Getting a degree in International Relations is one of the key ways you can make the world a better place. You'll have the opportunity to maintain positive diplomatic relations between countries, prevent international conflicts, and make sure things run smoothly between governments in our highly interconnected world.
As an international relations specialist you will have a broad set of career options in addition to politics, including in fields like economics, social systems and the cultural life of communities.
Where to study a Master's in International Relations?Most popular destinations for a degree in International Relations are countries like:
Also, top universities offering Masters in International Relations are:
- Brunel University London, in London, UK;
- Anglo-American University, in Prague, Czech Republic;
- University of Gdansk, in Gdansk, Poland;
- Radboud University, in Nijmegen, Netherlands;
- Yasar University, in Izmir, Turkey;
- Roskilde University, in Roskilde, Denmark;
- Vesalius College Brussels, in Brussels, Belgium.
Careers to inspire you to apply for an International Relations degree
Pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in International Relations will provide you with great insights on political affairs, public policies, economic trends, social issues, law and many more. But what are your career prospects once you complete your degree in International Relations? The most pursued careers in International Relations include: diplomacy, lobbying, political analysis, international law and intelligence.
1. Diplomat - Maintaining good relations between countries
As a diplomat you will represent and protect a nation's interests abroad in terms of politics, trade and consular services. You’ll spend usually around three years in a foreign country. Some of your responsibilities will be:
- act as a link between the country you represent and the country where you are stationed;
- collect and report on all the information that would affect your nation’s interests;
- discuss, negotiate and mediate with the local government issues about peace and war, trade, commerce, economics, as well as social and cultural aspects.
If you feel this is the right career path for you, you should consider programmes like:
- Cultural and Digital Diplomacy at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Italy
- International Relations and Diplomacy at the Anglo-American University, in the Czech Republic
- Cultural Diplomacy and International Events at the University of the West of Scotland, in the UK
2. Intelligence Specialist - Gathering state-critical information
As an intelligence specialist, you can work in the military, the navy, security departments, or almost any state department of one of the national government agencies. Your main duties will include:
- collect and analyse operational intelligence data;
- conduct mission reports, using data, maps and charts;
- evaluate results and prepare reports, statistics and graphics;
- maintain intelligence databases, libraries, and files.
- International Relations (International Political Economy) at the University of Birmingham, in the UK
- Global Peace, Security and Strategic Studies at Vesalius College Brussels, in Belgium
3. Political Analyst - Explaining the political climate
Generally, you’ll be employed by the government, but you can also find work opportunities within media companies or research institutes. Your tasks will be to:
- inform about and interpret various political developments;
- analyse laws, public policies, and government decisions;
- advise government officials, political parties, or the media;
- forecast political trends and election results;
- put events into historical context.
If you’re aiming for this type of career go for degrees like:
- Conflict and Democracy Studies at Masaryk University, in the Czech Republic
- European Studies at the University of Twente (UT), in the Netherlands
4. Lobbyist - Promoting ideas to those who can make them reality
Lobbyists are usually hired by an association, corporation, or non-profit organisation to convince government members to make a decision that would benefit the organisation or company they are representing.
As a lobbyist you will perform tasks like:
- monitor, research and analyse legislation;
- attend congressional hearings;
- reach out to government policymakers;
- use communication tools to promote ideas to the public.
If this type of job is appealing to you, you should study specialised programmes like:
- European Law and Global Affairs at Radboud University, in the Netherlands
- International Public Administration and Politics at Roskilde University, in Denmark
5. Communications Specialist in a non-profit - Working for a better society
A degree in International Relations can halo you non-profit organisations that operate on an international level. As a Communications Specialist you’ll have the chance to develop your career in a local office that has a global reach. Non-profit agencies like World Vision and Red Cross provide such global service, but there are many other options, too. Your main duties will be:
- Creating effective communication strategies;
- Handling internal communications;
- Writing content for media and social networks.
Pick specialised Masters that prepare you for this career path such as:
- Online Culture - Global Communication degree at Tilburg University, in the Netherlands
- Strategic Communication at the University of Western Australia, in Australia
Find and apply to your perfect Master's degree in International Relations
If you already know what area you would like a job as an International Relations specialist in, you can apply for a Bachelor's or Master's programme that focuses on that specific area. However, no matter what you choose, International Relations degrees will prepare you for careers in a wide variety of fields.
Studyportals can also help you with the application process at one of our partner universities. First, check the study options in International Relations offered by universities worldwide.
When you’ve decided on a programme go to the “Apply through Studyportals” tab on the programme or university page and click the “Apply” button. You’ll be able to start the application process by talking to Betty, our lovely application specialist.
During your study, remember to do your best in developing the right skills, such as learning, usually, at least two foreign languages, level-up your communication skills, persuasion and negotiation abilities, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
And, if good communication skills are what you're looking for, then improve your English speaking by attending an English language school abroad.