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Global Cooperation and Security MSc


Course Description

Our MSc degree explores the theory and practice of how individuals, states, and political institutions manage conflict, and develop cooperation in international relations. The programme considers how political communities with different values, cultures, histories, and security conceptions can build trust in a global system.

You will gain a multidisciplinary understanding of key global security challenges (e.g. climate change, nuclear proliferation, transnational terrorism, and intractable conflicts inside and across state borders) and cover debates in International Relations, Political Psychology and Security Studies.

Topics and issues examined include:

The Security Dilemma.
Face-to-face diplomacy.
Peace building, alliances and institutions
Emotions in crises and conflicts
The psychology of radicalization, terrorism, and political violence
Identities of religion, gender, and nationalism
Game theory: the Prisoner’s Dilemma.
The risks of nuclear war during the Cold War.
US-Iran nuclear relations.
The possibilities for avoiding a new Cold War with China.

Our students explore cutting edge scholarship through three core modules: Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics, Global Cooperation in Practice, and our exclusive training programme on Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation. In addition, our new module Political Psychology of Conflict and Cooperation examines the psychological determinants of political choices and behaviours. Our programme allows for a truly interdisciplinary training in understanding and tackling the challenges of complex international tensions.

Our MSc degree has one more distinctive feature: it is offered by the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS), a world-leading interdisciplinary research centre, in partnership with the Department of Political Science and International Studies. The ICCS has strong connections to high level practitioner networks, which offer summer internship opportunities. Our MSc students can also become members of the four ICCS Research Working Groups: Trust; Political Settlements; International Political Psychology; Unmanned and Remote-Piloted Systems.

Who is the programme for?

Our MSc degree is designed for students interested in international relations, political psychology and security studies. Our students share a common goal: to advance their academic training, establish a policy-related career, work in government, international organizations and NGOs, or serve as mediators, negotiators and diplomats to address intractable conflicts at all levels of world politics.

About the School of Government and Society

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and International centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.

Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

POLSIS: The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), one of the largest and most academically vibrant departments of Political Science and International Studies in the UK. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) Politics and International Studies at Birmingham was ranked the 6th best in the power rankings highlighting the large number of staff in POLSIS producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

IDD: Be part of global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribute to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Help build capacity of nations and communities to adapt to climate change. Study with us to gain the skills and knowledge essential for working in international development in the 21st Century.

INLOGOV: The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. We enrich the world of local public service with research evidence and innovative ideas, making a positive difference.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Global Cooperation and Security MSc page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

For the MSc programme you require a good Honours degree or its equivalent. For those whose first language is not English, an IELTS Certificate is required. Entry at Graduate Diploma level is possible for those with a reasonable first degree. Graduate Diploma students can upgrade to the Msc on satisfactory examination performance.

Course Fees

£7,290 FT (Home/EU students) £3,645 PT (Home/EU students) £16,380 FT (Overseas students)


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