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Politics & Government×

Durham University, Full Time Masters Degrees in Politics & Government

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The School of Government and International Affairs has a vibrant research environment. All SGIA Masters students are welcome to the numerous events organised by the School's research centres. Read more
The School of Government and International Affairs has a vibrant research environment. All SGIA Masters students are welcome to the numerous events organised by the School's research centres. MA Politics & International Relations (Political Theory) students will particularly benefit from the activities of the Centre for Political Thought. The centre runs seminar series, workshops and reading group and actively involves Masters and PhD students in its work.

Student Profiles

Not only has the MA Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) programme allowed me to further pursue what I find to be the most interesting aspect of politics, but working so closely with such knowledgeable tutors on a weekly basis has truly opened my eyes and allowed me to delve into and examine the most fundamental concepts behind political theory. That along with the fascinating debates that I had with my classmates and the thought-provoking essays have contributed to what has been the most important step in my career in politics.” Tarek Abou-Jaoude, 2014/15

“Participating in the Politics and International Relations program at Durham University is the best academic decision I have ever made for two reasons. First, is the engaging learning environment created in the classroom by the professors who lead students in civic discussion and debate. The second reason is what makes Durham University so special, being an international student from the U.S going to school at Durham allowed me to learn international relations in the classroom, and its convenient location allowed me to travel to most places in Europe to gain practical application that cannot be taught by reading a book. You make lifelong friends from all over the world who share your core interests, and that is tailor made attribute of Durham University.” Nicholas Lennox, 2014/15

“Durham has been one of the best experiences of my life. This University teaches the meaning of community and friendship, in an environment that combines historic heritage with the latest trends. The MA in Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) was all I expected. A flexible programme that allowed me to interact both with our lecturers and fellow students of the School of Government and International Affairs. This open environment promoted what it felt a very complete learning experience.” Maria Lleras, 2014/15

Course Content

This programme provides students with systematic knowledge and the tools to critically review the complex relationships between government and society at a variety of levels and in different contexts. It also enables students to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion, theories and paradigms within the broad field of politics and international relations, and to draw lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations. It also aims to develop students' ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate research at the current limits of theoretical understanding, and to equip students so that they have the ability to master complex political concepts and evaluate the significance of major developments in political thought in general as well as international relations theory.

Course Structure
Two core modules worth 30 credits, plus a Dissertation worth 75 credits, plus 5 optional modules to the value of 75 credits - 60 of which must be from the list A.

Core Modules:
-Methodology in the Social Sciences
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production

List A - In previous years these have included:
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupations
-International Relations Theory
-Political Ideology
-Human Rights
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain since 1850
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice

List B
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-European Security
-German Foreign Policy
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development in Chinese Business
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-Model United Nations
-Region, Nation and Citizen in South East Asia
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into two core and five optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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We live in an increasingly globalised world. Nuclear proliferation, terrorism, failed states, global poverty and inequality, financial market instability, biodiversity losses, and climate change - are among the global challenges we face and which demand global cooperation if they are to be to adequately resolved. Read more
We live in an increasingly globalised world. Nuclear proliferation, terrorism, failed states, global poverty and inequality, financial market instability, biodiversity losses, and climate change - are among the global challenges we face and which demand global cooperation if they are to be to adequately resolved.

The MSc Global Politics provides students with the tools to understand and critically assess these challenges and the forms of cooperation required to address them.

The programme's core modules concentrate on the institutional drivers of global politics and offer an incisive overview of the main theoretical and applied moral debates concerning the ethics of globalization. It is also possible to choose modules from other departments with approval of the School of Government and International Affairs, for example:
-Anthropology of Global Health (ANTH43615)
-Environmental Economics and Policy (ECON40615)
-Globalisation and Global Health Politics (HEAL3031)

Student Profile

"The close-knit nature of the Global Politics MSc has allowed me to closely engage both with our lecturers, and fellow students in the program. The course has inspired us to debate economic and moral issues pertaining to World politics long after classes are over and made me feel part of an intellectual community not simply enrolled in a degree." Sam George

Course Content

The MSc Global Politics thus aims to provide students with knowledge of the political, economic, cultural and moral debates about how and to what extent the effects of globalisation can be governed.

It will provide the means for students to develop the analytical and conceptual skills necessary to understand and discuss:
-The key international and transnational structures, organisations and institutions that have developed in the era following the Second World War
-The range of the academic debates in the area of global governance
-Policy developments and innovations in the fields of economics, security, and environment

The moral justification for different and sometimes competing regimes of global governance.
Students will also benefit from the wide range of academic resources within the School of Government and International Affairs, the Law School, the Department of Geography, and the School of Economics, Business and Finance, making the MSc Global Politics a truly unique interdisciplinary programme.

The programme consists of:
Core Modules:
-Theoretical Approaches to Global Governance
-Global Governance Institutions
-Theories of Global Justice
-Ethical Aspects of Global Governance
-Dissertation: 12,000 word research dissertation providing students with the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of one field of global politics

Optional Modules - A choice of up to four modules from the list of elective modules both within the School of Government and International Affairs and within other Schools and Departments at Durham University.

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MSc degree programme is divided into four core and four optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than 12,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

The School hosts events throughout the year which all postgraduate students are invited to attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies. Global Politics students also typically benefit from participation in Global Policy Institute events.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Read less
This degree is designed for high calibre graduates who intend to undertake research for a doctoral degree in Politics or International Relations and need to acquire all-round training in research methods and methodologies in the political and social sciences. Read more
This degree is designed for high calibre graduates who intend to undertake research for a doctoral degree in Politics or International Relations and need to acquire all-round training in research methods and methodologies in the political and social sciences. The object is to equip students with comprehension of basic principles of research design and strategy.

This MA programme is specifically focused to provide research training. It is assumed that students taking this MA do so with the intention of proceeding to a PhD. It has received official recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and eligible candidates can apply for (ESRC) (1+3) studentships. Anyone proposing to do this should apply as early as possible in order to meet the ESRC deadlines.

