Study international relations at university

What is international relations?

International relations focuses on addressing key global issue and challenges. Blending a mix of educational fields including economics, history, sociology, anthropology and politics, international relations covers cross-border affairs.

International relations is the interconnectedness of these issues across countries, international alliances and multinational companies and how they impact and affect one another. It can cover anything from human rights to international security.

Studying international relations covers issues such as:

  • Human rights
  • Environmentalism
  • Political economy
  • National and ethnic identities
  • International security
  • Terrorism
  • Media

Why study international relations?

There are more than a few reasons to study international relations at university:

As the world develops, expands and becomes more and more interconnected through media, trade and migration, professionals and academics become more in demand to help guide complex interactions. International relations is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world and will continue to be valued as pressing global challenges present themselves.

As a graduate of international relations you will be able to pursue a range of careers that could see you making global decisions. You will be able to forsee the global influence and effects of actions and advise or impact on potential outcomes.

From studying international relations you will understand the complications of cross-border interactions and deals, giving you a different perspective on current international affairs and how the world of international interactions operates.

Why study international relations at Durham University?

Choosing to study BA (Hons) International Relations at Durham University means you will be taught from one of the UK’s top ranking universities and will be based in their School of Government and International Affairs.

Positioned as one of the most dynamic and distinctive academic units in the UK, you will benefit from an exceptional learning environment with world-class researchers. You will learn in small groups through a mix of teaching styles, including lectures, seminars and self-directed learning.

Cutting edge research is integrated into the curriculum, informing your learning with the latest techniques and breakthroughs. The university's institutes and research centres push key research agendas, promoting networking within the department and global research collaborations across the globe.

Top 100 in the world

for Politics and International Studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

18th in the UK

for Politics in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Key skills from studying international relations

Studying international relations will give you lots of transferable skills that you can refer to in both further education and your desired career path:

  • Research
  • Administrative
  • Critical analysis
  • Intellectual independence
  • Organisational
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal
  • Negotiation

What international relations degree can I study at Durham University?

For those looking to follow an international relations career path, BA (Hons) International Relations provides an ideal route to a variety of international careers and further education qualifications.

You will cover a range of compulsory modules across the three-year course as well as optional modules that you can choose to study.

Degree preparation at the International Study Centre

International students looking to study international relations at Durham University can prepare both their academic and English language skills with our International Foundation Year in Humanities, Law and Social Science.

You will study core modules that relate to your progression degree route and also cover key English language development, giving you the skills you need to succeed at Durham University.

International relations career opportunities

With a degree in international relations you will be able to pursue a broad range of career opportunities. You will have a strong knowledge on topics such as economic trends, social issues and political affairs, which will allow you to follow a number of careers.

Some of the jobs you could follow include:

  • Diplomat
  • Political analyst
  • Social researcher
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Public relations or communications specialist
  • Intelligence specialist

About Durham University International Study Centre

A Durham University International Study Centre student talking about what it is like at the Centre.