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Geopolitics (MA)

MA|Postgraduate Taught

Geopolitics

Entry year
2023
Entry requirements
2.1
Duration
1 year (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
30 (Full Time)
30 (Part Time)

How does climate change reshape global politics? What will the world look like with the rise of China as a new superpower? Can regional conflicts shift the international power balance? How will a mainly urbanised world sustain itself? As the international scene becomes increasingly complex, understanding the fundamentals of how people, governments, international institutions and the environment interact is becoming increasingly important. If you are interested in understanding the intersections of space and politics then the MA in Geopolitics is specifically designed for you.

Contemporary issues require advanced analysis that recognises the intersections of space, power and politics. From security challenges to cultural practices or climate change; from the global to the everyday, the connections between politics and space are increasingly complex. Integrating historical, cultural and political perspectives, the MA Geopolitics at QUB is an innovative interdisciplinary programme that seeks to build the knowledge and skills needed to engage these challenges.

Taught by academic experts in Human Geography, Politics and International Relations, with a broad range of regional expertise and research perspectives, this new MA enables students to explore the questions which are shaping our lives. It is not just for geographers, international relations students, and political scientists but anyone with an interest in the core course themes. You will come to understand these intersections through a range of themes developed across the modules. These include nations, states, landscapes, mobilities, urban spaces, environmental change, sovereignty, identity, gender, empire and postcolonial relations, territory and bordering, the politics of human rights and others. You can either specialise or learn across a range of issues such as culture, media, ethics, security and conflict, environmental politics, and democratic participation. You will be taught by experts in regions including the East Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and the UK and Ireland.

As you engage the intersections of space, power and politics you will develop advanced conceptual and analytic skills and subject knowledge needed to explore their intersections in a range of historic and contemporary issues. These skills will enable you to investigate problems shaping environments, places and landscapes and to challenge accepted wisdom. They are also particularly important skills for those pursuing careers in all sectors of government and the public sector, NGOs, international corporations, regional and international agencies, media and information industries.

Geopolitics highlights

An interdisciplinary programme, taught across disciplines of Geography, Politics, International Relations this MA offers a unique opportunity to develop a grounding connected by shared concern with space, power, and politics.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • Research-led teaching by world leading experts who have been awarded grants by UK and EU funding bodies to undertake research on the intersections of geography and politics.

Student Experience

  • The chance to apply theoretical insights to the real world through a range of assignments, field trips, engagements with practitioners, guest speakers and seminars.
  • Queen’s is ranked in the top 170 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022)
  • Queen’s ranked 17 in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022)
  • Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellence (Times Higher Education, 2019)
  • 15% of the Queen’s student population are international students (Queen’s Planning Office, 2022)

Course Structure

The programme has three different components: Core modules, Elective modules, and an MA dissertation.

Students undertake two core modules in each taught semester, and a further optional module.

The dissertation is completed over the summer.

Each taught module is worth 20 CATS points. The dissertation is worth 60 CATS points. The MA requires completion of 180 CATS.

1. Students will be taught a wide range of research methods in the field and would need to identify, critically evaluate and apply a range of methodologies
2. In their taught modules particular emphasis would be given to the study of theory. Students would then be required to reflect on their own theoretical approaches in their independent study.
3. Students would be exposed to these issues through their study of the scholarship in this field. Their selection and development of an independent research would allow them to demonstrate and be assessed on their understanding of such issues.

Course ContentThe programme has three different components: Core modules, Elective modules, and an MA dissertation.

Students undertake two core modules in each taught semester, and a further optional module. The dissertation is completed over the summer.

Each taught module is worth 20 CATS points. The dissertation is worth 60 CATS points. The MA requires completion of 180 CATS.

In the Autumn Semester students undertake two required core modules and one optional module. Each module is worth 20 CATS.

CORE MODULES:
GGY7001: Critical Geopolitics – this is an introductory module, covering key thinkers and core issues in contemporary geopolitics.

