Make your mark on global affairs

If you’re passionate about making a positive contribution to global affairs, there’s no better start than a qualification in development studies or international relations from the UK. 

Studying under some of the world’s leading thinkers in both fields, you’ll be given a thorough understanding of the critical social and political issues surrounding global organisations and governments today, along with the analytical skills you need to step into a career on the world stage.

What is development studies? 

Development studies is a branch of social studies that focuses on international development and humanitarian action. It spans a wide range of complex and important global issues, including migration, conflict, political ecology and aid.

Students on development studies try to understand the nature of the world as it will soon be, tying to answer difficult challenges such as how conflict can be avoided, and how populations can be protected and developed. 

What is international relations? 

International relations is a specialist area of study within political science that looks at the ways that countries, NGOs and multinational companies coexist in an increasingly globalised way. 

By examining the relationships between countries and the critical issues facing global development – such as human rights, conflict, and integration – you’ll develop the skills necessary to play a role in diplomatic and international relations around the world. 

Why you should choose the UK 

The UK is home to some of the best minds and the best courses in development studies and international relations anywhere in the world. Six of the QS top ten universities for development studies and three of the top ten for international relations  are right here in the UK.

Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate or post-graduate level qualification, UK courses offer innovative, interdisciplinary teaching with the flexibility to hone your learning towards the career of your choice. The UK’s diverse multicultural atmosphere means you’ll also be exposed to a wide range of international perspectives from day one. 

What will you be learning? 

Development studies

Throughout your development studies course you will explore the relationships between social, political and economic change around the world. 

From broad questions such as the role of aid and NGOs in developing countries to looking at the ways conflict impacts specific regions and the history of the global economy, you’ll develop a rigorous understanding of the major touchpoints and key themes facing human development around the globe.  

International relations

During an international relations degree you will acquire deep understanding of all aspects of the international landscape at the highest level. From security to international theory, public policy, economic trends, social issues, international law. You’ll be challenged every step of the way as you cultivate strong critical skills on historic and current issues.

Tailor your learning as you go

Because of the UK’s innovative approach to teaching, you’ll gain increasing flexibility as you proceed through your choice of modules, to tailor your learning to the career you want. Your progress throughout will be assessed in a wide range of ways, from presentations to interactive lectures. 

Take your career anywhere 

A development studies degree is the ideal start for anyone wanting to work for an aid organisation, international charity or non-governmental organisation (NGO), but in no way does it limit you to these kinds of roles. 

Many UK development studies graduates go on to work in all kinds of settings, from journalism to private sector development, government and research-based roles as well as for large global bodies such as the UN, the World Bank and UNICEF. 

Similarly, a degree in international relations will give you the world-class knowledge and analytical skills to enter all manner of career paths, from diplomat, analyst or lobbyist to roles in politics, economics or the media. 

With such a broad skillset and a globally-respected UK degree, you’ll leave your degree with extremely diverse of career options ready to work anywhere in the world.

What are the typical entry requirements for development studies?

Undergraduate

International students typically require at least 6,6,5 at Higher level – above 34 points overall – to study development studies at undergraduate level in the UK.   

An overall IELTS score of 6.5 is also normally required (with at least 5.5-6.0 in each component).

Postgraduate

For postgraduate degrees, universities will typically require at least an upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent, ideally in a related area such as social science or humanities.   

What are the typical entry requirements for international relations?

Undergraduate

International students typically require at least 6,6,5 at Higher level – and over 32 points – to study international relations at undergraduate level in the UK. 

An overall IELTS score of 6.5 is also normally required (with at least 5.5-6.0 in each component).  

Postgraduate

Postgraduate international relations courses also usually ask for at least an upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent, ideally in a related area such as politics, international relations, or the social sciences.   

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