Student Profiles

“I choose the Research Methods Masters because it offered me the most diverse skillset. The programme has a strong interdisciplinary character and I chose modules offered by Psychology and Sociology schools as well as the School of Government. This diversity has given me a broader skillset than a more focused master’s degree. Moreover this master’s has given me the confidence and ability to consider a wider variety of career options than that offered by my single-honours history undergraduate degree. I fully recommend this course for anyone looking to enlarge their knowledge in research methods and especially when applied to the fields of politics and international relations.” Jack Ekinsmyth, 2015/16

“The MA Research Methods, by spanning across two departments, allowed me to experience more of Durham University. The course was challenging, but prepared me for transitioning to a PhD. It also helped me secure ESRC funding, as the course offers ESRC-recognised research training modules. Durham University, with its reputation and beautiful city setting, was an easy choice and I enjoyed my busy year there.” Alex, 2014/15

Course Content

This degree is offered in collaboration with other departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health and is designed to provide a strong all-round training in research methods allied to further specialisation within the field of politics and international relations/studies. It is assumed that in taking this MA, you do so with the intention of proceeding to a PhD in Politics or International Relations. It has received official recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and eligible candidates can apply for (ESRC) (1+3) studentships. The programme includes compulsory elements in a wide variety of techniques including statistics and quantitative methods, but contains less subject-specific content than the other MA courses.

Core Modules:
-Perspectives on Social Research
-International Relations Theory

Optional Modules - Optional modules in previous years have included:
-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning
-Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science
-Applied Statistics
-Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science
-Fieldwork and Interpretation

Additional Optional Modules - Optional modules in previous years have included:
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-German Foreign Policy
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain Since 1850
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-European Security
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupation
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-America and the World: The Making of US Foreign Policy
-Region, Nation and Citizen in SE Asia
-Political Economy and Development in Chinese Business
-Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-Categorical Data Analysis with SPSS and R
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into one core and seven/eight optional modules. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 45 credits of not more than 12,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Read less
This programme combines a sound basis of advanced knowledge and understanding in the broader and more disparate field of International Studies with the opportunity to choose optional specialist areas of study from among those offered in the School, and other schools such as Modern Languages and Cultures. Read more
This programme combines a sound basis of advanced knowledge and understanding in the broader and more disparate field of International Studies with the opportunity to choose optional specialist areas of study from among those offered in the School, and other schools such as Modern Languages and Cultures. The particular interests reflected in the choice of options may then be developed through the researching and writing of a dissertation.

Through the programme, you will gain advanced knowledge and understanding of:
-The extent to which an international community has developed and the driving forces shaping its development
-Factors determining humanitarian interventions
-The processes of globalisation in the political, economic, cultural and scientific fields
-The governance role of international organisations
-How the degree of integration of countries into the international political and economic system varies and the determinants of those variations
-Historical and/or contemporary issues and debates in the politics and political economy of specific states and/or areas and/or international institutions and organisations
-Regime analysis and the concept of soft power governance
-An appropriate topic in international politics of their choice

Student Profiles

The time I spent as an International Relations student at SGIA was one of the most precious moment in my life. In this course, there is a large number of modules that I can choose to study based on my interest. Furthermore, these modules are interdisciplinary, which help to develop the knowledge and enhance knowledge adaptability skill of the students. Besides, class discussion with foreign classmates, along with the contribution of skillful teaching staff, not only help me to create friendships across the border and engage in international community, but also, help to develop my analytical skills, and provide me the different perspective to view the world that help me to get the better understanding of human beings and the society. I feel really honoured that I had a chance to study in this course and become the member of this school and this university.” Poramet "Jay" Tangsathaporn, 2015/16

“As I have been extensively involved in development projects implemented by different international organisations such as the Asian Development Bank, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Voluntary Services Overseas, and the UNDP for 7 years, I have had acquired the practical skills of working in different fields with international experts with diverse backgrounds. While doing my master’s programme in International Studies at the School of Government and International Affairs of Durham University, I have captured very good academic skills that should help me successfully pursue my career at regional and worldwide development organisations. I chose the MA International Studies programme for its focus on international political economy and development as well as regional studies. I have been grateful that my goal of studying the topics where I have had very limited knowledge matched the areas where Durham is recognised as number one in the UK. Therefore, I went deeper into economic, political, and security issues of particular regions such as Asia and the Middle East within my optional modules, which enabled me to fully understand and assess the whole world issues based on evidence. Learning to always ask ‘why’ to understand the root of the problem, and to ask ‘how’ to offer solutions has been one of the delicious fruits that I have harvested during my journey of original, creative, and critical thinking in Durham. Finally, I feel grateful to Durham University and the Chevening Secretariat for providing me with the greatest opportunity of studying at one of the top universities of the world with full scholarship.” Onon Sukhbaatar, 2015/16

“Participating in the MA International Relations programme has been a really positive experience. Students can choose from a wide range of modules, allowing for specialisation in a particular region or a more eclectic approach. The style of teaching in the department encourages independent thought and research, critical analysis and active contribution meaning students develop important skills relevant to further study as well as the workplace. The number of extra-curricular talks organised by the faculty enriches the learning experience while the diverse nature of the student body facilitates the sharing of different perspectives and ideas. Finally, learning is supported by several well-resourced libraries, IT facilities, and knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff.” Sarah Clowry, 2015/16

Course Content

Students will take four core modules to the value of 135 credits and optional modules to the value of 45 credits.

Core Modules:
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production
-Model United Nations
-International Relations Theory

Optional Modules - Optional modules in previous years have included:
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-German Foreign Policy
-Collective Memory and Identity in Post-War Europe
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain Since 1850
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-European Security
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupation
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-America and the World: The Making of US Foreign Policy
-Region, Nation and Citizen in SE Asia
-Political Economy and Development in Chinese Business
-Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-Theories of Capitalism
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into three core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Read less
This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. Read more
This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. It enables you to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion concepts, theories and paradigms within the broad field of international relations, drawing lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations.

Students are able to develop their ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. Each study route aims to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, including cultural and local political and ideological factors, which shape the contemporary international relations of the area.

The course also provides an opportunity for studying international relations and in comparative and historical perspective taking account of regional specific political and economic factors.

