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Course content

Programme description

This programme studies international relations and the pressing problems humanity faces in the international realm.

By joining this fascinating programme, you’ll become part of a community that is passionate about international relations.

We explore topics such as war, terrorism, power, diplomacy, climate change, trade, poverty, migration and international cooperation; not just their study, but also ways to meet the associated challenges.

Our approach combines innovative research with creative and inspirational teaching, provided by staff who combine intricate knowledge of the major international institutions with a deep appreciation of historical change and the most important ideas in international thought.

You’ll be inspired to explore a world of possibilities, from evolutionary psychology and the sociology of the financial crisis to state survival in the Middle East and the social construction of security.

Programme structure

The programme will be delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete two compulsory courses and four option courses, followed by work towards an independently researched dissertation.

With the agreement of the Programme Director, you may select option courses from elsewhere within the University.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme you will:

know and understand core explanatory theories, concepts, institutions and issues in the study of international relations
have specialist in-depth knowledge of specific areas and issues in international relations
know key contemporary debates in existing academic literatures in journals and books on international relations
be able to analyse and evaluate competing theoretical paradigms in the explanation and judgment of international relations
be able to apply explanatory models to analyse and understand specific developments within international relations
be able to draw on a variety of disciplinary paradigms in the understanding of international relations

Career opportunities

This qualification could lead to a career in a wide range of institutions and roles, such as regional, national and international government institutions, party political support, development organisations, educational, research and think-tank organisations, banking, media, lobbying, and commercial organisations. You may also choose to continue to further study.

The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

Visit the International Relations (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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