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MA | Postgraduate Taught

International Relations

Entry year
2021
Entry requirements
2.1
Duration
1 year (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
30
  • Overview

    This programme is designed to analyse various aspects of International Relations in a scholarly, critical and methodologically sophisticated manner. Having introduced the theoretical and methodological components which facilitate our study of the field, the aim is to use these tools to examine, explain and understand the issues, topics and processes that make up our world, from security and terrorism, migration and mobility, to global financial crises.

    The programme offers a balance between providing core content in the field of International Relations while allowing students to actively choose their area of specialism.

    International Relations highlights

    Industry Links

    • You will be studying timely, relevant and pressing issues that will be ‘live’ throughout the programme (e.g. BREXIT & EU negotiations; migration and refugees; conflict and war; climate change developments). Many academics on the programme are engaged in QPOL (Queen’s Policy Engagement) – this is the ‘front door’ for public policy engagement at Queen’s University, supporting academics and policymakers in sharing evidence-based research and ideas on the major social, cultural and economic challenges facing society regionally, nationally and beyond.

    Career Development

    • Queen’s is ranked in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings (2020). Queen’s is ranked 1st in the UK for entrepreneurial impact (Octopus Ventures, 2019). Queen's is ranked 26th in the UK for graduate prospects (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020).

    World Class Facilities

    • We also often host guest lectures and are closely affiliated with the The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s. This Institute aims to tackle major global problems by bringing world-leading academics and experts together. The Institute has welcomed a number of high profile speakers from the political arena to the University over the past year, including President Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton (who was awarded an honorary degree by the University), and Speaker of the UK House of Commons, John Bercow MP.
    • Queen’s was ranked 3rd out of 199 universities worldwide and 2nd out of 44 UK universities for our Graduate School. Politics was ranked joint 1st in the UK for Research Intensity (Complete University Guide 2021).

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • Taught by world-leading experts in areas such as migration and asylum, border security, visual culture and international ethics. An opportunity to study international relations in a location where communal conflicts have a clear international aspect in both their perpetuation and resolution. Benefits from a vibrant interdisciplinary research culture within the School, including insights from History, Anthropology and Philosophy.
    • Belfast is a location where communal conflict has had significant international aspects in both its perpetuation and resolution. Northern Ireland remains a model of conflict resolution and peace building across the world and students benefit from the School and University’s wider expertise in terrorism and political violence, conflict resolution, security studies, border studies and Irish and Northern Irish politics.

    Student Experience

    • All of the modules on our programme are taught by research-active academics who are world leaders in their specific fields of International Relations. For example, members of staff are currently conducting research on war, trade, security, diplomacy, conflict, migration, intervention, terrorism, violence, climate change, human rights and international institutions.
    • International Relations at Queen’s benefits from a vibrant interdisciplinary research culture within the School, including insights from History, Anthropology and Philosophy as well as engagement with academics across the wider University in fields such law, sociology and social policy, management and computing (for example, in collaboration for the study of cybersecurity threats).
    • Queen’s is ranked 14th in the UK for research quality (Times and Sunday times Good University Guide 2020). Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellent (Times Higher Education, 2019). Queen’s is ranked 22nd in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020). Queen’s currently has over 3,000 international students from 85 different countries. 11% of the Queen’s student population are international students

    Brexit Advice

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure

    This MA aims enable you to examine, explain and understand global issues which affects the world around us, from security and terrorism, migration and mobility, to global financial crises.

    The MA provides a foundation in the academic discipline of International Relations and the array of ‘real world’ practices and problems that produce world politics: looking for example, at diplomacy, arms control and arms proliferation, global health policy, humanitarian intervention and international development policy. While attending closely and consistently to issues to armed conflict, it is thus offers a significantly broader education in international politics.

    The programme allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the deep structures that constitute world order, and the pressing contemporary issues that we face, such as armed conflict, human displacement, inequality and injustice. As such, it offers a balance between covering core content in the field of International Relations while allowing students to actively develop an area of specialism as they progress.

    To show the breadth of issues that are studied here are some examples of our recent students' dissertation topics: Terrorism, Climate Change, Nuclear proliferation, Development, Global poverty, Rape as a war crime, International trade, Arms control, HIV/Global pandemics, Refugees, Diplomacy, Humanitarian intervention, War, Global governance, Natural disasters, Financial crisis, Peace-keeping, Religion, Organised crime, Security, Ethnic violence, Indigenous Politics, Policing & militarization, Irregular migration, Gender in Global Politics.

    Other previous topics have also been researched: Jihadi use of social media; Russian foreign and security policy after the Ukraine conflict; Extreme right-wing terrorism and the internet; Russian private military actors; EU defence policy after BREXIT; Baltic security and the future of NATO; Paramilitarism and the Northern Irish border; Indian defence and security in relation to rising China; The limits of ‘truth and reconciliation’ in conflict resolution.

