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International Relations (MA)


Course Description

This course offers you an innovative, disciplined and intellectually challenging framework for studying issues and perspectives within international relations. You will consider various aspects of international order and politics, including the dynamics of international social and political power relationships and conflicts, and state building. These topics are studied comparatively in relation to governmental, political and social processes, and in the contexts of various historical continuities, discontinuities and contrasts.

Core modules

- Dissertation and Research Methods
You will receive supervised guidance and research methods training (through a series of research method workshops, the dissertation induction and colloquium seminars, and individual dissertation supervision sessions) to prepare you for your Masters dissertation on an agreed research topic. You will begin identifying your dissertation interests at the start of your studies, when you will be able to discuss your ideas with different tutors who may direct you towards taking appropriate option modules that support your future research studies. This module must be taken either following the completion of all other modules, or concurrently with modules in your second semester.

- International Relations: Beyond International Relations?
This module analyses the theory and the practice involved in giving international content to universal values and aspirations today. Part I analyses how two central tenets of realism have come under question: national interest and sovereignty. Part II considers the rights of the individual in the international sphere, focusing on humanitarian assistance and human rights. Part III traces the impact of new international practices to extend democracy, and Part IV analyses the recent developments in international justice and law. Part V considers whether a new global political actor is emerging – global civil society – which can overcome the international/domestic divide.

- International Relations: Theoretical Perspectives
This module charts the development of International Relations (IR) as an academic discipline, locating the dominant theoretical perspectives within their historical and political contexts. The central theme is the analysis of how a broad range of theories reflect changes in the subject of IR theory – the sovereign state. It looks at the role of theory in IR, the historical development of the discipline, and focuses on competing theories. The course aims to familiarise you with the rich debate within the discipline and allow you to make up your own mind about your choice of theories.

Option modules

You must choose four option modules from the following list (one of your options may be an approved free choice module hosted by another Masters course):

- Contemporary Controversies in International Security: Intervention Terrorism and Self-Defence
- Controversies in United States Foreign Policies and Processes
- Democracy and Islam
- Democratic Politics: Key Debates and Issues
- Development Theories, Policies and Practices
- Global Change: Toward a New Non-Western Order
- Globalisation, Democratisation and Post-Authoritarian Transition
- Governance of the European Union
- Islam and Politics in the Middle East
- Issues in International Politics of Resource
- Policy, Governance and Democracy: International Perspectives
- The European Union as an International Actor
- The Politics of Global Complexity: Rethinking Governance, Power and Agency
- The State, Politics and Violence
- Theories of International Security

Associated careers

This course will provide you with numerous key skills and knowledge that will prepare you for your future career in a variety of different fields. Our graduates hold posts within various international and national government departments and organisations. Many have also gone on to study for Doctorates within the Department and at other universities around the world.

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

Entry Requirements

You should have a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in Social Sciences or Humanities; equivalent qualifications from overseas are welcome. Your application must be supported by a reference written on institutional notepaper by an academic familiar with your abilities. Applications from mature candidates are welcomed. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. The University offers pre-sessional summer programmes if you need to improve your English before starting your course.

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