HAP7001: Approaches and Debates in Research Design – this workshop-based module provides you with the methodological tools for conducting independent research covering a range of methods used across humanities and social sciences.

OPTIONAL MODULES, one of which is taken:

PAI7032: Gender, Peace and Security
This module analyses the link between gender, politics and democracy in a comparative context. It begins by discussing approaches to research gender in social science, and specifically in political science. The fundamental concept of political representation is adopted as the theoretical prism through which patterns of gender presence and interest representation are explored. Numerical, or ‘descriptive’ representation is taken as a starting point, and develops into discussions on the role of parties, electoral systems, and gender quotas in addressing women’s political under-representation in a global context. The contribution of women’s movements, state feminism and trans-national agencies in fostering gender democracy is also discussed. The module incorporates insights from current research on the subject by well-known scholars and offers an opportunity to students to study the subject in detail and to participate in the activities of the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics.

PAI7051: Contemporary Security
The module will examine the key theoretical approaches and practical issues and debates that have defined the evolution of Security Studies. They will engage the changing definitions of security and approaches to understanding security. It will address both ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ security and the ways in which these are increasingly connected in both theory and practice. Moreover, it will introduce students to the inter-disciplinary nature of engagements with security (from politics to geography to technology). It will engage theorising in application by introducing students both to the major concepts and theoretical assumptions of understandings of security and showing how these play out in debates and practices of security. Students will be introduced to the core concepts and differences between ‘traditional’ rationalist theories of security and the emergence and development of varieties of critical security studies. They will then examine key issues in security that may include: The state, sovereignty and internal securities; uncertainty, the security dilemma and risk; regimes, regions and security communities; non-proliferation and disarmament; theorising war; migration and borders; surveillance and security; cyber-security; environmental security: beyond energy and resource conflict; Poverty, food, and human security; gender and security; and others. Students will therefore engage critically with the intersections of theory and practice; domestic and international; and state and human securities; and be able to understand contemporary transformations of security in relation to power, sovereignty, mobilities, and technology.

PAI7098: Democratic Challenges
This module aims to identify and explore the central challenges facing democratic politics today. Long standing worries about falling rates of formal political participation, and about the responsiveness of democratic institutions have been accentuated by the recent rise of populist movements in Europe and the US. The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump raise a number of pressing questions about the future of democratic politics: are we witnessing the beginning of the decline of traditional party systems? Has the rise of social media as a source of information and means of political communication enhanced democratic deliberation or encouraged extremism? Can existing institutions adequately cope with popular discontent? This module aims to draw on both theoretical and empirical political science approaches to explore the challenges facing contemporary democracies. The precise topics covered may vary from year to year, but examples include: different conceptions of political freedom and control, the impact of social media on political deliberation, the concept of populism and charismatic leadership, understanding voting behaviour, The role of parties and party systems, understanding different forms of political participation, and the design of democratic institutions.

PAI7099: The UK and Europe
This module offers students the opportunity to address core issues in Politics via a focus on the UK’s relationship with Europe in a time of flux. It is built around three broad themes: understanding, negotiating and delivering Brexit.
The first part of the module focuses on explaining the UK’s past relationship with Europe, it’s nature as an ‘awkward partner’ in European integration and the outcome of the 2016 Referendum (“understanding Brexit”). It introduces students to theories of Euroscepticism, ideas of British ‘exceptionalism’ and the study of elections, referendums and public opinion.
The second part of the module engages with the on-going Brexit negotiations, in terms of trade, citizens’ rights and borders. It introduces students to the politics of trade and negotiation dynamics. It considers and explain changes to both the UK and EU positions in the negotiations.
The third part of the module focuses on Brexit delivery - the administrative challenges of taking back control and the constitutional challenges of repatriating competences for central and devolved governments. It introduces students to studies of multi-level governance and devolution and theories of implementation, enforcement and good governance.

