Welcome to the Department of International Politics, the first of its kind in the world!
The study of International Politics is indispensable for understanding the changing world in which we live. In a time of revolutions, hunger, economic turmoil and terrorism, everyone has a stake in how disputes are resolved and co-operation is improved. In Aberystwyth, our teaching and research remain true to the Department’s founding ideals: to strive for a safer and more just world order.
At Aber (as the locals say), you will be living in a vibrant, cosmopolitan bilingual university town, between the rolling Cambrian mountains and the stunning coastline of Cardigan Bay. You’ll be part of a campus university with its own sports centre, a busy Arts Centre; and you’ll be next door to the National Library of Wales, only one in five copyright libraries in the UK.
So why choose our department?
The vibrant, cosmopolitan and beautiful seaside town of Aberystwyth is home to the world's first university Department of International Politics. We are an outstanding place to study the world because of the inseparable connection between our teaching and research. This has made us the best in Wales and a top ten department in the UK for both student satisfaction in politics with our students giving us a rating of 95% (NSS 2017) and for research excellence (REF2014).
Beyond the UK we in the top 40 worldwide for our academic reputation in politics and international studies (QS World University Rankings by subject 2017). Once you graduate it is reassuring to know that 95% of undergraduates from the Department of International Politics who graduated in 2016 were in employment or further education six months after graduating, that 1% higher than Social Science graduates nationally. (DLHE 2017).
Aberystwyth is a fantastic environment in which to study and the University is in the best in Wales and Top 5 in the UK for student satisfaction, scoring 91% (NSS, 2017). All teaching staff in International Politics are passionate about teaching and researching their specialist area, meaning there is always a wide variety of different modules to choose from. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales, 7th overall in the UK, and 5th in terms of 'world-leading' research (with 44% of research submission judged as world-leading and 32% internationally excellent) (REF 2014). However, expertise is nothing without communication, which is why our excellent academics thrive on teaching. Many of the ideas that make it into articles and books are first discussed in lectures and seminars, meaning students in International Politics can make a vital contribution to new developments in the discipline and experience innovative research before anyone else.
The Department’s vibrant and cosmopolitan learning environment welcomes students from all over the world, and provides a lively venue for contemporary and international political debate. The 2016 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction amongst Politics students, with 94% reporting satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received, above average for the subject nationally. The Department operates a prestigious Parliamentary Placement Scheme, enabling you to gain valuable experience working alongside an MP (House of Commons, Westminster) or an AM (Welsh Assembly, Cardiff) for a period of 4-6 weeks during the summer. During this time you will write reports and speeches, undertake research projects, and respond to constituency issues. The Department also has links with carefully selected universities in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia offering you an excellent opportunity to expand your academic and social horizons by spending a part of your university experience abroad.
The Department is also home to Interstate, the oldest student-run international politics journal in the United Kingdom, providing a unique opportunity for you to publish your work (particularly advantageous if you wish to progress to postgraduate study) or gain valuable experience working as part of the editorial team. Finally a range of stimulating student societies foster a strong sense of community within the department, offering a programme of political debates, visiting speakers, conferences and workshops, alongside numerous social activities such as an annual ball.
Take the time to browse through our webpages and find out more about our courses on offer. If you have any questions, please do get in touch with, our contact details are located on the Contact Us option. If you have never visited Aberystwyth, take the time and come along to one of our Open Days so that you can see why we are rated one of the best Universities in the UK for student satisfaction, and meet some of the staff who will be your mentors and guides during your time with us.