Student Profiles

“Students in the International Relations (East Asia) programme are exposed to an internationally diverse atmosphere in the class which leads us to be open-minded and objective. The wide range of modules allows students to not only discover a specialized area (East Asia) but to also explore other areas and foster global viewpoints. Therefore, students can further pursue interdisciplinary research at Durham University. Most importantly, lectures and seminars which are provided by professionally specialized professors enable students to nurture the ability to logically organize their thoughts and to propose solutions to difficult problems which may have no right answer. I am confident that graduates from this course will take an active role in interdisciplinary work across the globe because they learned how to be innovative and effective collaborators throughout this well-structured programme. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone interested in international relations and engaging in critical dialogue.” Kyoko Kato, 2015/16

“When making the step up from undergraduate studies to a Masters degree, you want to move up both in terms of university quality and in terms of the academic rigour. The MA International Relations program at SGIA provided me with that. The department boasts some of the top academics in the country and immediately you realise that you must step your game up to thrive on a postgraduate program at one of the top few universities in the country. The course offers an excellent balance of compulsory modules; which improve study and research techniques, and selective modules; which allow you to specialise in areas of interest. I made two really fascinating observations about the department: one was how much of a diverse international presence SGIA contains, and the second was that the seminars are a complete open forum, which allow for a wide spectrum of ideas. If you can justify your intellectual position; then all viewpoints are accepted. I’m delighted I chose this course and I feel this degree puts me on a path to progress in my future career. Simply put: Durham and SGIA are the place to be!” Edward Spann, 2015/16

“My favourite aspect of the Master course is the unique learning experience at the university. Over here in Durham, students are encouraged to actively participate and even lead discussions and debates regarding the module content. Independent research outside the classrooms therefore becomes essential and inevitable in students' learning experience. Additionally, the School of Government and International Affairs has also been regularly inviting prominent and influential speakers in the field of politics and international affairs to give a seminar so as to enhance the students' learning curve.” Chanatip Padungdetpasuton

Course Content

Students will take five core modules to the value of 150 credits and optional modules to the value of 30 credits, 15 of which must be from the regional module list.

Core Modules:
-International Relations Theory
-Model United Nations
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production
-Dissertation

East Asia Route Core Module:
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-Regional Modules:
-Region, Nation and Citizen in SE Asia
-Political Economy and Development in Chinese Business
-Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China.

Non-regional Modules - In previous years these have included:
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-German Foreign Policy
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain
-Collective Memory and Identity in Post-War Europe
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-European Security
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-America and the World: The Making of US Foreign Policy
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupation
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-Political Ideology
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into four core and two optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Read less
This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. Read more
This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. It enables you to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion concepts, theories and paradigms within the broad field of international relations, drawing lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations.

Students are able to develop their ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. Each study route aims to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, including cultural and local political and ideological factors, which shape the contemporary international relations of the area.

The course also provides an opportunity for studying international relations and in comparative and historical perspective taking account of regional specific political and economic factors.

Student Profiles

“From the moment I applied for the MA International Relations (Middle East) programme at Durham University, I knew it was going to be a perfect fit. The combination of theoretical and technical modules, coupled with the option to specialise in the regional area of my choice, immediately made this programme stand out. I was equally drawn to the academic reputation and international background of the SGIA department. Whilst seminars and lectures were intellectually stimulating, the academic staff was very approachable and keen to guide our independent research. Although many of us applied for the International Relations programme with a background in a different subject, the transition – although challenging – proved to be rewarding. Overall, my time at Durham has been an incredibly enriching and unforgettable experience.” Nina Schroeter, 2015/16

“My year at SGIA studying International Relations of the Middle East has allowed me to engage critically with the subjects I have studied. The department offered a rich variety of modules, including language courses delivered through the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. SGIA’s international and multicultural environment is ideal to study a transnational subject like international politics. The assessments have been stimulating occasions to apply the knowledge acquired and feedback has been provided throughout the year by helpful and available lecturers. All activities were properly organised and resources abounded, from the well-stocked library to the modern classrooms and an efficient staff. All this contributed to make my stay in Durham a pleasant and a rewarding one.” Simone Clericuzio, 2015/16

“Pursuing the International Relations (Middle East) MA at Durham has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The School of Government & International Affairs offers all students a chance to really engage in the issues they are interested in. The department provides the opportunity of specialising the course based on the world's regions you are most passionate about, while simultaneously opening your eyes to other issues in the wider world of International Relations. Coupled with a very approachable department with exceptional teaching standards, this course is both as comprehensive as it is detailed, attracting students and views from all over the world. These factors combine to offer an extremely positive and enriching experience, providing an exceptional foundation for future academic or professional goals.” Scott Chipolina, 2014/15

Course Content

Students will take five core modules to the value of 150 credits and optional modules to the value of 30 credits, 15 of which must be from the regional module list.

Core Modules:
-International Relations Theory
-Model United Nations
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production
-Dissertation

Middle East Route Core Module:
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Regional Modules:
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East

Non-regional Modules - In previous years these have included:
-German Foreign Policy
-European Security
-Collective Memory and Identity in Post-War Europe
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain
-America and the World: The Making of US Foreign Policy
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupation
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-Nationalism Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development of Chinese Business
-Political Ideology
-Region, Nation and Citizen in Southeast Asia
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into four core and two optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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This MSc Programme is specifically focused to provide research training simultaneously with Arabic language training. It is designed to include all the pertinent requirements of the one-year research-training masters degree (the ‘1' of the ‘1+3' model) as set out in the ESRC Postgraduate Training Guidelines. Read more
This MSc Programme is specifically focused to provide research training simultaneously with Arabic language training. It is designed to include all the pertinent requirements of the one-year research-training masters degree (the ‘1' of the ‘1+3' model) as set out in the ESRC Postgraduate Training Guidelines. All the research training or subject-specific modules are taught at Durham and are components of ESRC recognised research training masters at Durham. On completion of the programme, it is anticipated that students will have fulfilled the requirements of a normal ESRC research training masters, as well as having attained their language proficiency.

Students will need to negotiate their particular optional choices and pathways in discussion with the Programme Director, Professor Ehteshami. Students share a common generic methodologies and Arabic skills base, but have freedom to develop particular strength in fields of their choice.

Student Profiles

"This 2-year Masters programme focuses primarily on Arabic language training and social science research methods, and is therefore ideal for students wishing to turn their interest in the region into a career in academia, political risk, consultancy, or other similar fields. Having had minimal experience in foreign language learning before the programme, I have been impressed by the Arabic lessons here at Durham and I benefited enormously from attending Arabic school in Jordan during the Summer. I have also been impressed by the course’s emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and the department’s willingness to allow me freedom to choose modules outside of the provisional curriculum. Having taken rewarding modules across five separate departments, I have managed to study according to my own interests. Upon finishing this course, I will be starting an interdisciplinary PhD looking at poverty alleviation in Jordan." Martin Price, 2015/16

"The MSc Arab World Studies is an academic-oriented and well-structured taught programme in Durham University where probably represents the highest level of the Middle Eastern Studies in Britain. It provides the training in research methods, professional and specific regional research of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the Arabic language, which I personally think is the best part of this programme. Within the two years’ time together with a remarkable ten weeks placement in an Arab nation, I’ve worked hard to learn this language which I’ve never touched before. And at the final part of my PG life, I find myself a trilingual person. This not only has given me a fresh and deep perspective to understand the Arab World, but also may benefit my career a lot in the future. Sometimes the study can be tough and intensive, but for me, it is never boring to challenge myself!” Hongxi Xu, 2015/16

"Learning Arabic with the Arab World Studies programme has been extremely beneficial, complementing learning about the Middle East very well. It has certainly brought an additional exposure to understanding the Middle East, particularly as the programme sends students on a study period abroad to the region. Studying Arabic is certainly a challenging task but very rewarding, as is this interdisciplinary masters as a whole.” Sarah Grand-Clement, 2014/15

Course Content

The MSc in Arab world Studies is intended to provide rigorous, research-driven, interdisciplinary, masters-level education and training. It is committed to providing a supportive learning environment that seeks to combine critical and practical reasoning so as to attain the following aims:
-The programme is designed to establish a cadre of exceptional researchers, qualified at the Masters level, with skills and knowledge sufficient for the conduct of research in and on the Arab World.
-To recruit students of high calibre who have not previously completed any substantive research training and who have few or no Arabic language skills.
-To provide generic training in research methods and methodologies to provide a foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research and transferable skills that all students in the social sciences require as deemed appropriate for ESRC recognition.
-To provide subject-specific training in research methods and methodologies in Politics, relevant also to International Relations and International Studies.
-To provide language instruction in the Arabic language, such that the student develops appropriate and sufficient competence to utilise the language in their subsequent research, or employment in the Arabic-speaking world.
-To develop the knowledge, skills and understanding which will prepare students to undertake research for a doctoral degree in Politics, International Relations or International Studies, and which may be required of a professional researcher in these fields of the social sciences.
-To develop the student's knowledge of the range of existing disciplinary, multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research on the Arab World.

Course Structure
Year 1
-Core modules to the value of 70 credits
-Optional modules to the value of 30 credits

Year 2
-Core modules to the value of 40 credits
-Optional modules to the value of 75 credits, plus
-Dissertation 60 credits

Core Modules
-Arabic Language 1B
-Perspectives on Social Research
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-Arabic Language 2B
-Dissertation

Optional Modules - Optional modules in previous years have included:
-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning
-Quantitative Methods in Social Science
-Applied Statistics
-Qualitative Methods in Social Science
-Fieldwork and Interpretation
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-America and the World: The Making of US Foreign Policy
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

This MSc programme is spread across two-years. In the first year 100 credits is divided into three core and one/two optional modules and then in the second year 175 credits is divided into one core and five optional modules. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than 12,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. Read more
This programme provides you with the systematic knowledge and intellectual tools to critically review developments in the theory and practice of international relations. It enables you to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion concepts, theories and paradigms within the broad field of international relations, drawing lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations.

Students are able to develop their ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship. Each study route aims to provide advanced knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, including cultural and local political and ideological factors, which shape the contemporary international relations of the area.

The course also provides an opportunity for studying international relations and in comparative and historical perspective taking account of regional specific political and economic factors.

Student Profiles

“Attending the Master in International Relations (European) at Durham University has been so far the best experience of my life. Indeed engaging in conversation with colleagues from different nationalities and professors willing to listen to your opinion has helped me analyse the world dynamics from different perspectives. Honestly I have learned more in the last year than throughout any of my academic experience. In sum living and studying at Durham has had a great impact on my life to the extent that it made me realize my real potential and what my future career could be like. Therefore I would certainly recommend studying this course at Durham University as it has positively changed my life and it might have the same effect on you.” Luca Marro, 2015/16

“Undertaking postgraduate study is a huge commitment. Not only is it a period of intensive academic study, it is a financial and time consuming one too. Therefore, I was naturally very thorough when deciding upon which university I wanted to attend. Ultimately, my decision to study at SGIA was based on two factors. Firstly, the reputation of Durham University ensures that I receive a degree which is highly valued and respected by employers. Secondly, by undertaking the MA in International Relations (Europe) I have been able to develop an area specialisation and study a topic which is of immense interest to me. These two points proved fruitful results, when, during my first term at Durham, I was able to secure graduate level employment for when I leave. A high point of this perhaps, was attending the assessment centre for the position only to find three other people from SGIA at the event - you can thus be confident that deciding to undertake an MA puts you in a very good position!” Thomas Knight, 2015/16

As a Master’s student in International Relations (Europe), I have benefitted from the vast knowledge of the academics who are specialised in the European Union. I learnt both technical and theoretical details about the EU. Therefore, as a EU-funded Jean Monnet Scholarship holder, MA in International Relations (Europe) met the aim of my scholarship to develop Turkey’s human resources with trained EU experts for the accession. Not only the vigour of academic staff of the SGIA but also the good research facilities as well as the extremely helpful team of the School Office have made this experience unforgettable and fruitful for me." Asli Kandemir, 2014/15

Course Content

Students will take five core modules to the value of 150 credits and optional modules to the value of 30 credits, 15 of which must be from the regional module list.

Core Modules:
-International Relations Theory
-Model United Nations
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production
-Dissertation

European Route Core Module:
-European Security

Regional Modules:
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-Collective Memory & Identity in Post War Europe

Non-regional Modules - In previous years these have included:
-German Foreign Policy
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-America and the World: The Making of the US Foreign Policy
-Human Rights
-Political Ideology
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupations
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice
-Nationalism Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development of Chinese Business
-Political Ideology
-Region, Nation and Citizen in Southeast Asia
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into four core and two optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Read less
The MSc in Public Policy and Global Health examines public policy, health and inequality issues and locates these discussions within a wider health systems context. Read more
The MSc in Public Policy and Global Health examines public policy, health and inequality issues and locates these discussions within a wider health systems context.

Course structure

There are no optional modules in the degree, in 2015 modules available were:
-Global Health Issues and Governance (15 credits)
-Public Policy, Health and Health Inequalities (15 credits)
-Health Systems Analysis and Comparison (15 credits)
-The Dynamics of Evidence Informed Policy (15 credits)
-Gender, Sex, Health and Politics (15 credits)
-Qualitative Methods Applied to Policy and Health Research (15 credits)
-Epidemiology and Statistics (15 credits)
-Placement in Public Policy and Global Health (15 credits)
-Dissertation in Public Policy and Global Health (60 credits)

The MSc is aimed at students, public health practitioners and managers in the publicly funded health organisations and systems (especially but not solely the NHS), local government bodies, regional agencies, and the voluntary and community sectors. Although intended to appeal to practitioners, the course emphasis is on policy implementation and decision making. It will develop critical judgement in health and policy analysis, hone your research skills and extend your capability to plan, undertake and excel in research in these areas.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy and Health (comprised of the taught MSc modules without the dissertation) is also available, as is a Postgraduate Certificate.

Learning and Teaching

Each Masters programme in The Integrated Health Sciences Suite is structured as four core modules (common to all component masters), four subject specific and optional modules, and a dissertation which is equivalent in weight to four taught modules.

The taught modules are mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Typically lectures provide the key concepts and theories whilst tutorials and seminars allow students to work through application of concepts to practice in more detail promoting analysis of theory and reflection on its application. Dependent on the learning objectives of particular modules, case studies, role plays and simulation games are also cooperated to provide experiential based learning. The aim here is to assist students to arrive at new insights into the practical applications of theory. All taught modules also include an expectation that students will learn through structured reading thus obtaining greater familiarity with key texts and a deeper understanding of the subject knowledge generally. Within the seminar/tutorial format of the modules students are required to make oral presentations. These provide opportunities to develop oral and written skills in communicating clearly in an interprofessional manner.

The precise time allocation between lectures, seminars and tutorials is partially dependent on the student numbers in individual modules. Modules with smaller student numbers will tend towards greater reliance seminar formats than modules with larger student numbers (i.e. in modules with small student numbers lecture formats will be interspersed with more interactive and participative forms of learning). All taught modules within the Integrated Health Sciences Suite are taught over 10 weeks with a minimum of two hours of face-to-face contact per module per week. All modules within the master suite are research-based and the importance of research in each programme is emphasised in the additional face to face time given to the health research methods modules which are structured for three hours of direct teaching per week per module. Certain subject specific modules within the suite are structured for 2.5 hours of face-to-face teaching per week.

The dissertation module is primarily taught through independent study, research (including library research) and analysis which allows the student to conduct, as an individual initiative, a substantial piece of academic work in their chosen academic field, write it up and present it in a scholarly fashion. This provides students with the opportunity to engage with academic issues at the forefront of research and promotes independent lifelong learning skills from a variety of sources. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have three or four one-to-one supervisory meetings, students personalised and detailed academic study results in a significant piece of independent research of relevance to their intended future or current work. Students’ contact time with supervisors is jointly agreed between students and supervisors, and will vary according to this stage of the dissertation and the progress being made. However there is an expectation that students will have access to supervisors at least once every three weeks for the duration of the dissertation for a maximum of two hours at a time.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet with their adviser two to three times a year.

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This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. Read more
This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. The Department of Geography is especially well-suited to examine these in relation to security- and health-related risk, but students are encouraged to develop their thinking in relation to any aspect of risk, including, for example, climate risk and disaster risk reduction. For students interested in security-related risk, the MA programme offers in-depth and advanced understanding on geo-political security challenges and politics, including the ways in which they are governed increasingly through the prism of risk. The course responds to the growing realisation that many risks are being created through social processes bound to questions of security, including the ways that risk techniques are emerging and being employed as a means of securing uncertain futures. Since the 9/11 attacks in New York City and the 7/7 bombings in London, governments have become more concerned with terrorist threats to security. Surveillance has become more commonplace, preventing some risks while also creating new ones never before seen in society.

For students interested in health-related risk, the MA programme offers advanced training in research methods on the determinants of health and well-being, and their implications for health policy and service provision. Led in part by experts in population health from a social science and public health perspective, the MA programme responds to the observation that we often overlook the critical role played by communities in creating and managing risks, and that we need to develop new approaches to building community resilience. Students learn about the 'social determinants' associated with public health risks including unemployment and poverty. The socioeconomic impacts of financial crises, for example, have large implications for public health risk creating new challenges for research and governance. Students will be trained in both quantitative and qualitative methods to learn how to produce evidence relating to the wider determinants of health that is likely to benefit population health. Graduates from this programme will be well-suited to the needs of social and community work, to health professionals, and the pursuit of research degrees.

Course Structure

Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:
Core Modules:
-Understanding Risk (30 credits)
-Risk Frontiers (15 credits)
-Fundamentals of Risk Research (15 credits)
-Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective Modules available in previous years include:
-Hydrological Hazards (30 credits)
-Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazard (30 credits)
-Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 credits)
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East (15 credits)
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (15 credits)
-European Security (15 credits)
-Social Policy and Society (30 credits)

Learning and Teaching

Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.

The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk; whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.

All students will undertake a suite of core modules (120 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are: Understanding Risk, Fundamentals of Risk Research, Risk Frontiers and the Dissertation.

Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 60 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:
-The social dimensions of risk and resilience
-Determinants of health and well-being, and their implications for health policy and service provision, and/or:
-A combination of approaches to risk.

Electives can be selected from:
-Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience
-Strategic Asia
-European Security
-International Relations in the Middle East
-Social Policy and Society

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This programme offers students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to develop their legal knowledge and skills in some of the most intellectually challenging and practically relevant areas of trade and commercial law. Read more
This programme offers students from a wide variety of backgrounds the opportunity to develop their legal knowledge and skills in some of the most intellectually challenging and practically relevant areas of trade and commercial law. The course has a particular emphasis upon the international aspects of these areas of legal knowledge and practice.

During the first two terms of the programme, students study taught modules drawn from a wide variety of topics on international trade and commercial law. Students then complete their studies by writing a dissertation on a topic chosen by them, and supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their selected subject area. Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision.

Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme. The School is host to the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law, and students on the LLM are encouraged to participate in its activities.

Course Structure

Students must study one compulsory module in Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.

Core Modules

-Applied Research Methods in Law
-Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words)

Optional Modules

Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.
-Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
-Advanced Issues in the Constitutional Law of the EU
-Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law
-Advanced Law of Obligations
-Advanced Research in EU Law
-Carriage of Goods by Sea
-Commercial Fraud
-Comparative and Transnational Law
-Comparative Corporate Governance
-Comparative Insurance Law
-Comparative Private Law
-Corporate Compliance
-Corporate Social Responsibility
-Corporations in an EU Context
-Current Issues in Commercial Law
-Current Issues in Company Law
-Current Problems of International Law
-Domestic Anti-Discrimination Law
-Electronic Commerce
-Environement Law and International Trade
-EU Competition Law
-EU Trade Law
-European Discrimination Law
-Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective
-Fundamentals of International Law
-International and Comparative Advertising Law
-International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law
-International Banking Law
-International Commercial Dispute Resolution
-International Co-operation in Criminal Matters
-International Human Rights Law
-International Human Rights Law, Development and Commerce
-International Investment Law
-International Law of Human Rights
-International Perspectives on Law and Gender
-International Sales Law
-Introduction to Corporate Governance
-Introduction to EU Law
-Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
-Introduction to International Criminal Justice
-Introduction to Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act
-Introduction to the Law of Oil Contracts
-Islamic Law
-Law of the WTO
-Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act
-Mergers and Acquisitions
-Perspectives on Securities Law and Capital Markets
-Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law
-Rights of the Child
-Selected Issues in Competition Law
-Selected Issues in European Law
-Selected Issues of Intellectual Property Law
-Takeover Regulation in the EU
-Tax Law and Policy
-The Community Legal Order
-The European Union and International Trade
-Unjust Enrichment

Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation). In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, and Durham European Law Institute.

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This programme provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of the law of the European Union, with particular emphasis upon its commercial aspects. Read more
This programme provides an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of the law of the European Union, with particular emphasis upon its commercial aspects. If you are new to European law, there is a (compulsory) foundation course providing a solid grounding in the subject. Having completed your choice of taught modules, you will then undertake an extended dissertation on a European law topic of your choice, supervised by a member of staff with expertise in their chosen subject area.

Teaching is by a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups. The dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision. Students attending the programme are drawn from a broad range of countries, and their previous academic or professional experiences enrich the programme

The School is host to the Durham European Law Institute, and you are encouraged to participate in its many activities. The Library, which includes a European Documentation Centre, has extensive holdings of European materials.

Course Structure

Students must study modules in Introduction to EU law, and Applied Research Methods in Law. You must also choose a number of additional taught modules, from a large body of optional modules. Finally, a dissertation must be completed, on a topic chosen by you in consultation with your allotted supervisor.

Core Modules

-Introduction to EU Law (unless you have previously studied such a module)
-Applied Research Methods in Law
-Dissertation (of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words)

Optional Modules

Please note: not all modules necessarily run every year, and we regularly introduce new modules. The list below provides an example of the type of modules which may be offered.
-Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
-Advanced Issues in the Constitutional Law of the EU
-Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law
-Advanced Law of Obligations
-Advanced Research in EU Law
-Carriage of Goods by Sea
-Commercial Fraud
-Comparative and Transnational Law
-Comparative Corporate Governance
-Comparative Insurance Law
-Comparative Private Law
-Corporate Compliance
-Corporate Social Responsibility
-Corporations in an EU Context
-Current Issues in Commercial Law
-Current Issues in Company Law
-Current Problems of International Law
-Domestic Anti-Discrimination Law
-Electronic Commerce
-Environment Law and International Trade
-EU Competition Law
-EU Trade Law
-European Discrimination Law
-Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective
-Fundamentals of International Law
-International and Comparative Advertising Law
-International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law
-International Banking Law
-International Commercial Dispute Resolution
-International Co-operation in Criminal Matters
-International Human Rights Law
-International Human Rights Law, Development and Commerce
-International Investment Law
-International Law of Human Rights
-International Perspectives on Law and Gender
-International Sales Law
-Introduction to Corporate Governance
-Introduction to Intellectual Property Law
-Introduction to International Criminal Justice
-Introduction to Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act
-Introduction to the Law of Oil Contracts
-Islamic Law
-Law of the WTO
-Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act
-Mergers and Acquisitions
-Perspectives on Securities Law and Capital Markets
-Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law
-Rights of the Child
-Selected Issues in Competition Law
-Selected Issues in European Law
-Selected Issues of Intellectual Property Law
-Takeover Regulation in the EU
-Tax Law and Policy
-The Community Legal Order
-The European Union and International Trade
-Unjust Enrichment

Learning and Teaching

This programme involves both taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. Taught modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures and seminars. Although most lectures do encourage student participation, they are used primarily to introduce chosen topics, identify relevant concepts, and introduce the student to the main debates and ideas relevant to the chosen topic. They give students a framework of knowledge that students can then develop, and reflect on, through their own reading and study.

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. Students are expected to carry out reading prior to classes, and are usually set questions or problems to which to apply the knowledge they have developed. Through class discussion, or the presentation of student papers, students are given the opportunity to test and refine their knowledge and understanding, in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The number of contact hours in each module will reflect that module’s credit weighting. 15-credit modules will have, in total, 15 contact hours (of either lectures or seminars); 30-credit modules will have 30 contact hours. Students must accumulate, in total, between 90 and 120 credits of taught modules for the programme (depending upon the length of their dissertation).

In addition to their taught modules, all students must produce a dissertation of between 10,000 and 20,000 words. This is intended to be the product of the student’s own independent research. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor, and will have a series of (usually four) one-to-one meetings with their supervisor over the course of the academic year.

Finally, all taught postgraduate students on this programme, are encouraged to attend the various events, including guest lectures and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law, and Durham European Law Institute.

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The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their skills in the context of broader theoretical models, as well as graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind. Read more
The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their skills in the context of broader theoretical models, as well as graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind.

The intensive professional workshops are open to practitioners who are not on the MSc programmes as Continuing Professional Development courses, enhancing students' opportunities for networking and learning from other practitioners' perspectives.

