Dissertation in International Relations Theory and International Relations (Research)

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Peter Wilson CBG.10.10


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Relations (Research) and MSc in International Relations Theory. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

MSc students are required to write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic within the field of IR approved by the student's academic mentor. The dissertation need not be an account of original research and may rely on secondary sources.


There will be an initial lecture in the MT providing an overview about the Dissertation process.  This will be followed by further sessions later in MT and LT on choosing a topic and research question, research design and components of a thesis and case selection and case analysis.  A further final 'troubleshooting' session will be held in ST.

Students submit the initial topic and research question in LT; and a more detailed dissertation plan later in LT


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 19

Average class size 2019/20: 19

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills