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Global Security and Borders (MA)

MA|Postgraduate Taught

Global Security and Borders

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 year (Full Time)
Places available
15 (Full Time)

Current information: Borders have become a key site and central concern of global security practices and theory, from the Mexican-United States border to the Mediterranean ports of the EU. The many facets of borders are introduced and analysed in this programme: they are understood as containers of identity, sites of power, and points of weakness where the mobility of people (e.g. terrorists, migrants) and things (e.g. drugs, weapons) can disrupt prevailing forms of security. This programme aims to help students navigate this complex terrain by providing a firm grounding in critical border studies. At the core of this programme is the chance for students to apply their academic insights within a work-based environment with borders/security professionals through the Borders Internship module.

Please Note: due to external international funding deadlines and the limited availability of internships, the closing date for International student applications to this programme is 31st January 2023 at 4pm GMT; for EU and UK students the closing date for applications is 31st March 2023 at 4pm GMT. Applications received after these closing dates will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by these closing dates have been processed.

Global Security and Borders highlights

A specialized MA not offered anywhere else in the UK or Ireland A dedicated focus on global security as it operates on borders. An intense semester-long Borders Internship in key political organizations The chance to shape political policy

Industry Links

  • The opportunity to feed into contemporary policy debates both directly with professionals through the Internship as well as debating with staff who advise governments and security sector actors.
  • This programme has the particular benefit of an Internship module where students will learn to manage their time and acquire transferrable skills in a work-based environment.

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 interaction of borders and security.

Student Experience

  • A unique opportunity, not offered anywhere else in the UK or Ireland, to study the crucial interaction of global security practices and borders as sites of power, identity and politics.
  • The chance to apply theoretical insights in the real world through the Borders Internship module where you will also learn key transferrable employability skills.
  • The School's active research environment, including internationally renowned guest speakers, staff seminars and reading groups.
  • • 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

This programme offers foundational knowledge and understanding in Global Security and Borders, practical experience and active learning within a work-based situation on the Borders Internship module, as well as teaching the key skills regarding how to design a research project.

These compulsory modules on the programme include:

HAP7001 - Approaches to Research Design (Semester 1)
PAI7097 - Borders Internship (double-weighted – 40 CATS) (Semester 2)
PAI7037 - Global Borders and Security (Semester 1)
PAI9099 - Dissertation (triple-weighted - 60 CATS)

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

In addition to the 3 compulsory modules + the dissertation, students also have the opportunity to take 2 elective modules from the wider offering in HAPP that will enhance and strengthen the core provision. Given the broad nature of security and borders, the elective modules are drawn from some of our other MA programmes. Here, students will get the chance to discuss and debate relevant issues with students with diverse intellectual interests. The elective modules available on this programme change each year, but may include some of the following:

Students are required to take TWO compulsory modules:

HAP7001 – Approaches and Debates in Research Design
This module aims to introduce key approaches to research design, while also introducing some of the contemporary debates in research in the social sciences and humanities. It will also provide students with an introduction to some of the key practical research skills they will find of use when designing and conducting their academic research. These skills are also those which students will find necessary as they continue their academic and research career.
Students will have a high degree of choice across workshops, enabling them to tailor the module content to their pathway of student and personal research goals. The workshops will address five key areas: Fundamentals of Research; Debates; Philosophy of Science/Epistemology; Qualitative Methods; and Quantitative Methods.

The broad aims of the module are to:
Introduce students to the diversity of research approaches and debates;
Heighten awareness of methodological issues facing researchers in the social sciences and humanities;
Develop an awareness of interdisciplinarity and its potentials and challenges in research;
Encourage students to develop their research skills through the selective use of this reading guide and their own search for appropriate literature on research design topics that are of interest to them.

PAI7037 Global Borders and Security
The module will examine the key theoretical approaches, debates and issues that constitute Border Studies, and place these in a wider context of global security. Students will critically assess some of the main texts in Border Studies and analyse their relation to established theoretical traditions within International Relations and Security Studies. It will critically address mainstream accounts of sovereign borders and statehood by developing a much more comprehensive approach in which mobilities, flows, contradictions, circulations, re-directions and interruptions are understood to constitute contemporary borders. It will introduce students to the major and emerging theories of borders, contextualize those within prevailing security dynamics, and illustrate those studies with multiple examples from contemporary global borders. Some of the topics we will engage with are: sovereignty; bordering / debordering; regular and irregular migration; security technologies; the differences between freight and human traffic; data collection and circulation; visa regimes; citizenship; nationalism; mobility and travel; disruption and delay; interoperability; efficiency and risk management;

Plus ONE optional module from below:

PAI7022 – The Politics of the Republic of Ireland
This module explores and analyses the political development of the Irish Free State/Republic of Ireland in historical context. It combines an historical and thematic approach to provide students with an understanding of the politics of the Irish Free State, later the Republic. It introduces students to key debates on the Irish Revolution and its background, on Irish historical revisionism, on the foundations of statehood, and the institutions and political culture of the new state. Particular themes include partition , the pursuit of stability and order, negotiations of identity, problems of modernisation, Ireland’s shifting place in European and world politics, changing attitudes towards partition and ‘the Troubles’, the impact of social change on self-representation in a post-Tiger context.

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.

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.

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. This course will be comprised of the following topics (note that while the module will cover these debates, these topic headings are merely indicative at this stage): 1. What is (Global) Development? Aside from providing an overview of the module, this topic covers: ontological debates on what constitutes ‘development’ and the means to achieve it, why scholars and practitioners increasingly refer to ‘global’ rather than ��international development’, and how ideas of development are rooted in longstanding assumptions of teleology and deeply held ideas on the possibility of material, social and spiritual progress. 2. Understanding Poverty: Geography, Colonialism and Capital.


Students are required to take the following module:

PAI7097 Borders Internship
This new Module will offer students the opportunity to undertake a work placement for a total of 2 days per week (including half days as necessary) for 12 weeks (24 days total) in a host organisation. Assessment will be via a learning log, policy brief and academic paper, thus allowing students to use their workplace project more laterally in the achievement of Module requirements.

Plus ONE module from the following list of

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.

PAI7021 The Politics and Institutions 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.

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 Global 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.

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.

PAI7059 – Freedom and Modernity
The modern era is distinguished by the emergence of divergent interpretations of the nature of freedom, individual, social, and political. This course is devoted to exploring the nature of these different conceptions and the theories of freedom associated with them. Benjamin Constant famously contrasted the liberties of the ancients, i.e. collective political freedoms, with the liberties of the moderns, i.e. individual freedoms. Berlin’s canonical contrast between negative and positive liberty, while partly inspired by Constant, approaches the analysis of freedom in a different way, foregrounding the contrast between ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom to’. Recent work on freedom, however, challenges these accounts by reviving an older, republican, conception of freedom as freedom from domination. Where libertarian theories typically consider the state to be the primary threat to freedom, the non-domination account understands the state to be a potential bulwark against domination by other social actors. In this way, its concerns overlap with those of the critical theorists who are similarly concerned with obstacles to freedom in social relations more generally, reflected in theories of alienation and disciplinary power. This course will combine analytical and genealogical approaches to the problem understating the complexity of freedom in the modern world. Topics will vary from year to year but may include: liberal and libertarian conceptions of individual freedom, the relation between individual and political freedom, populist and constitutionalist conceptions of collective freedom; freedom as non-domination and the problem of structural domination; dimensions and theories of autonomy: moral, social, and political; alienation and disciplinary power.

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?

PAI7052 Institutions and Politics of the EU
The module explores the structure and institutions of the European Union (EU) as well as selected theoretical approaches to the study of European integration. It examines in detail the nature and roles of the EU’s main institutions (i.e. Commission, European Parliament, Council, European Council, European Central Bank, and Court of Justice), and provides a critical assessment of selected EU policies and political challenges facing the EU. In doing so the module explores the decision- and policy-making dynamics within the EU as well as some of the most pressing themes in European governance.

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.


Students complete research on:

PAI9099 – Dissertation
The research and writing of a 15,000-word dissertation on any chosen aspect of Politics or International Studies. Submission date 15th September.

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer

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:

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. Research examines 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. Prior research projects included analysis of modes of embodiment and the political and social implications of the new reproductive technologies. Email:


Cathal McCall is Professor of European Politics and Borders. He has published widely on the theme of European Union cross-border cooperation and conflict transformation. Currently, he has a specific interest in bordering, debordering and re-bordering on the island of Ireland. Email:


Professor David Phinnemore’s research interests are focused on European integration and cover in particular processes of EU treaty reform and their impact on the EU, the political dynamics underpinning EU enlargement and the EU’s relations with European non-member states. Email:


Professor of Political Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast and a Senior Fellow of the UK in a Changing Europe thinktank, where she leads a major ESRC-funded project on the topic of the future and status of Northern Ireland after Brexit. She is an Eisenhower Fellow (2019) and a Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University. Professor Hayward is an internationally recognised expert on Brexit and Northern Ireland/Ireland, particularly with respect to the Irish border. She was appointed to the technical expert panel of the UK government’s Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group on Brexit (2019) and has given written and oral evidence before several parliamentary committees in the UK, Ireland and EU. Email:

Teaching Times

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

Career Prospects

All of the MA programmes offered in the School provide our graduates with the skills to pursue a wide range of careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. In addition they provide an appropriate basis for those who wish to proceed to Doctoral-level study. Former students on the Global Security and Borders programme have gone on to the following careers:
- Fully funded PhD Programme in the US
- UK Navy
- Immigration services in Ireland
- Law School on the US
- Civil Service in Canadian Federal Government

Learning and Teaching

In general, there is an average of six hours contact teaching hours per week for the first semester. In the second semester, as well as two hours contact on an Elective module, the Borders Internship module will involve three days of a work-based placement per week for 10 weeks, as well as dedicated supervision with a member of academic staff.

Students should expect to spend 10-12 hours of independent study for every two hours in seminars and lectures, spread across the course of the semester. However, the second semester Borders Internship involves a more complex mix of work-based learning and supervision.

Cognitive Skills

Develop advanced analytical, reasoning, literacy and communication skills.
Solve problems, process and prioritize a wide variety of information, and express sophisticated arguments and positions in oral and written form.
Enhance their knowledge of relevant methodological and theoretical approaches to key issue areas relating to global security and borders.
Identify and articulate advanced level arguments relating to global security and borders in oral and written form.

Knowledge and Understanding

• engage in relational thinking by acknowledging how pressing issues of global security are revealed most clearly in the operation of borders, and how borders expose the contingency of state sovereignty and the international system
• demonstrate an advanced awareness and understanding of the foundations of Critical Security Studies and Border Studies within International Relations;
• understand how Critical Security Studies and Border Studies relate to different theoretical approaches to global security and borders within International Relations; acknowledge the diversity of critical approaches and identify key tensions between them;
• recognise the interdisciplinary influences on Critical Security Studies and Border Studies and acknowledge how these inform its development;
• understand how critical theories of global security and borders translate into different practices at border sites, even when those sites are radically dispersed;
• apply contemporary academic debates about global security and borders to contemporary bordering practices;
• critically engage in debates on key developments in the politics of global security and borders;
• reflect upon the ethical and political implications and developments in global security and borders;
• engage in depth with a wide range of key issues in a theoretically informed way;
• pursue independent, creative and critical thinking through both written work and group debate and discussions

Subject Specific Skills

• understand of the key and evolving debates in Critical Security Studies and Border Studies
• critically engage with arguments relating to global security and borders, including contemporary bordering practices, the ethical and political implications of efforts to increase the security of borders; and moments where border security fails.

Transferable Skills

Acquire and develop advanced subject-specific skills, as well as organizational, professional and career development skills that will be beneficial in further research, education and employment.
One of the MA's core modules – the double-weighted PAI7097 Borders Internship – is key to providing transferable skills relating to employment. It has two main components:

• Students will undertake a dedicated 10 week site-specific Borders Internship at a non-HE institution for 3 days a week for 10 weeks. This will be supported by a preparatory workshop. The host institutions are both governmental and non-governmental (3rd sector), and all are directly engaged in the work of global security and borders. The confirmed host institutions for the borders internship will change every year, depending on need, availability and student numbers. These will normally be finalised by September before the students begin the programme. Host institutions we routinely work with include:

- Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Ireland
- The Executive Office, Stormont (Good Relations)
- Cyber Crime Centre, PSNI.
- The Equality Commission
- UK Visas & Immigration
- Irish Central Border Area Network
- Pivotal
- Cooperation Ireland

To ensure that the learning outcomes on the programme are met, the Borders Internship module will provide the following additional assurances:
• A fair and transparent allocation of internships to students involving the student's preferences, student ranking by entrance grades and achievement, and an interview with relevant staff .
• A comprehensive model of supervision and monitoring (see next column) including regular one-on-one meetings with an academic supervisor, peer group mentoring and dedicated onsite supervision by a host mentor
• A dedicated effort, by the course convenor, to ensure that all visas for Tier 4 students undertaking internships in the Republic of Ireland are acquired in advance
• A concentrated effort by the course convenor and host mentor to ensure that any required security clearances are undertaken in advance of the internship starting
• A comprehensive risk policy to ensure that alternative arrangements can be made if an internship does not work out, runs into difficulty or breaks down.


Each module has its own assessment structure. At Postgraduate level, these are almost all continuous assessment and can include the following:

• Essays
• Learning Journals
• Literature Reviews
• Policy Reviews
• Blogs
• Briefing Papers
• Book Reviews
• Seminar Presentations

The assessment breakdown for the CORE modules on this programme is as follows:

PAI7037 Global Security and Borders: 1 Blog Portfolio + 1 Essay
PAI7097 Borders Internship: 1 Briefing Paper + 1 Learning Log
PAI9099 Dissertation: 1 15,000 word dissertation




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2022/23). 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)
    Borders Internship (40 credits)

    Optional Modules

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

Entrance requirements

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

Further criteria may be applied since placements are limited. This may include ranking applications on the basis of academic performance, a personal statement and/or an interview.

Please Note: due to external international funding deadlines and the limited availability of internships, the closing date for non-UK/Irish applicants to this programme is 31st January 2023 at 4pm GMT; for UK/Irish applicants the closing date for applications is 31st March 2023 at 4pm GMT. Applications received after these closing dates will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by these closing dates have been processed.

A deposit is required to secure your place. (This condition of offer will be in addition to any academic or English language requirements).

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. 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:

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

All of the MA programmes offered in the School provide our graduates with the skills to pursue a wide range of careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. In addition they provide an appropriate basis for those who wish to proceed to Doctoral-level study. Former students on the Global Security and Borders programme have gone on to the following careers:
- Fully funded PhD Programme in the US
- UK Navy
- Immigration services in Ireland
- Law School on the US
- Civil Service in Canadian Federal Government

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Graduate Plus/Future Ready 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/Future Ready Award. 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.

Global Security and Borders costs

Students will undertake internships located mostly in the Greater Belfast area. Where the internship requires travel outside the Belfast area, the School of HAPP will negotiate with the host institution/provider to cover travel costs.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 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 £11,836 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

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.

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