Courses are taught by a mixture of academics and practitioners, and cover both critical and problem-solving approaches. Conflict dynamics are analysed drawing on multiple disciplines, including security studies, peace studies, anthropology, law, archaeology, history and political theory. Modules include both traditional term-long modules and short, usually more skills-oriented, continuing professional development courses as well as fieldtrips (e.g. past fieldtrips were organised to Labanon, Napal, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Kosovo).

Student Profiles

“Doing MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy was an enriching experience for me mainly because of a huge diversity of students participating from all corners of the world having their own unique views on contemporary issues, academically engaged professors with profound knowledge and experience and equally stimulating academic environment of Durham. I was particularly amazed at how professors always motivated us to think critically on contemporary issues and existing knowledge system dealing with them, develop extended understanding of pressing issues that we are facing today, and offer innovative solutions to those problems.” Salina Chaulagain, 2015/16

“Complementing my background in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science, the MSc DDD has equipped me with tools used by practitioners and taught me to problematise, analyse and empathise with people in a conflict-ridden world.” Clemens Chay, 2014/15

“This programme uniquely addresses the issue of siloed thinking present in the interwoven sectors of defence, development, and diplomacy. The course is grounded on a “critical thinking” versus “problem solving” approach, and unswervingly focuses on the theory-practice connection. Most importantly, though, I cannot say enough about the caliber of my DGSi peer group. I am thankful not only for their friendship, but for the professional insights they will be able to offer in years to come. As a military officer, I am grateful for the ability to pick up the phone and gain a better understanding of the dynamics of a conflict or an operation from one of my former Durham peers.” Eric Davids, 2014/15

Course Structure

With conflicts becoming either increasingly drawn-out, asymmetric wars of attrition or normalise into states of no peace – no war, our understanding of conflict and conflict intervention is shifting. Conflicts are rarely determined by military victory, diplomacy or long-term development, but require to securing populations through a comprehensive approach that sees to their political, and economic, as well as their security-related needs. Their outcome will be determined by how well the different arms of government and civil society, both locally and internationally, can work together and how well they understand each others' perspectives.

This inter-disciplinary and custom designed MSc offers the unique opportunity to look at conflict, conflict intervention and post-conflict reconstruction through the lenses of defence, development and diplomacy.

The MSc is designed for graduates with a career in government, the armed forces, inter-governmental organisations, NGOs or academia in mind, and for practitioners looking to enhance their practical skills while placing these within a broader theoretical perspective.

Five core modules worth 75 credits plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits plus three optional modules to the value of 45 credits.

Core Modules
-Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms
-Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
-Conflict Intervention: International Law, Counter-Insurgency and Conflict Diplomacy
-Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Stabilisation, Development and State-Building
-Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation (in MSc-specific roles)
-Dissertation

Optional Modules - Optional module in previous years have included:
-Religion, Culture and Conflict
-Conflict Mediation
-Fieldtrip
-Conflict Sensitive Programme Management
-Re-thinking Counter Terrorism
-Conflict Analysis
-Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding
-International Negotiation as Instrument in Conflict Management
-Policing Post-Conflict Cities

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through two-day induction events in which they are informed about the University, the School, the MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MSc degree programme is divided into five core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Although all modules have 18/19 contact hours, the core modules are spread over 9/10 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2-hour sessions which take the form of a one hour lecture and a one hour tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another. The optional modules of the programme are delivered over two full days, through a mixture of lectures, Q&A sessions, seminar discussions, and role plays.

Formative assessment is given on seminar contributions, role plays, and formative essays. Students have the opportunity to meet their lecturers to discuss their marks and other issues arising from their course performance. Students also have the opportunity to attend ‘essay surgeries’ in which they can discuss the structure and content of their essays early in the course.

Students can also meet their module coordinators or programme coordinator during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the latter half of the year, they are required to attend two 4-hour workshops. In addition, they have the opportunity to meet their assigned supervisors for an average of 6 meetings. Students also have access to the MSc Programme Director and the School’s Director of Taught Post Graduate Studies whenever there is a need.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. Students are also fully integrated into the Durham Global Security Institute, which delivers this MSc programme and hosts guest lectures and seminars throughout the year. These events provide students with the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies, and in conflict, peace and security studies.

Throughout the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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The focus of governments and humanitarian NGOs has progressively shifted towards conflict prevention and building sustainable peace. Read more
The focus of governments and humanitarian NGOs has progressively shifted towards conflict prevention and building sustainable peace. Yet to prevent conflict or to build a secure and inclusive state and society after conflict involves a complex set of skills straddling conflict analysis, conflict mediation and negotiation, peace processes, state stabilisation, post-conflict reconstruction, peace building and early warning.

This inter-disciplinary, custom-designed MSc offers the opportunity to develop operational and vocational skills for conflict prevention and peacebuilding within the context of the latest theories on conflict and conflict prevention. Students will acquire the analytical skills to map conflict dynamics, design conflict sensitive projects and develop early warning mechanisms, enabling them to better predict, and so avoid, the outbreak of violent conflicts. They will also gain the skills necessary to assess and evaluate the impact and outcomes of interventions.

The MSc is designed for practitioners looking to enhance their existing skills, as well as graduates with a career in conflict prevention, conflict mediation, or post-conflict reconstruction in mind. It is particularly aimed at those seeking to work or already working in the (I)NGO sector, governmental departments or inter-governmental organisations.

While rooted in peace and conflict studies, the MSc draws on strategic and security studies as well as development studies, enabling much needed cross-fertilisation between these traditionally divergent perspectives. It draws on real-life case studies as well as interactive role plays, and exposes students to both cutting-edge academic developments and the latest practitioner experience, with a particular focus on bottom-up approaches.

Courses are taught by a mixture of academics and practitioners, and cover both critical and problem-solving approaches. Conflict dynamics are analysed drawing on multiple disciplines, including security studies, peace studies, anthropology, law, archaeology, history and political theory. Modules include both traditional, term-long modules and short, usually more skills-oriented continuing professional development courses as well as fieldtrips (e.g. fieldtrips have been organised to Nepal, Kenya, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Kosovo).

