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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


MA International Relations with Quantitative Methods


You will look at the origins and evolution of the state system and the changing nature of state power. You will learn about the driving forces behind international cooperation and conflict and you will explore security and prosperity in the international system. One quarter of your study time will be devoted to quantitative methods – teaching you how to use and interpret data to answer questions in International Relations and other areas of Social Science.

Who Is This Degree For?

This degree allows you to develop your skills in International Relations as well as ensuring you will be statistically savvy. Quantitative skills underpin effective evidence-based planning in Government, in the private sector and in international NGOs, so your combined skills set will be in demand.

Programme Structure

Year 1

You will take Introduction to Politics & International Relations. You will also take Fundamentals, a hands-on key skills course covering topics such as critical reading, essay writing and understanding the media.

All International Relations students take an introductory Political Theory course (Political Thinkers) and an International Law course (which can also be taken in year 2). For the quantitative methods component you will take Mathematics for Social Science and Introduction to Statistics for Social Science. You will also take an optional course or two of your choice.

Year 2

You will study International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond, which examines how states cooperate in international organisations such as the European Union, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.

You will also study Comparative Politics in a Globalized World. For quantitative methods you will take Doing Social Research with Statistics. This leaves you with three optional courses of your choice.

Year 3

You will study Global Justice and Citizenship, Theories of International Relations and Approaches to Politics and International Relations. You will also have one optional course in International Relations. For quantitative methods, you will take Statistical Modelling for Social Scientists and one optional quantitative methods course; for example, multi-level modelling. It is also possible to study abroad in year 3. If you decide to do a placement, it would be between April – August in year 3.

Year 4

The only compulsory course this year is the Dissertation. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the research skills you have learnt so far. You will have four optional courses, allowing you to specialise in an area of particular interest.

Skills & Careers

There is currently a deficit of graduates with advanced quantitative skills in the UK, with many employers reporting widespread QM weakness amongst their employees.

It is estimated that by 2018 there will be a shortage of 15k-20K data scientists and up to 1.5m data savvy managers and professional in the US alone (McKinsey).

These degrees equip you with the skills employers tell us they need you to have, opening doors to a wide range of exciting and well remunerated careers



Further Information is available via the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder
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