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Course content

Study International Politics to get behind the headlines as you discover structures and ideas that shape global affairs.

Who is it for?

The International Politics MA programme is for students who want to explore international politics more widely and then drill down to follow their unique interests and specialise their knowledge. The MA is designed to give you the chance to pursue your own questions about the way the world works – and to shape arguments where you feel it doesn’t.


This is a course where you will challenge your own point of view. We probe the ideas that structure the way we think about the world and examine the institutions that determine events. We then focus on how you can use this new understanding to judge global affairs for yourself.

International Politics is an expansive and ever-changing subject so you learn about the broad contours of the field while developing specialisms backed by real-world research. The department’s academics are actively shaping policy, sitting on the advisory board for the Corbyn shadow cabinet, hosting talks on the human right to housing in London, and engaging in study groups around the Obama presidency. This keeps the content of the course effective and current, giving students a contemporary lens from which to view rapid political change.

These are some of the questions the course poses:
-Is the USA a benevolent global leader or a neo-imperial power?
-How does the shift in power from the West to the Rest reshape international politics in the 21st century?
-Can states act effectively in a world increasingly shaped by international institutions and global economic actors?


You may have the opportunity to undertake a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage students to create their own, by fostering connections offered by the Careers Service. There is also the International Politics Careers Day, which explores career opportunities with international politics degrees and includes:
-Talks by speakers within the field (including alumni now working within the UK Department for International Development, the UK Ministry of Justice), UNESCO and the EU Commission.
-Talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators.
-Drop-in sessions with careers professionals focusing on CV writing, applications and volunteering.

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by academics within the department with industry professionals offering insight in the form of talks for the Practitioner Series. This is a programme of talks from visiting speakers and alumni working within organisations such as The Refugee Council and Amnesty International.

The staff within our Department of International Politics are research active, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Often this research and influence leads to policy change and many media appearances. Find out more about International Politics staff.
You can follow our staff’s activity through their Twitter feed: @cityintpolitics


Each taught module is assessed by an essay, either a 5,000-word essay for 30 credit modules or a 3,000-word essay for 15 credit modules. Your final MA marks are derived from a combination of your essay and dissertation grades.

You are required to submit a dissertation of 15,000 words in an area linked to the MA degree. Your dissertation topic will be agreed with your personal tutor/supervisor.

Your work will be assessed by coursework alone, there are no exams. Many students develop their key interest first when they choose their elective modules, then when they write their essays, and finally when they write their dissertation over the summer term.


The structure of this MA means you can design your own degree. The core module 'Theories of International Politics' is taught in the first term. Throughout the year you can choose elective modules that suit your interests. You can also opt to study across departments with optional modules from the Department of Sociology and The City Law School.

Core modules
-Theories of International Politics (30 credits)
-International Politics Research Workshop
-International Politics Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules - choose 60 credits
Typical modules offered by the Department of International Politics:
-Understanding security in the 21st century (15 credits)
-International organisations in global politics (15 credits)
-Development and international politics (15 credits)
-Religion in global politics (15 credits)
-Global capitalism: past, present and future (30 credits)
-Global political economy (30 credits)
-Political economy of global finance (15 credits)
-The politics of forced displacement and resettlement (15 credits)
-Global governance (15 credits)
-International politics of the Middle East (15 credits)
-Global financial governance (15 credits)
-Strategy, diplomacy and decision-making (30 credits)
-US foreign policy (15 credits)
-Foreign policy analysis (15 credits)
-Economic diplomacy (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by the Sociology Department:
-Developments in communication policy (30 credits)
-Transnational media and communication (30 credits)
-Criminal minds (15 credits)
-Crime news (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by The City Law School:
-International human rights in law and practice (30 credits)
-Human rights in the EU (30 credits)
-International criminal law: crimes & institutions (30 credits)
-Law and war (30 credits)
-Minorities and indigenous people in international law (30 credits)
-International law & the use of force (30 credits)

Career prospects

The skills you will take away from this programme – those of research, analysis and presentation – are highly valued by employers. In 2014-15, 87.5% of City's International Politics graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation. Current graduates now work within the following organisations:
-Amnesty International
-European External Action Service
-International Crisis Group
-Ministry of Economy and Finance
-The Open Rights Group
-The Grass Roots Group
-The United Nations
-US Embassy

From government agencies to NGOs and human rights organisations, the course gives you the perfect foundation to prepare for a career in a wide range of fields. You will graduate with the ability to undertake in-depth research, challenge received explanations of topics in social and political life and to examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between governments, transnational actors, transnational networks and intergovernmental or governmental organisations.

Visit the International Politics - MA page on the City, University of London website for more details!






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