Our programme gives you the opportunity to delve into one of three specialist areas of International Relations.
You will master key skills in political science that enable you to explore the links between local, national and international structures, and critically evaluate key contemporary debates in the field of international relations.
The MSc International Relations programme is offered via two pathways. The International Relations pathway examines key issues in the contemporary international system and processes of global governance.
Secondly, the innovative International Intervention pathway deepens your understanding of this complex area and includes a placement option, allowing you to spend three months working in international politics.
There are a set of common compulsory modules for all pathways, in addition to two compulsory modules for your chosen pathway, and three optional modules from a range of international or European politics topics.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year, until a total of eight is reached. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation or placement.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Our MSc programme in International Relations is a great stepping stone in your career development, whatever your plans.
Through its assessed, three-month placement, the International Intervention pathway offers an excellent opportunity to enhance a wide range of transferable skills and build personal networks which will significantly enhance your employment opportunities upon graduation.
Students from the School have gone on to a wide range of employment choices. These include working for international organisations, national and local government, lobby groups and non-governmental organisations, as well as private businesses and media organisations.
We also offer doctoral supervision in a wide range of political subjects for talented students who wish to continue their studies.
The programme aims to:
Knowledge and understanding
Upon completion of the programme, students will have:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Students will be able to:
Professional practical skills
Students will gain the ability to:
Key / transferable skills
Students will have the skills to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Digital signal processing (DSP) is at the core of the communications revolution. Research is constantly being carried out to develop new DSP algorithms, allowing mobile broadband services, ‘Internet of Things’ applications and other technologies to be delivered to a growing number of users.
This programme will give you a thorough understanding of different aspects of DSP and as it relates to the communications landscape, as well as specialist knowledge from your choice of optional modules.
Our DSP lab will give you hands-on experience using the DSP technology that can be found in computers, cellular phones, GPS and other technologies, and you’ll learn from expert researchers at the forefront of their fields.
You’ll also benefit from specialist industrial lectures, allowing you to relate the theoretical and design aspects of communications and signal processing to practical problems and real-world constraints.
Our School is an exciting and stimulating environment where you’ll learn from leading researchers in specialist facilities. These include our Keysight Technologies wireless communications lab, as well as labs for embedded systems, power electronics and drives, ultrasound and bioelectronics.
There’s also a Terahertz photonics lab, class 100 semiconductor cleanroom, traffic generators and analysers, FPGA development tools, sensor network test beds. We have facilities for electron-beam lithography and ceramic circuit fabrication – and a III-V semiconductor molecular beam epitaxy facility. The Faculty is also home to the £4.3 million EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, set to make us a world leader in robot design and construction.
Throughout the year you’ll study a set of core modules that give you an in-depth understanding of DSP, wireless communications, different optical communications networks and the complex issues around network security. If you don’t have any experience of c-programming you’ll also take a module that develops these skills; alternatively, you can choose between this module and another on software development.
You’ll also select optional modules that are tailored to your own interests or career plans – you could focus on embedded microprocessor systems, high-speed internet architecture or other topics. To build your understanding of the global electronics industry, you’ll also complete a dissertation. This could take the form of a business, manufacturing or outsourcing plan, a proposal for research funding or an essay on a specific aspect of the industry.
Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Communications and Signal Processing module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects on the MSc in Communications and Signal Processing include:
On completing this course, you will have obtained the skills that will lead to employment in any area of the communications/signal processing industry including optical networking, DSP design and implementation, cellular mobile, RF planning, broadband systems and general communications research and development.
Graduates from our School have gone on to work for organisations such as the National Grid, Ericsson Telecommunications, Cisco Systems, AECOM, Deep Sea Electronics, Huawei, Intel Corp., the Technology and Strategy Board and many more.
This course is also an excellent base from which to pursue a PhD and possibly an academic career.