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International Relations - MA (Research)

Course Description

The School has a long tradition of high-quality research among its staff and students. The School’s vibrant research culture attracts students from all over the world who conduct research at the forefront of our discipline.

Our research programmes provide a combination of formal research training and individual supervision within a supportive environment, with regular interaction between staff and students. For example, the School runs a weekly Graduate Research Training Seminar, where students are encouraged to present their work and receive feedback from peers and staff. Students enjoy regular meetings with a supervisor and supervisory team, and are also given opportunities to collaborate with other members of staff through the staff research seminar and the activities of the four research centres (http://www.kent.ac.uk/politics/research/index.html).

Students are encouraged to participate in the annual postgraduate research conference, during which various staff members discuss the work of research students, and outside speakers offer plenary lectures. Research students will also be able to benefit from the skills training offered by the University’s Graduate School (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/).

The breadth of expertise within the School enables us to provide research supervision on a very wide range of topics across the area of International Relations.

Current projects of students studying in this area include: Evolving Sino-South Korean Relations: Interplay between National Identity and Interests, NAFTA-Land Security: The Mérida Initiative, Transnational Threats, and U.S. Security Projection in Mexico, Mediation as a Preventive Diplomacy Instrument: A Comparative Study of International Mediation in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, Readdressing the relationship between political philosophy and International Organisations , The Land of Maybe: Faroese Foreign Policy Decision-Making at the European Crossroads and A Phronetic Approach to the Theory and Practice of Humanitarian Intervention.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/63/international-relations

Study support

Postgraduate resources
Students have access to an excellent library and extensive computing facilities. You also have access to online resources; inter-library loans; video library; online book renewals and reservations; laptop and netbook loan facilities; more than 1,300 study spaces/seats; more than 27,500 books and 10,500 bound periodicals catalogued under politics and international relations and related class marks plus British Government Publications and 50,000 online journals also available off-campus. The School’s resources include a European Documentation Centre, with all official publications of the EU institutions, and a specialised collection on international conflict and federal studies as well as the University’s collection of political cartoons. In addition, postgraduate research students have their own designated room with 12 computer terminals.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Contemporary Political Theory; International Political Sociology; Journal of Human Rights; New Political Economy; Political Studies; Telos.

Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/tstindex.html) for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subjectspecific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills

Research areas

Our research interests span a broad spectrum of the discipline, with particular strengths in the fields of conflict analysis and resolution, political theory and European politics. The strength of the School’s research culture is reflected in the numerous books and articles published and in the existence of its four University-recognised research centres: the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC), the Centre for Federal Studies (CFS), the Global Europe Centre (GEC). and the Centre for Critical Thought (CCT).

All members of staff can supervise theses leading to research degrees. We encourage potential research students to refer to our postgraduate research handbook (pdf) for detailed information.

In 2011, the University successfully applied for ESRC recognition as a provider of doctoral training in political science and international studies (and other areas of the social sciences) as part of a consortium. As a result, we are now part of the South East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, making us one of the key training outlets in our subject in the UK.


The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Placements and Internships Officer who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the International Relations - MA (Research) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

Student Profiles

Graduate School Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The Graduate School Scholarship Scheme was established in 2009 to celebrate the founding of the University's Graduate School, which is responsible for the strategic development of graduate education and research within the University.The Scholarship is awarded to 2016 University of Kent Graduates who earn a Batchelors degree with honours (or undergraduate Masters degree) and register for a postgraduate degree at Kent by 1 October 2016.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000 reduction (£500 per annum for part-time students, for 2 years) in tuition fees


- Candidates must hold a Bachelors degree with honours (or undergraduate Master's degree) awarded in 2016 by the University of Kent.- This scholarship offer is not available to those students who have been awarded foundation degrees, HNCs, HNDs or postgraduate degrees.Candidates must have satisfied the criteria for admission and register for a postgraduate degree (Master's or Doctorate) with the University of Kent by 1 October 2016. - Candidates must be self-funded, i.e. they are paying their tuition fees themselves.- Open to overseas/home/EU fee paying students.- MArch students are not eligible for this scholarship.

Application Procedure

There is no need to make a separate application. The tuition fee reduction will be provided to all eligible 2016 graduates on registration

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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