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What’s the Best UK University For International Relations? There are several top UK schools for International Relations. But how do you know which one is best for you? It’s essential to have an idea early on.

Why? So you can prepare ahead of time. You wouldn’t want to achieve the wrong requirements and forfeit your chances of getting into the university of your dreams!

Hence, we make it a point to advise our International Relations summer school students on their next steps in education. 

list of best uk universities for international relations degrees

We’ve also put this guide together to help determine which universities should make it to your Top 3. Read on!

University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is fast-climbing prestigious ranks as one of the best universities in the UK. 

Do you know that the Guardian University Guide 2023 ranks St Andrews #1 in the UK, ahead of Oxford and Cambridge? It’s the first time any university outmatched Oxbridge. 

Plus, The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 awards Andrews as the Scottish University of the Year. 

Are you looking for the best student experience? Perhaps St Andrews is the answer. The National Student Survey 2022 ranks St Andrews #1 in the UK for the Best Student Experience. 

Why is the University of St Andrews among the Best UK Universities for International Relations? Because Discover Uni states that 91% of St Andrews International Relations graduates were satisfied with the course quality. 

There are two International Relations courses are available at St Andrews: International Relations BA (International Honours) and International Relations MA (Honours). In addition, you can combine another subject with International Relations MA for a joint degree. 

What’s the focus of St Andrews’ International Relations course? It’s about explaining the science of cooperation and conflict through the following lenses:

  • International Law
  • Diplomatic History
  • Economy 
  • Political Theory

Are you searching for a prestigious university with a fantastic student experience? Do you want to learn International Relations focusing on the science of cooperation and conflict? 

Then the University of St Andrews may be what you’re searching for.

King’s College London

Do you know King’s College is one of England’s oldest and most distinguished schools? In fact, it’s #37 in the globe, according to QS World University Rankings 2023.

It’s a research-oriented university aiming to change the world with ideas and impact lives for the good. The REF 2021 acknowledges King’s as 6th in the UK for world-leading research.

King’s location at the very heart of London gives its students premium access to London’s cultural, academic, and social riches. It’ll also expose you to a diverse community, with students and staff coming from 150 nations.

Plus, the 2022 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings gives King’s College #5 positions in the UK and Europe for positive social and environmental impact. 

What makes King’s a Top UK Uni for International Relations? The Guardian 2023 ranks King’s #2 in the UK for International Relations. 

What’s more, you’ll have the privilege of studying under the tutelage of expert tutors who have real-life experience with global governments, NGOs, and armed forces. 

At King’s College, International Relations is a 3-year, multi-disciplinary course. Drawing supplementary knowledge and skills from the following:

  • European & International Studies
  • War Studies
  • The Dickson Poon School of Law

Suppose you want to study in London under the tutorship of experienced International Relations courses. In that case, consider King’s College London.

Warwick University

Warwick is dedicated to giving you the best learning experience through 3 highlights:

  • Diverse cultures and perspectives, with over 27,000 students coming from 150 countries
  • Expert academics who are active researchers in their respective fields
  • And intellectually stimulating study spaces that are constantly reimagined to cater to your learning needs. 

Do you know that REF 2014 announces Warwick #7 in the UK for research quality? In addition, The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 ranks Warwick #9 in the UK. 

In the previous year, the same league table named Warwick the “University of the Year for Teaching Quality.” 

You may be interested to know that in terms of employability, Warwick is the #6 most targeted school by the UK’s Top 100 Employers according to The Graduate Market in 2022, High Fliers Research Ltd.

Why is Warwick one of the UK’s Best Universities for International Relations? Because of its award-studded Politics and International Studies Department.

The National Student Survey 2021 and 2022 awarded the department #1 in every category among the Russell Group for Politics. 

With that being said, what’s the Politics and International Studies BA like at Warwick? The degree focuses on the international study of politics, particularly political theory. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn the following:

  • Distribution of international power
  • How societies arrange their political systems
  • Effects of economic imperatives on foreign policy 
  • Current issues governments and organisations face worldwide
  • Why states use violence
  • And if democracy brings greater stability or not

If you’re interested in studying these topics and want to learn from the #1 Politics Department among Russell groups, then Warwick’s Politics and International Studies BA is the right fit for you. 

University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is well-known for its aesthetic campus. Do you know that the CEOWORLD magazine 2016 named Aberdeen’s Sir Duncan Rice Library one of the world’s most beautiful?

Also, the QS Rankings included the Old Aberdeen Campus as #9 of the most beautiful historic universities in the UK.   

Aberdeen is a consistent Top 20 in the UK. For instance, the Guardian University League Table ranks Aberdeen #13 in the UK. And the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 ranks it #19.

