MA International Law, Ethics and Politics

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

Annual tuition fee for 2020/21:
UK/EU: £9,250 full-time
International: £19,170 full-time
More detail.

Are you interested in learning about the issues at the intersections of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics and how they are all interrelated?

The MA in International Law, Ethics and Politics will cover the application of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics to problems such as poverty reduction; international trade; war and terrorism; climate change; and democracy.

This programme is ideal for candidates from the NGO world who wish to improve their academic credentials, and students from humanities and social sciences who want to take Law courses. The course should also be of interest to graduates in public or European law who want to deepen their understanding of issues that they have previously encountered only within a legal framework. This programme can also be used as a route into PhD research.

The programme is truly interdisciplinary, allowing you to explore subject areas through a range of modules from three schools:

 

College of Arts and Law postgraduate scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

I have enjoyed studying a diverse array of legal topics, assessed through different methods, to overall enhance my learning capabilities, while it has been great to interact and study with such a passionate and enthusiastic cohort of students. Being a member of the Birmingham community comes with endless opportunities and activities, while the Law School hosts a variety of guest lectures from renowned figures and industry professionals.

Sophia

Why Study this Course?

  • Multidisciplinary – you have the opportunity to work both within and across three different disciplines.
  • Flexibility – the wide range of modules on offer allows you to both identify and explore your specific interests within each discipline.
  • Small classes – teaching on the Masters-level modules involve mainly small-group seminars allowing you to really get to grips with the learning material.
  • Be a part of an active postgraduate community – although you will work across departments, the programme is based within the Department of Philosophy, a lively and stimulating department where you can contribute to and engage in research seminars, workshops, a weekly speaker series, reading groups and conferences.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.

Modules

Core modules

You will study a core module in theory and methods, choosing from:

Research Skills and Methods

This module provides an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. Topics addressed typically include: critical thinking in philosophy, reading in philosophy, research skills, dissertation planning, and presenting philosophical arguments in written work. You will also participate in online sessions focused on generic research skills.
Assessment: Written assignment

Or - 

Socio-Legal Theory

This module introduces key law and society concepts and theories. The module will introduce students to the jurisprudential underpinnings of socio-legal research, including the classical sociological thinkers that influenced the development of socio-legal research, sociological jurisprudence, American realism, structuralism and systems theory, critical perspectives, feminist legal theory and queer theory, the interpretive tradition, postmodernism and legal pluralism. Students will also be introduced to a range of key law and society texts, projects and writers, and encouraged to critically analyse socio-legal work.
Assessment: Written assignment

Optional modules

You will also choose a total of five optional modules. This includes at least one module from each of the Law, Politics and Philosophy departments, and a further two modules from any of the three departments. The range of modules available typically includes:

Law

Philosophy

Politics

Dissertation or Practice-Based Dissertation

You will complete the programme with a research project.

If you choose to complete a written dissertation, this will be a substantial and sustained investigation of a topic related to one or more of the disciplines being studied, culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation.

The practice-based dissertation is ideal for those who have begun careers and are returning to study after time in employment, or those who are aiming to enhance their employability by obtaining (further) experience within related professional contexts. It offers a more applied, contextualised approach to independent research than the more traditional dissertation route. In addition to completing 160 hours on placement, you are asked to produce a practical output/project for the organisation hosting your placement. This can take various forms, such as a report for internal use, a piece of research, a contribution to a report or policy document, a video, a feature article for a newspaper or another form or media output. You complete the placement with a 10-12,000-word report encompassing aspects including the rationale for the placement, a reflection on the tasks performed, and a theoretical discussion of an issue related to the placement.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • UK / EU: £9,250 full-time; £4,625 part-time
  • International: £19,170 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

Eligibility for UK/EU or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

How To Apply

Please review our Entry Requirements before making your application.

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students to apply is Wednesday 1 July 2020. The deadline for UK/EU students is Thursday 10 September 2020.

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

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

Our Standard Requirements

You need an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, preferably in Law, Philosophy, Politics or another relevant subject. Appropriate work experience will also be taken into consideration.

If your undergraduate degree is in another subject, you are still very welcome to apply. We consider every application on its merits and we are happy to consider applicants with diverse academic backgrounds. Your level of academic achievement, letters of reference, and personal statement will all have strong influence on our decision. We may also require you to submit a writing sample. 

We ask you to submit two academic references as part of your application, but if you have been out of academia for some time we will also accept a professional reference in addition to one academic reference.

International/EU students

Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


The MA in International Law, Ethics and Politics has been designed to allow in-depth analysis across multiple disciplines. 

The programme enables you to develop expertise in a range of subjects. You will acquire a systematic understanding of these along with a critical appreciation of the problems that arise these fields. You will be encouraged to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge together with a practical understanding of how established research techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge.

Course delivery

You will take six taught modules and write a 15,000-word dissertation. We have two 11-week teaching terms per year, the autumn term and spring term. Term dates can be found on our website. Modules run for one term, and each module involves a two-hour weekly seminar which you are required to attend. 

In addition to the weekly seminars, you will have to allow adequate study time for each of your modules. Each module represents a total of 200 hours of study time, including preparatory reading, homework and assignment preparation, and attending seminars.

Studying full-time

You will spread your module work over the two teaching terms, ideally studying three modules in each term. However, this depends on your module choices and it is also possible to study two in one term and four in another. Most of the work for your dissertation takes place in the summer term.

Studying part-time

The programme may be taken part-time and completed over a period of two years. This mode of study is particularly suitable for professionals who wish to combine professional practice with university-level study, gaining CPD points in the process. You spread your modules over four teaching terms (autumn and spring of year one, and autumn and spring of year two). Classes will be scheduled between 9am-6pm and you will typically have two to four hours of teaching each week. You will work on your dissertation in year two; again, most of this work takes place in the summer term.

International students

International students are invited to participate in an orientation course run by the university’s International Office before the start of the academic session. For students from outside the UK, there are also lectures on the British constitution, sources of English law and the working methods of the common law system. The Birmingham International Academy provides a range of support in reading and writing academic English.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.