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School of Social Sciences

Politics master's students at the School of Social Sciences
MA International Relations (Standard)
Gain the skills needed for a variety of careers in international politics.

MA International Relations (Standard) / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

International Relations (IR) is one of the most popular programmes at postgraduate level On this programme you will be taught and supervised by experienced staff with strong interests in critical approaches to the study of global politics. Course units on offer cover a wide range of global issues - from authority; citizenship; foreign policy (both China and US); gender, war and peace; global ethics; human rights; media; environmental politics; security studies; and terrorism.  

Two modules form the centrepiece of our programme: the Graduate Seminar in International Politics and Critical Thinkers in International Politics. These modules are designed to develop transferable skills in critical inquiry, creative thinking, research design and problem-solving.  Students on the programme will also complete a major research dissertation of their own, with the guidance of a member of staff in International Politics.

A part of a postgraduate community, students on the programme are encouraged to participate in the Critical Global Politics research cluster, who organise a seminar series attracting high profile speakers including Cynthia Enloe, Cynthia Weber, Nick Vaughan-Williams, Marysia Zalewski and Laura Shepherd, amongst others. 

This route will suit those wishing to obtain a high-level specialist subject qualification and the programme will appeal to students interested in developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of critically-orientated international relations. The diversity of the programme also makes it a suitable introduction to the study of global politics.  Those wishing to pursue a research training qualification or a PhD are advised to explore the International Relations (Research) route.

This programme is designed for students for whom a taught MA will be a prelude to careers in fields related to government and non-governmental organisations. Former graduates have gone on to work for international organisations including NATO and the UNDP, or for foreign offices. The MA would also be suitable for students wishing to go into teaching, journalism or any career where advanced knowledge of international politics coupled with an excellent capacity to communicate effectively will be an advantage.

Course Director: Dr Laura McLeod


Teaching and learning


Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Course unit details


POLI70401 Graduate seminar in International Relation Theory

POLI70412 Critical Thinkers in International Politics

POLI60312 Dissertation Research Design


POLI70451 Ethics in World Politics

POLI70461 Security Studies

POLI71061 Foreign Policy Analysis

POLI70311 Critical Approaches to IPE

POLI70851 EU as an International Actor 

POLI70981 The Arab Uprisings and Revolutionary State Formation

POLI71111 The United Nations and International Security

POLI60092 Power and Resistance in Postcolonial Societies

POLI60262 Media, War and Conflict

POLI70282 Critical Globalisation Studies

POLI70612 Debating Justice 

POLI70722 Theories of Rights

POLI70492 Human Rights in World Politics

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation Research Design POLI60312 15 Mandatory
The Graduate Seminar in International Relations Theory POLI70401 15 Mandatory
Critical Thinkers in International Politics POLI70412 15 Mandatory
Power and Resistance in Postcolonial Societies POLI60092 15 Optional
Governing in an Unjust World POLI60182 15 Optional
Critical Globalisation Studies POLI70282 15 Optional
Critical Approaches to International Political Economy POLI70311 15 Optional
Ethics in World Politics POLI70451 15 Optional
Security Studies POLI70461 15 Optional
Human Rights in World Politics POLI70492 15 Optional
Debating Justice POLI70612 15 Optional
Theories of Rights POLI70722 15 Optional
EU as an International Actor POLI70851 15 Optional
Critical Environmental Politics POLI70921 15 Optional
The Arab Uprisings and Revolutionary State Formation POLI70981 15 Optional
Foreign Policy Analysis: The Case of China POLI71061 15 Optional
The United Nations and International Security POLI71112 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units


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