International Relations: The rise of new powers in a globalised world
Source: London South Bank University

“In International Relations, you don’t base your work on hope.” – Federica Mogherini

Wherever you turn, the media is feeding you endless information about current global issues that are impacting the field of international relations.

In recent years, the rise of new powers has flashed across our screens and taken centre stage on many news platforms. For instance, when Donald Trump won the US presidential election and the promise of complete denuclearization by Kim Jong Un.

According to Foreign Policy, “There’s never been a better time to study international relations.” With so much uncertainty and doubt about the future of the subject, students from all over the world are signing up to study IR courses to make sense of its direction.

Acting as bridges between the worlds of thought and action, programmes in international relations are widely regarded as educational investments that help shape the learner and the world.

Source: Shutterstock

To gain a valid depiction of international relations, students must acknowledge the impact of globalization and how it has influenced the cultural, socio-economic and political realms across the planet.

As FP adds, “The world is, for better or worse, interdependent. This deepening interdependence is happening at a time of shifting players, both in terms of rising and declining states and the increased importance of various nonstate actors. Rapid advances in technology will continue to have profound if unknown consequences that will defy borders, shaping our political, intellectual, socio-economic, and military environment in ways we can hardly imagine.”

With the intertwining element of technology, it’s clear to see that the outreach of international relations issues will expand and a stronger grip on the impact of these topics needs to be sustained. Now that citizen journalism is increasingly popular, global news seems to be in anyone’s control. In fact, Google just invented an app especially for it!

That’s why the rise of new powers in a globalised world is an important focus point. Before the introduction of new technologies and online media outlets, the news of election results may have only reached a certain number of citizens.

But as we swim in the depths of the digital era, data and information are accessible in seconds. As such, international relations stories have no boundaries and everyone has the chance to self-publish their opinions.

Here are 5 influential institutions that are leading education in international relations…


As The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year for Graduate Employment (2018), London South Bank University (LSBU) has rightfully earned international recognition for transformative higher education.

Through its accredited schools, LSBU helps students tackle real-world issues by providing courses dedicated to social change and global responsibility. With an exceptional team of educators and thought leaders, your degree will take you far beyond expectations.

Taking an immersive approach, the International Relations BA (Hons) course at London South Bank University encourages you to transform into an active agent of change. By diving straight into interactive seminars and open debates, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of activism, development, conflict, globalization and more.

What makes LSBU stand out, apart from the graduate employment advantage, is the freedom to merge the IR course with criminology, sociology and politics. With a prime commitment to wide ranging research interests such as international human rights and the global political economy, it’s easy to see why this university acquired teaching excellence status.

Source: London South Bank University


Ranked 33rd in the Complete University Guide (2019) , Cardiff University is known for sharing dynamic industry links and thriving innovation culture with its student network.

At the Cardiff School of Law and Politics, learners are taught contemporary global theories and concepts in an interdisciplinary environment in which their personal and professional lives flourish and grow.

During the undergraduate International Relations BA (Hons) degree, you have the option to add on politics and a language. Alternatively, you may take your skills one step further and level-up with a postgraduate course in MSc Econ International Relations, or a full-time degree in MSc Social Science Research Methods (International Relations).

Both qualifications are built on a foundation of political science and analyse important aspects of the digital world. You’ll also accumulate a valuable set of critical thinking skills during your time at Cardiff, learning how to develop a reasoned argument.


This year, the Department of Politics at the University of York confirmed 7th place in the Guardian University League Tables (2019) for its outstanding politics subjects.

With a firm belief in educational equality and diversity, the university is an attractive place to study for many international relations students. By offering an open and inclusive environment for staff, learners and visitors, the department strives towards academic freedom.

That’s why the York Department of Politics gained an Athena SWAN Bronze Award this year. Revered for its gender equality principles, you’ll receive a balanced and fair education while studying international relations (or other topics) at this department.

On the BA (Hons) International Relations course at York, you can request a Year in Industry add-on. As student, Maria Antonieta Fazio explains, “During the placement, I spent the summer of my second year interning at the Mayor’s office in New York working for the marketing and communications division!”

Source: University of York


In 2017, Newcastle University celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King receiving his honorary degree. As the only UK university to grant Dr King one during his lifetime, they have made a conscious effort to stimulate academic research and debate and to “contribute towards finding solutions to the challenges posed by war, poverty and racism.”

By motivating students to understand contemporary international society on their MA International Relations course, the Newcastle School of Geography, Politics and Sociology equips you with the theoretical and practical research skills you need to propel your career.

The department has also been identified for its pioneering research into international politics, geographies of social change, political philosophy and more. While you’re studying at Newcastle, you may get the opportunity to delve into collaborative projects and to devote your skills to social change.

You can check out some of this groundbreaking research at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the Jean Monnet Centre.


As Queen’s University Belfast student, James Pow discovered, “The lecturers are leading experts in their fields, but their number one priority is supporting our learning as students. That came across from the start.”

At the QUB School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, you’ll be welcomed into an intellectual and vibrant study space led by professors who are experts in their field.

For postgraduate learners, there’s a multidimensional master’s degree in International Relations up for grabs, teaching you about contemporary security, approaches to research design and the international political economy.

Outside of studies, you’ll prepare for your future career in international relations via prestigious internships and job fairs. Another unique feature about this school is the Centre for Advancement Of Women In Politics (CAWP) that tackles gender discrimination. This is clearly an institution that has a real-world impact.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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