PAI7021: The politics of Northern Ireland
The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement put an end to armed conflict in Northern Ireland and set up institutions designed to govern a society and polity divided along unionist and nationalist lines. As the experience of Northern Ireland shows, governing in such a context is not easy. Stability and cross-community agreement can be hard to reach, which has occasionally led to the suspension of Northern Ireland’s institutions. Yet these institutions have endured despite repeated crises and are heralded by some as examples of post-conflict governance.
The module explores contemporary developments in Northern Irish politics and discusses institutional design and politics in a changing Northern Ireland. It addresses topics such as the development of Northern Ireland’s consociational model of government, how institutions like the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive perform their functions, how parties and identity shape politics and voting behaviour, North-South relations after Brexit, and Northern Ireland’s place in Europe.

PAI7038: Theories of Comparative Politics
The module is divided into four parts. The first is an overview of the field, placing it in the context of the evolution of political science since World War II. We review the particular assumptions and questions that have marked thinking about politics from the 1950s, and how these have influenced the evolution of the discipline of comparative politics. This section also includes some of the fundamental critiques of the way the discipline has evolved. Three illustrations are highlighted: the legacies of Marx, Durkheim and Weber. The second part looks closely at the rational choice theories that mark the fundamental orientation of the field. This is followed, in the third part, by a discussion of the logic and process of comparison according to the tradition of political institutionalism. The fourth section emphasizes critical debates on political culture and state/society relations. Given the enormous scope and breadth of the field, we cannot cover all the debates or even probe a selected few to their depths. Therefore, students are cautioned that our readings and discussions are a beginning—and far from conclusive. We will look at the basic approaches and controversies surrounding the following topics: the political system and the state (and the system-state debate); (political) culture; development (with the challenges from underdevelopment and dependency); and the ‘new institutionalism.'

PAI7103 Global Development
This module will cover cutting-edge debates on the contemporary form and function of the policies, theories, and practices that comprise the field of Global Development. This module is not only concerned with mainstream policy and practices, but also with the dialectical processes of resistance that are generated from the implementation of ‘Development’ practices and projects across diverse polities and geographical contexts. Interdisciplinary in nature, this module draws from scholarly fields across: International Political Economy; Human Geography; Business Management; International Relations, and Development Studies.

In the Spring Semester students undertake two required core modules and one optional module. Each module is worth 20 CATS.

CORE MODULES:

GGY7002: Geo-power: States, Sovereignty, Territory
This module will introduce students to some of the latest research in critical geopolitics exploring the spatial dynamics operating within the frameworks of politics. Through a range of historical and contemporary case studies it will incorporate perspectives on state, sub-state and super-state structures and actors, and critically engage with key geopolitical concepts such as the nation, the state, sovereignty, government, identity and belonging. These case studies will allow the exploration of topics such as empire and spaces of postcolonial encounter, gender, identity and space, knowledge and representation. It will incorporate themes such as the political power of imperial mapping, the politics of gender in geopolitical conflicts, or discourses of territory and bordering in post-imperial spaces, to name just a few, to understand the interplay between space, power and politics. Challenging traditional definitions of power and the political, as well as spatial presuppositions, it will explore the working of power ranging from violence, control and domination, to productive and soft power and influence operating at a range of different scales on the communal, regional, national and global levels. Students will therefore engage critically with the intersections of theory and practice; domestic and international; and state and non-state actors; through a broad range of case studies, and be able to understand contemporary transformations in the changing geopolitical landscape.

GGY7003: Culture and the Geopolitics of the Everyday
This module will introduce students to some of the latest research in critical geopolitics, that understands geopolitics as embedded into the rituals, practices and representations of everyday life and culture, affect and non-representational political geography. The module additionally covers subjects such as the geopolitical aspects to religion, the environment, literature, art and popular culture and new media. It will expose how central questions in political geography, such as borders and migration, global power structures, conflict and security, are reflected in, and are shaped by, local, national and cross-national cultures. Topics covered will include geopolitical interpretations of different types of media, including books and films, news reports, comics, games, and social networking sites, while exploring a range of contemporary case studies. The module will also examine work which considers the significance of audiences in the establishment of contemporary geopolitical discourse. Through this explorations students will learn how the geopolitical shapes our experiences of structures of power through language, visual imagery and affect, and to critically engage with the geopolitics of the everyday and of cultural production and consumption.

OPTIONAL MODULES, one of which is taken:

PAI7007: Global Terrorism
This module introduces students to the range of important issues relating to the phenomenon of
global terrorism and responses in terms of the global war on terrorism.
The key debates that students will engage with will include: the emergence of transnational terrorism structures, transnational terrorism case studies, state and transnational state responses to terrorism including international actors such as the UN, NATO and other regional organisations.
The study of these debates will lead to the investigation of particular groups, state actors, themes and responses which will culminate in a student-led simulation exercise.
Overall the module aims to equip students with an understanding of the key discourse and examples as they pertain to contemporary terrorist challenges and responses at a global level.

PAI7027: Conflict Intervention
The module will evaluate the changing nature of intervention, from unilateral forceful intervention to multi-lateral intervention, to humanitarian intervention, and third party mediation. Focusing on state, intergovernmental and non-governmental actors’ interventions, it will look at various conflict intervention practices in all phases of conflict from conflict prevention to post-conflict peacebuilding.

PAI7030: International Political Economy
This module provides a themed examination of the changing politics of the world economy, through the lens of the sub/inter-discipline, known as International Political Economy. International Political Economy (IPE) has become the accepted academic term for the analysis of the exercise of economic power and the politics of economic policy and capitalist development placed in a global context. This module introduces students to theories and concepts in International Political Economy related to the exercise of power and authority. It then goes to analyze a number of key topics and issues relating to the power and politics of economic organization and management including: the future of United States supremacy; the politics of money and finance; theories of development; the politics and policy of economic development in developing countries; problems of underdevelopment; the politics of global civil society; the global politics of energy policy and climate change; and the political economy of environmental sustainability.

PAI7032: Gender and politics
This module analyses the link between gender, politics and democracy in a comparative context. It begins by discussing approaches to research gender in social science, and specifically in political science. The fundamental concept of political representation is adopted as the theoretical prism through which patterns of gender presence and interest representation are explored. Numerical, or ‘descriptive’ representation is taken as a starting point, and develops into discussions on the role of parties, electoral systems, and gender quotas in addressing women’s political under-representation in a global context. The contribution of women’s movements, state feminism and trans-national agencies in fostering gender democracy is also discussed. The module incorporates insights from current research on the subject by well-known scholars and offers an opportunity to students to study the subject in detail and to participate in the activities of the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics.

PAI7036: Low Carbon Economies
This module will take as it’s starting the concept of ‘Carbon Literacy’, its definition, measurement and development. Students will study policy making, governance and institutional structures at International, national, regional and local levels through the selection of relevant case studies. They will gain an understanding of the spectrum of carbon literacy and the challenges of identifying knowledge and capacity building needs for stakeholders, policy and decision makers at all levels, from global to local and individual.

PAI7050: Ethnic Conflict and Consensus: the Power of Institutions
This module examines concepts of ethnicity, national identity, multiculturalism as they relate to contemporary conflict. Students will be provided with a detailed and critical analysis of the political and constitutional options in societies beset by ethnic conflict, with particular emphasis being given to mechanisms directed at and institutions involved in management of and accommodation after the conflict. By examining theories of ethnic conflict the module introduces students to issues underlying conflicts across the globe including nation building and rights of minorities, territorialisation of ethnicity, partition and secession management, and kin-state involvement as well as socio-political integration as mechanisms to avert and/or resolve ethnic conflicts. The module introduces students to debates about the construction and salience of ethnicity as a source of conflict. We conclude by critically examining how these debates inform approaches to ethnic conflict management and which implications they have for practical solutions of ethnic conflicts.

