International Relations, M.A.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition Fee
  • English
University rank #101 (ARWU) ,
The course gives you the opportunity to analyse topics and concerns central to the functioning of the international system. Our emphasis on international studies invites an interdisciplinary approach and reflects the broadening nature of the subject beyond the confines of inter-state relationships.


MA International Relations introduces you to the central debates and issues within the study of international politics and relations.

We offer you the opportunity to analyse topics and concerns central to the functioning of the international system. Our emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach reflects the broadening nature of the subject beyond the confines of inter-state relationships.

You will explore a wide range of contemporary and historical approaches to the subject, and focus upon on country-specific, regional and international processes. We also offer you a range of other modules in theoretical and practical study-areas, including research methods which can be useful in preparation for further study.

Our programme unites inter-disciplinary work, the strength of our School of Politics and International Studies, with a thorough grounding in the core elements of the discipline. On completing the degree, you will have knowledge of the various aspects of international relations in addition to generic social science research skills, methodologies and approaches.

Our programme offers you the chance to discuss matters of international interest and common concern with people from all over the world. Our interdisciplinary approach means that you can choose from a wide range of optional modules and provides you with the opportunity to analyse in depth global political issues as well as regional challenges.

Career possibilities

Our alumni have pursued a range of exciting and high-profile careers within academia and think tanks -- including teaching and research positions at universities in the UK, US, Europe, and Africa -- as well as globally-operating consultancy and publishing firms, transnational civil society organisations, and the United Nations.

MA International Relations offers you ...

  • a better understanding of the international system and how it interacts with states and societies world-wide
  • an interdisciplinary approach with a wide range of optional modules.

If you want to ...

  • be able to link theoretical ideas to events in the international system, both historical and contemporary
  • demonstrate that international politics is a struggle for ideas as well as power
  • participate in a dynamic research atmosphere
  • pursue a career in the international political arena

... then consider MA International Relations.

Programme Structure

Compulsory Modules

Theoretical Approaches in International Relations introduces you to the relationship between the struggle for power and the struggle between ideas. You will investigate some of the ideological and philosophical movements that have shaped, and continue to shape, the international system, and you will examine a variety of competing positions with reference to events in the real world.

International Relations Dissertation leads you through the process of developing a deeper understanding of a particular topic in politics through independent research and the preparation of an extended piece of writing. You agree a research topic with your supervisor and write a 12,000 word dissertation that demonstrates your research skills, your ability to assess information, and appraise relevant concepts and theories.

Optional Modules

You also study between three and five of the following optional modules.

  • American Foreign Policy
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
  • European Defence and Security Analysis
  • Global Justice
  • Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity
  • International Relations and the Environment
  • Policing Post-Conflict Cities
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict
  • The Rise of China

Please note module options may be subject to change.

Programme structure

As a full-time student, you will attend two 2-hour sessions (combining lectures and seminar discussion) per week over the eleven weeks of the semester. As a part-time student, you will attend one 2-hour session (combining lectures and seminar discussion) per week over the eleven weeks of the semester.

In addition, you will benefit from extensive opportunities to interact with students and staff by attending our impressive range of research talks and seminars led by outside speakers or colleagues from within our department and University.

Teaching and learning

You will achieve your learning objectives through a combination of introductory lectures by our expert staff, lively seminar discussions, guided weekly readings as well as the completion of a piece of independent research in the form of essays of varying length under close supervision of your module leader.


Within modules, assessment consists exclusively of assessed essays. At the end of your studies, a 12,000 word dissertation will allow you to pursue your own research interest under close supervision by one of our expert colleagues.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 12 months
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
Check if you match the admission requirements

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

If you wish to apply for one of our MA programmes you should normally hold a good honours degree (upper second class or first class) in a Social Science discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification. Suitable degree subjects for specific programmes are as follows:

  • MA Global Development and pathways: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area e.g. development studies, sociology, social policy, geography.
  • MA Politics and pathways: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area e.g. politics, history, economics.
  • MA International Relations, MA Conflict Development and Security and MA Security, Terrorism and Insurgency: A 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area, e.g. history, international relations, security studies.

Applicants with 2.2s and/or a degree in a non relevant subject may be considered, taking into consideration full transcripts, references and any relevant work/voluntary experience.

Language requirements

Important information about language tests

New British government regulations state that an ...

  • or PET Academic

... test score must be less than two years old when the University of Leeds issues a Certificate of Approved Study (CAS) to an international student that has been offered a place on a postgraduate taught programme.

An international student requires a CAS in order to obtain a British student visa.

What this means for you

When you apply to one of our postgraduate courses, you must ensure that your English Language Test score will be less than two years old when we make a decision on your application.

Tuition Fee


You can find further information on fees at University of Leeds Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Information on Economic and Social Research Council Awards and School scholarships can be found at funding and scholarships.

Information on Scholarships can be obtained from Scholarships at Leeds.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.