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International Relations MSc

Course Description

Choose Kingston's International Relations MSc

This course aims to provide an understanding of the forces of global politics and to develop the skills needed to actively engage in the academic and professional discussions that are shaping the contemporary international agenda. With a particular focus on human rights and international conflict, it strikes a careful balance between the theoretical and practical elements of the study of international relations.

Key features

The course draws extensively on the highly acclaimed academics and experts of human rights and international conflict teaching from within the University.

You can specialise in the subfields of international political economy, conflict or security and human rights. The wide choice of option modules enables you to tailor the course to your interests.

Our year-long (30-credit) modules provide increased contact time with academic staff. In addition, you will be fully supported in developing postgraduate academic skills and preparing your dissertation, which allows you to research an area of interest in depth.

Lively discussion is encouraged, with visiting speakers, leading academics and figures from human rights and international organisations.

What you will study

You will explore the development of international relations and the key ideas that have shaped our understanding of the modern system. You will learn about actors and institutions such as the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, and you will study theoretical and policy debates concerning globalisation and underdevelopment.

You will investigate a country's financial flows, trade and investment, and will have the opportunity to take an in-depth look at issues of human rights and international conflict. Your dissertation will enable you to study an area of interest in depth. Alternatively, you can pursue an applied research project based on your work placement.


Seminar presentation, essay or equivalent study, and dissertation/applied research project.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

Research Skills and Dissertation/Project Proposal
The Theory and Practice of International Relations

Optional modules

Conflict Theory and Resolution
Contemporary Issues and Case Studies in Security and Conflict
Freedom, Censorship and Subversion
From State to Global Politics
Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
Human Rights: Architecture, Actors, Activism
Influencing Crime and Justice Policy
International Political Economy: Capitalism, Imperialism and the State
Strategies for Achieving Human Rights

What this course offers you

If you choose to study this course, here are some of the things you can expect from the course and how it will benefit you.

The International Relations MSc allows you to gain an understanding of global politics.

The course places extra emphasis on developing your research skills which will be a valuable addition to your CV.

Optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your own interests.

The dissertation gives you the chance to study under expert supervision an area of interest in greater depth.

Teaching staff are research-active, which keeps your learning cutting-edge.

You also benefit from our series of visiting speakers, which has included presentations by leading figures from politics, the media and international organisations.

The taught modules aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your academic studies, you gain skills in:
problem solving and organisation;
data collation, review and synopsis;
communication (oral, written and electronic);
time management;
computing; and
co-operation and teamwork.

This course is ideal if you have a personal or professional interest in current affairs. It can help you start or promote a career in areas such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), inter-governmental organisations or journalism.

It also provides an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD-level study in fields such as international relations, politics, development studies or history.

This course is available on a part-time basis to help you fit your studies around other commitments.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Visit the International Relations MSc page on the Kingston University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Alumni discount - 20+ Awards

All undergraduate alumni qualify for 10% off postgraduate taught course fees.

Value of Scholarship(s)



All Kingston Undergraduate alumni will receive 10% off postgraduate course fees.

Application Procedure

Automatically assessed on application, please ensure you state that your undergraduate degree was awarded by Kingston University.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

One or more of the following: A second class degree or above or equivalent in an area appropriate to the content of the degree. Relevant non-certified learning. An appropriate combination of certificated and non-certificated learning.

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