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MA International Relations

University of Sheffield Department of Politics

Full time & Part time September MA 1 years FT / 2 years PT

About the course

The study of international relations will give you the tools to understand the interactions between states, societies, institutions and individuals. The course combines a rigorous study of key topics in global politics with cutting-edge approaches and encourages you to think critically and pragmatically about the most pressing political issues of our time.

Course description

On this exciting course, you will engage with a range of theoretical perspectives to make sense of emergent and rapidly evolving international political challenges, and will explore normative arguments about the way that international relations ought to work. The course covers key topics in international relations such as:

  • Global security and terrorism
  • Postcolonial and feminist perspectives on international relations.


Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for outstanding and enthusiastic students for our courses.

You can apply to us with a good degree (first-class or 2:1 honours degree) in a relevant social science, arts and humanities, or related subject.

English language requirements:
Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

Course Content

Where is University of Sheffield


Student Profile(s)

Sophie Zinn

What made you choose to study at Sheffield and your course?
I chose Sheffield’s MA in International Relations programme because of the University’s internationally driven community, I knew that the location and the University’s initiatives would expose me to other international students, British culture, and a multicultural population. This course would educate me on theoretical perspectives and current debates in global politics and allow me to investigate my own interests regarding the role of Brexit in current international policies. I am also very interested in the Global Leadership Initiative, which would enable me to attend major international summits and meet critical international policy makers.

How did you feel when you heard that you were successful in being awarded the scholarship?
It was such an exciting moment. I felt validated in my investment in the University, and truly believed that the University wanted to invest in me. Just knowing that the University of Sheffield wanted me to attend as much as I wanted to be a student here gave me a sense of responsibility and dedication to the institution. I knew that with this scholarship supporting my postgraduate education, I should give back and show my appreciation and not just in my research and educational interests. I acknowledged that this investment would allow me to dive into the culture and society of the University.

How did you research the University to find out about studying in Sheffield?
I knew that I wanted to attend a university in the UK for multiple reasons: I wanted to study international relations in an international environment, both the US and UK were facing new political realities after 2016 and the UK has had (and continues to have) a significant impact on the world, much like the US. By looking through the Research Excellence Framework (REF), I saw that the University of Sheffield was in the top three rankings for research in international relations. I then looked at the specific research projects of the Department of Politics and International Relations faculty and emailed a professor who had similar research interests.

Bethany Fox

I really enjoyed the international relations side of my undergraduate course, BA International Relations and Politics, here at Sheffield and formed some great working relationships with several of my tutors, so continuing on here at the university seemed like the natural next-step. Studying for my masters degree has been something that I’d intended since I started at university; I am deeply passionate about international relations and so continuing to expand my knowledge at masters level with a view to potentially continuing onto PhD study was something that I never really questioned. When all of my friends were getting ready to jump into the world of work I just knew there was more for me to do still at university, and I’m so glad I stayed.

This course gives a depth of knowledge and understanding about contemporary global issues that will be invaluable to me going forward in my career, as well as a breadth of transferable skills - quantitative and qualitative data collection, statistical analysis, presentation skills, research skills, and more. Invariably, I will leave far more prepared for my future than if I had simply left at the end of my undergraduate course.

The department is amazing, filled with a range of academics working at the top of their field who are always happy to help students, especially as our interests become more targeted in the later years of our studies. I’ve formed some great working relationships with tutors working in my area of interest, including Dr Simon Rushton, Dr Helen Turton and Dr Anastasia Shesterinina and I know that they will be happy to support me not just with my current course but in any other way that they can going forward, not least because they already have with job applications, dissertation help and more.

There’s a great range of modules available on the MA International Relations course in areas both new and familiar, and it constantly pushes you to challenge your own preconceptions and knowledge. I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed my module on the Political Sociology of Civil War so far this semester in particular, and the range of different viewpoints offered by my peers has constantly kept me on my toes.


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