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International Relations: Global Security and Development - MA

Course content

Understand how global security and development are interconnected in our interdependent world. Discover how and why underlying issues such as poverty, environmental degradation, societal inequities and politics create the international framework in which security conflicts emerge. Gain a sophisticated understanding of the dynamics that drive global politics, and the ability to use this knowledge in fields as diverse as diplomacy, journalism, finance, industry, public relations and risk analysis.

Key features

  • Gain a understanding of such topical issues as global politics, the rise of religious fundamentalism, human rights, world trade, poverty and climate change. 
  • Take the opportunity to study the politics of several world regions – Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia – and critically debate their different perspectives.
  • Attain invaluable research skills – by studying this programme you will be able to conduct and present an extended piece of research.
  • Tailor your masters to match your career aspirations by choosing the subjects that most interest you from a range of elective modules.
  • Become part of a lively research community with the opportunity for interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration. We work with the Centre for Research in Sustainable Leadership, Governance and Policy and Plymouth International Studies Centre and several of our students have gone on to work as research assistants. 

Course details

Programme overview

You'll look at both the theory and practice of international relations in terms of the threats to, and vulnerabilities of, global security and development. Three compulsory modules will give you a basis for understanding global security, global governance and how to conduct advanced research. You'll then choose three specialised modules, giving you the opportunity to shape your degree to suit your interests. The certificate and diploma are available for those only completing part of the progression route. For the masters degree, you’ll complete a final dissertation on a specific aspect of the current security and/or development problems confronting policymakers in world politics. You’ll undertake a research and methodology module to support your masters research and equip you for your career. Learn through lectures, seminars and, in some cases, simulation exercises. Assessment of modules will be by a mixture of essays, seminar presentations, report writing, exams, and the dissertation.

Core modules

  • IRL700 MA Dissertation in Global Security and Development
  • IRL701 Research, Professional Skills and Methodology
  • IRL702 Strategy and Security Studies
  • IRL703 Critical Approaches to Global Governance

Optional modules

  • ENT702 Entrepreneurship in Developing and Emerging Economies
  • IRL704 Sub-Saharan Africa in the Global Political Economy
  • IRL705 International Relations in the Middle East: A Critical Approach
  • IRL706 International Relations in Practice
  • IRL707 Crisis Points: America in the Middle East since 1945
  • IRL708 International Trade Policy and Politics
  • IRL711 Environmental Political Economy

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA International Relations Global Security and Development 17 18 2557

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.


Visit the International Relations: Global Security and Development - MA page on the University of Plymouth website for more details!

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