“I have always been interested in how society works and curious about the world around me so international relations suited me perfectly.” - Sofia Andersson, former student.
World politics is constantly evolving. The preconditions for international peace and security as well as human security are changing. New patterns of cooperation and conflict are developing on the regional as well as the global level. The bachelor's programme in International Relations develops your skills in analysing and reflecting upon central questions in current international relations.
During the programme you will learn about the current workings of international relations as well as recent key trends. You will also learn about predominant theoretical perspectives and central concepts upon which the International Relations discipline rests, and develop your ability to use these for independent analysis.
In addition to compulsory courses, you will also have the opportunity to do an internship or take optional courses in Sweden or abroad. This means you are able to get valuable practical experience in international relations, as well as the possibility to develop and create networks and contacts with relevant organisations. Former students have interned at emabassies, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations.
This programme provides a good foundation for further studies at the master's level. You will also be able to work with a whole array of issues related to international relations, such as foreign policy, international aid, development, international cooperation, conflict prevention and human rights. Potential employers could be the diplomatic service, local and national administrations, non-governmental organisations and international organisations.
At the Department of Global Political Studies, students have the opportunity to undertake an internship during one semester. Read more about the course Internship
Sofia Andersson, 26 years old, graduated from the International Relations bachelor's degree programme in 2013. Since then she has managed to do an internship at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.
Why did you want to study international relations?
“I have always been interested in how society works and curious about the world around me so international relations suited me perfectly. I have continued on the social sciences and international relations track to learn more but I have not become specialised in one region or one type of issue. I like the breadth!”
How would you describe the course?
“It is a course which gives you a solid base to build on. I was given a lot of theoretical knowledge in political theory and perspectives on international policy. I really appreciated how the students were encouraged to think critically and analyse social phenomena and movements. This is of great use to me now.”
What other things did you learn in your studies which are useful to you today?
“Now I am able to see how theory becomes practice. It is visible in the United Nations negotiations, in the Security Council debates and in how Swedish trade policy is designed. This means I have the tools I need with me to understand the world around me.”
What happened at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm?
“Things were hectic in New York. I was part of the security policy team and my job was to monitor the Middle East, North Africa and Ukraine among others, in order to report what was said in the Security Council meetings and the General Assembly to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.”
“At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm I work with international business promotion. It is quite different from security policy but it is also very exciting. It is more apparent that I am working in a politically controlled organisation and the work is more focused on implementing government policy. We work to create better opportunities for foreign investment in Sweden and for establishments abroad. It is not something that people think about, but import and export is also very much about relations between countries.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I want to get more experience! I am planning to go abroad again somehow, either through voluntary work or as an expatriate. I am also curious about diplomatic life and want to apply to the Ministry for Foreign Affair's diplomatic programme. I have also started learning Russian and I want to continue with that.”
Telmen Tamir came from Mongolia to study International Relations. Meeting Swedish culture and the way of studying was a whole new experience.
“The studies are very interesting. It´s all very new to me. Interaction among students and teachers is very extensive both during lectures and within the university. I like that the teachers are like our friends. We learn about what is happening in the world both politically and socially. Education is the most powerful tool we can use. Houses, cars, objects can be taken away from you, but no one can take away your knowledge. It is the best investment you can make.
The reason he started studying International Relations is partly his ambition.
“I have always wanted to go deeper into what happens in the world.
Partly, it is also Telmen´s parents' influence. Both his brother and mother have studied International Relations.
“Globalisation has such a big impact on the whole world, so it is very important to have knowledge about the outside world. Take, for instance, the situation in the Ukraine; it is important to have background information on how the problems started in order to provide a solution.
Telmen Tamir plans to do his internship at the Mongolian Embassy in Stockholm. He has already met the representatives of the embassy.
“They are very open and welcoming. They told me that they really need a person to help them out since they are so few and have a lot of work. For me it will be a great opportunity to apply theories to real life.
After he receives his Bachelor degree Telmen would like to return to his native country, Mongolia. But before that he will continue with further studies for a master’s degree in the field of International Relations.
“I love Sweden, but Sweden doesn´t need me. But my country is a developing country and they need people with knowledge in this field. Mongolia needs me! And I aim to look for work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia. Perhaps later I will return to Sweden and work as ambassador of Mongolia, improving relations between Sweden, Scandinavian countries and Mongolia.
Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2016
The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department Department of Global Political Studies.