Skip to main content

PgDip | Postgraduate Taught

International Relations

Entry year
Entry requirements
2.2 Honours (minimum of 57%)
1 year (Full Time)
2 years (Part Time)
Places available
Please note, the start date of this course may have changed. Check for latest updates.
  • 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.

    The Diploma is constructed around the coursework elements of the MA programmes with no dissertation required. On successful completion of the coursework, however, it is possible to complete the dissertation for an award of MA.

    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).

    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.

    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).

    Brexit Advice

    Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

  • Course content

    Course Structure


    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:

    PAI7030 - International Political Economy (Semester 2)
    HAP7001 - Approaches to Research Design (Semester 1)
    PAI7026 - Theories and Issues in International Relations (Semester 1)
    Course DetailsThe programme has two different components: Core modules and Elective modules.
    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.

    Elective Modules students must take one of:

    PAI7007 - Global Terrorism (Semester 2)
    PAI7051 – Contemporary Security (Semester 1)

    Student who take PAI7007 – Global Terrorism should choose one course from the list below in Semester 1:
    PAI7021 – The Politics of Northern Ireland
    PAI7036 – The Politics and Political Economy
    PAI7100 – Engaging citizens in Democrati
    PHL7056 – Global Ethics

    Student who take PAI7007 – Global Terrorism should choose one course from the list below in Semester 2:
    PAI7022 – The Politics of the Republic of Ireland
    PAI7027 - Conflict Intervention
    PAI7050 - Ethnic Conflict and Consensus: The Power of Institutions
    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


    Prof Debbie Lisle

    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

    All of the PgDip 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.

    Learning and Teaching





    Assessment and Feedback are continuous throughout the course of study.

    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:


    Seminar Presentations

    Learning journals

    Literature reviews


    Written essays

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    Normally a 2.2 Honours degree (minimum 57%) or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a Social Sciences, Humanities or Arts related discipline, or a 2.2 Honours degree (minimum 57%) or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject with relevant professional experience.

    Applicants who do not meet this entry requirement may, at the discretion of the relevant programme convenor be considered for admission on the basis of relevant work experience and/ or an assessed piece of work.

    The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

    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:

    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.

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

    • 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) £4,093
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £4,600
    Other (non-UK) EU £4,093
    International £11,267

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. 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

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal 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