Izzy566
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#1
hey...

i'm asking anyone who does Politics & International Relations for some advice!!! I'm in Year 13 and currently struggling to pick a degree... I cam across this and it sounded cool but I need people to let me know what they think of it!!! like things I should know before doing it!!!

Ok so here are my Q's:
- Pros and cons to the degree?
- I don't do Gov & Politics A-Level... would this be a disadvantage?
- Is it actually worth it? Prospects wise? Career wise? (I'm not looking to be some millionaire or anything... just to have a stable and interesting job)
- Any advice on writing the personal statement?

Be honest and thank you so much!
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Izzy566)
hey...

i'm asking anyone who does Politics & International Relations for some advice!!! I'm in Year 13 and currently struggling to pick a degree... I cam across this and it sounded cool but I need people to let me know what they think of it!!! like things I should know before doing it!!!

Ok so here are my Q's:
- Pros and cons to the degree?
- I don't do Gov & Politics A-Level... would this be a disadvantage?
- Is it actually worth it? Prospects wise? Career wise? (I'm not looking to be some millionaire or anything... just to have a stable and interesting job)
- Any advice on writing the personal statement?

Be honest and thank you so much!
Hi!

IR student here.
Pros to the degree is that
1. it's something that's really interesting and it covers a wide range of topics so there is a lot of room for new discovery.
2. a lot of transferable skills so you can use those skills in a wide range of careers
3. you can study a language as well if you want alongside it (well that depends on the uni)
4. If you want to work abroad it's pretty easy, given those transferable skills.

Cons
1. studying a lot of different things means that there will be some elements to IR that you don't like (for me it was politics so I dropped it and went full on IR)
2. If it's not taught well, it can be the absolute worst, although in fairness I guess you can say that about anything.

It's fine if you haven't done Government and Politics at A Level, in first year people are pretty much taught the first stages so there may be some stuff you already know and stuff that you don't.

As for job prospects, the most obvious career for politics and IR would be government, or diplomacy, or NGOs, or international NGOs, institutions such as the UN or World Bank, etc. But you can take it in a different direction if you want because there are a lot of transferable skills. Hope this helps!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
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Izzy566
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#3
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hi!

IR student here.
Pros to the degree is that
1. it's something that's really interesting and it covers a wide range of topics so there is a lot of room for new discovery.
2. a lot of transferable skills so you can use those skills in a wide range of careers
3. you can study a language as well if you want alongside it (well that depends on the uni)
4. If you want to work abroad it's pretty easy, given those transferable skills.

Cons
1. studying a lot of different things means that there will be some elements to IR that you don't like (for me it was politics so I dropped it and went full on IR)
2. If it's not taught well, it can be the absolute worst, although in fairness I guess you can say that about anything.

It's fine if you haven't done Government and Politics at A Level, in first year people are pretty much taught the first stages so there may be some stuff you already know and stuff that you don't.

As for job prospects, the most obvious career for politics and IR would be government, or diplomacy, or NGOs, or international NGOs, institutions such as the UN or World Bank, etc. But you can take it in a different direction if you want because there are a lot of transferable skills. Hope this helps!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
Hey Samantha,

Thanks for the advice!!!! Much appreciated honestly!!! How long did it take for you to know that Politics wasn't for you - are the modules really boring? How did your uni help when dropping it - was it a problem for them?
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Coventry University Student Ambassadors
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#4
(Original post by Izzy566)
hey...

i'm asking anyone who does Politics & International Relations for some advice!!! I'm in Year 13 and currently struggling to pick a degree... I cam across this and it sounded cool but I need people to let me know what they think of it!!! like things I should know before doing it!!!

Ok so here are my Q's:
- Pros and cons to the degree?
- I don't do Gov & Politics A-Level... would this be a disadvantage?
- Is it actually worth it? Prospects wise? Career wise? (I'm not looking to be some millionaire or anything... just to have a stable and interesting job)
- Any advice on writing the personal statement?

Be honest and thank you so much!
Hi!

I study international relations and I would honestly recommend it to anyone. I'm really enjoying studying it, and if you are interested in stuff like that, you definitely will too!
I don't think you need Gov & Politics A-level, but it would be a good idea to check entry requirements for your course on universities' websites. That way you can be sure.
To be fair, I think with IR you can get employed in a variety of places. The obvious ones would be state and non-state organisations, NGOs, INGOs, and so on. You could also go into the private sector as well. With the globalised world, they need "a person who understands the international world" everywhere.
In terms of personal statement, you can find a lot of resources online on how to write them. I would suggest not writing any information in the PS that the universities you're applying for can read on your application as well. You only have a limited amount of characters, and you'll find out soon you don't have that much space to write. If you have any experience within the subject, definitely write about that and explain how it is relevant to what you are applying for. Make sure to highlight your strengths and you will be fine!

