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Course content

International Relations (IR) is one of the most popular programmes at postgraduate level On this programme you will be taught and supervised by experienced staff with strong interests in critical approaches to the study of global politics. Course units on offer cover a wide range of global issues - from authority; citizenship; foreign policy (both China and US); gender, war and peace; global ethics; human rights; media; environmental politics; security studies; and terrorism. 

Two modules form the centrepiece of our programme: the Graduate Seminar in International Politics and Critical Thinkers in International Politics. These modules are designed to develop transferable skills in critical inquiry, creative thinking, research design and problem-solving. Students on the programme will also complete a major research dissertation of their own, with the guidance of a member of staff in International Politics.

A part of a postgraduate community, students on the programme are encouraged to participate in the Critical Global Politics research cluster, who organise a seminar series attracting high profile speakers including Cynthia Enloe, Cynthia Weber, Nick Vaughan-Williams, Marysia Zalewski and Laura Shepherd, amongst others. 

This route will suit those wishing to obtain a high-level specialist subject qualification and the programme will appeal to students interested in developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of critically-orientated international relations. The diversity of the programme also makes it a suitable introduction to the study of global politics. Those wishing to pursue a research training qualification or a PhD are advised to explore the International Relations (Research) route.

This programme is designed for students for whom a taught MA will be a prelude to careers in fields related to government and non-governmental organisations. Former graduates have gone on to work for international organisations including NATO and the UNDP, or for foreign offices. The MA would also be suitable for students wishing to go into teaching, journalism or any career where advanced knowledge of international politics coupled with an excellent capacity to communicate effectively will be an advantage.

Course Director: Dr Laura McLeod


Teaching and learning


Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Course unit details


  • POLI70401 Graduate seminar in International Relation Theory
  • POLI70412 Critical Thinkers in International Politics
  • POLI60312 Dissertation Research Design


  • POLI70451 Ethics in World Politics
  • POLI70461 Security Studies
  • POLI71061 Foreign Policy Analysis
  • POLI70311 Critical Approaches to IPE
  • POLI70851 EU as an International Actor 
  • POLI70981 The Arab Uprisings and Revolutionary State Formation
  • POLI71111 The United Nations and International Security
  • POLI60092 Power and Resistance in Postcolonial Societies
  • POLI60262 Media, War and Conflict
  • POLI70282 Critical Globalisation Studies
  • POLI70612 Debating Justice 
  • POLI70722 Theories of Rights
  • POLI70492 Human Rights in World Politics


The School of Social Sciences is in a purpose-built building which allows 24/7 access.

There are dedicated areas in the atrium with computer terminals.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Visit the International Relations (Standard) (MA) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Manchester

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