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Brussels is an ideal place to study International Relations. You will find yourself studying in a city where global decisions are made on a daily basis and your access to the institutions, conferences, seminars and events enhances your understanding of the subject.
Day after day we experience what it means to live in an internationalising world. Grasping its essence, however, is all but evident. The MA in International Relations tries to grasp the complexity of international processes and to offer the necessary tools to understand its different dimensions (political, legal, economic) and the role of various actors (states, international organisations, business, etc.). The programme is built on the interaction of theory (how we approach the world), method (how we explore the world) and
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Students should hold a bachelor degree for entry to this master's degree.
We accept a wide range of subjects for entry and you do not need to have necessarily studied Political Science or law previously. Typical first degrees of our students include Economics, History, Classics, Languages, Philosophy, Geography & Psychology (among others).
Please see course website for further details.
Fees & funding
Start dates & study options
When choosing to do an MA at Kent, it was like coming home, as seven years earlier I had graduated from the university with a BA in Politics and International Relations with a Year in Finland. Naturally from my choice of BA, my area of interests gravitates towards global politics and Kent rates quite highly in teaching in this area, with some prominent names in the field having either worked here recently or are on the current staff roster. Kent’s status as the ‘International University’ was a big bonus as I got to interact with many students who had come from abroad, bringing their own views and interests on how the world is shaped, as well as delightful cultural traditions. Being a ‘mature student’ (well, 30), I have found myself refreshed by the vigour of my more youthful classmates and made some firm friends. I frequently observed that the teaching matched my expectations with it being engaging, dynamic and compassionate regarding the needs of postgraduates. A separate programme for all MA students called the Global Skills Award was very useful in its job-orientated workshops and informative in the sui generis lectures. My aim of completing a Master’s degree was to move into a career that suits my interests more than my current occupation and I feel Kent has given me an excellent launchpad.
I studied as part of the School of Politics & IR at undergraduate level and was therefore already aware of how strong the School was in terms of academic lecturers, student participation and general organisation. The reason for choosing the International Conflict Analysis programme itself was simple: it offered a wide range of modules that covered almost everything that interested me, from Philosophy and Methodology to Human Rights and International Security. It was a struggle to pick my six modules for the year because I was genuinely interested in seven or eight.
In my opinion the most valuable thing I have come away with from the programme is the ability to think critically and ask questions. People rarely ask ‘why?’ You soon find that at undergraduate level you are often spoon-fed information and (usually) little is asked of you in terms of challenging what others think. The idea of challenging the ‘norm’ has run through the heart of the course this year and has been at the core of every module I have studied; students are encouraged to ask questions and actively debate. Discussions at the start of the year that were driven by lecturers become student-led and people actively seek engagement. It has been fantastic and quite liberating.
I can’t define one, single aspect of this course as the ‘best’; the people I have met this year have been fantastic and the lecturers have often gone out of their way to help when it’s needed. The library services and facilities have been invaluable and the buzz around campus is always refreshing when deadlines are tight.
I would definitely recommend the programme to others. This year has been the most intellectually stimulating year of my life, by far. The good thing about International Conflict Analysis, despite what you might think from the programme title, is that you can go almost anywhere with it. It’s both challenging and enjoyable and you’ll rarely find it boring or monotonous.
What attracted you to this course?
I completed my undergraduate studies in English and Russian at home in Italy, focusing on languages and cultures. On graduation, I decided I wanted to continue using languages and apply my knowledge of different cultures to help other people and to make a difference. One way of facilitating this was to take a postgraduate course in International Relations, where I could explore in depth other countries’ political systems, and why they have problems.
I chose the International Relations (International Double Award) programme at Kent because it is a two-year course which allows me to spend the first year in the UK and the second in Russia, where I’ll have the opportunity to improve my Russian language skills and consolidate everything I have learned here. I will also graduate with two Master’s degrees. I really like Canterbury, too; I spent my year abroad here during my undergraduate studies, and was keen to return.
How are you finding the course?
At first I found it difficult because I hadn’t studied Politics before; I wasn’t used to listening to the news on television and reading newspapers in a conscious way, and asking myself important questions about what is going on in the world. The teaching in the UK is also very different to the teaching in Italy; here, you are taught to be more independent in your thinking and are encouraged to express your opinion. Now I feel fully immersed in the course – I’m able to think more critically and do what is expected of me.
I did well in the ethics module in the first term. Now I’m studying human rights, which I really enjoy. I’m learning that international relations is not only about power and politics; it’s also about real people and their problems, and how these problems can be used politically to achieve aims that are not always in people’s best interests.
What I love about postgraduate study here is that you are encouraged to talk to students of other disciplines, such as anthropology and sociology. Kent really offers a “total learning experience” – whatever you do or whoever you meet, you are always learning something new.
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