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Course content

This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. It enables you to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion concepts, theories and paradigms within the broad field of international relations, drawing lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations.

Students are able to develop their ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. Each study route aims to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, including cultural and local political and ideological factors, which shape the contemporary international relations of the area.

The course also provides an opportunity for studying international relations and in comparative and historical perspective taking account of regional specific political and economic factors.

Student Profiles

“Attending the Master in International Relations (European) at Durham University has been so far the best experience of my life. Indeed engaging in conversation with colleagues from different nationalities and professors willing to listen to your opinion has helped me analyse the world dynamics from different perspectives. Honestly I have learned more in the last year than throughout any of my academic experience. In sum living and studying at Durham has had a great impact on my life to the extent that it made me realize my real potential and what my future career could be like. Therefore I would certainly recommend studying this course at Durham University as it has positively changed my life and it might have the same effect on you.” Luca Marro, 2015/16

“Undertaking postgraduate study is a huge commitment. Not only is it a period of intensive academic study, it is a financial and time consuming one too. Therefore, I was naturally very thorough when deciding upon which university I wanted to attend. Ultimately, my decision to study at SGIA was based on two factors. Firstly, the reputation of Durham University ensures that I receive a degree which is highly valued and respected by employers. Secondly, by undertaking the MA in International Relations (Europe) I have been able to develop an area specialisation and study a topic which is of immense interest to me. These two points proved fruitful results, when, during my first term at Durham, I was able to secure graduate level employment for when I leave. A high point of this perhaps, was attending the assessment centre for the position only to find three other people from SGIA at the event - you can thus be confident that deciding to undertake an MA puts you in a very good position!” Thomas Knight, 2015/16

As a Master’s student in International Relations (Europe), I have benefitted from the vast knowledge of the academics who are specialised in the European Union. I learnt both technical and theoretical details about the EU. Therefore, as a EU-funded Jean Monnet Scholarship holder, MA in International Relations (Europe) met the aim of my scholarship to develop Turkey’s human resources with trained EU experts for the accession. Not only the vigour of academic staff of the SGIA but also the good research facilities as well as the extremely helpful team of the School Office have made this experience unforgettable and fruitful for me." Asli Kandemir, 2014/15

Course Content

Students will take five core modules to the value of 150 credits and optional modules to the value of 30 credits, 15 of which must be from the regional module list.

Core Modules:
-International Relations Theory
-Model United Nations
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production

European Route Core Module:
-European Security

Regional Modules:
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-Collective Memory & Identity in Post War Europe

Non-regional Modules - In previous years these have included:
-German Foreign Policy
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-America and the World: The Making of the US Foreign Policy
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupations
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-Nationalism Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development of Chinese Business
-Political Ideology
-Region, Nation and Citizen in Southeast Asia
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into four core and two optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Visit the International Relations (Europe) - MA page on the Durham University website for more details!





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