International relations Personal Statement

I am fascinated by the importance of international relations (IR) for regional and global stability, especially regarding the effects of globalisation on economic, cultural and military affairs. In studying for a degree in IR, I hope to develop the skills to effectively engage in the field, particularly in understanding soft power in conflict resolution, political economy and global climate policy. Representing my college at the House of Lords and MUN, I conversed with politicians, students, practitioners, and professors. These diverse groups reflected an array of perspectives, highlighting the importance of considered debate to stimulate positive change in such matters. Ultimately, I would like to work with organisations that encourage alliance and consider a global ethos, such as the UN, rather than with those focused on nationalist, short-term, re-electable policies at state level.


For my UK Government unit ‘Relations between Institutions’ in A-Level Politics, I researched UK involvement in the Common Fisheries policy’—analysing and evaluating both the UK's and EU’s positions; which highlighted the importance of diplomacy in order to achieve consensus and avoid conflict despite opposing standpoints. I was specifically interested during the unit ‘Human Rights’ in Geography and in Samuel Moyn’s book ‘Not Enough’ with the influence of typically western neoliberal values in global human rights ideology. Moyn finds this influence overwhelmingly negative as he sees it as responsible for widening economic inequality, whereas, I argue, neoliberalism retains some positive impacts, specifically liberalism’s equal status for men and women as individual holders of rights. I am interested in exploring further through this course Moyn’s position regarding IGO’s and NGO’s. Through them, western superpowers are given a mechanism to influence human rights ideology, as well as the global economy, geopolitical interventions and the content of global agreements, for example, the USA’s essential veto in the IMF and European overrepresentation in UNSC. I want to further investigate and understand this issue and, in my career, work towards a more multilateral system.


As a mentor for peers in Geography and Politics, I used extra reading—such as ‘Prisoners of Geography’ by Tim Marshall— to nurture a broader, more contextualised understanding for students, and myself; improving my ability to communicate effectively and simplify complex concepts. During the Geography unit ‘Superpowers’, Marshall led me to consider the significance of geopolitics in the global distribution and balance of power. In my degree I will continue to consider the impact geopolitics have as nations’ powers evolve. I’ve held roles including Chair of the Debating Club, NCS and DofE Group Leader, and Senior Prefect; all of which enabled me to hone my interpersonal, leadership, and public-speaking skills which I will transfer into my degree and my career.

My interest in diverse cultures and in globally-important issues has informed my decision to take a gap year, backpacking solo around Australasia and SE Asia. Travelling has heightened my recognition of the importance of IR in promoting collaboration against mutual threats. During my time in Australia, the country’s Prime Minister denied the role of climate change for the largest bushfires in recorded history, while Australia’s neighbour New Zealand suffered from the smoke despite prioritising eco-friendly policies. As events like this occur more often, IR will encourage vital consensus, interlinking numerous states’ environmental policies in order to work towards a holistic solution and mitigate against potential conflict. My interest in and exposure to such real-world issues, and closer to home, the short and long-terms effects of Brexit, underscores my desire to devote my work to IR.

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This personal statement, along with grades AAA in Geography, Politics and Business studies got me accepted into 5/5, Kings College London, University College London, London School of Economics, Queen Mary University London and SOAS.

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