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MA Critical International Politics (Research)

Course Description

The Aberystwyth Master’s in Critical International Politics is your opportunity to examine the origins of prevailing global power relations, how they work and how they are reproduced. You will interrogate practices such as development, security, conflict, and environmental regulation in your analysis of the possibilities for the transformation of global politics. Rather than accepting existing social and power relations as natural and unmoving, this MA programme will help you explore the socio-historical context in which they emerged and expose their ideological functions. You will examine the conditions that give rise to contemporary political activism such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements and their potential for resistance or emancipation.

Visit the website: https://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/critical-international-politics-research-masters/

Course detail

Based in the Department of International Politics, which has a longstanding international reputation for outstanding research in critical approaches to international politics, this fascinating course brings together critical social and political theory, postcolonial politics, international relations, environmental politics and security studies in a highly stimulating study programme. Your skills in critical thought and reflection will be honed as you engage in cutting-edge debates on the nature of politics, justice, political violence, global regulation, development and the relationship between man and nature.

You will graduate from the Master’s in Critical International Politics with the dual strengths of an expertise in your field and an academic and professional rigour. These traits, and the skills that accompany them, will make you a highly desirable candidate for any employer in a range of related fields where critical analysis, incisive argument and an in-depth understanding of your subject are prized. You will be taught by academics who are major names in the field and graduate with a degree from a department acclaimed as world-leading in critical international politics.

Suitable for

This degree will suit you:

-If you wish to understand the nature of what motivates and enables power structures within global politics;
-If you wish to gain the knowledge and skills for professional work within politics;
-If you wish to understand the nature of power and the impact of international political incentives on national governments;
-If you wish to continue your studies to a more advanced level through undertaking further postgraduate level research.


In Semester One you will normally have eight hours per week of specific Research Training Modules and one two-hour seminar per week for your degree scheme core module. In Semester Two you will normally have one two-hour seminar per week for each of the three modules you take (one Research Training specific and two subject specific modules). You will also have contact with academic staff through participation in research groups, attendance in departmental research seminars and masters workshops and through staff office hours (two one hour sessions per week). There will also be additional sessions working towards developing your master’s dissertation. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


Assessment will be through a combination of examinations, project work, short reports, essays and dissertation. It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.


Employability is an essential feature of your study of Critical International Politics at Aberystwyth. From the beginning of the course, you will be invited to undertake personal development planning to crystallise your career or study plans after graduation. By the time you graduate, you will possess an impressive understanding of how important decisions are taken in the widest practicable realm of human interaction. Your understanding of decision-making – the weighing of factors, incentives and consequences on a global stage – will develop your mind and abilities and stand you in excellent stead for any employment opportunity.

Thanks to the wide choice of study modules, you will be able to tailor exactly your learning into areas of specialism which relate to your career aspirations so that you can achieve your goals more efficiently. Having fully interrogated your chosen specialisms, you will be an expert in your field and you will be highly experienced in tackling any arising subject or challenge with clarity, knowledge and authority. These qualities will set you apart in the jobs market or the employed environment, whether it is a specialist or more general post.

The Masters course is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of research interests and employment contexts. A significant proportion of postgraduate jobs demand a high level of personal organisation and clarity in communication and presentation. You will possess these skills, thanks to this course’s regular assessment through examination, essay, presentation, dissertation and debate in public fora.

Find out how to apply here https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/

Visit the MA Critical International Politics (Research) page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

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