Politics and International Relations (PIR)
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Welcome to Politics and International Relations at Edinburgh! 

We’re one of the largest and most vibrant subject areas in the University, home to over 600 top undergraduates and 100 postgraduate students from Scotland, UK and around the world. Our alumni include government ministers, members of parliament, policy analysts, broadcasters, business leaders, teachers and an increasing number of social entrepreneurs. 

Our academic staff produce world class research which informs our teaching and also adds significantly to our collective knowledge about Politics and IR. 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 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 involved in 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 justiceethicsenvironmentEurope and security. These institutes address fundamental global challenges; the political expertise and engagement of our staff is key to that endeavour.