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MA/PGDip International Relations

Start date
September
Duration
MA 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Fees

Masters:
£9,810 FT (UK)
£4,905 PT (UK)
£21,240 FT (International)
Postgraduate diploma:
£6,540 FT (UK)
£3,270 PT (UK)
£14,160 FT (International)
More Fees and funding details.

The MA in International Relations will provide you with a thorough grounding in core issues and dilemmas in world politics the key theoretical debates that have shaped this field of study.

The course explores issues and problems crucial to international politics, which are of international, regional and national importance. It promotes the study of those problems through theoretical, ethical and practical inquiry, drawing on the expertise of a large and diverse team of research-active international relations specialists. It is designed for students who are either familiar with the study of international politics at undergraduate level or who are enthusiastic to focus on this area of study at the postgraduate level.

As a postgraduate student in POLSIS you will also have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events. You will be welcomed as a member of the international relations and security research group. This group includes members of academic staff and postgraduate research students who meet regularly to discuss their own research, recent publications and to organise research events including inviting visiting speakers.  

The course covers both long establish fields of study such as war, security, foreign policy and diplomacy and new research agendas such as rising powers, global justice, and gender issues.  The core aims are to provide an introduction to International Relations Theory for those students new the subject and to ground theoretical studies in a range of concrete puzzles, problems and dilemmas. Gradually, week by week, we will build to the level of deep knowledge and understanding of this diverse field. A further aim is to prepare you to conduct independent research and analyses of international politics. 

Key issues and questions examined include:

  • What is the nature of international or world order?
  • Which actors have power and how is power exercised?
  • Why are there wars?
  • What is ‘security’ and how can security be achieved at national, regional and international levels?
  • When and how is international cooperation possible?
  • Is there a relationship between democracy and peace?
  • Are human rights universal?
  • Is it possible to realize global justice?
  • What are the legal and political condition for humanitarian intervention and can intervention be justified on ethical grounds?

Who is the programme for?

The degree will be of interest and benefit to those interested in pursuing careers in national and international governmental agencies, in NGOs, journalism, the public sector and education as well as those interested in undertaking doctoral work in international relations. In all cases, students are encouraged to work closely with staff in a supportive and intellectually-committed environment. 

Why study this course?

  • Choose from an extensive range of optional modules
  • Study in a supportive environment with research-active specialists in international relations
  • Be a part of the International Relations and Security research group
  • Participate in a range of intellectual and social events alongside your programme

Modules

Our students follow a flexible programme with a wide choice of modules. You  will take two core modules in International Relations Theory and Dilemmas in International Relations. Together, these core modules will provide you with the theoretical and conceptual foundations needed to understand and think about the subject. You will then design the rest of the course around your own interests by selecting four modules from a wide range of options.  The flexibility of this degree is ideal for those with a broad range of interests in international politics or for those who want to construct a curriculum around a particular area of interest, such as security, diplomacy, international political economy or gender.

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022.

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You will choose 4 modules from the POLSIS optional modules list


Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Masters degree fees 2022-23
  Full time Part time
UK £9,810 £4,905
International £21,240  -
Postgraduate diploma fees 2022-23
  Full time Part time
UK £6,540 £3,270
International £14,160  -

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 £11,836 for courses starting on or after 1 August 2022 For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.

Scholarships and studentships

See the departmental scholarships and funding pages.

Other funding 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  StudentHelp.

How To Apply

Please note that this programme is now closed to applicants from China

1 July 2023 is the application deadline for international students applying through the student route who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2023 made after this date. The deadline for Home students is 31 August 2023.

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 online

Our Standard Requirements

For the MA programme you require a good Honours degree or its equivalent. For those whose first language is not English, an IELTS Certificate is required.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International Requirements



International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:


  • IELTS 6.5 with no less that 6.0 in any band
  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

Enhancing your student experience

In the School of Government 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 School of Government students.

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

Careers Network

The Careers Network provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

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