L2KA07 Research Methods (Politics, International Relations, Security) MA Postgraduate Taught 2021
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 is a degree offered in collaboration with other departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences. It is designed to provide a strong all round training in research methods allied to further specialisation within the fields of politics, international relations and security for those intending to go on to register for a PhD. As such it implements the ESRC research training guidelines for '1+3' PhD students, and includes compulsory elements in a wide variety of techniques including statistics and quantitative methods, but contains less subject-specific content than the other MA courses.
- Ideologies and Political Thought
- Designing Political Inquiry
- International Relations Theory OR International Organisation
Examples of optional modules:
You will choose one Option (which may include the following):
- Global Governance
- Global Political Theory
- Debating the European Union
- The Politics of East Asia
- International Politics of the Middle East
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 you are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc degrees and the facilities available for their learning.
The 180 credits one-year MA degree is divided into two core and two optional modules of 30 credits each. Furthermore, you will have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than 12,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and you will spend the remaining time writing your dissertation.
PGT modules involve a range of different modes of delivery, but are largely based around lectures, seminars and other forms of active learning activities. The School places great importance on research-led teaching, which integrates new and cutting-edge research into the curriculum. Each module is build around 300 hours of learning, a large portion of which is independent reading and preparation. Class contact hours are all above 20 hours per module, with the exception of the dissertation, and are spread across the 12 teaching weeks in the academic calendar. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations or other activities — the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.
All modules include a formative assessment to help you prepare for summative assignments by allowing you to identify what aspects of your work you are doing well on and which areas require improvement. You are encouraged to make appointments with the course lecturers to discuss module content, and after you have received it, any feedback on your work.
Typically summative assessments are around 3000 words, but these vary based on learning outcomes, assessment type, and module design. Some modules may be assessed by examination. The majority of coursework involves independent reading and written assignments, but you will have the opportunity to discuss course material as well either through presentations or class discussions. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor, who will also act as your academic advisor, and is someone you can consult throughout the year for general academic support, in addition to dissertation supervision.
SGIA conducts regular seminars and organises lectures throughout the year 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 programme 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||£21,360.00 per year|
|Home Student||£8,700.00 per year|
|Island Student||£8,700.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,360.00 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.
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