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Advance your understanding of the changing nature of international politics , the impact of globalisation, the rise of global governance, the politics of human rights and other significant topics in international politics.

Introducing your course

Developments in global and international politics have significant consequences for how states interact with each other, how they maintain security and avoid conflict, and how they deal with complex issues such as migration and the emergence of new global powers. The MSc in International Politics degree from the University of Southampton enables you to expand your understanding of contemporary global and international politics, while also honing research skills which are highly valued by employers.

Graduates from this MSc are well placed to pursue careers in both national and international political institutions and organizations, think tanks, advocacy organizations, the civil service, and further research.


The programme is designed both to equip students to undertake independent research in international politics and to develop skills that are of relevance to a broad range of careers in the public or private sector.

The aims of the programme are to provide you with:

  • knowledge and understanding the main approaches to the study of international politics
  • knowledge and understanding of the main issues and events that challenge contemporary understandings of international politics
  • knowledge and understanding of philosophical and methodological debates in the study of politics and international relations
  • the skills necessary to design and complete a dissertation on a specialist topic in the field of international politics

All of our MSc programmes endeavour to develop your subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and provide opportunities for you to shape your own degree trajectory through optional module selection. In addition, all our MSc programmes aim to help you gain:

  • Awareness of the changing nature of the contemporary political world, and the complex challenges presented by phenomena such as globalisation
  • Awareness of the basic theoretical concepts common to advanced study in politics and international relations
  • Key research skills, such as the ability to search for and reference sources, and to manage complex empirical or theoretical information
  • The capacity for critical thinking and independent study
  • The ability to work in groups
  • Presentation skills

In addition to the credit-bearing modules you will take as part of your chosen programme, all MSc students participate in our bespoke training workshops, led by the MSc Coordinator, and specifically designed to help you get the best grades you can on during your masters study with us:

MSc Coursework Workshop (Semester 1)

This workshop explains the expectations and demands of coursework in our masters programmes, delineates the critical thinking, research and writing skills required, outlines the processes associated with literature reviews and coursework planning, and the rules about academic integrity. The workshop is designed to give practical support to students as they approach their coursework tasks, help UK/EU students understand the specific expectations we have at masters level, and help overseas students unfamiliar with higher education in this country get a better sense of what is expected.

MSc Dissertation Workshop (Semester 2)

This workshop helps students begin the process of thinking about and planning for their MSc dissertation. It provides guidance on topic selection, generation of research questions, aims of the literature review, the role of primary research, dissertation structure, writing advice, and the role of the supervisor. The workshop also offers practical advice from academics about how to produce an original piece of work, the role of depth over breadth, and how to craft convincing arguments.

View the programme specification document for this course

Visit the International Politics - MSc/PGDip page on the University of Southampton website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Southampton

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