Why International Relations (IR) in St Andrews is so popular?

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Moveslowly
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#1
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#1
IR in St Andrews is arguably the most oversubscribed course in St Andrews. Despite the fact that the course is newly established, number of applicants has sky rocketed till it's commanding AAA for its entry requirement. Let's discuss about the prestige of the course and faculty. Digging to the ground of why students are facing fierce competition to gain entry to St Andrews' IR.

Some quick facts
-IR has been taught for 25 years in St Andrews, new purpose-built Arts building for IR.
-RAE of 5
-A large ratio of Americans in IR, approximately 100 of 350 for 2007 First Year.
-Established several societies for the studies of terrorism, conflicts and etc.
-Recently awarded an Honorary degree to Iran's president. 'A bold move that probably help to gain better insight of their world', commented by Louise Richardson, the current principal of St Andrews.

Focal
I hope our discussion will focus on the faculty's academic achievements, staffs and its facilities. Give reasons why IR in St Andrews is top in the UK and International. Additional information that can be provided to applicants will be deeply appreciated.
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dragon500uk
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#2
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#2
Dunno. Im doing a proper degree in science. /dont spear me
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Bucky!
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#3
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#3
Erm... what actually is IR?

(I'm also a science person, I have no idea about these kinds of subjects)
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dragon500uk
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#4
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#4
International Relations... Its where they talk about... stuff...
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terpineol
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#5
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#5
I see none of you have read the uncyclopedia article on st andrews, it explains the whole IR thing very well.

Its the school of wannabee CIA agents.....


"The University has four Faculties, each of which is divided into subject-specific schools:
The Faculty of Arts has 48,000,000 students, most of whom are Wanna-Be CIA Agents (International Relations) or Sloane Rangers (History of Art). 93% of them will end up working in middle management or data entry.
School of Rocks (usually populated by blondes)
School of Finger Paintings by Dead White Guys
School of Stuff that Happened Bloody Ages Ago
School of Convincing People They're Depressed
School of How to talk foreign
Secret Agent School

The Faculty of Science has 213 students, studying such diverse and uninteresting things as molecular biology, biochemistry and that one with all the numbers.
School of Animals
School of Drawing circles
School of Stuff That Swims
How to recognise different types of trees from quite a long way away

The Faculty Divinity has 12 students. No-one has ever met any of them, except God who has met them all and disliked all but one (who was later expelled and later burnt at the stake for not being Christian enough). It is said they wield magical powers such as their ability to shoot Doritos out of their hands. Divinity students tend to be overweight and non-violent.
School of God
School of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
School of The Life and Times of John Cleese

The Faculty of Medicine has no students at all, because Hugh Macdougall refuses to smile."
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dark<>horizon
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#6
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#6
lse IR>st andrews IR
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dragon500uk
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#7
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#7
Hey Dark horizon. This board is Pro St Andy's so unless you've got something positive to say - shoo.

And terpineol... lmao ... wonder where the forth faculty went
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terpineol
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#8
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#8
(Original post by dragon500uk)
Hey Dark horizon. This board is Pro St Andy's so unless you've got something positive to say - shoo.

And terpineol... lmao ... wonder where the forth faculty went
See the bottom line (I missed a return when spacing it out, come to think of it, I'll edit that now).
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0404343m
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#9
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#9
I have no idea. If you go to the 'is St Andrews underrated' thread, you'll see that the whole Uni has become incredibly fashionable to lots of people (especially Americans, 15% of the University now), and as such, is able to command stupidly high grades for certain subjects. It's a very good Uni, but its results in research, teaching and employment prospects don't make it any better than a lot of other Unis, but it seems to have marketed itself incredibly well in the last decade. Durham's history dept seems to be in the same boat.

From what I know of the IR course, its pretty good. It's not world or even UK leading, but if you get a first from there, you'll still be doing well. Quite why it (and the wider University) is so, so overwhelmed with applicants now, is really quite puzzling. Third behind Oxbridge now for those from the highest earning backgrounds, yet its results (IR included) are nothing out of the ordinary when compared to a lot of other Ancient/Russell/1994 group Unis. I guess whoever put the St Andrews brand out there in the last decade, deserves enormous credit. However, back to the point- I reckon if you don't get in there, and many AAA-AAB applicants wont, then I wouldn't be too disheartened, the grades (again, like Durham's history dept) are a artificially high right now, and there are plenty of depts out there that are on a par with it.
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Andover '09
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#10
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#10
The course at St Andrews isn’t newly established; as you note, IR has been taught at St Andrews for quite some time. The School of IR at St Andrews, however, was formed just a few years ago and as a result much of the faculty from related Arts disciplines were concentrated in one location.

The undergraduate IR course at St Andrews has required AAA or close to it for at least the past five years. Postgraduate courses require a minimum of a 1 or 2.1 (3.6 GPA) at undergraduate.

