MA International Relations (Standard)

Year of entry: 2022

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Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Arts (MA)
Duration
1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)
Entry requirements

We require a UK bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second classification or the overseas equivalent, in any discipline.

When assessing your academic record we consider your degree subject, grades you have achieved and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MA Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of critically-orientated international relations.
  • Conduct research into pressing global issues such as foreign policy, gender, global ethics, environmental politics and terrorism.
  • Learn the specialist skills necessary for a range of policy-focused political careers.

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to find out more about our facilities and courses.

On this day, you will find out more about the School of Social Sciences, our resources, and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see open days and visits .

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
School of Social Sciences Admissions Office
Email
Website
http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/politics/
School/Faculty

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require a UK bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second classification or the overseas equivalent, in any discipline.

When assessing your academic record we consider your degree subject, grades you have achieved and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English should meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS Academic test score of 7 overall, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 100 with 25 in writing and no further score below 22 in each section. TOEFL code for Manchester is 0757
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 76 overall, with 76 in writing and no further score below 70

You are not required to submit an English language certificate at the time of application, however if you are eligible for an offer it will be subject to meeting our English language requirements.

Pre-Sessional English Courses

We will consider applicants who do not meet these scores but you may be required to complete a pre-sessional English language course at the University of Manchester prior to the start of the course.

To be considered for a pre-sessional English language course for this programme we require the following minimum IELTS (Academic) scores:

6 Week Pre-Sessional Course : IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and no more than one sub-skill of 6.0.

10 Week Pre-sessional Course : IELTS 6.0 overall with 6.0 or above in each sub-skill 

If you have not yet completed your current academic study and are interested in studying a pre-sessional course, you must hold an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test certificate to ensure that you are eligible for a separate visa for the English language course.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Applicants from Majority English-speaking countries

If you are a national of a   majority English-speaking country   (or have studied for a full bachelor's degree or higher from one of these countries) you may be exempt from submitting further evidence of English language proficiency.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from across the globe. To help international students, the university provides specific information for many individual countries. Please see our  country-specific information page   for guidance on the academic and English language qualifications which may be accepted from your country.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

As there is a high demand for our courses, we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year. Due to the competition for places and high quality of applications that we receive, we give preference to students from high ranking institutions and with grades above our minimum entry requirements.

Please ensure you submit all supporting documentation with your application before the application deadline to avoid a delay in processing.

Applications for 2022 entry:

Stage 1:   Application received by 3rd December 2021 ; Decision by 10th February 2022

Stage 2:   Application received by 14th January 2022 ; Decision by 10th March 2022

Stage 3:   Application received by 18th March 2022 ; Decision by 12th May 2022

Stage 4:   Application received by 29th April 2022 ; Decision by 16th June 2022

Stage 5: Application received by 1st July 2022 ; Decision by 28th July 2022

Stage 6: Application received by 19th August ; Decision by 31st August 2022

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion if places are still available.

Please note:  All places are subject to availability and if you apply at one of the later stages, some courses may already be reaching capacity or be closed to further applications. We, therefore, recommend that you apply early in the cycle to avoid disappointment.

Tuition fee deposits

If you are successful in receiving an offer, you will be required to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,000 by the deadline stated in your offer letter to confirm your place. We ask for the deposit as competition for places is high and there is limited availability.  The deposit amount is then deducted from your tuition fees when you register on the course.

Course details

Course description

International Relations is one of the most popular courses at postgraduate level. On this course, you will be taught and supervised by experienced staff with strong interests in critical approaches to the study of global politics.

Course units cover a wide range of global issues, including:

  • Chinese ethnic politics;
  • citizenship;
  • gender;
  • war and peace;
  • global ethics;
  • human rights;
  • environmental politics;
  • security studies;
  • the United Nations;
  • the Arab uprisings;
  • critical military studies;
  • race;
  • capitalism.

Two course units form the centrepiece of our course: the Graduate Seminar in International Politics and Critical Thinkers in International Politics.  

These units are designed to develop transferable skills in critical inquiry, creative thinking, research design and problem-solving. You will also complete a major research dissertation, with the guidance of a member of staff in international politics. 

p>Being a part of a postgraduate community, you are encouraged to participate in the Critical Global Politics research cluster, who organise a seminar series attracting high profile speakers, including:
  • Cynthia Enloe
  • Cynthia Weber
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams
  • Marysia Zalewski
  • Laura Shepherd.

This route will suit those wishing to obtain a high-level specialist subject qualification and those interested in developing a deeper knowledge and understanding of critically-orientated international relations.

The diversity of the course makes it a suitable introduction to the study of global politics.¿Those wishing to pursue a research training qualification, or a PhD are advised to explore the International Relations (Research)¿route.

This course is designed for students for whom a taught MA will be a prelude to careers in fields related to government and non-governmental organisations.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time route.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory course units and then select your optional units to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your course director.

Course unit details

Compulsory course units:

  • POLI70401 Graduate seminar in International Relation Theory
  • POLI70412 Critical Thinkers in International Politics
  • POLI60312 Dissertation Research Design

Optional course units:

  • POLI70451 Ethics in World Politics
  • POLI70461 Security Studies
  • POLI71061 Foreign Policy Analysis
  • POLI70311 Critical Approaches to IPE
  • POLI70851 EU as an International Actor
  • POLI70981 The Arab Uprisings and Revolutionary State Formation
  • POLI71111 The United Nations and International Security
  • POLI60092 Power and Resistance in Postcolonial Societies
  • POLI60262 Media, War and Conflict
  • POLI70282 Critical Globalisation Studies
  • POLI70612 Debating Justice
  • POLI70722 Theories of Rights
  • POLI70492 Human Rights in World Politics

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation Research Design POLI60312 15 Mandatory
The Graduate Seminar in International Relations Theory POLI70401 15 Mandatory
Critical Approaches in International Politics POLI70412 15 Mandatory
Dissertation POLI72000 60 Mandatory
Power and Resistance in Postcolonial Societies POLI60092 15 Optional
Governing in an Unjust World: Justice and International Relations POLI60182 15 Optional
Global Governance POLI70422 15 Optional
Ethics in World Politics POLI70451 15 Optional
Security Studies POLI70461 15 Optional
Human Rights in World Politics POLI70492 15 Optional
Critical Environmental Politics POLI70921 15 Optional
The Arab Uprisings and Revolutionary State Formation POLI70981 15 Optional
The United Nations and International Security POLI71112 15 Optional
The Politics of Global Climate Change POLI71141 15 Optional
Gender in Comparative Politics POLI71151 15 Optional
Borders, Identities, Citizenship POLI72021 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units

Facilities

You will be supported by first-class resources, in addition to the networked study areas.

You will also have access to one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Our recent graduates have gone on to work for international organisations including NATO, the UNDP, or for foreign offices.

The course would also be suitable for students wishing to go into teaching, journalism or any career where advanced knowledge of international politics coupled with an excellent capacity to communicate effectively will be an advantage.

The University also has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .