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MA International Politics (Research Training)

Course Description

The global challenges of the twenty first century place important demands on students of international politics. Not only do we need to understand the on going changes in the nature of war and conflict, but we are also today faced with important transformations in global power relations, international flows of goods, people and diseases and, indeed, shifts in the nature of political communities on the globe. Whatever your background, whether in international politics or another discipline, this flagship MA programme provides you with the necessary tools to tackle these shifting landscapes.

The scheme will introduce you, first, to the core notions that help shape the analysis of and the practices of international politics but also encourages you to think creatively about the kinds of concepts we need today to capture complex political realities. Taught by a team of world-leading research staff, the core module will challenge you to reflect on the way you think about international politics and the issues facing individuals, societies, states and humanity as a whole. Beyond the core module students pursue their own interests by
choosing specialist modules. The options, ranging from the study of war, conflict, strategy and security to the study of global order, international theory and ethics, are designed to stimulate you in pursuing your own pathway to an advanced study of international

Visit the website: https://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/international-politics-masters-research/

Suitable for

This degree will suit you:

-If you want to study international politics in a global context at Masters level
-If you wish to develop a critical appreciation of international politics
-If you wish to nurture a career in international diplomacy and work internationally
-If you desire formal recognition of skills highly sought-after by any postgraduate employer

Course detail

The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales with 69% of publications submitted rated as world leading.

The Masters in International Politics (Research Training) is a pathway designed to emphasise social science or humanities research training as well as specialist provision, and is likely to be of most interest to students who have already studied extensively in that particular subject area and who are planning to undertake a PhD following the completion of their Master’s course. Students following this pathway take the Departmental core module (compulsory), a suite of research training modules (compulsory) and select a smaller number of modules from a bespoke basket of degree scheme related options and other choices offered by the Department/other academic departments. Like the Specialist degree scheme, this pathway culminates in a dissertation.


In Semester One you will normally have eight hours per week of specific Research Training Modules and one two-hour seminar per week for your degree scheme core module. In Semester Two you will normally have one two-hour seminar per week for each of the three modules you take (one Research Training specific and two subject specific modules). You will also have contact with academic staff through participation in research groups, attendance in departmental research seminars and masters workshops and through staff office hours (two one hour sessions per week). There will also be additional sessions working towards developing your master’s dissertation. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


Assessment will be through a combination of examinations, project work, short reports, essays and dissertation. It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.


Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your Masters will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained international relations specialist with a strength in depth of knowledge on vital subjects such as anarchy, sovereignty, power, peace, war, justice, ethics, realism, the global distribution of wealth and resources and trust in world politics. You will also graduate with a wealth of postgraduate-level skills which are transferable into any workplace. On the research training pathway you also develop advanced skills in quantitative and qualitative research skills and data analysis. In addition, the prestige of masters from our department of International Relations wills open doors for you into workplaces in every industry.

Key Skills and Competencies

- Study Skills -

Alongside the wealth of world-class critical expertise, you will master highly desirable skills in academic research, analysis, argument-formation, presentation and debate. The research training pathway provides you with a specific set of study skills focused on interrogating and analysing a range of different types of data from multiple sources. You will also prove your abilities in reflection and self-improvement; you will be able to identify your academic weaknesses and remove them whilst building on your strengths.

- Self-Motivation and discipline -

Studying at Masters level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, but you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree. This process of independent study at an extremely high level will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

- Transferable Skills -

The International relations Masters programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines. You will also have advanced skills in data analysis that can be applied in a wide variety of work environments from business to the public sector and non-governmental organisations.

Find out how to apply here https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/

Entry Requirements

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

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