International Relations MA
MA International Relations
Conflict, instability and insecurity are just some of the major challenges threatening the peace and prosperity of the world. If you're eager to tackle these issues – and help create strategies to overcome them – then our MA International Relations degree course is for you.
On this MA International Relations course, you'll unpack the skills needed to analyse and understand our political world. You'll grow your understanding of current political trends, by studying topics such as the emergence of new regional powers and non-governmental actors, the rise of fundamentalist terrorism, the spread of globalisation, and the sway of identity and citizenship politics on the global stage.
And when you graduate, you'll have the expertise you need to pursue a career in international relations, politics, the civil service or the commercial sector.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Learn about the key themes in international relations, such as contemporary security, global governance, and nation and identity
- Develop expertise in issues relating to Europe, ideal for students who intend to pursue careers in European institutions or with political lobbyists and thinktanks
- Teaching informed by contemporary political culture and the research expertise of our staff, including the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Study of a Transnational Europe (CESTE2) and Transnational Civil Society
- Take part in work experience, a useful way to combine postgraduate study with practical experience to bolster your CV
- Complete an independent research project in a subject relevant to your future career
- Get to study with members of CEISR, the UK's largest centre for European Studies
- Stand out against the competition, by learning subject expertise and advanced research skills
- Use our facilities, including the Study Centre and library, with 24/7 access to electronic resources including ejournals and newspapers
- Get expert advice from our Employability Team about placements, internships, and careers
Careers and opportunities
More than ever, there's a demand for people with an advanced knowledge of European affairs. When you graduate, you'll be in a strong position to pursue a career in fields which value this interdisciplinary knowledge.
What's more, the course provides advanced training in transferable skills which can be applied across careers in:
- Local government
- UK civil service
- Foreign government
- European and international institutions
- Further research
- Commercial sector
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units include:
- Global Governance
- Research Management
- Dissertation in International Relations
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Contemporary Security in International Relations: Providers and Challenges
- NGOs and Social Movements
- Nation and Identity
- From Security to Risk: European International Relations in the 21st Century
- Challenges to European Politics
- Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
- Europe: Integration and Democratisation
- Independent Project
- Work-Based Learning
- An Erasmus+ or Study Abroad opportunity
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in international relations.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, on Thursdays, Fridays and very occasionally on Saturdays. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- an extended essay or project
- A good honours degree in a Social Science, Humanities or related subject
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £7,000 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part-time: £3,500 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full-time: £13,900 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part-time: £6,950 (may be subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need to cover the travel costs of any placements you attend. These will normally be between £50 - £1,000.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
- Subject area
- History, Politics and International Relations