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Overview

This programme will shape your understanding of global politics in the contemporary world by introducing you to a wide range of theories, approaches and stimulating debates surrounding international politics and relations.

You will analyse topics central to the functioning of the international system and explore contemporary and historical approaches, focusing on country-specific, regional and international processes. Our emphasis on international studies invites an interdisciplinary approach and reflects the broadening nature of the subject beyond the confines of inter-state relationships.

You will have the opportunity to develop expertise in a specialist area of interest to you, whilst working with leaders in the field of international relations. As well as enhancing your knowledge in international relations and the complex and contradictory forces that shape the global agenda, this programme will equip you with excellent research skills, and develop your knowledge of relevant methodologies and approaches.

All students on all our degree schemes, including international students, have access to hundreds of volunteering opportunities through the Leeds for Life scheme. In addition, our dedicated careers team and in-School employability champions can work with you to attain work experience opportunities during and after your course.

Course content

This programme will give you the opportunity to combine the study of global challenges with an in-depth examination of the international relations of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The modules studied will enable you to:

  • gain a better understanding of the international system and how it interacts with states and societies worldwide
  • link theoretical ideas to events in the international system, both historical and contemporary
  • demonstrate that international politics is a struggle for ideas as well as power.

You will be introduced to the relationship between the struggle for power and the struggle between ideas. You will investigate some of the ideological and philosophical movements that have shaped, and continue to shape, the international system, and you will examine a variety of competing positions with reference to events in the real world.

You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

If you are a part-time student, you will take one compulsory module and choose one optional module in your first year. You’ll then take the compulsory dissertation module and two optional modules in your second year to complete your programme.

Modules

Compulsory modules

  • Theoretical Approaches in International Relations
  • POLIS MA Dissertation

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Engaging the Modern City: The Civic Researcher
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance
  • European Defence and Security Analysis
  • The Politics of Brexit
  • The Rise of China
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
  • Conflict and Insurgency in Southeast Asia
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
  • Popular Culture: World politics, Society and Culture
  • International Relations and the Environment
  • Counterterrorism
  • Civil War and Intrastate Conflict
  • Global Justice

Learning and teaching

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, lively seminar discussions and guided weekly readings. We expect you to participate fully in taught sessions and to study independently, developing your skills and preparing for lectures and seminars. You will also be able to benefit from an impressive range of research talks and seminars led by outside speakers or colleagues from within the department and University.

Assessment

Within modules, assessment currently consists exclusively of assessed essays. At the end of your studies, a 12,000 word dissertation will allow you to pursue your own research interest under close supervision by one of our expert colleagues.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read Language for Communication and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Communication and Society (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines

  • UK/EU students: 31 July
  • International students: 30 June

APPLY (FULL TIME) 

APPLY (PART TIME) 

Documents and information you will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)
  • Details of two referees.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Fees

  • UK/EU: £9,000 (total)
  • International: £18,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This programme provides you with an ideal preparation for a career in the international political arena.

Many of our students go on to have high-profile careers in politics, the Civil Service, the media, non-governmental organisations and international organisations such as the UN and World Bank, as well as roles in the private sector. Others have continued to pursue their research interests at PhD level.


Visit the International Relations MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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