St Andrews can demand high entry requirements for a number of reasons. It has a number of high-profile research groups. For example, the School of IR houses the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, which is one of the top three terrorism research groups in the world. The School also houses the Middle East and Central Asian Studies Institute, which includes the Iranian Studies Institute and the Syrian Research Centre; these entities are at the cutting-edge of research and draw high-profile scholars from around the world. The School of IR places a high value on teaching and support for its students. In recent years the School’s faculty has nearly doubled in size. Many of the recent hires are younger, international academics on the rise. These faculty members continue to publish, but serve in a primary role as academic mentors. Students value the high level of faculty interaction. As mentioned, the School of IR has a brand new, dedicated building and this tends to attract students. Finally, I think the caliber and type of student studying IR at St Andrews attracts prospective students. Studying IR can be more rewarding when students come in contact with diverse sets of ideas and cultures. The School of IR draws so many high-quality, international students that the learning environment is very rich.

One final note on employment prospects; the reported prospects for IR at St Andrews are a bit skewed. Many of the students, especially students from North America, Germany, and a few other countries, go into counterterrorism/intelligence work after graduation. These students are not included in the employment figures.
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0404343m
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#11
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#11
I see the St Andrew's PR machine has popped up again to provide a totally unbiased view of proceedings. In another thread, the University was equal to the Ivy league, now we have "younger, international academics on the rise". I'll look out for their names with interest in the future, either that or I'll just have to hope I find someone with a crystal ball.
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Andover '09
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#12
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#12
(Original post by 0404343m)
I see the St Andrew's PR machine has popped up again to provide a totally unbiased view of proceedings. In another thread, the University was equal to the Ivy league, now we have "younger, international academics on the rise". I'll look out for their names with interest in the future, either that or I'll just have to hope I find someone with a crystal ball.
Do you have anything of substance to provide? Perhaps you can speak to economics at Glasgow, but you're out of your element when discussing IR at St Andrews. Your post above is full of bias, conjecture, and falsehoods.
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0404343m
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Andover '09)
Do you have anything of substance to provide? Perhaps you can speak to economics at Glasgow, but you're out of your element when dicussing IR at St Andrews. Your post above is full of bias, conjecture, and falsehoods.
No, that would be yours. Go and read them again. Anyone with a spare six braincells would see mines is the unbiased one, yours is from another planet.
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Andover '09
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#14
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#14
(Original post by 0404343m)
No, that would be yours. Go and read them again. Anyone with a spare six braincells would see mines is the unbiased one, yours is from another planet.
I can sum up your posts in one sentence: St Andrews is a top five university that attracts some of the best students from around the globe, but it's all a mystery because I don't like the place.

Something tells me you've seen a St Andrews rejection letter in the past. You probably were not too bothered, however, as Glasgow is a lovely place and the pints cost less.
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Andover '09
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#15
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#15
This is getting off topic. If anyone wants to talk about IR at St Andrews, please do.
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0404343m
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Andover '09)
I can sum up your posts in one sentence: St Andrews is a top five university that attracts some of the best students from around the globe, but it's all a mystery because I don't like the place.

Something tells me you've seen a St Andrews rejection letter in the past. You probably were not too bothered, however, as Glasgow is a lovely place and the pints cost less.
You struggle to read. I've never knocked St Andrews in my posts, you have a chip on your shoulder because others don't think its as good as you do. You write long, gushing paragraphs about how St Andrews has future world leading academics (if you look up the definition of 'bias' and 'conjecture', you might actually get somewhere), has always been the best University in Scotland, and base this on absolutely nothing in fact whatsoever.

One day, you might actually be able to balance an argument. Today is not that day.

Me and my D.Phil application for a topic about Politics, the role of the arms industry and international relations 1902-45 has went down very well at Balliol College, Oxford, thanks very much. No, I have never applied to St Andrews, (I am *so* gutted) but since I'm well clued up on International History and International Relations, I'm more qualified than your average St Andrews boarding school groupie to talk about it. I deal in giving out impartial advice (which I dealt with in my first post, before you got going with the love affair), and have friends and academics to whom I can ask for info about St Andrews, a place that I have visited and even researched in on many occasions. Should anyone wan't any assistance with things regarding international relations, I am more than happy to help out.
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Andover '09
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#17
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#17
(Original post by 0404343m)
You struggle to read. I've never knocked St Andrews in my posts, you have a chip on your shoulder because others don't think its as good as you do. You write long, gushing paragraphs about how St Andrews has future world leading academics (if you look up the definition of 'bias' and 'conjecture', you might actually get somewhere), has always been the best University in Scotland, and base this on absolutely nothing in fact whatsoever.

One day, you might actually be able to balance an argument. Today is not that day.

