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Politics and International Relations (PIR): About



Welcome to Politics and International Relations at Edinburgh! We’re one of the largest and most competitive subject areas in the University, home to over 600 top undergraduates and 100 international postgraduate students every year.  Our alumni include government ministers, members of parliament, policy analysts, broadcasters, business leaders, teachers, and an increasing number of social entrepreneurs.  If you’re thinking about studying with us click here to find out more.  

Our academic staff produce world class research across several areas. That research informs our teaching but also the wider academic discipline. In the last UK-wide assessment of research we were rated within the top 10 universities in the UK, and number 1 in Scotland.  Some key areas of expertise include constitutional, territorial and Scottish politics, European politics, foreign and domestic policy, gender, political theory and ethics.  We’re expanding rapidly our expertise in the Middle East, global environment and security studies. 

A particular strength of PIR is its policy engagement and impact. Our research directly informs policymakers, ministers and NGOs in several key areas, including constitutional change, human rights, data privacy, public policy and electoral reform.  Several staff play a leadership role in the University’s global institutes and academies linked to justice, ethics, environment, and security. These institutes address fundamental global challenges; the political expertise and engagement of our staff is key to that endeavour.

To see what our students, staff and alumni are up to, explore these pages which link to our engagement on social media, celebrate our student activities and success, and list a lively series of talks, including our hugely popular Transatlantic Seminar.  You’ll also find our contact details if you want to visit this fabulous city, engage with our activities, or just find out more.

Prof Elizabeth Bomberg

Head of Politics and IR

Edinburgh Students