    Core ModulesTo acquire foundational knowledge and understanding in International Relations, students will take four core modules covering the evolution of International Relations as a discipline, issues of order, conflict and governance, and the trends toward globalisation, regionalisation and devolution.

    Core Modules students currently must take:

    HAP7001 - Approaches to Research Design (Semester 1)
    PAI7026 - Theories and Issues in International Relations (Semester 1)

    PAI7030 - International Political Economy (Semester 2)
    PAI9099 – Dissertation (triple weighted module)
    Course DetailsThe programme has three different components: Core modules, Elective modules, and an MA dissertation.
    DissertationTo enable students to develop their particular area of specialism, facilitate independent learning and instill a variety of skills such as project management, detailed analysis and self-motivation, students on the MA pathway must also write a dissertation of no more than 15,000 words.
    Elective ModulesThe programme provides students with a number of elective modules that will enable them to specialise in areas of interest, build on foundational knowledge, and develop focused expertise.

    Students must take one of:
    PAI7007 - Global Terrorism (Semester 2)
    PAI7051 – Contemporary Security (semester 1)

    Student who do not take PAI7051 – Contemporary Security should choose one course from the list below:
    PAI7021 – The Politics of Northern Ireland
    PAI7036 – The Politics and Political Economy of Energy and Low Carbon Transitions
    PHL7056 – Global Ethics

    Student who take PAI7051 – Contemporary Security should choose one course from the list below:
    PAI7022 – The Politics of the Republic of Ireland
    PAI7027 - Conflict Intervention
    PAI7032 - Gender, Politics and Democracy
    PAI7052 - Institutions and Politics of the EU
    PHL7038 - Philosophy of Conflict and War

    *This list of elective modules may vary from year to year.

    People teaching you

    Dr Shane Brighton
    Senior Lecturer

    SHAPP
    Email: s.brighton@qub.ac.uk

    Teaching Times

    Afternoon / Evening

    Career Prospects

    Introduction
    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.
    http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

    Employment after the Course
    International Relations graduates go on to an extraordinarily broad range of careers. Typical examples include:
    • International Non-Governmental Organisation roles (humanitarian, conflict resolution, environmental, development etc)
    • media and journalism
    • government, diplomacy and international civil service roles
    • military and intelligence careers
    • political risk analysis
    • political research, lobbying and consultancy roles with an international focus
    • think-tank research
    • academic careers in IR and cognate disciplines
    • business roles involving significant transnational trade or operations
    • International Non-Governmental Organisations including: humanitarian, conflict resolution, environmental, development etc.

    Learning and Teaching

    Skills students will learn throughout the MA programme.

    Cognitive and Transferable Skills

    At the end of the programme learners will have the capacity to be self reflective and practice sound judgement, and will possess the necessary skills to enhance their ability, think critically and pursue independent research.

    Students will have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding about the history of the discipline and knowledge of its specific concepts, issues and vocabulary.

    Students will enhance their knowledge of the general methodological and theoretical approaches to key issue areas of the discipline.

    Students will be able to solve problems, process and prioritize a wide variety of information, and express arguments and positions in oral and written form.

    The Postgraduate Masters in International Relations provides postgraduate learners with the opportunity to develop generic analytical, reasoning, literacy and communication skills.

    Knowledge and Understanding

    Upon completion of the program the learner will be well versed with the methodology, the historiography and the basic approaches to International Politics and be able to research independently using the expert language of the subject.

    The program will enhance the existing understanding of comparative methods, theoretical models, political sociology and historical textual analysis.

    The learner will acquire competency in specific areas such as the analysis of political decision-making, International History and International Security.

    The program will furthermore provide a firm grounding in the study the emerging structures of governance beyond the nation-state. It will introduce the learner not only to the specialist literature of the field, but to key debates in contemporary international relations theory and methodology.

    The Postgraduate Masters in International Relations will enhance the postgraduate learner's generic skills of the subject

    Specific Skills

    Upon completion of the program the learner will be well versed with the methodology, the historiography and the basic approaches to International Politics and be able to research independently using the expert language of the subject.

    The program will enhance the existing understanding of comparative methods, theoretical models, political sociology and historical textual analysis.

    The learner will acquire competency in specific areas such as the analysis of political decision-making, International History and International Security.

    The program will furthermore provide a firm grounding in the study the emerging structures of governance beyond the nation-state. It will introduce the learner not only to the specialist literature of the field, but to key debates in contemporary international relations theory and methodology.

    The Postgraduate Masters in International Relations will enhance the postgraduate learner's generic skills of the subject.

    Assessment

    Assessment and Feedback are continuous throughout the course of study.

    • Examination
    • Seminar Presentations
    • Learning Journals
    • Literature reviews
    • Portfolios
    • Written essays
    • Dissertation

  • Entry Requirements

    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.

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

    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)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) £6,450
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £7,250
    Other (non-UK) EU £TBC
    International £17,700

    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.

    International Relations costs

    There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

    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 http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    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