St Andrews International Relations- BA or MA and fees?? Watch

justizzy
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Hi! im a uk yr13 student currently applying to uni for politics and ir. I know st andrews has an incredible reputation for ir but the courses they offer slightly confuse me.

The international relations BA is a joint, four year degree with the college of william and mary in virginia so I was just wondering what the fees are for this course. would i be paying the £9250 to st andrews every year or would it increase in america due to the higher tuition fees? also does anyone know the acceptance rate for this course? I'd imagine it would be quite low but it would be great to have a rough idea.

Also, because the BA seems to be a four year degree, what are the pros and cons of just taking the MA which is a four year degree (i think) and you get to stay in scotland? im unsure as to which one to apply for.

thanks and im sorry to ask so many questions!!
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by justizzy)
Hi! im a uk yr13 student currently applying to uni for politics and ir. I know st andrews has an incredible reputation for ir but the courses they offer slightly confuse me.

The international relations BA is a joint, four year degree with the college of william and mary in virginia so I was just wondering what the fees are for this course. would i be paying the £9250 to st andrews every year or would it increase in america due to the higher tuition fees? also does anyone know the acceptance rate for this course? I'd imagine it would be quite low but it would be great to have a rough idea.

Also, because the BA seems to be a four year degree, what are the pros and cons of just taking the MA which is a four year degree (i think) and you get to stay in scotland? im unsure as to which one to apply for.

thanks and im sorry to ask so many questions!!
Hey, tbh i recommend you go or the straight IR degree MA. I say straight IR but really you get to study 2 other subjects per semester in your first year, and up to 2 other subjects per semester in your second year; with your grades only starting to count in years 3 and 4.

With the W&M joint programme, you effectively pay US-level fees for all four years (!) which is like over £30k but you would be expected to apply for a special scholarship for the programme.

Many people love the programme, but it also has its detractors mostly due to the fact that whether you opt for the ABBA or ABAB route, you have to say goodbye to the friends you make. Plus the style of education is very different in the states (US - intellectually easy but heavy workloads; having to study lots of different subjects, UK - intellectually hard but light workloads; only studying subjects you want to do).

Ironically you will be surrounded by as many Americans doing IR in St Andrews than you would at W&M... factoring in study abroads, North Americans account for over 20% of the population, perhaps almost 1/4, with most of them coming just for IR specifically. your IR class will probably be like 70% American in St Andrews.

Here are a couple of articles about the experiences of the joint programme:

http://www.thesaint-online.com/2015/...s-one-student/

http://flathatnews.com/2019/03/19/q-...ree-programme/
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justizzy
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
Hey, tbh i recommend you go or the straight IR degree MA. I say straight IR but really you get to study 2 other subjects per semester in your first year, and up to 2 other subjects per semester in your second year; with your grades only starting to count in years 3 and 4.

With the W&M joint programme, you effectively pay US-level fees for all four years (!) which is like over £30k but you would be expected to apply for a special scholarship for the programme.

Many people love the programme, but it also has its detractors mostly due to the fact that whether you opt for the ABBA or ABAB route, you have to say goodbye to the friends you make. Plus the style of education is very different in the states (US - intellectually easy but heavy workloads; having to study lots of different subjects, UK - intellectually hard but light workloads; only studying subjects you want to do).

Ironically you will be surrounded by as many Americans doing IR in St Andrews than you would at W&M... factoring in study abroads, North Americans account for over 20% of the population, perhaps almost 1/4, with most of them coming just for IR specifically. your IR class will probably be like 70% American in St Andrews.

Here are a couple of articles about the experiences of the joint programme:

http://www.thesaint-online.com/2015/...s-one-student/

http://flathatnews.com/2019/03/19/q-...ree-programme/
thanks for the quick reply!! thats really really helpful advice and I think if I were to apply, I might not do the BA bc even though America sounds great, it also sounds expensive lol and I really like the style of UK universities. Can you choose any other subjects to do in your first and second year or do they have to be from a select group? Also, why do you study other subjects alongside it? Is the MA less competitive than the BA? Idk if that would be a deciding factor but it's definitely a large one. Thank you for the articles!!
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by justizzy)
thanks for the quick reply!! thats really really helpful advice and I think if I were to apply, I might not do the BA bc even though America sounds great, it also sounds expensive lol and I really like the style of UK universities. Can you choose any other subjects to do in your first and second year or do they have to be from a select group? Also, why do you study other subjects alongside it? Is the MA less competitive than the BA? Idk if that would be a deciding factor but it's definitely a large one. Thank you for the articles!!
you can choose anything you like bar medicine. The only other caveat is only one of your other subjects can be a science (psychology, economics and sustainable development can count as either). obviously if you have ambitions to work for the UN or something like that, taking one of the difficult languages like Arabic, Russian or Persian can help. Spanish is probably the most popular language choice with IR, though. Whereas Modern History has lots of synergies with IR and Economics is good for those who want a City job.

the BA is just for the joint programme with W&M and just a select handful of people who get onto the programme each year, whereas the MA is the general term for all other bachelors degree in the Arts - called a Master of Arts. It's a weird archaic exception to the rule and doesn't make sense, but does probably fool lots of employers!
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Steve Zissou
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https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...coming-1345412

Good info that someone found about the number of applications and acceptances.
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Emily141
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(Original post by justizzy)
thanks for the quick reply!! thats really really helpful advice and I think if I were to apply, I might not do the BA bc even though America sounds great, it also sounds expensive lol and I really like the style of UK universities. Can you choose any other subjects to do in your first and second year or do they have to be from a select group? Also, why do you study other subjects alongside it? Is the MA less competitive than the BA? Idk if that would be a deciding factor but it's definitely a large one. Thank you for the articles!!
Hi! Hope I can clear up your confusion. At St Andrews, all arts degrees are awarded as an MA (Hons) - this is exactly the same as a BA anywhere else, they just call them this for historical reasons. It isn't a masters, it is a confusingly named BA essentially.

In your first two years (this is definitely true for IR, varies slightly for others) you have to take an IR module every semester (IR1005, 1006, 2005, 2006), you then take two other modules each semester. These modules can be from anywhere (I took IR, History and Spanish for example), except medicine and some science/maths subjects that have prerequsities (e.g. having done maths A Level). In third and fourth year you take only IR modules (unless you've decided to become joint honours with one of the subjects you studied in first and second year, then you'd do half and half).

The IR BA International Honours program (with William and Mary) is a different thing altogether, very cool sounding from what I've heard, but not your typical British undergrad experience. Incidentally, if you want to study abroad but don't feel like paying US fees, you will have the opportunity to study abroad in your third year (I actually spent a year at William and Mary), without having to pay US fees.

Hope this helps!
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