Our programme gives you the opportunity to delve into one of three specialist areas of International Relations.
You will master key skills in political science that enable you to explore the links between local, national and international structures, and critically evaluate key contemporary debates in the field of international relations.
The MSc International Relations programme is offered via two pathways. The International Relations pathway examines key issues in the contemporary international system and processes of global governance.
Secondly, the innovative International Intervention pathway deepens your understanding of this complex area and includes a placement option, allowing you to spend three months working in international politics.
There are a set of common compulsory modules for all pathways, in addition to two compulsory modules for your chosen pathway, and three optional modules from a range of international or European politics topics.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year, until a total of eight is reached. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation or placement.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Our MSc programme in International Relations is a great stepping stone in your career development, whatever your plans.
Through its assessed, three-month placement, the International Intervention pathway offers an excellent opportunity to enhance a wide range of transferable skills and build personal networks which will significantly enhance your employment opportunities upon graduation.
Students from the School have gone on to a wide range of employment choices. These include working for international organisations, national and local government, lobby groups and non-governmental organisations, as well as private businesses and media organisations.
We also offer doctoral supervision in a wide range of political subjects for talented students who wish to continue their studies.
Educational aims of the programme
The programme aims to:
Enable students to understand and evaluate contemporary debates in the study of international relations, concerning global governance and/or terrorism and security and international intervention
Deepen students’ knowledge of theoretical aspects of international relations, including theoretical developments in the sub-fields of terrorism and security and international intervention
Enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding in at least three sub-fields of international politics: students take three programme compulsory modules, two pathway compulsory modules specific to their pathway (International Relations, International Intervention), and two further modules from a list of optional modules particular to their pathway
Provide students, with the opportunity, through the International Intervention pathway, to spend three months working in a field related to their degree (this will not only provide students with new insights into International Intervention but will also develop a broad array of transferable skills – such skills include self-management and development; managing tasks; communicating effectively and clearly; working with and relating to others; the application of specialist knowledge; the application of initiative and reflecting on one’s own learning outcomes)
Programme learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
Upon completion of the programme, students will have:
Critical knowledge of contemporary debates in the study of international politics, particularly in relation to the international system and global governance, differing forms of intervention in response to poverty, humanitarian crisis, abuses of human rights, state failure and armed conflict
In-depth understanding of international structures of governance and their impact on regional, national and local structures; and of theories of international relations
Detailed knowledge and understanding within at least two sub-fields of international politics, for example development and humanitarian assistance; peace-making; peace-keeping and peace- building; use of international legal institutions and processes; and coercive military intervention to secure regime change
Understanding of processes of knowledge creation and contestation within international politics
Understanding of techniques of research and enquiry and their application to the study of politics
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Students will be able to:
Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources
Analyse and synthesise a wide range of material in verbal and numerical formats
Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively
Make sound judgements on the basis of incomplete evidence
Demonstrate self-direction and originality in solving problems and analysing evidence
Construct reasoned argument
Apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis
Professional practical skills
Students will gain the ability to:
Make appropriate use of information and communications technology
Carry out an advanced literature search
Form effective arguments
Organise own workload to meet deadlines
Formulate research questions
Design and conduct a research project, selecting appropriate methods of data collection and analysis
Design and pilot questionnaires
Design and conduct interviews
Use software packages to analyse qualitative and quantitative data
Present research findings orally and in writing
Key / transferable skills
Students will have the skills to:
Communicate and present ideas effectively
Use information and communication technology for the retrieval and presentation of material
Organise and plan their own work
Adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving
Collaborate with others to achieve common goals
Deploy a range of relevant research skills
Make decisions in complex situations
Take responsibility for their own learning
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.