PAI7052: Institutions and Politics of the EU
The module will examine the key theoretical approaches and practical issues and debates that have defined the evolution of Security Studies. They will engage the changing definitions of security and approaches to understanding security. It will address both ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ security and the ways in which these are increasingly connected in both theory and practice. Moreover, it will introduce students to the inter-disciplinary nature of engagements with security (from politics to geography to technology). It will engage theorising in application by introducing students both to the major concepts and theoretical assumptions of understandings of security and showing how these play out in debates and practices of security. Students will be introduced to the core concepts and differences between ‘traditional’ rationalist theories of security and the emergence and development of varieties of critical security studies. They will then examine key issues in security that may include: The state, sovereignty and internal securities; uncertainty, the security dilemma and risk; regimes, regions and security communities; non-proliferation and disarmament; theorising war; migration and borders; surveillance and security; cyber-security; environmental security: beyond energy and resource conflict; Poverty, food, and human security; gender and security; and others. Students will therefore engage critically with the intersections of theory and practice; domestic and international; and state and human securities; and be able to understand contemporary transformations of security in relation to power, sovereignty, mobilities, and technology.

PAI7100: Engaging Citizens in Democratic Institutions
This module explores the relationship between citizens and political decision-making in contemporary democracies. Around the world, conventional democratic processes and institutions have come under strain. Decreasing levels of voter turnout, low levels of trust in politicians and political institutions, and declining membership of traditional organisations such as political parties are just some expressions of a growing gap between citizens and decision-makers. This module will critically examine the changing nature of citizen engagement with democratic decision-making before considering ways of supplementing conventional processes and institutions with greater opportunities for citizen participation. We will consider two broad approaches. First, the module will introduce students to well-established forms of citizen participation, such as traditional consultations, public meetings and referendums. Using examples from around the world, it will then introduce students to a range of democratic innovations designed to engage citizens in consultation processes differently, such as participatory budgeting and deliberative mini-publics. Students will engage in debates about different practical forms of participatory and deliberative democracy as well as learn about how these consultation processes are designed and implemented. The objectives are to enable students to engage critically in discussions about citizen engagement and public participation and to develop their public engagement skills. Throughout the module there will be an emphasis on connecting academic research with democratic practice: where possible students will hear directly from practitioners and will have the opportunity to attend and observe real-world forms of citizen engagement.

Students will:
• Attend one two-hour seminar each week;
• Submit two pieces of coursework (one essay and one case study report);
• Deliver a presentation during one seminar.

PAI7058: From Cold War to Cold Peace: The Transformation of International Order (1979-1999)
The Cold War: Historical and Political Science Explanations (The origins of the Cold War – traditional and revisionists schools of thought)
- The Bloc Formation & Structural Stability (Pacts – LTBT –NPT – SALT East-West Regime Formation)
- From Détente to the Second Cold War: The Empire of Evil ( CSCE – Re-armament – Euromissile Crisis - SDI – Periphery)
- Gorbachev’s ideology – The New Thinking (Change in Soviet ideology under Gorbachev)
- Soviet-US relations (Reagan, Bush and Gorbachev – from Reykjavik to Malta, INF, START, CFE )
- The Velvet revolutions in the Soviet bloc (From Brezhnev doctrine to Sinatra doctrine - collapse of Communism)
- Gorbachev and the German Questions, 1989-1991 (2+4, OSCE, troops status – Common House of Europe)
- The Dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and of the Soviet Union, 1990-1991 (The causes of the Soviet collapse & CIS formation)
- The Cold Peace 1991-1999 (NATO Enlargement – Russia-NATO Council, Yugoslavia)
- From Cold Peace to Frozen Conflicts, 1999-2015 (Responses to Western meddling in Post Soviet space under Putin. Coloured revolutions, August War with Georgia, the Ukraine crisis)

PAI7102: Global Ireland
The module would explore Ireland’s international experience, from the past to present, with a focus on three key relationships: that with Britain, with America and with Europe. Through multi-method research, it would explore common themes of empire, colonialism, emigration, diaspora identities, economic development, and culture. It would examine the intersection of these at key moments in Ireland’s recent past such as the 1990s, when the Celtic Tiger economy, peace process, and global popularity of U2 and Riverdance all demonstrated the importance of the Irish diaspora. It would also involve comparative examination of different diaspora experiences: how the Northern Ireland conflict affected the Irish in Britain; how Irish-America contributed to that conflict, but also its resolution; and the impact of less notable diaspora groups like the Ulster-Scots in the US or the Orange Order in Canada and Scotland. The course will look at how Irish foreign policy priorities continue to be shaped by its colonial past, particularly its role in the UN and peace-keeping operations but question the integrity of its claimed neutrality in recent conflicts. It will reflect on the implications of globalisation and the role of the “New Irish” and other identities in Ireland that are now reshaping its global image. The module will conclude by considering the challenges of contemporary geopolitics, including climate change, and where Brexit and Covid have both threatened the openness of Irish economic model, and Joe Biden’s election might be considered the last hurrah for Irish-America, whilst a Chinese century unfolds.

PHL7057: Social Injustice
This module examines the problem of social injustice in contemporary, plural societies. The first half of the module explores some of the main philosophical assessments of social injustice. Students will first be introduced to key critiques of liberal theory as a response to the structural disadvantages associated with difference (including race, gender, sexual-orientation, religion, and class, among others). Here, liberal policy approaches to difference (including toleration, uniform treatment, and non-discrimination), will be critiqued alongside liberal modes of justification for their failure to deal appropriately with the disadvantages suffered by affected groups.

The second half of the module discusses the practical implications of both social injustice and its potential solutions. Precise topics vary year-on-year, but may include discussion of some of the following questions: Is unfettered freedom of speech a necessary feature of or a hindrance in the fight for social equality? What role does historical injustice play in the ongoing oppression of marginalised groups? Is the recognition of difference the appropriate response to cultural domination? How has social media changed the shape of social justice movements? Is civil disobedience a legitimate response to injustice, and must it always be ‘civil’ in nature?

CSJ7005 Religion and Peacebuilding
The module familiarises students with the field of religious peacebuilding, which is one of the growth areas within conflict transformation studies in the social sciences. The module establishes the nature of religious peacebuilding as it currently conceived and which has moved it intellectually significantly beyond inter-faith dialogue between the world religions. Religious peacebuilding is now integrally tied to the idea of reconciliation, conflict transformation and social justice and is thus a meeting ground for theology, ethics and social science. The course places particular emphasis on three dimensions within religious peacebuilding, the role of religion in truth recovery, transitional justice, and inter-faith dialogue. These processes are subject to critical review and the module assesses the boundaries of unforgivingness after conflict, the burden of memory and the boundaries of forgetting, the problems with ‘truth’ and truth recovery, the limits of shame apologies and reparations, the constraints on inter-faith dialogue and the engagement of religious practitioners in social transformation and social justice after conflict. The module will focus on religious peacebuilding internationally, covering such cases as Northern Ireland, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Israel-Palestine and the Middle East, and South Africa. The module will provide opportunities to engage with practitioners in faith-based NGOs in Northern Ireland about their personal engagement in religious peacebuilding. The module will lay the necessary conceptual, methodological and substantive foundations for students, if they wish, to carry out their own independent researches in religious peacebuilding within the dissertation associated with the MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, and in other contexts, including possible future PhD research. The module is seminar based and will use a variety of different pedagogic strategies, ranging from lectures, student seminar presentations, student-led discussions, videos, and discussions with faith-based practitioners from Northern Ireland.

ANT7023 Anthropology of Conflict: Ireland and Beyond
This module will explore the development of anthropological approaches to conflict, examining what social and cultural anthropologists have added to our knowledge of conflict. It will particularly examine issues of group identity and cohesion in relations to conflict. Examining theories of ethnicity and nationalism it will examine power and hegemony of the state. In relation to this there will be a focus upon aspects of remembering and social memory, on the use of rituals and symbols and of the way acts of violence are legitimised or delegitimised. The course will look at examples from Irish case studies but work on a comparative basis.

