L2T207 International Relations MA Postgraduate Taught 2020
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
This course combines a sound basis of advanced knowledge and understanding in the broader and more disparate field of International Studies with the opportunity to choose optional specialist areas of study from among those offered in the School, and other schools such as Modern Languages and Cultures. The particular interests reflected in the choice of options may then be developed through the researching and writing of a dissertation.
Throughout the course, you will gain advanced knowledge and understanding of:
- The extent to which an international community has developed and the driving forces shaping its development
- Factors determining humanitarian interventions
- The processes of globalisation in the political, economic, cultural and scientific fields
- The governance role of international organisations
- How the degree of integration of countries into the international political and economic system varies and the determinants of those variations
- Historical and/or contemporary issues and debates in the politics and political economy of specific states and/or areas and/or international institutions and organisations
- Regime analysis and the concept of soft power governance
- An appropriate topic in international politics of their choice
- International Relations Theory
- International Organisations
Two options (may include the following):
- Global Governance
- Global Political Theory
- Debating the European Union
- Designing Political Inquiry
- The Politics of East Asia
- International Politics of the Middle East
- Ideologies and Political Thought
- Contemporary Political Philosophy
A 20 credit language module is allowed to be taken with all the programmes as long as it is agreed with the programme director.
Course Learning and Teaching
At the beginning of the academic year, you will go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc courses and the facilities available for their learning.
The 180 credits one-year MA degree is divided into three core and three optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, you will have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and you will spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.
Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.
All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, you can meet your lecturers to discuss marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. You can also meet your module coordinators during weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When you are working on your dissertation during the later half of the year, you will meet your assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. You will also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.
SGIA has a wide variety of resources available such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.
SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide opportunities to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.
Towards the end of the course you can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.
Subject requirements, level and grade
UK 2.1 Bachelor degree, or equivalent. The degree should be in the field of social sciences, but we will actively consider significant relevant experience in lieu of this requirement.
Two satisfactory academic references. In cases of applicants who have significant relevant experience, one work-related reference and one academic reference would be considered appropriate.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£10,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£10,500.00 per year|
|Island Student||£10,500.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,000.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
School of Government and International Affairs
Our students go on to a wide range of successful careers including civil service and other government agencies, UN/INGOs/CSOs, journalism, media, teaching, law, banking and finance, diplomatic services and risk analysis.
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
School of Government and International Affairs
Durham’s School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA) combines a long tradition of expertise in a wide range of fields in politics, political theory, political economy, and international relations with a depth of specialisms in regional expertise – Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and the wider Muslim world. The SGIA provides an exceptional environment for learning, training and research.
71% of the department’s research is either Internationally Excellent’ (3*) or World Leading (4*) – the top two categories in REF 2014.