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University of St Andrews: International Relations

Institution University of St Andrews View institution profile
Department International Relations
Telephone 01334 462945
Study type Research


The School of International Relations has been placed among the very best in the UK for the quality of its research, in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF assesses the significance, reach and impact of research carried out by academic staff, as well as the quality of the research environment supporting institutional research activities and postgraduate research supervision. A total of 56 UK universities were submitted to the panel. Our research is focused around three broad themes:

  1. One central theme, for both the field and the School, has always been how we should understand and think about conflict, peace and security. At St Andrews, this includes research on political violence and terrorism, international security, conflict between (and within) state and non-state actors, institutional responses to conflict, post-war reconstruction, normative theories of war and peace, human rights, regional tensions, the social construction of conflict, and the political economy of peace and violence.
  2. A second central theme has been how we should understand the evolving character of global and supra-national institutions. This encompasses work on formal international institutions (e.g. the UN, regional associations), on regimes (environment, non-proliferation, on ideas about and practices of global order (the rise of great powers, the possibilities of global constitutionalism and global justice), and the interface between international relations and international law.
  3. A third theme is the interpenetration of civil societies and international relations, encompassing work on religion and politics, debates around trauma and memorialisation, work on the ways in which ‘hidden actors’ are represented and understood in international relations (e.g. children), ideas and practices revolving around human rights politics, and the politics of resistance in the global south.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Master of Philosophy - MPhil

The University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews

  • Scotland’s first university
  • Over 120 postgraduate courses.
  • Top 100 in the world (QS World University Rankings 2023)
  •  Scottish University of the Year (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)
  • Top for Student Experience in the UK (NSS 2022).
  •  92% of students in work or further study within 6 months of graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2018-19)


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Studying in St Andrews is a unique and rewarding experience that will take your skills and knowledge to the next level. With taught masters courses, research degrees and …

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