Programmes

MSc International Relations (Research)

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of International Relations
  • Application code M1UI
  • Starting 2018

MSc International Relations (Research) is an advanced, academic study of the subject from a theoretical perspective. This programme includes a compulsory methodology course and is particularly suitable for those intending to proceed to a research degree and an academic career. 

The programme offers a deeper exploration of the ways in which people think about international relations, how international relations are theorised and conceptualised, and why they act the way they do when conducting international relations as a field of practice. The compulsory course covers the main explanatory and normative approaches in international relations theory - realism, liberalism, the "English School", constructivism, normative theory, gender and feminist writings and postcolonial perspectives. It explores international relations as knowledge, as a social science and as a practical discipline. The research track includes a compulsory course in social research methods. You will also submit a 10,000-word dissertation and can choose optional courses within the Department or elsewhere in the School.

You may also be interested in the MSc International Relations Theory programme which shares the same core course, Theories of International Relations, but does not entail a compulsory methodology course. 

You may also be interested in the MSc International Relations programme which has a different core course, International Politics, but does not entail a compulsory methodology course.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc International Relations (Research)
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2016 889 - (includes MSc International Relations)
Intake 2016 99 - (includes MSc International Relations) 
Availability UK/EU: Open
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £22,440
Overseas: £22,440
Financial support Graduate Support Scheme (deadline 26 April 2018). ESRC funding as part of a four-year award (deadline 8 January 2018)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in international relations, politics, history or a similar discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

You will take the compulsory course and a methodology course, and complete a 10,000-word dissertation. You will also choose courses from a range of options within International Relations and across other relevant departments, including the Gender and European Institutes, and International Development. 

(* denotes half unit) 

Theories of International Relations
Covers the main explanatory and normative paradigms in international relations theory. 

Dissertation
An independent research project on an approved topic of your choice. 

Courses to the value of one unit from a range of options. 

Either
Foundations of Social Research 1
Or
Foundations of Social Research 2
Both courses are designed to give you a good introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. The majority of the teaching takes place in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course and/or by final examination at the end of the course. You must also submit a 10,000-word dissertation by 29 August 2018. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Preliminary reading

C Brown and K Ainley Understanding International Relations (4th edition, Palgrave, 2009)

T Dunne, M Karki and S Smith (eds.) International Relations Theories: discipline and diversity (Oxford University Press, 2013)

P T Jackson The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations (2nd edition, Routledge, 2016)

Careers

Most of our former MSc students go on to work in government, international organisations, financial institutions, journalism and corporations, but some continue on to research degrees and the academic profession.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Minimum entry requirements for MSc International Relations (Research)

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in politics, history, international relations or similar disciplines.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MSc International Relations (Research)

UK/EU students: £22,440
Overseas students: £22,440

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. 

However any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a Home (UK/EU) or Overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.
Funding deadline for ESRC funding: 8 January 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities 

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