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International Relations (MA)

MA|Postgraduate Taught

International Relations

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

This programme provides a foundation in the academic discipline of International Relations - the array of ‘real world’ practices and problems that produce world politics. 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 and processes that make up our world: looking, for example, at war; diplomacy; arms control and arms proliferation; global health policy; humanitarian intervention; international development policy; race and legacies of colonialism; human displacement; inequality and injustice. While still attending closely and consistently to traditional issues of world politics such as armed conflict and negotiations, it offers a significantly broader education in international politics by examining contemporary issues of international politics from a multitude of perspectives, both traditional and more critical.

Students are thus able to balance engagement with core content in the field of International Relations with active development of their own areas of specialisation as they progress through choosing elective courses according to their own interests. Among the central aims of the programme is the provision of high-quality methodological and research design training needed to conduct independent research projects to an academically accredited standard. This culminates in the final dissertation stage of the programme. Recent students' dissertation topics have included: 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.

International Relations highlights

Taught by world-leading experts in areas such as migration and asylum, border security, visual culture, conflict and international security, political leadership and international ethics.

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). A deep understanding and critical engagement with such contemporary issues is sought after by both local and global industries, from both the private and the public sectors. 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 26th in the UK for graduate prospects (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020).
  • Politics was ranked joint 1st in the UK for Research Intensity (Complete University Guide 2021).

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 former United States President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton (who was awarded an honorary degree by the University and who is now our Chancellor), and Speaker of the UK House of Commons, John Bercow MP. Our students benefit from opportunities to attend and present in international conferences hosted at Queen’s such as the Annual meeting of the Conflict Research Society (2022) or the biennial meeting of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (2022), both drawing the participation of internationally renowned experts.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • This program is taught by world-leading experts in areas such as migration and asylum, border security, conflict and security, visual culture and international ethics. The program provides an opportunity to study international relations in a location where communal conflicts have a clear international aspect in both their 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. Our students also benefit from a vibrant interdisciplinary research culture within the school, including insights from History, Anthropology, and Philosophy.

Student Experience

  • All 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).
  • Our students benefit from opportunities to attend and present in international conferences hosted at Queen’s such as the Annual meeting of the Conflict Research Society (2022) or the biennial meeting of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (2022), both drawing the participation of internationally renowned experts.
  • Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellent (Times Higher Education, 2019).
  • 11% of the Queen’s student population are international students
  • 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.

Course Structure

The programme has three different components: core modules, elective modules and a research dissertation.

Core Modules
To 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.

Elective Modules
The 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.

Research Dissertation
The research dissertation project is developed over the course of the programme through formal training in methodology and research design and individual supervision sessions with an academic subject-expert. Students will spend the final stage of the course researching and writing, with the continued support of their supervisor.

Core ModulesCore Modules
To 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)
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.

PAI7026 - Theories and Issues in International Relations (Semester 1)
The module will examine some of the key theoretical approaches and debates that have defined the evolution of international politics as a discipline (e.g. Realism, Liberalism, the English School, Critical Theory, post-structuralism, feminism and constructivism). Students will explore the underlying assumptions of each theory, compare, and contrast each theoretical approach, and examine the relevance of each theory through contemporary issues in international politics.

PAI7030 - International Political Economy (Semester 2)
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 analyse 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.

Students must also take one of the following modules:

PAI7007 - Global Terrorism (Semester 2)
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.

PAI7051 – Contemporary Security (semester 1)
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 di-lemma 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.

Elective Modules

Student who do not take PAI7051 Contemporary Security should choose one course from the list below:

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

Student who take PAI7051 Contemporary Security should choose one course from the list below:

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.

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.

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.

PAI7058 – From Cold War to Cold Peace. The Transformation of the 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)

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, fore-grounding 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.

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.

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 cri-tiques 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 tolera-tion, 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?

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

Dissertation
To enable students to develop their particular area of specialism, facilitate independent learning and instil 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.
Course DetailsCore Modules
To 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.

Elective Modules
The 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.