Hope this helped

Tereza
Student Ambassador
International Relations Student
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Izzy566)
Hey Samantha,

Thanks for the advice!!!! Much appreciated honestly!!! How long did it take for you to know that Politics wasn't for you - are the modules really boring? How did your uni help when dropping it - was it a problem for them?
Hi,

Glad you found it helpful! I personally have never really been interested in politics and generally found the topics not interesting, although most people in my classes enjoyed the course material. It was very easy to drop as I chose to do so pretty early on. They just reviewed my grades and also my a levels to make sure I met the entry requirements for pure IR. Hope this helps!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
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Izzy566
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Coventry University Student Ambassadors)
Hi!

I study international relations and I would honestly recommend it to anyone. I'm really enjoying studying it, and if you are interested in stuff like that, you definitely will too!
I don't think you need Gov & Politics A-level, but it would be a good idea to check entry requirements for your course on universities' websites. That way you can be sure.
To be fair, I think with IR you can get employed in a variety of places. The obvious ones would be state and non-state organisations, NGOs, INGOs, and so on. You could also go into the private sector as well. With the globalised world, they need "a person who understands the international world" everywhere.
In terms of personal statement, you can find a lot of resources online on how to write them. I would suggest not writing any information in the PS that the universities you're applying for can read on your application as well. You only have a limited amount of characters, and you'll find out soon you don't have that much space to write. If you have any experience within the subject, definitely write about that and explain how it is relevant to what you are applying for. Make sure to highlight your strengths and you will be fine!

Hope this helped

Tereza
Student Ambassador
International Relations Student
Thanks Tereza - would you recommend coventry?
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Izzy566
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Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hi,

Glad you found it helpful! I personally have never really been interested in politics and generally found the topics not interesting, although most people in my classes enjoyed the course material. It was very easy to drop as I chose to do so pretty early on. They just reviewed my grades and also my a levels to make sure I met the entry requirements for pure IR. Hope this helps!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
Hello,

Do you think you'd be disadvantaged with just a pure IR degree since it's so broad and not specialised e.g. History etc...
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Izzy566)
Hello,

Do you think you'd be disadvantaged with just a pure IR degree since it's so broad and not specialised e.g. History etc...
Hi ,

I get what you mean because I did think about that at the time of changing! I almost chose to do it with law instead but ultimately decided against it. For a long time I wanted to be a diplomat and work in INGOs, so I concluded that pure IR should be enough.

I also think that what you do with your degree is just as important (if not more) as the degree on its own, and also what you do outside your studies as well. E.g. while at uni I've picked up my fourth language and have been working towards getting a lot of work experience (I promised myself at the start that every summer I would have an internship). I also think IR's breadth is what makes it an advantage, and being able to sell that point to employers is key. But, I also think that that's the case with any degree really - when it comes to jobs its all about how to sell yourself to the employer and presenting yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

I hope I was making sense there, lol! I also hope this helps. Anymore questions, lmk!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
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robertafaladee
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(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hi ,

I get what you mean because I did think about that at the time of changing! I almost chose to do it with law instead but ultimately decided against it. For a long time I wanted to be a diplomat and work in INGOs, so I concluded that pure IR should be enough.

I also think that what you do with your degree is just as important (if not more) as the degree on its own, and also what you do outside your studies as well. E.g. while at uni I've picked up my fourth language and have been working towards getting a lot of work experience (I promised myself at the start that every summer I would have an internship). I also think IR's breadth is what makes it an advantage, and being able to sell that point to employers is key. But, I also think that that's the case with any degree really - when it comes to jobs its all about how to sell yourself to the employer and presenting yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

I hope I was making sense there, lol! I also hope this helps. Anymore questions, lmk!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
Hi, are there any particular books that would be good to read to put in my personal statement?
Many thanks!
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Coventry University Student Ambassadors
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#10
(Original post by Izzy566)
Thanks Tereza - would you recommend coventry?
I would! As I said previously, I very much enjoy studying International Relations, and a lot of it is thanks to Coventry University. The professors are amazing and always willing to help with anything you may need. The facilities are very clean and modern, with new places being built and renovated every year.
As you have asked about careers in IR in your original question, there also is great support available, whether that is with internships, placements, graduate jobs or just help to write a better CV. I have personally used this platform a lot in the past few weeks, as I'm currently looking for placement. You can find out more here if you are interested: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/study-at-...lity-services/. I have also received support from my professors in terms of advice for placement!
If you would like to find out more about the course and its modules, here is a link: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/course-st...tions-ba-hons/.

Have a good day!

Tereza
Coventry University
International Relations Student
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Izzy566
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#11
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#11
(Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep)
Hi ,

I get what you mean because I did think about that at the time of changing! I almost chose to do it with law instead but ultimately decided against it. For a long time I wanted to be a diplomat and work in INGOs, so I concluded that pure IR should be enough.

I also think that what you do with your degree is just as important (if not more) as the degree on its own, and also what you do outside your studies as well. E.g. while at uni I've picked up my fourth language and have been working towards getting a lot of work experience (I promised myself at the start that every summer I would have an internship). I also think IR's breadth is what makes it an advantage, and being able to sell that point to employers is key. But, I also think that that's the case with any degree really - when it comes to jobs its all about how to sell yourself to the employer and presenting yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

I hope I was making sense there, lol! I also hope this helps. Anymore questions, lmk!

Samantha, Official UoP Rep
Thank you !! It all seems so stressful!!!
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