About us

Welcome to the Department of International Politics, the first of its kind in the world!

The study of politics and international relations is indispensable for understanding a rapidly changing world. In a time of a climate emergency, global pandemics, political and ideological uncertainty and upheaval, social and economic transformation and increasingly diverse forms of conflict and violence, everyone has a stake in tackling these global challenges. The Department's teaching and research aims to inspire and support students to question, challenge, transform and build confidence in the way they think about politics and international relations.

Aberystwyth is 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 of five copyright libraries in the UK.

Why Aberystwyth University?

Aberystwyth University has just been rated the Best University in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Satisfaction (The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021). Aberystwyth has now been the top university in Wales for student satisfaction for five years in a row, and is now the top in the UK.

Why the Department of International Politics?

  • We are an outstanding place to study politics and international relations.
  • We are in the Top Ten in the UK for politics and international relations for student satisfaction (94% in NSS 2020) and our research excellence puts us in the top ten research departments in the UK (REF 2014).
  • Top in UK for students finding our courses ‘intellectually stimulating’ with 99% of our students agreeing (NSS 2020).
  • Top 5 in the UK for Teaching Quality (2nd) and Student Experience (3rd) for the subject of Politics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).
  • Top 5 in the UK for satisfaction with teaching on the course for the subject of Politics (NSS 2020 & Guardian Good University Guide)
  • Top Ten in the UK for Politics and IR for student satisfaction (4th) and research quality (7th) (Complete University Guide 2021).
  • We are a Department that puts the student at the heart of their learning experience through choice and flexibility in our curriculum, allowing students to tailor their degree to their interests.
  • Students explore and tackle global challenges, from the local to the planetary level, and are introduced to dynamic and diverse ways of looking at the world.
  • Students benefit from our networks that stretch across the globe and engage with practitioners, both in and out of the classroom.
  • Students get to experience a range of exciting activities such as our famous student Crisis Games (simulations), International Exchanges and Parliamentary Placements (see below).
  • The Department welcomes students from all over the world, providing a lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere for debate and learning.
  • Once you graduate it is reassuring to know that 94% of undergraduates from the Department of International Politics who graduated in 2016 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (HESA 2018). 
  • Finally, we are a vibrant, close-knit, intellectual community in a safe, affordable and friendly seaside town

Crisis Games

The Department was the first in the UK to run crisis simulations to connect classroom learning to the real-world complexities of international politics. These are held once a year and are the most popular event in any InterPol student's academic year.

Parliamentary Placement Scheme

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.

International Exchanges

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 through our international exchange programme, allowing you to spend part of your university experience abroad.

Student Societies

Students also take the lead in the Department. We are 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.

Find out more

Take the time to browse through our webpages and and our brochure find out more about our courses. If you have any questions, please do get in touch via our Contact Us page. At the moment we are running Online Open Days, please do register and chat to staff and students about studying at Aberystwyth University. We hope to resume on campus Open Days when it is safe to do so. When we do please do take the time to come and visit Aberystwyth, so that you can see why we are rated the Best University in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Satisfaction (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021), and meet some of the staff and students in person.