Skip to Content

International Relations (MA)

MA|Postgraduate Taught

International Relations

Entry year
2022
Entry requirements
2.1
Duration
1 year (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
25 (Full Time)
25 (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

    This programme provides a foundation in the academic discipline of International Relations and 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 attending closely and consistently to traditional issues such as armed conflict, it thus offers a significantly broader education in international politics.

    Students are thus able to balance engagement with core content in the field of International Relations with active development of their own areas of specialism as they progress through choosing elective courses according to their own interests. Among the central aims of the programme is provision of the 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 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). 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).

    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 who is now our Chancellor), and Speaker of the UK House of Commons, John Bercow MP.
    • 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.
    • 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
  • Course content

    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 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)
    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
    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 Jamie Hagan
    Programme Convenor

    SHAPP
    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

    Professor Debbie Lisle
    Professor

    HAPP
    Dr Lisle’s research interests are interdisciplinary and draw mainly from International Relations, Critical Security Issues, Visual Culture, Mobility Studies, Materialism and post-Humanism, Social and Political Theory and Media and Cultural Studies. Her work explores the relevance of cultural and visual artefacts e.g. contemporary travel writing, museum exhibits, photographs, art, war films) to world politics and argues that the cultural realm tells as much about International Relations as the official documents usually privileged in this context.

    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.

    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.
    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, pieces of media coverage or film, as well as academic resources and analysis from think-tanks and other independent sources. In addition, students will have access to a range of visiting speakers, academic research seminars and other events of direct relevance to the 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

    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 generic analytical, reasoning, literacy and communication skills.

    Assessment

    Assessment is continuous throughout the course of study.

    • Policy Briefing Papers
    • Learning Journals
    • Literature reviews
    • Portfolios
    • Written essays

  • 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.

    Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 12th August 2022 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 pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country. Use the dropdown list below for 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) 1 £6,450
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,450
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £7,250
    EU Other 3 £17,700
    International £17,700

    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, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.

    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 2021-22, 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.

    NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published in December. International postgraduate fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees

    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

    When to Apply

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

    Terms and Conditions

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


    Download a prospectus