Me and my D.Phil application for a topic about Politics, the role of the arms industry and international relations 1902-45 has went down very well at Balliol College, Oxford, thanks very much. No, I have never applied to St Andrews, (I am *so* gutted) but since I'm well clued up on International History and International Relations, I'm more qualified than your average St Andrews boarding school groupie to talk about it. I deal in giving out impartial advice (which I dealt with in my first post, before you got going with the love affair), and have friends and academics to whom I can ask for info about St Andrews, a place that I have visited and even researched in on many occasions. Should anyone wan't any assistance with things regarding international relations, I am more than happy to help out.
Again, I repeat...no substance. Obviously others think St Andrews is a top university, especially for IR. If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be so oversubscribed. I’ve simply noted St Andrews’ research strengths. They don’t just have “future world leading academics;” in many areas, including terrorism studies, Middle East studies and security studies, they are world-leading. If you’re about to study military history, I shouldn’t have to explain. Your response didn’t even address these strengths. Instead you showed the shallowness of your argument by attacking me. “I'm more qualified than your average St Andrews boarding school groupie.” Now I see your inferiority complex shining through. Good luck on your notional D. Phil offer…I’m sure that it’s helping you impress people on TSR. Maybe in your next response you could offer something a bit more substantive and worthwhile.
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0404343m
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Andover '09)
Again, I repeat...no substance. Obviously others think St Andrews is a top university, especially for IR. If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be so oversubscribed. I’ve simply noted St Andrews’ research strengths. They don’t just have “future world leading academics;” in many areas, including terrorism studies, Middle East studies and security studies, they are world-leading. If you’re about to study military history, I shouldn’t have to explain. Your response didn’t even address these strengths. Instead you showed the shallowness of your argument by attacking me. “I'm more qualified than your average St Andrews boarding school groupie.” Now I see your inferiority complex shining through. Good luck on your notional D. Phil offer…I’m sure that it’s helping you impress people on TSR. Maybe in your next response you could offer something a bit more substantive and worthwhile.
Give me one quantifiable fact you have produced in any of your posts to this date. I have studied military history at University for five years, and I know far more about what I am talking about than you do- so there is no inferiortiy complex here. I have also discussed why St Andrews is oversubscribed, which is pretty much impossible to argue with, since I used research and teaching figures to show it wasn't any better than lots of other Universities. You ignored this.

I can scan my notional D.Phil offer, along with the equivalents at Durham and Glasgow and send them to you, or whoever else should doubt my credentials. Now I'd like to see yours.
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Andover '09
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#19
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#19
(Original post by 0404343m)
Give me one quantifiable fact you have produced in any of your posts to this date. I have studied military history at University for five years, and I know far more about what I am talking about than you do- so there is no inferiortiy complex here. I have also discussed why St Andrews is oversubscribed, which is pretty much impossible to argue with, since I used research and teaching figures to show it wasn't any better than lots of other Universities. You ignored this.

I can scan my notional D.Phil offer, along with the equivalents at Durham and Glasgow and send them to you, or whoever else should doubt my credentials. Now I'd like to see yours.
Quantifiable facts aren't the only way to support an arguement. However, if you want some numbers then the Times has done a reasonable job. They rank St Andrews as the third best IR/Politics program in the UK:

http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...b=52&x=45&y=15

Beyond the numbers, I've shown a understanding of St Andrews' position in the field of IR. You've thrown out a lot of rhetoric.
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0404343m
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Andover '09)
Quantifiable facts aren't the only way to support an arguement. However, if you want some numbers then the Times has done a reasonable job. They rank St Andrews as the third best IR/Politics program in the UK:

http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...b=52&x=45&y=15

Beyond the numbers, I've shown a understanding of St Andrews' position in the field of IR. You've thrown out a lot of rhetoric.
You just made the cardinal sin of quoting a university league table. Now no one will believe anything you say, if that was ever a possibility in the first place. Lets face it here, you managed to fail to understand what conjecture and bias was, and why, ironically, you were guilty of it when I wasn't. You've managed to make up the happy trio with rhetoric- I've been unbiased and not trying to persuade anyone, so again, comically, you're guilty of that when I'm not.

Are you actually 16 years old? Do you know anything about the study of IR, and why St Andrews deserves to be rated so highly? See the answers here don't lie in the teaching and research scores as provided by QAA and RAE- they lie in the desirablilty of the town and the image of St Andrews, which to their credit (as I mentioned above), they have created very well. There are higher scoring university depts than St Andrews in these areas, and ones which do better for academic citations and research income, yet St Andrews, inexplicably, gets far more applicants. Why?

You miss the point- I know St Andrews is very good, y'see, I've said it often enough. However, by not saying 'its unbelievably brilliant', you seem to have conjured up an idea that I somehow don't like the place. I love it. However, the grades required for what you get, relative to other courses, are artificially high. If you think you've heard that one before, you have. In my first post.

When you get to a serious stage of academic research, quantifiable facts are the only way to support an argument, before you make sweeping generalistions about things. You've shown nothing in your knowledge of the field of IR beyond what could be found on the St Andrews website. The school is nothing on the scale of the Paul A. Nitze institute, which really is world leading in just about every measure. Oh, except one. Applicants per place. Any guesses who wins that one?

Now, I wouldn't want to stop your love affair with the University any longer, when you leave school and get into the University I wish you all the very best at what is a very fine institution, and I hope your friends at home are convinced by how good you tell them it is. For everyone else, congratulations on your offer, for those that didn't make it- don't fret, theres plenty of other schools out there that are just as good.
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