M.A. International Relations

The University of Northampton

Tuition fee:
  • € 5,373 / Year (EEA)
  • € 10,791 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015, February  2016
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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International Relations is a vital and dynamic field of intellectual inquiry that offers an interdisciplinary exploration of human interaction. Students undertaking the course will come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and it is not assumed that all students will have similar abilities or skills. It is not our aim to encourage further specialisation along the line of a student's first degree but rather to complement existing knowledge and build upon transferable capabilities. Overall this is a unique opportunity for graduates both with and without social science experience to study at a very high level for a postgraduate degree with global relevance.

Our aim is to foster a set of intellectual skills to enable more informed and effective participation in an 'ever-shrinking' global society. This goal is to provide a rigorous and intellectually challenging foundation in approaches to the study and practice of international relations while developing an understanding and sensitivity to key issues in diverse areas of the modern world. The MA offers an exciting opportunity for graduates to develop their understanding of international affairs both theoretically and through their own or others' experience.

Career opportunities

Progression to taught postgraduate is a path chosen by those wishing to further their careers, those intending to pursue further research, and those who seek principally to satisfy their own intellectual interests. Successful completion will lead to the award of MA. This will complement a candidate's existing qualifications. Additionally, it is envisaged the programme's breadth and depth will provide you with a suitable background for careers in public and private sectors where there is a need for international expertise.

The award of MA demonstrates an intellectual flexibility and high level of analytical, written and verbal skill. Increasingly, employers are looking for graduates with skills and knowledge which are not found (or perceived by employers to be found) among many recent graduates. This MA will give you, the graduate, a distinctive product in a highly competitive and expanding graduate employment market. Employers report that a person with a background in International Relations is more likely to find a career in the rapidly changing international environment than a person with another form of postgraduate qualification.

The MA IR thus aims to provide you with a suitable foundation for careers in both private and public sectors where there is a need for international sensitivity. Students wishing to engage in later doctoral research (where we have capacity) or in careers within voluntary organisations, civil and diplomatic service, international organisations, research posts or journalism will particularly benefit from it. We now have excellent links with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, MEPS and representatives from the United Nations, as well as a number of pressure groups.

In sum, our core purpose is to nurture not only a robust intellectual flexibility but also the high levels of analytical, written and verbal skills attractive to employers from globally focused agencies and business. Our aim is to provide you with an excellent background and competitive edge for further study or a wide variety of careers in an ever-expanding job market.


Special course features

* Strong staff expertise
* Enthusiastic teaching team providing a supportive atmosphere for research
* The core modules consider classic texts and the very latest thinking on international theory
* Focus on the study of distinct global regions not just Europe, North America or the West
* All students are assigned a personal tutor and will be encouraged to form study groups with colleagues
* Guest speakers are a feature of this MA
* Students will find the course team warm and approachable

Typical modules

* Core Course: International Relations Theory (x2)
* The Peoples' Republic of China: Foreign Policy Dilemmas
* US-UK Special Relationship
Political Economy of East Africa Development
* European Integration
* Media, Culture and Politics in the Middle East
* International Politics of Central Asia
* Methodology and Research Design in International Relations
* Research Methods for International Relations
* Dissertation


In terms of admissions, the requirement for entry onto the MA IR programme is normally a bachelor's degree at 2:2 or higher. No previous study is required or expected and it is hoped that students from both within and outside the Social Sciences will apply. It is certainly not assumed that all students will have similar abilities or skills and our aim is to complement existing knowledge and build upon transferable capabilities. All students are assigned a personal tutor and encouraged to form study groups with colleagues. We hope students will find the course team warm and approachable!

The course team are particularly keen to widen participation and applications from 'non-standard entrants' are especially encouraged. Such applicants will be assessed in accordance with the University's Admissions Policy and Academic Regulations. We extend a warm welcome to applications from overseas students who, in addition to their academic qualification for the programme, are normally required to have 6.5 in IELTS. The principles and practice of credit accumulation and transfer are also endorsed. In considering students for admission, the Course Leader will assess the student's capacity to cope with the demands of the course. Final decisions on admissions will rest with the Course Leader.

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

180 (Grade C)

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