The Student Room Group
School of Oriental and African Studies
London

Study BA Politics or BA International Relations at SOAS?

Hi,

I’m conflicted on wether or not I should study politics or IR at SOAS as initially I applied for History and IR together. However, I’m reconsidering doing IR as I feel as though I’m leaning more towards learning about the domestic conflicts and oppression within individual countries which Politics could better provide (especially for year 2 study though IR is also great). Politics year 1 is also good but I’m still very interested in learning about war and international conflict that IR teaches.

Should I just stick to doing IR and History together as IR and politics would overlap anyway? And could someone tell me what a Politics degree would mostly entail with its main differences to doing an IR degree?

Thanks!
Reply 1
Also, I forgot to specify that I would like to primarily focus on the Middle East! So any insight on SOAS Middle Eastern modules would be great for both subjects!!
School of Oriental and African Studies
London
Original post by Anonymous
Hi,

I’m conflicted on wether or not I should study politics or IR at SOAS as initially I applied for History and IR together. However, I’m reconsidering doing IR as I feel as though I’m leaning more towards learning about the domestic conflicts and oppression within individual countries which Politics could better provide (especially for year 2 study though IR is also great). Politics year 1 is also good but I’m still very interested in learning about war and international conflict that IR teaches.

Should I just stick to doing IR and History together as IR and politics would overlap anyway? And could someone tell me what a Politics degree would mostly entail with its main differences to doing an IR degree?

Thanks!

Hi!

I'm so sorry but because I haven't studied any of the Politics or IR modules, I am unfamiliar with the differences between the two, outside of the course structures. I have messaged a friend who studied both courses and I'll let you know what they say!

I would recommend attending an open day, as it will allow you the opportunity to talk to the professors and current students who can explain the differences to you, especially when it comes to a middle eastern focus.

If you want an immediate answer, you could also try emailing a professor from the department. When you look through the course structure, it should tell you who the course convenor is and their contact details.

I hope that this helps for now and I'll get back to you once I hear from my friend. Please let me know if you have any other questions in the meantime!

- K (BSc Accounting and Finance)
Original post by Anonymous
Hi,

I’m conflicted on wether or not I should study politics or IR at SOAS as initially I applied for History and IR together. However, I’m reconsidering doing IR as I feel as though I’m leaning more towards learning about the domestic conflicts and oppression within individual countries which Politics could better provide (especially for year 2 study though IR is also great). Politics year 1 is also good but I’m still very interested in learning about war and international conflict that IR teaches.

Should I just stick to doing IR and History together as IR and politics would overlap anyway? And could someone tell me what a Politics degree would mostly entail with its main differences to doing an IR degree?

Thanks!

Hi thanks for your message. I'm in my final year studying IR and Arabic and I also focused on the Middle East in my second year and final year modules, taking Introduction to the Middle East and Palestine/Israel. I was also able to learn about conflicts, rights and justice in my IR course and yes politics and IR definitely overlap in some of their modules. For example, you can take Introduction to Comparative Politics, Introduction to Political Economy and Political Theory, Global History and IR in your first year in Politics and IR as well as the same regional options in your second year and Conflicts, Rights and Justice, Politics of Gender & Culture and many other similar modules in both IR and Politics. The main difference is that in IR there is more scope to look at international perspectives.

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