Research Dissertation
The research dissertation project is developed over the course of the programme through formal training in methodology and research design and individual supervision sessions with an academic subject-expert. Students will spend the final stage of the course researching and writing, with the continued support of their supervisor.


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

HAPP
Dr 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

HAPP
Dr Jack Taggart is a critical political economist. His work examines both the shifting politics of international development and the contested nature of contemporary global governance. Email: j.taggart@qub.ac.uk

Lecturer

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.Hagan@qub.ac.uk

Lecturer

HAPP
Dr Jamie Pow's research focuses on the way citizens interact with democratic decision-making, including through elections, mini-publics and referendums. He has a particular interest in the politics of Northern Ireland and recent projects have explored public opinion towards Brexit. Email: J.Pow@qub.ac.uk

Reader

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

Senior Lecturer

HAPP
Dr Peter McLoughlin works in the broad field of contemporary political history in Ireland and Northern Ireland, with a particular focus on the Northern Ireland problem and peace process. Email: p.mcloughlin@qub.ac.uk

Programme Convenor

HAPP
Dr Berger Hobson’s research lies in the realms of international security and conflict studies. She focuses on violent non-state actors, their organisational dynamics and leadership personalities and in the specific conflicts of Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine and more broadly. Email: R.Berger-Hobson@qub.ac.uk

Senior Lecturer

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

Reader

HAPP
Dr Andreasson’s research is in comparative politics, the political economy of development and postcolonial politics, focussing on Southern Africa and the USA. He is currently researching the role of international oil companies in energy transitions and the future of fossil fuels. Email: s.andreasson@qub.ac.uk

Reader

HAPP
Dr Timofey Agarin is interested in relationships between the state and society, interrelations between the majority and the minority, issues relating to non-discrimination in the wider Europe and the impact of European integration broadly conceived on societal change and dynamics in political institutions. Email: t.agarin@qub.ac.uk

Lecturer

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

Professor

HAPP
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: d.phinnemore@qub.ac.uk

Professor

HAPP
Professor John Barry's research interests are in green moral and political theory, particularly green republicanism; heterodox, green and post-growth political economy; the politics and political economy of sustainability transitions; the politics of climate breakdown and the political economy of low carbon energy transitions. Email: j.barry@qub.ac.uk

Professor

HAPP
Professor Muiris MacCarthaigh's research covers a variety of themes within and between political science, public policy and public administration. His current projects are concerned with how governments can best address the social impacts of Covid-19, the effects of technological advancement on public governance, and the evolution of public sector reforms. Email: m.maccarthaigh@qub.ac.uk

Teaching Times

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

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.
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

Students will be taught through a combination of individual supervision, lectures and seminars involving small group discussions and analytical exercises of various sorts. These can involve simulations, looking at original policy documents, theory application and analysis of film, television, and other popular culture items, book reports, alongside academic resources and analysis from think-tanks and other independent sources. Assessments could include individual and group work, participation in class debates and presentations, writing short policy recommendations and longer research essays In addition, students will have access to a range of visiting speakers, academic research seminars and other events of direct relevance to the programme such as international conferences and roundtables.

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

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.

Specific Skills

The MA in International Relations provides postgraduate learners with the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of contemporary issues in world events, and the ability to analyse, explain, and even predict the behaviour of various actors in the system. For example, our graduates will be able to use their newly acquired analytical, reasoning and communication skills to discuss and the Russian invasion to Ukraine, the effects of Climate Change on international cooperation, the role Facebook and Google play in determining states' behaviours, what led to the rise of violent actors such as Isis and could it happen again and more.

Assessment

Assessment is continuous throughout the course of study.

• Policy Briefing Papers
• Learning Journals
• Literature reviews
• Portfolios
• Written essays
• Book reports
• Film analysis
• In-class presentations
• In-class discussion leading
• In-class debates

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

    Social Injustice (20 credits)
    Global Ireland (20 credits)
    Global Development (20 credits)
    Global Terrorism (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.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). For more information, please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy

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
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.
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.

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.

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 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.


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