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Unique to Nottingham, this course will enhance your understanding of the culture and politics in Asia. You’ll spend a semester in China or Malaysia - an ideal foundation for a career in the region.

This course draws upon the research and teaching expertise of staff members in the UK, China and Malaysia campuses of the University of Nottingham, who are experts on Asian politics, economics, history and international relations. It is the first programme of its kind in postgraduate education and works closely with our Asia Research Institute – a research platform which engages with practitioners and partners in the region.

Our wide range of optional modules will allow you to tailor the course to your specific interests. The Global Asia module will introduce you to pan-Asian themes such as nationalism, globalisation, environmental challenges, resource politics and gender relations. It challenges the prevailing conception of ‘Asia Rising’ as a new phenomenon and will also allow you to specialise in a specific country or regional studies.

You will immerse yourself in the culture of these countries and take language options if desired. Accommodation will be organised by the University, although it is not covered by the course fees.

Course details

You will spend the spring semester at either our China or Malaysia Campus, before either returning to the UK or choosing to remain in the region to complete your 60-credit, 15,000-word dissertation, on a subject related to Asia.


Core modules

  • Global Asia
  • Dissertation on Asian and International Studies

Optional modules

  • China and the World
  • Comparative Democratic Development
  • Democracy and Elites in 20th Century Europe and America
  • Designing Political Enquiry
  • Disasters, Rehabilitation and Resilience
  • EU-China: Trade, Aid and Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century
  • Gender and Development
  • Government and Politics of China
  • Institutions, Governance and International Development
  • International Political Economy
  • Justice Beyond Borders: Theories of International and Intergenerational Justice
  • The Politics of South Asia
  • Quantitative Political Analysis
  • Russia in the World Today
  • Secret Intelligence and International Security
  • Special Project A
  • Special Project B
  • Terrorism and Insurgencies
  • Theories and Concepts in International Relations
  • The Theory and Practice of Diplomacy
  • War, Peace and Terror


Spring semester, Ningbo Campus

60 credits of appropriate modules, such as:

  • China in International Relations
  • Global Development Politics


Spring semester, Malaysia Campus

60 credits of appropriate modules, such as:

  • Human Security
  • The International Relations of South East Asia

Careers and professional development

This course is ideal if you wish to pursue a professional career in Asia, whether you are mid-career and wish to change direction, aiming to move into policy areas, or interested in taking time out to make sense of your day-to-day policy activities.

It does not presuppose any knowledge of the region. However, modules are designed to enable those who have previous experience of living or working in Asia to expand and build on their existing knowledge.

The semester you spend in China or Malaysia will make you particularly attractive to employers which are seeking graduates with cultural and political experience. This course will develop your skills for a career in a range of fields, such as:

  • academia
  • civil service
  • international cultural exchange
  • international organisations
  • journalism
  • ministerial advising
  • non-governmental organisations
  • policy research

Employability and average starting salary

95.2% of postgraduates from the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £42,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Visit the Asian and International Studies MA page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!




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