Students complete their dissertation over the summer months. While you will begin work on their dissertations in the Autumn and Spring Semesters, but most intensive research and analysis is over the summer months.

A dissertation (GGY7099) of up to 15,000 words will be produced through an independent research project. This is worth 60 CATS points.

Students are guided in this by an academic expert supervisor. Supervisors for GGY7099 may be drawn from experts in either the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, or from Geography in the School of Natural and Built Environment.

If you wish to take the programme on part time basis you will be required to complete 3 taught modules each year (one in first semester and two in second semester or vice versus). It is advised you should complete the core modules in your first year. Please note, all modules run at the same time for full time and part time students. Please contact the programme convenor for further information.

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer

School of HAPP
Dr Heather Johnson’s research focuses on irregular migration and asylum seekers, border security, and the practices of resistance, solidarity and protest of non-citizens. She is interested in developing new understandings of mobility and non-citizenship, and particularly in new methods for engaging with these issues. Email: h.johnson@qub.ac.uk

Lecturer

School of HAPP
Dr Jamie Hagen's research is at the intersection of gender, security studies and queer theory. She researches LGBTQ inclusion in Women, Peace and Security practices as well as queer analysis of security studies more broadly. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Gender in Politics. Email: j.hagen@qub.ac.uk

Lecturer

School of HAPP
Dr Maria Deiana's research deploys feminist and other critical perspectives to examine the interrelated issues of war, peace, security. Her monograph titled 'Gender and Citizenship: Promises of Peace in Post-Dayton Bosnia & Herzegovina' was published by Palgrave in 2018. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Gender in Politics. Email: m.deiana@qub.ac.uk

Senior Lecturer

Natural and Built Environment
A cultural and political geographer with particular interest in critical perspectives on security, processes of border making, geographies of embodiment, critical cultural analysis and feminist and queer theory. Dr Amir’s research examined the use of border making technologies in the Israeli control over the occupied Palestinian territory. Dr Amir also researches political activism and the securitization of public spaces. Email: m.amir@qub.ac.uk

Programme Convenor

HAPP
Dr Mike Bourne’s research focuses on a wide range of security issues. He is interested in critical security theories, and the relations of materiality, technology, and violence. His work has engaged issues of arms control (from small arms to nuclear weapons), illicit trafficking, border control, and technology development. Email: m.bourne@qub.ac.uk

Lecturer

Natural and Built Environment
As a cultural, historical and political geographer, Dr Dunnett’s research interests focus on the ways in which cultures of outer space, science and technology are connected to questions of place, landscape and identity in a variety of local, regional and national contexts. He has explored these ideas through research on the British Interplanetary Society, as part of a wider research project that explores cultures of outer space in Britain from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Dr Dunnett has further developed these themes in 'geographies of outer space' to examine topics including the moral geographies of light pollution in Britain, the ethics of space exploration in the writings of C S Lewis and the geopolitics of outer space in the works of Arthur C Clarke. Email: o.dunnett@qub.ac.uk

Senior Lecturer

School of HAPP
Dr Shane Brighton researches the field of relations between armed conflict, identity and society. He has written on the philosophy and sociology of war, terrorism and counterterrorism and contemporary strategic debates. This work has particular relevance for understanding how societal dynamics relate to armed forces and foreign, defence and security policy. Email: s.brighton@qub.ac.uk

Programme Convenor

Natural and Built Environment
Dr Tristan Sturm is currently interested in critical public health geographies. He just finished an ethnographic DRILL funded project on spaces of empowerment for people with dementia. Since 2016 he has been researching lead drinking water pipes and the historical and present health impacts of lead in Belfast, the UK, and Ireland. Email: t.sturm@qub.ac.uk

Teaching Times

Teaching takes place at a variety of times from 9-8pm Monday ��� Friday.

Career Prospects

Introduction
The MA in Geopolitics was launched in September 2021.

