Skip to content

MA

International Relations

Various country flags
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time (day)
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 1 / 2 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

The International Relations Masters degree is designed to develop global awareness, an understanding of the complexity of contemporary international arenas, and a sense of how policies can address rapid, sophisticated change.

The course offers you the opportunity to take part in an exciting contemporary discussion that not only focuses on core theoretical understandings, but also on contemporary and critical developments within the field.

The course is grounded in theoretical debates and research methods, and has a strong policy focus on global governance, the link between political economy and security, and the transient nature of international political actors and phenomena.

What you'll study

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to out students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

Teaching on the course is from a truly international team and attracts a cohort from across the world. This allows you to consider many different international viewpoints and offers a thoroughly holistic learning experience. You will gain an advanced and critical understanding of International Relations Theories, Policies and Practices.

During the course you'll have the opportunity to complete a period of work-based learning if you choose to complete the work-based research project.

During this postgraduate course you'll study modules specially designed to impart theoretical knowledge, research and practical skills.

  • Course modules

    Core modules

    International Relations Theories

    The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the range of approaches in international theory. Within International Relations theory there are many varied interpretations and applications of key concepts (e.g. power, the state, agency, structure, and world order) as well as contested views about the practical purpose underpinning theories of world politics. This module gives you the opportunity to explore the key tenets of the major theories of international relations, and secondly will encourage you to critically analyse your assumptions and ideological baggage.

    Political Economy of International Security

    This module explores the political economy of contemporary international security by utilising theories and methodologies found in International Relations, International Political Economy and Historical Sociology. Throughout the module you will look at security as a dynamic, contentious and evolving issue area. Thus, the module will consider state and non-state actors as well as processes that take place at all levels.

    Researching Political Issues

    The aim of this module is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the methods, techniques, and processes that are involved in the research of Politics and International Relations. The first section of the module will develop your awareness of exactly what advanced social research entails. The second section of the module will seek to deepen and enhance the knowledge gained in section one, with a series of guest speakers offering you insights as to their own experiences of researching Politics and International Relations.

    Dissertation or Work-based Research Project

    The final core component of the MA International Relations course is an extended piece of written work, which entails two options. The first 'standard' option comprises the development of a coherent and viable research proposal on a topic of your choice, with its eventual assessment being a 12,000 word dissertation. The other option involves a period of work-based learning, spending time engaging with a chosen institution or community-based organisation, either in the local Nottinghamshire community or further afield. Here, in contrast to the development of a research proposal geared for the completion of a standard 12,000 word dissertation, your assessment will comprise a research plan of how you intend to draw on your experiences, which ultimately will culminate in a written work-based project of a maximum of 10,000 words.

    You will also choose one of the following optional modules:*

    Sustainability, Citizenship and Identity

    This module examines the concepts of sustainability, citizenship and identity, specifically – although not necessarily exclusively – in relation to the non-human world. The module emphasises the interplay between both practical and theoretical aspects of ecological politics, spanning environmental ethics, the politics of sustainability, utopian literature and philosophy.

    Global Governance and International Institutions

    This module provides a programme of study on the concept, theories and processes of global governance with a focus on the role of contemporary international institutions. The study of global governance is becoming increasingly important in a world facing a multitude of problems requiring multilateral action.

    * The number of places available on some optional modules may be limited. These will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are unable to select their first choice will be offered an alternative from the remaining optional modules.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

You will have the opportunity to participate in and offer presentations to research seminars run by the course team and School.

How you’re taught

Study and support

The course is delivered through workshops, lectures and small group seminars. You'll have the opportunity to participate in seminars, workshops and joint work with students of other postgraduate courses. This provides opportunities for you to meet and interact with our thriving research community.

Assessment methods

Assessment on the course involves coursework, report writing, presentations and group work. There are also class tests, critical reviews, and critical bibliographies to prepare. To encourage and facilitate independent learning the course will take full advantage of NTU's online workspace (NOW).

An active research environment

Teaching on the course is drawn directly from regionally aligned research strengths in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, the Indian sub-continent, and Europe. This research feeds directly into the course allowing you to learn about the latest issues in this field from world-renowned experts.

Find out more about research in Politics and International Relations.

In-sessional English language support

In-sessional English language support classes are available to all international (non-EU) students studying on degree courses at NTU. There is no extra charge for these classes.

Teaching is from a truly international team who have regionally aligned specialisms and experience.

Careers and employability

100% of our MA International Relations postgraduates are in work or further study within six months of finishing their degrees (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016-17).

By nature, the International Relations subject aims to foster your global citizenship characteristics with the discipline’s focus on openness to the world, and its focus on sustainability issues. In addition, the knowledge and skills that you attain are generally those that employers in a variety of different sectors seek, which means that as a graduate of this course you should have a good opportunity to promote yourself to suitable employers.

As an International Relations graduate from this course you'll have had the opportunity to reflect on the subject and transferable skills that you have learned while preparing coursework, and those include expertise in writing complex yet concise analytical pieces, developing and implementing projects, and the ability to present in-depth ideas with confidence. You will also have been helped and encouraged to articulate those skills in relation to particular occupations that you may be interested in pursuing. The course also focuses on developing the following skills: communication, time-management, team-working, and IT / modern technologies. Each module on this course is designed to engage you in developing these skills which often form part of assessed assignments.

Alongside providing such transferable skills, we believe that the optional pathway through the Dissertation module will strongly enhance your employability skills and, more generally, the course's engagement with contemporary global issues will ensure that your knowledge and ‘openness' to the wider world is up-to-date and relevant.

A number of students seek internships and placements during the summer months, and are assisted by the International Relations team to find relevant experiences. This allows graduates from this course to seek a wide range of careers and professions.

You may wish to pursue a career in relevant government departments or international aid and development agencies. In the private sector businesses are increasingly looking for graduates with an understanding of international / global events and processes.

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent International Relations graduates are pursuing:

  • Trainee campaign organiser
  • Financial advisor
  • Freelance researcher
  • PR Intern
  • Writer

(Data extracted from the Latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.)

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.

Develop your transferable skills with an optional period of work-based learning available if you choose to complete the work-based research project.

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally 2.2 or above).

If you hold a first degree but it doesn't meet the entry requirements above, please refer to the information below.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. You will be required to demonstrate how your experiences and knowledge would enable you to study this course at Masters-level in your Personal Statement.

No references are required when applying for this course.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Applying with prior qualifications

  • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally a 2.2 or above).

If you hold a first degree but it doesn't meet the entry requirements above, please refer to the information below.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. You will be required to demonstrate how your experiences and knowledge would enable you to study this course at Masters-level in your Personal Statement.

No references are required when applying for this course.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation or pre-masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

How to apply

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through our NTU Applicant Portal.

If you're applying without prior qualifications, you'll need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)
Full-time£7,000
Part-time (cost per year of study)£3,500 (for Year One*)

Fees may be subject to change.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate fees and funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Fees for 2019 entry

Study routeInternational
Full-time£14,500
Part-time (cost per year of study)£7,250 (for Year One*)

Fees may be subject to change.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

For more information on these and other opportunities for funding please visit our international scholarships page.

For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460