Department of International Relations

Flags from various countries Soldier with rifle Woman hanging chimes Woman screaming in front of UN vehicle and  soldier Books on International relations

International Relations is a fast-growing academic subject, reflecting the speed with which the world is changing. At Sussex we are renowned for challenging the mainstream approach to International Relations. We don’t just tell students about international institutions, we go back to first principles about what the international system is, has been and could be. In this sense our approach is highly original, radical and critical.

One of the UK’s Top 3 International Relations Departments

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirm Sussex International Relations' standing as one of the top three IR departments in the UK. With 78% of its research judged to be in the top two categories (world leading and internationally excellent), Sussex IR is amongst the top ten departments of Politics and International Relations, and is the only one in that group which has International Relations as its main focus.

In addition to its research excellence, Sussex IR also makes a real difference in the world. All of its policy and public impact work was judged by the REF panel to be world leading and internationally excellent. We are proud to be a department that combines leading scholarship on the theory of International Relations with extensive impact on its conduct.

‘What’s the Point of IR?’

In celebration of 50 years of International Relations at Sussex, the Department of International Relations covened a conference on the 10th and 11th of December 2015 entitled ‘What’s the Point of IR?’ The conference asked: ‘what is the distinctiveness, the value, and the purpose of IR today?’ Organised as a single conversation that unfolds over the course of two days, the conference included a public lecture and six plenary roundtable discussions organised around a set of key questions. The objective was to foster a genuinely organic conversation that speaks to the core aims of the conference while allowing for diversity and enabling useful departures.


International Relations and the Ebola Crisis

Sussex International Relations Experience

A blog set up by our IR Student Society for former International Relations students, or people who studied similar subjects at university or school level. The blog is a way for former students to give advice to current students through sharing their own experiences, successes and setbacks.

View the IR student experiences blog