The programme in International Relations and Conflict Studies provides students with an in-depth, interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary politics, international affairs and conflict situations in their political, historical, cultural, economic and legal dimensions. Dedicated modules introduce students to core concepts and debates in International Relations and the study of conflict, as well as to the particular European experience of regional integration. Students will acquire familiarity with the experiences of differing national polities and societies, facilitating the development of culturally sensitive cross-national comparisons.
International Relations at Queen’s is about more than just armed conflict and insurgency. It also examines such trends as globalisation and considers the challenge from the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the process of European integration, humanitarian issues (such as poverty, development and refugees), and the role of the media in conflict. The academic study of politics is concerned with the sources of conflict, co-operation, power and decision-making within and between societies, how differences are expressed through ideology and organisation, and how, if at all, disagreements and problems are resolved. We look at conflict, cooperation and its origins, dynamics and trajectories, at theories of society, at the value and ethical basis of political ideas and action, and at politics in different national and historical contexts.
International Relations And Conflict Studies Degree Highlights
Politics was ranked joint 1st in the UK for Research Intensity (Complete University Guide 2021)
QUB students, uniquely in the UK, still have the opportunity to spend part of the course studying in other European universities, through our Erasmus programme. There are also opportunities to study at partner institutions in the USA and Canada.The School also has links with:
Queen’s University’s Global Research Centre,
The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.
Many of the School’s staff are Fellows in the Mitchell Institute, where they work in collaboration with experts in peace and conflict studies from other disciplines such as law, sociology, and the creative arts.
The study of politics is not directed towards anyone's professional pathway, but rather provides the generic skills for success in a number of professional fields including the civil service, media, the charity sector, education, etc.
Placement: past students have gained work placements with organisations such as the following:
The Northern Ireland Service Service
Northern Ireland Local Government Association
Civil society organisations such as Women's Aid
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers, including NI government departments who provide sponsorship for our internships.In addition, the School offers a range of employment placements where students can gain real-world work experience which is invaluable in terms of employment after graduation. Given that Belfast is a regional capital with devolved powers, we can offer students placements in the high profile political and related institutions on our doorstep – for example in the departments in the Northern Ireland Executive, the Equality Commission, the NI Local Government Association.
We also offer work experience placements with charities such as Women’s Aid and public affairs companies.
Graduates from this degree at Queen‘s are well regarded by local, national and international employers and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including International Relations and Conflict Studies. Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in the public and voluntary/community sectors, significant numbers develop careers in the private sector, working in industries from management consultancy to law and journalism.
Internationally Renowned Experts
School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen‘s has over 86 academics, making it the largest institutional centre for the study of these subjects in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK.The School also boasts the following:
Centre for Gender in Politics
Centre for Public History
The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Institute of Cognition and Culture
Institute of Irish Studies
Two International Summer Schools (the Irish Studies Summer School; and the Conflict Transformation and Social Justice Summer School)
With over 30 staff at the cutting edge of research and publication, the Politics and IR unit at Queen’s is the largest in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK and Ireland, with specialisms in Irish and British politics, political theory, sustainable development, the politics of film and literature, gender, democratic innovations, European Union politics, ethnic conflict, and international relations.
Professor David Phinnemore is an expert on EU Treaty reform and EU enlargement, which led to his secondment as an advisor to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Professor John Garry is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of citizens’ political attitudes and voting behaviour. His research has informed governments both in Belfast and Dublin on offering ordinary citizens the chance to have greater input on policymaking.
Our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students. Diversity of Students: we have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.