Student Profiles

"What I really like about DGSi programs is that they are able to match a great theoretical understanding of the issues I am interested in with a clear focus on the practical skills that are required for working in the field." Lianne Vostermans, 2013/14

“Having co-sponsorship from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK and Durham University, I was able to accomplish my Chevening scholarship doing MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (CPP) at Durham Global Security Institute (DGSi). Although it was found to be quite intensive and intellectually challenging, I have no doubt that this master programme will equip junior diplomats like me with necessary knowledge and skills, especially in security and peacebuilding domains, so that we can contribute our best capacities in the making of the world a more peaceful home to the whole mankind.” Chan Aye, 2015/16

“I chose the Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Master because of its interdisciplinary character, topics and the combination between theory and practice. During the course I have had the opportunity to meet very many interesting scholars, practitioners and very intelligent and diverse fellow students, from different cultural and academic backgrounds. The course gave me insight in things I had only read about in books before by confronting us with people who have actually been in the field, and by taking us there ourselves through the study trip and fieldwork opportunities for our dissertations. I have learned to look at conflict situations from new perspectives, something I hope to use in future employment in order to help create a more peaceful world.” Marit Jansen, 2014/15

Course Structure

The MSc will provide students with advanced knowledge of the complex and specialised areas of peacebuilding, among it conflict analysis, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and conflict transformation, community driven reconstruction, peace processes within the context of contemporary conflicts and in the context of broader international (humanitarian) interventions. Integrated into the MSc structure are opportunities to develop operational and vocational skills for example in negotiations, conflict mediation, conflict sensitive programme design and programme management, or urban peacebuilding. Students are provided with theoretical and empirical knowledge and with practical skills that are helpful for current and future employment opportunities. The courses are thus attractive to both graduates and mid-career practitioners. Whilst the academic and applied focus of the MSc comes through a peace and conflict studies analytic lens, course material will also draw from traditional strategic/security and development studies, enabling cross fertilisation between different perspectives. It allows the exploration of unique and new paradigms and practices in the fields of conflict, peace, security, defence, diplomacy, development and humanitarian intervention.

Five core modules worth 75 credits plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits plus three optional modules to the value of 45 credits.

Core Modules
-Defence, Development and Diplomacy in Conflict: Evolving Actors, Factors and Paradigms
-Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
-Responses: Peace Processes and Political Negotiation
-Recovery and Reconstruction: Consolidating Peace after Violence
-Capstone Exercise: Humanitarian Intervention Simulation (in MSc-specific roles)

Dissertation.
Optional Modules - Optional modules in previous years have included:
-Religion, Culture and Conflict
-Conflict Mediation
-Fieldtrip
-Conflict Sensitive Programme Management
-Re-thinking Counter Terrorism
-Urban Violence - Urban Peacebuilding
-International Negotiation as Instrument in Conflict Management
-Policing Post-Conflict Cities
-Conflict Analysis

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, as well as the general induction programme offered by the School and the university, Durham Global Security Institute (DGSi) students are invited to a programme specific induction. This induction provides an overview of the programme an opportunity to meet members of the team and an opportunity to discuss optional module choices.

The 180 credits one-year MSc degree programme is divided into five core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Students also have to submit a dissertation (60 credits) of not more than15,000 words. Practitioners have the option of writing an in-depth policy document as their dissertation.

Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation. Assessment methods include: an examination, essays, presentations, reflective journal, reports, article reviews and policy briefs.

Although all modules have 18/19 contact hours, the core modules are spread over 9/10 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2-hour sessions which take the form of a one hour lecture and a one hour tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another. The optional modules of the programme are either delivered over two full days, through a mixture of lectures, Q&A sessions, seminar discussions, and role plays or over a single term in 2-hour seminar sessions. There is also the opportunity to participate in a study visit which provides an opportunity to investigate issues ‘in the field’ concerned with conflict prevention, conflict resolution, state and peace-building. Of particular interest is the theory-practice linkage

Students can also meet their module coordinators or programme coordinator during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the latter half of the year, they are required to attend two 4-hour workshops. In addition, they have the opportunity to meet their assigned supervisors for an average of 6 meetings. Students also have access to the MSc Programme Director and the School’s Director of Taught Post Graduate Studies whenever there is a need.

The School hosts events throughout the year which all postgraduate students are invited to attend. Students are also fully integrated into the Durham Global Security Institute which also hosts guest lectures and seminars throughout the year. These events provide students with the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies, and in conflict, peace and security studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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The field of Social Policy examines the definition, pattern and range of social problems in contemporary society and the various policy responses to them. Read more
The field of Social Policy examines the definition, pattern and range of social problems in contemporary society and the various policy responses to them. It explores the role of the state in relation to the welfare and management of its citizens and the role of state intervention in determining the conditions under which people live. This programme is designed to provide students with grounding in social research as applied in social policy investigations.

Course Structure

Students take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year. Starting in the first term, students undertake a module on research design which enables students to develop a research proposal for their dissertation.

Core Modules

Typical modules outlined below are those that were available to students studying this programme in previous years.

-Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
-Research Design and Process (15 credits)
-Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
-Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
-Social Policy and Society (30 credits)
-Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)
-Dissertation (60 credits)

Academic learning is assessed through a range of summative essays, statistical/computer-based projects, research proposals, and a dissertation.

Learning and Teaching

These MA Research Methods programmes are full time, starting in early October and continuing over 12 months following university terms.

The main teaching methods include lectures, seminars, and computer practical sessions. Lectures introduce the key concepts, theories, current debates and other issues critical for understanding the topics. Seminars are opportunities for students to discuss any questions arising from the readings, to share experience of conducting research, to present their own work for comments. Modules that teach the use of computer software packages have practical sessions in computer rooms so that students can carry out hands-on exercises under supervision and further assistance

Modules are usually assessed through essays. Statistics modules may require students to complete specific analyses with more structured instructions. Some module conveners may allow students to submit formative assignments in order for students to obtain a sense of how well they understand the subject. Some modules’ assessment may contain a proportion of presentations and group projects.

Further academic supports are available. Students have the opportunities to learn from their dissertation supervisors at individual tutoring meetings, dissertation workshops, and forums. Every member of teaching staff has two hours of office hours each week, when students can come without having to make an appointment beforehand. Both the University and the School organize seminars by external speakers that are open to all students.

Students will have access to a variety of learning resources, including learning spaces in libraries and teaching rooms, readings and textbooks, computers, databases, etc

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