Political decision-making and action at the international level are shaped by complex psychological mechanisms that are often under-explored or overlooked by mainstream approaches to International Relations. This programme focuses on the individual, group, and mass-level phsychological dynamics and processes that determine political outcomes. Our students gain an in-depth understanding of the psychological underpinnings of International Relations and the empirical tools to engage with timely issues and puzzles in international politics.
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.
Our MSc degree aims to equip students with the tools to address the complex psychological mechanisms which influence political decision and action. It examines processes at the individual, group, mass, and state levels, and engages with theoretical and empirical analyses. It uses timely issues and puzzles in international politics and highlights the role of political psychology in explaining, describing, and predicting their origins and outcomes.
You will gain a multidisciplinary understanding of the psychological underpinning of International Relations, alongside structured training in Research Methods.
Topics and issues examined include:
Our MSc degree has one more distinctive feature: it is offered by the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS), a world-leading interdisciplinary research centre, in partnership with the Department of Political Science and International Studies. Our MSc students can also become members of the four ICCS Research Working Groups: Trust; Political Settlements; International Political Psychology; Unmanned and Remote-Piloted Systems.
Who is the programme for?
Our MSc degree is designed for individuals interested in pursuing studies and careers in this innovative new field at the intersection of political psychology and international relations. Undergraduate-level qualification in IR and/or Security or experience in a cognate discipline (politics, psychology, sociology, history, geography) is desirable but not essential. We welcome all students who share our strong motivation to engage in the multidisciplinary study and practice of global political psychology.
You might also be interested in one of our other MSc programmes Global Cooperation and Security
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:
Our MSc students pursue exciting and stimulating career opportunities with a range of organisations including government agencies, international organisations, the armed forces, NGOs, think-tanks, the media, the political world, and multinational corporations. Our excellent academic training is complemented by networking opportunities and voluntary work placements. Our four research-focused working groups invite applications throughout the year in the following areas:
In addition, the Careers Network provides a valuable source of information on employment opportunities, internships, and funding.
The School offers a number of opportunities for learning enhancement throughout the year, including Model NATO, which sends a student delegation each February to participate in a role play exercise of decision making in NATO. Students are also encouraged to attend the regular seminars offered by Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS), Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) and International Development Department (IDD) to complement and broaden their studies.
Student Enhancement Fund
The Student Enhancement Fund allows students to take greater control of their own personal development, encouraging creative thinking about enhancement opportunities and providing tailored experiences for individuals or groups of students with specific interests and career ambitions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for up to £100 (individuals) or £300 (groups).
Visit the Political Psychology of International Relations - MSc page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!
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