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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


International Relations: Pedro

My name is Pedro and I'm in my 4th year of an MA in International Relations.

I’m taking Social Theory; Human Rights in International Relations; International Political Theory and Armed Forces & Society.

I chose to study at Edinburgh because of the politically vibrant scene as well as its reputation as one of the world’s leading institutions. I decided on International Relations because diplomacy is something which has fascinated me since high school when I participated in Model United Nations conferences.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about studying IR at Edinburgh is the fact that there are students from all over the world taking this degree, which means that tutorial discussions can be extremely rich in diversity of opinion. 

Honours degrees are designed to give you a broader and more flexible education. They allow you to try a range of subjects before specialising in your final two years.

From first year I tried to expose myself to different disciplines, so I decided to take courses in History, Philosophy and Economics, which really helped open my mind to varied forms of thinking and arguing. However, my favourite course was Realism in International Relations as it was just so intellectually challenging and rewarding. 

Next year, I plan to move to Geneva to pursue a Masters degree focused on the United Nations, which is where I hope to work after finishing my studies.

Living in Edinburgh

Even after four years, I still find myself amazed by the views of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill or by the magnificent university buildings around Bristo Square. 

The cosmopolitan scene in Edinburgh is probably the thing I’ve liked the most. Having had the chance to meet people from all over the world and to enjoy so many foreign cultural events and cuisines has been an invaluable experience for me.

Settling into Edinburgh life was extremely easy: the staff were always ready to help and the International Student Centre was a great place for getting tips from other international students in the same situation. 

I lived in Pollock Halls in my first year which was a good experience, it made it really easy to meet lots of people who are still good friends of mine today.

I worked for EUSA as a barman in second year. They were extremely flexible with shifts, which meant that I was able to take days off when it got close to exams. 

I made an effort to get involved in the clubs and societies at Edinburgh. Throughout my whole degree I was part of the Volleyball Club, which was great for my social life. I was a member of the Model United Nations Society, which enabled me to travel to conferences both in the UK and abroad. I was also President of the Politics and International Relations Society, which was definitely one of the most rewarding extra-curricular experiences I’ve had. 

Pedro Rocha