Why is the University of Aberdeen one of the best UK Universities for International Relations? Because of the number of choices you can choose from. Here are some of the International Relations degrees open to you:

and more!

Let’s take a peak and focus on Politics and International Relations MA. Discover Uni states that 90% of Aberdeen Politics and International Relations graduates were employed or enrolled within 15 months after graduation. 

Those employed received an average entry-level salary of £22,000. Moreover, 90% of the graduates agreed that they were satisfied with the quality of the course. So what does the course focus on?

The 4-year Politics and International Relations at Aberdeen studies the role of:

  • Politics
  • States
  • Power
  • Governments in a world that constantly changes. 

If you’re aiming for a career in:

  • International affairs
  • Politics
  • Media
  • NGOs & more

this degree will serve as the best foundation for you. 

Soas University of London

The Soas University of London is known as “the world’s leading university.” It has unique expertise in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. So what’s Soas’ main objective? To strive for a world with better equality and stronger justice through teaching and research.

Soas is a Top 50 university in the following categories:

  • For a Best University in the UK, according to the Complete University Guide 2023
  • For internationalism in the world, according to the QS World Rankings 2023
  • (In the world) For attending to the UN Sustainable Development Goals for Peace, Justice, Poverty and Sustainability according to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, 2022

And do you know that the QS World Rankings 2023 places Soas at #6 in the UK for employment outcomes?  

Now that you have a better idea of the Soas University of London let’s talk about why it’s one of the best universities for International Relations in the UK. 

The QS World University Rankings 2022 gives Soas the #5 place in the UK for Politics. And it’s also ranked #3 in the world for academic reputation. 

What is the focus of the 3-year BA International Relations at Soas? It aims to study key political issues in the present world, including:

  • War
  • Empire
  • Gender
  • International Institutions
  • Environmental Politics
  • Global Political Economy 

Soas International Relations students learn to tackle these world issues from the perspectives of:

  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • Africa

By the time you finish the course, you’ll have acquired the following transferable skills: 

  • Collect and analyse information
  • Examine evidence from different perspectives
  • Read and assess complex materials
  • Persuasive argumentation
  • Independent thinking
  • Efficient oral and written communication

Do you want to learn about International Relations beyond the Anglo-American point of view? Then perhaps you’d like to explore the Soas University of London!

Aston University

Aston University aims to be the UK’s leading university for students who aspire to be successful in their business and professions. To ultimately make a local and global impact through superb teaching, original research, and enterprise. 

True enough, Aston is one of the best universities in the UK. The Guardian University Guide, 2023, proclaims Aston #22 in the UK. In addition, Aston Students’ Union achieved the #8 spot in the UK according to the 2022 What Uni League Table.

And do you know that 79% of Aston University research is considered world-leading according to The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021?

Aston University is one of the best UK universities for International Relations. There are 5 International Relations courses you can choose from, including:

Let’s take a look at Aston’s Politics with International Relations BSc

Discover Uni reports that 94% of Aston graduates agreed they were satisfied with the course quality. 

Also, 85% of Aston Politics with International Relations graduates were employed or enrolled in further study within 15 months after graduation. Those employed enjoyed average entry-level salaries of £26,000. 

And 100% of employed graduates said their current work is meaningful. 

Aston’s teaching is constantly updated by its research. Do you know that the Complete University Guide 2023 ranks Politics at Aston #12 in the UK for research quality?

The Politics with International Relations course at Aston allows you to explore major political topics in the following places:

  • UK 
  • Europe
  • North America
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Asia

And you’ll dive into topics such as 

  • Political Economy
  • Security
  • Democratisation
  • Ethics
  • Sports
  • Protests
  • Gender
  • Religion

Interested in these topics? Feel free to check out Aston University! 

Coventry University

Coventry University is dedicated to putting you and your future first.  The QS Stars University Ratings gives Coventry 5 QS Stars for teaching. One of the unique teaching aspects of Coventry is its partnership with Aula.

It’s a new online learning platform that students can access via their mobile devices for an interactive and engaging way of studying. You can use Aula to learn in groups or chat privately with peers.

Coventry is also a Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects, according to the Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022.

What makes Coventry University one of the best universities for International Relations in the UK? Because by the time you finish the course, you’ll learn the following skills:

  • Identify and analyse what problems need research
  • Acquire reliable, up-to-date, and disciplined-based information from authoritative sources
  • Find and examine evidence
  • Construct persuasive and coherent arguments using the right concepts and approaches
  • Negotiation skills
  • Creativity
  • Decision-making
  • Initiative
  • Confidence in independent work 
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership skills
  • Efficient oral and written communication

There are two International Relations courses to choose from:

For this section, let’s focus on International Relations BA. By taking the course, you’ll learn to examine modern world politics through the following study themes:

  • International Relations
  • Politics
  • And Globalisation

Here are some of the topics you’ll examine in-depth:

  • Peace and Conflict
  • Political decision-making
  • Foreign policy
  • Democracy
  • Social movements
  • Human rights

Are you looking for a modern university with efficient online learning integration? If you are, check out Coventry University!

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is among the best universities in the world. The Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings gives Manchester the #9 position in the world and #2 in the UK. In addition, a whopping 93% of Manchester’s research is considered “world-leading.” 

Manchester is excellent at integrating its research into its teaching. It’s no wonder that the Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2019 ranks Manchester #9. What does this ranking mean?

It means Manchester is proficient with student engagement and student outcomes. And they also have first-class resources and facilities for efficient teaching.   

Why is the University of Manchester one of the Best UK Universities for International Relations? Discover Uni reports that 95% of Manchester International Relations graduates proceed to work or study further within 15 months after graduation. 

Those employed receive average entry-level salaries of £25,000. 

What will you learn from Manchester’s BSocSc Politics and International Relations course? The three core themes of the course are:

  • International politics
  • Comparative politics
  • Political theory

And you’ll study a broad range of political topics, such as:

  • Justice
  • Freedom
  • Conflict
  • Power
  • Equality 

Where do Manchester International Relations graduates go after completing the course? Here are some companies current graduates work in:

  • Google
  • Deloitte
  • Thomson Reuters
  • HMRC
  • Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Royal Danish Embassy
  • Cicero Consultancy
  • Ministry Of Justice
  • Essex County Council

If you want to increase your chances of great employment after graduation, make the University of Manchester one of your top choices. 

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield aims not only to transform the lives of its graduates through research, education, and innovation. But also to shape the world for the better. How does Sheffield intend to do this? By nurturing a collaborative and inclusive community. 

Why is the University of Sheffield one of the best universities in the UK? It’s a member of the prestigious Russell group, with 92% of its research considered “world-leading.” 

Also, Sheffield’s Student’s Union has been a consistent #1 in the UK from 2017-2022, according to Whatuni Student Choice Awards.

The University of Sheffield is a Top UK uni for International Relations. Discover Uni reports that 95% of Sheffield International Relations graduates proceed to work or study further within 15 months after graduation. 

Those employed receive average entry-level salaries of £25,000. 

What are some of the topics you’ll study in Sheffield’s International Relations course? You’ll examine the international dimensions of politics with core topics such as: 

  • Political analysis
  • Climate change
  • Migration
  • Sexual violence
  • Poverty and worldwide inequality
  • Armed conflict

You’ll also have the choice to specialise in the subject areas you find most intellectually stimulating. So you can have a fantastic, personalised experience with your degree. Optional modules include:

  • Global political economy
  • Political violence
  • The Left
  • Africa in the world
  • Liberalism and its critics
  • Political Psychology

Do you want to elevate your career potential and have the opportunity to personalise your degree? Then, you’d love to explore the University of Manchester!

The University Edinburgh 

The University of Edinburgh’s primary goal is to make the world a better place. How? By using the excellence of its research, teaching, and innovation to address tomorrow’s most significant challenges. Both at the local and international levels.

Edinburgh is an excellent university indeed! The Complete University Guide 2023 ranks it #12 in the UK. In the global rankings, Edinburgh is #15 according to the QS World University Rankings 2023. 

Why is Edinburgh one of the best universities for International Relations? The Guardian 2023 places Edinburgh at #9 for International Relations. 

And according to Discover Uni, 90% of Edinburgh International graduates are employed or enrolled in further study within 15 months after graduation. Furthermore, those employed enjoy average entry-level salaries of £25,000.

There are 3 International Relations courses you can choose from at Edinburgh:

Let’s take a closer look at MA International Relations for this section. The course examines:

  • Cooperation and conflict
  • Prosperity
  • And security in the international system

To be more specific, by taking the course, you’ll have greater insight into the following:

  • How new ideas and norms spread
  • What role do non-state actors play
  • How the nature of state power changes
  • What the driving forces are behind international conflict and cooperation

If you want to help improve the world by learning to face tomorrow’s most significant problems, you’ll feel right at home in Edinburgh.

There you have it! You’re now better informed about the best UK universities for International Relations. So which ones made it to your Top 3? 

We at Immerse Education wish you the best of luck in applying for your dream university!

How Many Years Is International Relations in the UK? 

It depends on the specific course you take. But International Relations often lasts for 3-4 years in the UK.

Where Can International Relations Graduates Work in the UK?

International Relations graduates proceed to work in a variety of industries, including:

  • Government
  • International Diplomacy
  • Private Sector
  • Nonprofit
  • Charity

Do you want to know more about where International Graduates work in the UK? Check out our article on career paths for international relations degrees.

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