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International Relations MA

Different course options

Full time | Cambridge Campus | 12 months | 11-SEP-23

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

International Relations

Course type


Course Summary


Discover how international relations theory affects real-world events, and develop crucial skills like decision making and debating. With prestigious guest lecturers and visits to think tanks such as Chatham House, you’ll gain all the experience you need for a role in global politics. This course will give you an understanding of how international relations theory is applied to real-world policy and strategy, and the practical problems involved in this.

You’ll examine the theory and definition of the ‘state’ and relations between different states, and the roles of other institutions and organisations, like multinational companies and transnational crime organisations. All your studies will contain a strong vocational element, with a focus on how theory affects, and is affected, by real events on the ground. As well as this foundation in general international relations theory and practice, you’ll also have the chance to focus on your own areas of interest. Our optional modules will let you choose from subjects like the global risk society, policing and security, corruption and cross-border crime, war reporting, and terrorism. To develop your decision-making, planning and debating skills, you’ll take part in interactive sessions, respond to specific scenarios and briefs, and undertake critical analysis. You’ll also receive advanced instruction in research methods, a vital skill both for your studies and your future career. With a supporting team of lecturers who have academic and professional backgrounds in international relations, you can be sure you’re receiving the latest theory and careers advice.

How you'll be assessed

You’ll demonstrate your progress through a combination of role-play scenarios, briefs, written reports, poster presentations, group projects, dissertation, longer essays, case studies, research proposal, short analyses of global events, short review papers, practical data gathering exercises, and short abstracts of core course readings.


Our course will prepare you for a career in many roles relating to international relations, such as diplomacy and the diplomatic services, strategy and strategic planning, public services, the Foreign Office, the UN and other international bodies, local government, NGOs, charities, education, journalism and press agencies. You will gain Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip.


In this module you will examine the theory and key concepts of international relations and the development of the state, ground them in their historical context, and explore their policy implications. You will begin by examining where the boundaries of the discipline might lie, before looking at debates over the role of theory in explaining International Relations. You will receive detailed explanations of the key competing theories within the discipline, and their development and evolution. Key themes you will explore include the development of Classical Realism from its roots in doctrines of war, Liberalism and the dream of global order, through the tussles between Neorealism and neoliberalism throughout the decades of the Cold War. You will also look at Constructivism and the English School, radical Marxist and Neo-Marxist perspectives, through to Feminism, Post-Colonialism, Postmodernism and cosmopolitanism. You will learn to place the theory firmly in the context of 20th century events, exploring the way in which political and academic ideas are shaped by and in turn influence international affairs. You will also explore other directions in which the study of International Relations might travel in the future. Your assessment will comprise a report of 1,000 words, a presentation, a literature search equivalent to 1,000 words and a longer essay of 3,500 words.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Students should have a good honours degree (or equivalent), normally in a related subject. Students with professional experience are also encouraged to apply.