International Relations (Gender) MA/PGDip

Course details: Details | Why study this course | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

In seeking to 'gender' global politics, this programme explores the discipline of International Relations through the idea that gender matters to the structures, practices and theories of IR. An awareness of specific issues relating to broader issues of sex and death in global politics is sought and encouraged through committed and extended analysis of key texts and political practices.

We offer a flexible programmes and a wide choice of modules (part-time students also welcome).

In the Department of Political Science and International Studies we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School. 

Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector’s participation in EU programmes nor to the immigration status of prospective EU students starting in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

Course details: Why study this course | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

This programme interrogates gender in global politics and global governance. The emphasis throughout is critical reflection on the relationship between theory and practice. Students will acquire extensive knowledge of how gender is interrogated within the academic discipline of International Relations and how this is, in turn, related to concrete institutions and institutionalised practices at the global, regional, national and local level, including specialist agencies with a remit to promote gender equality and women’s human rights and gender mainstreaming practices.

The course also covers academic discourse on non-governmental organisations, transnational activist networks and social movements, in relation to the practices, politics, political strategies and advocacy work of a broad range of civil society actors.

Issues examined include:

  • Norms, institutions and mechanisms of governance.
  • Gender as discourse / ideology.
  • Gender as a category in policy-making.
  • Gendered subjectivities in global politics and governance.
  • Social reproduction, production, consumption and economic development
  • Security, conflict, conflict resolution and peacekeeping
  • Human rights

One of the real strengths of our masters programmes is the wide range of available modules, giving students the ability to tailor their course of study to their own academic interests

More information on: International Relations MA (with specialist pathways)

Pre-Masters in International Development and Relations


This pathway is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of the MA content from a wide range of optional modules. This degree comprises the following modules:


You'll take at least 40 credits from the optional modules A list. These are modules that we believe best fit this degree. We recommend that you also take some or all of your remaining credits from this list.

Optional modules A (Choose at least 40 credits from the following)

We also offer you the opportunity to choose from our much longer list of Optional Modules B.

Optional Modules B (Choose up to 40 credits from the following)

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

Masters degree fees 2018-19
  Full time Part time
Home/EU students £9,000 £4,500
Overseas students £17,010  -
Postgraduate diploma fees 2018-19
  Full time Part time
Home/EU students £6,000 £3,000
Overseas students £11,340  -

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.
Learn more about fees and funding.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The Postgraduate Student Loan has increased its maximum loan amount to £10,280. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or visit

Scholarships and bursaries in the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS).

Entry requirements

A UK BA Honours degree, class 2.1 or above in a relevant area.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

A variety of learning and teaching methods are used, including:

  • Independent study
  • Preparatory reading for participation in seminar activities and assessed work.
  • Student-led discussions in seminars
  • Seminar activities including structured and unstructured debate, text-based exercises, role play and debate, analytical exercises
  • Research design
  • Assessment methods include oral presentations, essays, literature reviews and research papers.

Skills gained

You will develop the following skills through this programme:

  • Critical awareness of the relationship between theory and practice as applied to the study of governance.
  • In-depth knowledge of the norms, institutions, networks and mechanism of gender and governance at international, regional, national and local levels.
  • The ability to analyse debates and issues relevant to the analysis of gender, globalisation and governance, and to articulate that analysis both concisely and persuasively.
  • The ability to analyse debates and issues relevant to the analysis of gender, globalisation and governance, and to articulate that analysis both concisely and persuasively.

Enhancing your Student Experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Mathew Clarke, Hamburg MUN (December 2012), "In December 2012 I went to Hamburg to take part in a Model United Nations (MUN) Conference with the MUN Society at the University. The experience was eye opening allowing me see how to apply the topics I had learnt at Birmingham to a real world event. While I had been to other non-MUN conferences, which were not with the university, both in the UK and around the world this was a truly unique event."

Ana Alecsandru, UNA Youth Conference - New Nuclear Realities (February 2013), "This event allowed me to gain an insight into the challenges facing the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. The programme included interactive discussions with high profile nuclear professionals regarding the current situation of the international non-proliferation regime and the nuclear disarmament under the auspices of the United Nations and IAEA."

Georgiana Chiriac, Harvard Model United Nations (February 2013), "Overall, This opportunity was excellent for me and for the entire delegation in terms of gaining knowledge and expertise at the highest level, as well as with regards to personal growth and development."

Read more of our students' experiences and profiles on the school website.


Departments from across the School of Government and Society are all based within the recently refurbished Muirhead Tower. Following a £50million refurbishment, Muirhead Tower offers state-of-the-art teaching and research study facilities including free wifi throughout the building and dedicated study areas for postgraduate research students.

Muirhead Tower comprises 12,000sq.m of floor space between two towers. The tower includes a number of sustainable features including solar shading (known in the trade as brise soliel) to control temperatures, as well as low energy fans; timed lighting to reduce energy waste; natural ventilation systems and a heat source taken from the University’s combined heat and power generator.

The space has been designed to create modern, attractive spaces for teaching and research accommodating 150 academic offices, 230 "hubs" for post graduate research students, teaching rooms for up to 100 people and a 200 seat lecture theatre.


This programme will act as a foundation for an academic career in the same way as any other taught postgraduate programme. However, there is a range of national and international organisations (both government and non-governmental) that have dedicated gender advisory units and this MA would significantly enhance the application of a candidate to any of these institutions. These include, but are not limited to: Oxfam, International Alert, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, Amnesty International, the United Nations, the World Bank Group, the International Committee of the Red Cross.