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International Relations (International Double Award) MA

Course Description

The MA in International Relations considers contemporary questions in International Relations theory and practice. The accent is on critical consideration of traditional approaches to the discipline. In the post-Cold War globalising world there is an increasingly apparent need for ever-more sophisticated ways of understanding the dramatic changes taking place.

This programme addresses that need. This MA programme provides you with advanced training, by way of coursework and dissertation, in the general methods, scope, theories, and findings in the field of International Relations. It builds on an undergraduate specialisation in the field of International Relations or a similar discipline; it gives a systematic preparation for original postgraduate research or for a demanding international career; and it constitutes a programme of training for those who have graduated in other fields and wish to transfer to International Relations.

This is a version of the International Relations programme which offers the opportunity to study at the prestigious Higher School of Economics in Moscow and obtain two Master’s degrees. You spend the first year at Kent and the second year in Moscow. Courses in Moscow are taught in English with the option to take Russian language courses. The programme features a mandatory research internship that is linked to the MA dissertation.

About the School of Politics and International Relations

The School of Politics and International Relations is one of the most dynamic places to study Politics and International Relations. We combine high-quality teaching with cutting-edge research in a supportive environment that welcomes students from all over the world.

All lectures and seminars on postgraduate modules are informed by the latest research and scholarship, and are delivered by full-time academic staff who have internationally recognised expertise in their field.


The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Internships, Placements and Alumni Manager who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.

We are currently ranked 8th in the UK for Graduate Prospects in the Complete University Guide 2018.

Visit the International Relations (International Double Award) MA page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Alex Plumb

When choosing to do an MA at Kent, it was like coming home, as seven years earlier I had graduated from the university with a BA in Politics and International Relations with a Year in Finland. Naturally from my choice of BA, my area of interests gravitates towards global politics and Kent rates quite highly in teaching in this area, with some prominent names in the field having either worked here recently or are on the current staff roster. Kent’s status as the ‘International University’ was a big bonus as I got to interact with many students who had come from abroad, bringing their own views and interests on how the world is shaped, as well as delightful cultural traditions. Being a ‘mature student’ (well, 30), I have found myself refreshed by the vigour of my more youthful classmates and made some firm friends. I frequently observed that the teaching matched my expectations with it being engaging, dynamic and compassionate regarding the needs of postgraduates. A separate programme for all MA students called the Global Skills Award was very useful in its job-orientated workshops and informative in the sui generis lectures. My aim of completing a Master’s degree was to move into a career that suits my interests more than my current occupation and I feel Kent has given me an excellent launchpad.

(Student Profile)

Moritz Pieper

What are you researching?

I’m looking at non-Western foreign policy towards Iran’s nuclear programme, with a particular focus on the positions of China, Russia and Turkey. It’s a very topical area.

My decision to come to BSIS to carry out my research was based on the location and the expertise of my supervisor, but I also had the added financial incentive of being offered a Kent 50th Anniversary scholarship.

What have you particularly enjoyed?

Being based in the heart of Brussels means you have so many opportunities on your doorstep. I like the fact that you can easily access the embassies, missions to NATO and NGOs, not to mention the numerous policy events, discussions, conferences and events that take place in Brussels every day. It has been very valuable for my research.

I feel I am well supported here, too. Although the location was one of the deciding factors in choosing BSIS, the size of the campus helps to create a very intimate research community. I see my supervisor on a daily basis and the supervision process doesn’t feel quite as formalised as it might in a larger campus setting. I’m able to grab a coffee with my supervisor and chat about my research. It’s been a great experience so far.

(Student Profile)

Sydney Vicidomini

What attracted you to this course?
I completed my undergraduate studies in English and Russian at home in Italy, focusing on languages and cultures. On graduation, I decided I wanted to continue using languages and apply my knowledge of different cultures to help other people and to make a difference. One way of facilitating this was to take a postgraduate course in International Relations, where I could explore in depth other countries’ political systems, and why they have problems.

I chose the International Relations (International Double Award) programme at Kent because it is a two-year course which allows me to spend the first year in the UK and the second in Russia, where I’ll have the opportunity to improve my Russian language skills and consolidate everything I have learned here. I will also graduate with two Master’s degrees. I really like Canterbury, too; I spent my year abroad here during my undergraduate studies, and was keen to return.

How are you finding the course?
At first I found it difficult because I hadn’t studied Politics before; I wasn’t used to listening to the news on television and reading newspapers in a conscious way, and asking myself important questions about what is going on in the world. The teaching in the UK is also very different to the teaching in Italy; here, you are taught to be more independent in your thinking and are encouraged to express your opinion. Now I feel fully immersed in the course – I’m able to think more critically and do what is expected of me.

I did well in the ethics module in the first term. Now I’m studying human rights, which I really enjoy. I’m learning that international relations is not only about power and politics; it’s also about real people and their problems, and how these problems can be used politically to achieve aims that are not always in people’s best interests.

What I love about postgraduate study here is that you are encouraged to talk to students of other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology. Kent really offers a “total learning experience” – whatever you do or whoever you meet, you are always learning something new.


Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

Last Updated

13 July 2017

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