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Study international relations abroad

An in-depth guide to studying international relations as an international student.

International relations degrees abroad

International relations is the study of foreign policy and diplomacy between countries. It has a large focus on politics and incorporates some aspects of economics and law, giving students who study it a well-rounded understanding of global affairs.

Studying international relations abroad provides a new perspective on global issues and relationships between locations across the world.

International relations can be studied as a major in the US or in universities that use a liberal arts model, and elsewhere in the world there is the opportunity to study it as the sole subject of a bachelor’s degree, as well as at master’s (taught and research) and PhD level.

International relations program structure

A bachelor’s in international relations will last between three to four years, and may include a year studying at a partner institution abroad. A taught or research master’s in international relations will be between one and two years of study. Some universities will encourage you to study a language alongside international relations.

Most of your time doing an international relations degree will be learning from books, lectures, and other resources with time to discuss this with classmates in seminars or smaller group lessons. You may need to use presentation or debate skills too as part of your assessments.

As part of your degree you may need to produce a piece of personal research in the form of a dissertation, which you will be guided through with tutorials. Dissertations require a large amount of personal study.

The structure and content of an international relations program will change depending on the country and specific university you are studying in. Some of the modules or electives that may count towards an international relations degree will surround topics such as:

  • Global debates
  • International history
  • Political theory
  • Foreign policy
  • International security
  • International organizations

How to study international relations abroad

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International relations study abroad programs

International relations undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in international relations

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    International Management with Specialization in International Relations - BBA
    Geneva Business School, Switzerland

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    24,900 CHF
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about International Management with Specialization in International Relations
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    Political Science and International Affairs - BA
    Bay Atlantic University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,900 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Political Science and International Affairs
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    International Relations - BA
    Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,500 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about International Relations
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    International Relations & Diplomacy - BA
    Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,736 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about International Relations & Diplomacy
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    Religious Studies (Religion, Politics and Global Affairs) - BA
    Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,834 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Religious Studies (Religion, Politics and Global Affairs)
See all bachelor's degrees in international relations

Pathway in international relations

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    International Relations and International Development - International Year One - UGP
    University of Sussex, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    17,200 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about International Relations and International Development - International Year One
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    International Relations and Politics, International Year One - UGP
    Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    13,130 GBP
    Start date
    January, October
    Show program overview about International Relations and Politics, International Year One
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    International Relations (Foundation) - UGP
    Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about International Relations (Foundation)
See all undergraduate pathways in international relations

Associate in international relations

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    Liberal Arts & Sciences: International Studies - ASc
    Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    6,892 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Liberal Arts & Sciences: International Studies
See all associate degrees in international relations

International relations graduate programs

Master's in international relations

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    International Management with specialisation in International Relations - MIM
    Geneva Business School, Switzerland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    18 months
    Tuition fees per year
    18,400 CHF
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about International Management with specialisation in International Relations
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    MBA in Global Affairs - MBA
    Bay Atlantic University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,000 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about MBA in Global Affairs
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    International Relations Joint Degree - MSc
    Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    4,950 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about International Relations Joint Degree
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    Political Science & International Studies - MA
    Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    44,100 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Political Science & International Studies
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    Global Management (Global Affairs) - MGM
    Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,714 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Global Management (Global Affairs)
See all master's degrees in international relations

Doctorate in international relations

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    International Relations and Political Science - PhD
    Koç University, Turkey

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    0 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about International Relations and Political Science
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    International Studies Law - Dual JD/MA
    DePaul University, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate/Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    24,320 USD
    Start date
    January, March, September
    Show program overview about International Studies Law
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    International Relations and European Studies - PhD
    University of Nicosia, Cyprus

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    4,500 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about International Relations and European Studies
See all doctorates in international relations

Pathway in international relations

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    Global Studies & International Relations (Global Pathways) - PGP
    Northeastern University, USA

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    4 months
    Tuition fees per year
    15,200 USD
    Start date
    March, July, November
    Show program overview about Global Studies & International Relations (Global Pathways)
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    International Relations Pre-Master's Programme - PGP
    Kingston University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    8 months
    Tuition fees per year
    9,500 USD
    Start date
    January, April
    Show program overview about International Relations Pre-Master's Programme
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    Politics and International Relations - Pathway in Global Security - PGP
    Keele University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,750 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Politics and International Relations - Pathway in Global Security
See all postgraduate pathways in international relations

Future international relations careers

You gain a lot of transferable skills when studying international relations including critical thinking, storytelling, writing, and knowledge of media law. There are loads of options for future careers, including:

  • Political researcher
  • Diplomat
  • Political analyst
  • Political journalist

The skills and knowledge you gain from an international relations degree abroad can be useful in a wide variety of industries and sectors, including:

  • Global not for profits
  • Finance
  • Education
  • Government

While you are studying at university you will also have access to a wide range of student organizations and social clubs. You may find that some, such as a debating society, complement your program and allow you to meet other like-minded students. The experience gained from being in these extracurricular groups can be an appealing addition to your resumé.