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The MA International Relations equips you with the theoretical and empirical research tools to understand the forces that shape global politics. A postgraduate degree in International Relations is a pathway to a range of careers, from NGOs to International Organisations such as the EU. Our teaching methods are innovative and working with a group of world-leading researchers will ensure your degree is cutting edge and highly sought after.

Flexibility to follow your interests with world-leading researchers

To understand something as complex as the contemporary world order, theory is invaluable. This foundation will be a benchmark and guide to investigating the complex security and public policy issues of the 21st century. These include:

  • Terrorism
  • Global resistance movements
  • The politics of the Middle East
  • US foreign policy
  • Global ethics and human rights
  • International law and governance
  • International political theory

There is considerable scope to study specific topics of interest to you alongside world-leading researchers in their field. Your learning will be led by staff associated with the Centre for Advanced International Studies, who have contributed to contemporary public debates through newspaper articles, television appearances and through social media.

Innovative teaching

Teaching in the department is research-led, ensuring that what you learn will be cutting edge and at the heart of contemporary public debate. This will be broadly seminar-based, giving you the chance to debate the ideas and policies that are shaping the world around us with high-achieving students and experts in the field. Content is delivered through a range of innovative teaching methods, including:

  • Debates
  • Role-plays and simulations
  • Field trips
  • Graduate-level conferences

You will benefit from a dedicated personal tutor and have the time and freedom to direct your own learning to meet the requirements of the modules.

Extra-curricular events

Extra-curricular events, like stand-alone talks given by policy makers, activists and scholars, are hugely beneficial to giving added perspective of contemporary world politics. Recent contributors have included:

  • Aid workers from conflict and post conflict zones
  • Ex-special forces soldier who served in Afghanistan
  • David Miliband
  • The Head of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan
  • The Head of MI6
  • BBC journalist now turned documentary-maker.

Our active student societies also regularly organise events, such as trips to Brussels to visit NATO and European Union institutions.

Developing your career

While this is a challenging degree, which attracts students hoping to go on to PhD research, International Relations is also a highly sought after postgraduate degree for a range of professions other than academia. The MA in International Relations gives you a global perspective on contemporary politics, trains you to express yourself clearly and persuasively and will develop you into an independent and critical thinker. These skills are highly sought after, particularly in:

  • Government
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Aid agencies and pressure groups
  • Law and finance
  • Publishing and the media
  • International organisations like the European Union and the United Nations
  • Academia

Please visit our website for further information on this programme: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/politics/intrelma

Programme structure

The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time). You will complete 180 credits which include at least 60 credits of directed options modules, optional modules and a dissertation. A list of modules can be found on the programme website.

Learning and teaching

Members of staff teaching on the MA International Relations have a wide range of research interests including humanitarianism, peace building, security, democracy, activism, and indigenous movements. They include visiting scholars at Harvard and Brown Universities, and the Australian National University, and provide consultancy to organisations such as the Department for International Development.

The programme is made up of two core modules and a choice of two further optional modules from a broad cross section of the core concerns of the discipline. A 15,000 word dissertation is also a core requirement of the MA.

Teaching takes place over the first two terms leaving the third to concentrate on your dissertation.


While this is a challenging theory-based degree, which attracts high quality students hoping to go on to PhD study, the MA International Relations is also relevant to a wide range of careers.

Many of our students are working professionals in governments around in the world, NGOs and aid agencies and choose to take the MA International Relations to provide them with a broader perspective and develop their careers.

Students go on to work in aid agencies; the media; NGOs in the UK and overseas; government bodies such as the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office; the Diplomatic Service; international organisations including EU institutions and the United Nations; and think tanks. Many of our students also stay on to study for MPhil/PhD and Masters by Research and follow academic careers.

Visit the MA International Relations page on the University of Exeter website for more details!






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