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MSc International Relations Theory

About the MSc programme

The MSc International Relations Theory is designed for those students who wish to study international relations from a theoretical perspective. Material to be studied will include classical and modern realism and liberalism, the 'English School', constructivism, normative theory and gender and feminist writings. This programme is particularly suitable for those intending to proceed to a research degree and an academic career, but will be of interest if you wish to deepen your conceptual grasp of contemporary international relations.

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, Theories of International Relations, covers the main explanatory and normative approaches in international relations theory, exploring international relations as knowledge, as a social science and as a practical discipline: how theories help to constitute practice and how the world informs theories of international relations. You also submit a 10,000 word dissertation and can choose courses up to the value of two units from options within the Department or elsewhere in the School.

Programme details

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc International Relations Theory 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, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. 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 circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. 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.

Graduate destinations

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


Application code: L2UG (check availability)

Start date: 21 September 2017

Duration: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 degree or equivalent in international relations, politics, history, sociology, philosophy or related discipline (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: £21,576

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Financial support)

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions

Intake/applications in 2016: 21/188