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Studying International Relations at Oxford Summer Courses

In today’s diverse and hyper-connected world, there's a growing demand for individuals who aspire to make a positive impact on society. International Relations offers a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of global dynamics, from cultural diversity to political divisions, and their impact on society. In this article, we'll explore what International Relations entails, its relevance, and how to navigate University courses in the field.

What is International Relations?

International Relations is a multidisciplinary subject that explores how countries, states, and subnational entities interact. It encompasses various areas, including foreign policy analysis, international security, diplomacy, media, political economy, global governance, ethnic identities, and social movements. This subject intersects with Politics, Geography, History, Economics, Law, Psychology, and Philosophy, often leading to combined degree programmes at universities.

Why Study International Relations?

  1. Relevance in a Globalised World: As our world becomes more interconnected through trade, technology, and migration, the need for professionals who can decipher complex global interactions is on the rise. International Relations equips you with adaptable skills to navigate today's rapidly changing world, making you valuable in various career sectors.
  2. Opportunity to Make a Difference: With a deep understanding of cross-cultural awareness and communication, International Relations graduates can contribute to policy-making and social change, addressing global challenges and promoting justice.
  3. Transferable Skills: International Relations fosters critical analysis, debate, and communication skills. These abilities, alongside flexibility, teamwork, negotiation, and autonomy, are invaluable across multiple professions and personal life.

Applying to Study International Relations at University

Choosing a university programme in International Relations can be daunting due to its diversity. Courses often overlap with Politics, Law, History, and Economics, offering options like Governance, Law & Order, and Public Administration. International Relations also provides opportunities for studying abroad, enhancing cultural awareness and global perspectives.


The required subjects for International Relations vary by university, but often include Economics, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, and Sociology. Always check the specific entry requirements of the universities you're interested in.

Choosing Where to Study International Relations:

When selecting a programme, consider factors such as education quality, costs, cultural experiences, and the possibility of studying abroad. Experiencing a short summer school abroad can offer a taste of international student life.

Writing a Personal Statement for International Relations

In the UK, UCAS applications for university include a personal statement outlining your passion for International Relations. Include your motivation, relevant extracurricular activities, and any skill-building experiences like volunteer work or part-time jobs.

For detailed guidance on writing a personal statement for UCAS, refer to our UCAS personal statement guide.

Career Opportunities with an International Relations Degree

An International Relations degree opens doors to various careers, including:

  • Aid or development work
  • Corporate consultancy
  • Charity sector
  • Diplomacy
  • Government positions (e.g., civil service)
  • Journalism or foreign correspondence
  • Intelligence or policing
  • Non-profit organisations (NGOs)

In summary, the 21st century is a complex and interconnected era that requires an international perspective. Studying International Relations equips you to understand and address global challenges while offering transferable skills for diverse career paths. If you have an interest in this subject, exploring university programmes in International Relations can be a rewarding journey.

Ready to apply for Oxford Summer Courses?

For a once in a lifetime experience, join us for summer 2024 where you can discover over 40 academic subjects taught by expert tutors. You’ll also meet other like-minded individuals from around the world and make friends for life! Apply today and choose from stunning locations in the cities of Oxfordand Cambridge.

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Study International Relations to understand global issues and gain transferable skills. Top UK universities include Oxford, Cambridge, and St Andrews. Opens doors to diplomacy, journalism, and NGOs.

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