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Course content

This programme is for those students who wish to gain an advanced knowledge of the theory and practice of international relations, but who do not wish to restrict themselves in advance to a particular area. It gives you the freedom to choose from a full range of options and to design your own course of study.

This core pathway is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of the MA content from a wide range of optional modules.

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Course details

This degree offers a broad-based multidisciplinary approach to the study of international relations, with opportunities to specialise in one of several fields including international economic relations, security studies, European studies or Pacific Asian studies.

International Relations can be studied as a general masters programme, or you can choose a specialist pathway.

Issues examined may include

  • Historic and leading-edge theories of international relations
  • Critical approaches to international relations
  • Conflict and security, including terrorism and political violence
  • The operation and institutions of the global economy
  • Diplomacy and summit-level state interactions
  • Gender and international relations

Programme content

This core pathway is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of the MA content from a wide range of optional modules. View the Course Structure.

Specialist pathways

It gives you the freedom to choose from a full range of options and to design your own course of study. It offers a broad-based multidisciplinary approach to the study of international affairs, with opportunities to specialise, if required, in one of several fields including:

Learning and teaching

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

More about teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.

Enhancing your student experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Read more of our students' experiences and profiles on the school website.

Employability

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

More information about careers and employability

Careers Network

The Careers Network provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

Find out more about support for work experience and internships, bursaries, or mentoring.


Visit the International Relations (with specialist pathways) - MA/PGDip page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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