MA Geopolitics can lead to a PhD in Geography, Politics, International Studies or environmental studies. It would also train you for employment in all sectors of government and the public sector, international agencies, NGOs, international corporations, media and information industries.

Learning and Teaching

Upon successful completion of this course students will have gained knowledge and understanding, subject specific skills, and transferable and cognitive skills.

Cognitive skills

Through this course students will develop an ability to:
• Retrieve, sift and select information from a range of sources
• Plan and execute a piece of independent research, including independent data collection, interpretation and argumentation;
• Comprehend and be able to deploy qualitative and quantitative research design.

General Skills

Class discussions and debates and their independent preparation and coursework will develop skills in constructively and critically engaging the work of others, as well as self-reflection on their own work.

Through independent study and class preparations, peer engagement in class, dissertation supervision etc.

Their independent study (e.g. writing a dissertation; module coursework) will require working to deadlines, effective written communication, locating, sifting and prioritizing information, and time management. Seminars will include collaborative working and discussion.

Their experience in applying qualitative and quantitative approaches to real world political puzzles will be of invaluable use for them - either in further research or in their careers - when they conduct research into any social phenomenon.

Students will be able to structure and communicate their ideas effectively both in oral and written form; through participation in all class activities and completion of the coursework.

Knowledge and Understanding

Students will be able to demonstrate:
• Comprehensive and systematic knowledge and understanding of the key issues in the study of Geopolitics
• Familiarity with the range of key thinkers in the field of Geopolitics;
• Awareness of different methodological approaches, and a conceptual grasp of current research and advances of scholarship in the study of Geopolitics;
• Awareness of theoretical debates, and an appreciation of analytical frameworks and historical evolution of the area.

Learning and Teaching

You will be part of a community of learners situated across two academic Schools and will be able to avail of research activities and seminar series in both.

Vibrant debate and discussion form a core part of class time. You will gain experience in applying qualitative and quantitative approaches to real world political concerns.

All teaching staff are at the forefront of contemporary research and debate in their fields.

Subject specific skills

Students will be able to
• Show evidence of understanding of the range of methodological approaches available to engage geopolitical issues; and be able to select appropriate techniques relative to overall research design;
• Locate political problems in particular spatial contexts and critically reflect on their production and possibilities for intervention.
• Apply conceptually informed forms of analysis to contemporary geopolitical problems and identify their practical political implications.

Transferable skills

A wide range of transferable skills are developed through this course including an ability to:
• Constructively and critically engage the work of others
• Find, analyse, synthesise and evaluation information from a range of sources
• Work independently and in groups
• Problem solving
• Communication skills.
• Problem solving: applying research to real world political issues
• Communication skills: structure and communicate ideas and arguments effectively in oral and written forms.

Assessment

You will be part of a community of learners situated across two academic Schools and will be able to avail of research activities and seminar series in both.

Vibrant debate and discussion form a core part of class time. You will gain experience in applying qualitative and quantitative approaches to real world political concerns. All teaching staff are at the forefront of contemporary research and debate in their fields.

Continuous assessment will across a range of various outputs.

Modules

The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study. Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Dissertation (60 credits)

    Optional Modules

    Global Development (20 credits)
    Social Injustice (20 credits)
    Gender and Politics (20 credits)
    The UK and Europe (20 credits)

Entrance requirements

Graduate
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a Social Sciences, Humanities or Arts subject, or a 2.1 Honours degree or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject with relevant professional experience.

Applicants with qualifications below 2.1 Honours degree standard may be considered on a case-by-case basis if they can demonstrate appropriate relevant experience.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 11th August 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Career Prospects

Introduction
The MA in Geopolitics was launched in September 2021.

MA Geopolitics can lead to a PhD in Geography, Politics, International Studies or environmental studies. It would also train you for employment in all sectors of government and the public sector, international agencies, NGOs, international corporations, media and information industries.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £6,980
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,980
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £8,360
EU Other 3 £19,100
International £19,100

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2023-24, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Geopolitics costs

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.


Download a prospectus