Alumni Services

Politics and International Relations celebrate 50 years

The Politics and International Relations department began its 50th anniversary celebrations with a special weekend of events over 21 and 22 September.

Alumni Weekend Roundtable

First up was a roundtable discussion in The Playfair Library in which five PIR alumni debated the question 'What Future for Scotland?'.

The five high profile alumni were:

  • Professor Alice Brown, the first Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (2002-09)
  • Susan Deacon, former Scottish Cabinet Minister for Health
  • Michael Moore, MP, Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, former UK Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for Scotland
  • John Swinney, MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth
PIR Whisky Tasting

Another PIR graduate, Allan Little, a special correspondent for the BBC, was moderator for this lively and thought- provoking event in The Playfair Library.

On Saturday, seven graduates spanning some 40 years, and from organisations including the UN, the EU and the Foreign Office, gave current students some words of wisdom on how to break into the jobs market and how to approach career planning.


Celebrations were rounded off with a Ceilidh, and lots of laughter courtesy of graduate Andrew Heaton, a stand -up comedian based in Washington, DC.

PIR Ceilidh Dancing

Later that day, alumni enjoyed a whisky tasting master class in the Raeburn Room, Old College.






The PIR department is planning further events throughout the year. For more information, please contact Ruth Nicol at or visit the website.

You can also keep up to date by liking the University’s PIR alumni page on Facebook.

PIR 50th Anniversary Events Information

University of Edinburgh PIR Alumni Facebook