politics and International Relations.
Would Politics involve more political theory and ideology then compared to IR?
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Michiyo
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(Original post by Rio.H)
Would Politics involve more political theory and ideology then compared to IR?
Nope! Both Politics and IR involve political theory, though they apply it in different contexts. Politics discusses political party ideology (conservatism, for example) more than IR, but IR is heavily based on theory (liberalism, realism, constructivism, hegemonic stability theory, the bargaining model of war, etc) too.
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kalina17
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(Original post by Michiyo)
International Relations student here :hi: I can confirm the courses are nearly identical; the only things that differ are some of our core and compulsory modules (to exemplify, as a first year student, I had to take Introduction to International Relations and Politics students had to take Introduction to Politics while Politics and International Relations students had to take both), and even then, an International Relations student can pick the core and compulsory modules of a Politics student and vice versa. You can definitely find a Politics student and an International Relations student who take the very same modules, but who get different degree titles based on what their core and compulsory modules were.

When it comes to career opportunities, it makes no difference whether you take Politics, International Relations or Politics and International Relations. Sure, the content differs slightly (Politics modules focus on a national scale and International Relations modules focus on a global scale), but they are still so related that most people think of them as interchangeable. At the end of the day, we are all politics students; we just focus on different branches of politics! Obviously, a Politics degree tends to prepare you for a career in the government better and an International Relations degree tends to prepare you for a career in international organisations better, but that is not a rule since how prepared you are for a career in those areas depends way more on the modules you study, transferrable skills and work experience.

Think of what parts of politics you are most interested in. Are you more passionate about local/national politics (e.g. political parties, elections, the government, policy, political journalism) or global politics (e.g. war, terrorism, international organisations, peacebuilding, international development)? If you have no strong preference, take both or either (see what university has modules that interest you). If you discover you have a relatively strong preference, pick the one that best fits your interests.

In my case, I do not care about political parties and national politics, but I am extremely fascinated by everything related to international relations, so I picked International Relations in the end

Even if you do have a preference, you can still take the other or both and simply pick the modules that interest you. I could definitely have applied for Politics or Politics and International Relations courses and I would still have been happy with my modules, because even when some module titles are different, the content is the same and just used in a different (national/international) context. What matters most is the modules that the universities you apply for offer and how much you would enjoy studying them.

To summarise, there is no 'better' one to pick. The differences are minimal and can be further minimised through optional modules. Just choose a course which you believe you would enjoy more, regardless of whether its title is Politics, International Relations or Politics and International Relations.

Heyyyyy I applied to study IR and Politics in Essex and York . Not sure which one to put as my firm choice. Where do you go for uni ? are you satisfied with quality of teaching ? What are you planning on doing after you graduate ?
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Michiyo
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(Original post by kalina17)
Heyyyyy I applied to study IR and Politics in Essex and York . Not sure which one to put as my firm choice. Where do you go for uni ? are you satisfied with quality of teaching ? What are you planning on doing after you graduate ?
I go to Essex! :five:

I am satisfied with the quality of teaching. All the teachers are really nice, knowledgeable and approachable. And since Essex has so many relevant opportunities for politics and IR students (ESSEXLab, UROP placements, Frontrunner placements, internships, the Department of Government Student Conference, etc), I have had the chance to gain quite a bit of experience which I hope will help me as a graduate.

I graduate this year. Over the summer, I will be doing the Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP), after which I will embark on a Master's degree. Once I finish that, I intend to apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream (since I will have the Fast Pass from the SDIP), as well as for jobs within the EU and the UN or working for MPs (check out the w4mp site when you graduate).
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kalina17
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(Original post by Michiyo)
I go to Essex! :five:

I am satisfied with the quality of teaching. All the teachers are really nice, knowledgeable and approachable. And since Essex has so many relevant opportunities for politics and IR students (ESSEXLab, UROP placements, Frontrunner placements, internships, the Department of Government Student Conference, etc), I have had the chance to gain quite a bit of experience which I hope will help me as a graduate.

I graduate this year. Over the summer, I will be doing the Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP), after which I will embark on a Master's degree. Once I finish that, I intend to apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream (since I will have the Fast Pass from the SDIP), as well as for jobs within the EU and the UN or working for MPs (check out the w4mp site when you graduate).
Thank you so much for your reply
Good luck with your studies
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Michiyo
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(Original post by kalina17)
Thank you so much for your reply
Good luck with your studies
You are more than welcome :hugs:

Thank you, good luck too!
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randomgirl7000
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(Original post by Michiyo)
I go to Essex! :five:

I am satisfied with the quality of teaching. All the teachers are really nice, knowledgeable and approachable. And since Essex has so many relevant opportunities for politics and IR students (ESSEXLab, UROP placements, Frontrunner placements, internships, the Department of Government Student Conference, etc), I have had the chance to gain quite a bit of experience which I hope will help me as a graduate.

I graduate this year. Over the summer, I will be doing the Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP), after which I will embark on a Master's degree. Once I finish that, I intend to apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream (since I will have the Fast Pass from the SDIP), as well as for jobs within the EU and the UN or working for MPs (check out the w4mp site when you graduate).
Hey, would you mind if I ask you some questions? I will be at Essex in October, too
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Michiyo
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(Original post by randomgirl7000)
Hey, would you mind if I ask you some questions? I will be at Essex in October, too
I know I am super late, but I am happy to answer any questions
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randomgirl7000
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(Original post by Michiyo)
I know I am super late, but I am happy to answer any questions
hey I am at another uni and not at Essex. But thank you
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