As an academic subject, International Relations has expanded beyond its original concern with relations between states and the study of war and international organisation to cover topics such as globalisation, security, international theory, human rights, the politics of the natural environment and the politics of specific geographical regions. The Brunel MA in International Relations aims to develop students' knowledge of this evolving discipline and to provide students with the opportunity to study topics across its key sub-fields.Entry RequirementsYou should normally have a good honours degree (2.1 or above) or an equivalent professional qualification. It is expected that students for this programme will have a degree in a relevant subject although in exceptional circumstances students with qualifications in non-related subjects can be considered. If English is not your first language then applicants must have IELTS 6.5 (with no section less than 5.0) or TOEFL 237/585 (with a minimum TWE of 4.5 or above). Course AimsThe ability to analyse the complex issues and dilemmas presented by International Relations is increasingly important both for understanding many of the forces and events that shape our lives and in a wide range of careers. As an academic subject, International Relations has expanded beyond its original concern with relations between states and the study of war and international organisation to cover topics such as globalisation, security, international theory, human rights, the politics of the natural environment and the politics of specific geographical regions.
The Brunel MA in International Relations aims to develop students' knowledge of this evolving discipline and to provide students with the opportunity to study topics across its key sub-fields.Course ContentTypical ModulesCoreEvolution of International RelationsThe module analyses the theoretical development of International Relations and many of its central political and normative questions. The evolution of the discipline is traced through critical analysis of the key debates, questions and interventions that have marked an increasingly contested field. The module will also equip students with the concepts and paradigms that are necessary to analyse other areas of International Relations.GlobalisationThis module deals thematically with the main issues in the debate about the meaning, extent, and consequences of ‘globalisation’. It uses a multidisciplinary approach, and covers the political, economic, historical and cultural aspects of globalisation. Topics include the impact of globalisation on economic policy, with particular reference to the role of the international institutions, international migration, and the impact of globalisation on culture and the environment.DissertationThe dissertation enables students to conduct research on an area of particular interest, on a topic approved by the Course Director and under the guidance of an academic supervisor. Students are expected to show awareness of methodological issues and utilise appropriate social science methods.Elective ModulesYou will take four elective modules, and at least one module from each pool. These represent the core sub-fields of the discipline (there may be exceptional circumstances that justify variation in this schema).SecurityArab-Israeli ConflictMain topics of study: the birth of three nationalisms: Turkish, Arab and Jewish; the Middle East and the First World War; Britain's 'moment' in the Middle East; the historiography on the Arab-Israeli conflict and problems with methodology; the formation of Israel (1): The Palestinian Refugee Crisis; the formation of Israel (2): Collusion across the Jordan?; the formation of Israel (3): The first Arab-Israeli War: David versus Goliath?; War (1): Nasser or Ben-Gurion? Who started the 1956 war?; War (2): Israel triumphant – the 1967 war; War (3): Israel defeated – the 1973 war; exporting the Arab-Israeli conflict: Lebanon; Israeli-Egyptian peace; Israeli-Palestinian peace?The Rise of the National Security StateMain topics of study: the breakdown of the Grand Alliance and the Yalta system; threat evaluations in the early cold war; bureaucratic politics and the rise of the national security state; the debate in the us on 'the garrison state'; the British defence dilemma and the genesis of NATO; the Soviet defence dilemma and the creation of the Warsaw Pact; the United States National Security Act 1947 and the creation of the national security bureaucracy; the military-industrial complex.The Second World WarAdopts an international framework to the study of World War II, examining the interaction of states and peoples in this global conflict.Intelligence Concepts: Theory and PolicyDeals with the essential concepts and issues of what intelligence is and its role in government and decision-making. It introduces the basic concepts of intelligence studies, the various sources of intelligence available to national governments, and examines the analysis of those sources, sources of intelligence success and failure and intelligence needs in the contemporary environment. Women and WarMain topics of study: contact with Native Americans: women's place in the battles; the American Revolution and its aftermath; women and the Civil War (abolitionist; women on the battlefield and as nurses, women as fundraisers and on the home front; emancipation and Reconstruction; the long term impact in the north; in the south; Jingoism; WWI in the UK; WWI in the US; the demographic and social consequences of WWI; WWII - UK labour mobilisation vs. US volunteerism; women in uniform; women as spies - SOE; women on the home front US and UK; the Cold War - domestic warrior; women Strike for Peace; women and the anti-war movement; Vietnam; the modern military.War in History 1789-present Main topics of study include: limited war: the period before 1789; the French revolution and the birth of the modern style of warfare; the impact of the industrial revolution on warfare; Jomini and Clauwsewitz; the idea of 'absolute war'; warfare in the nineteenth century: on the road to 'total war'; the First World War; changes in warfare in the inter-war period: Blitzkrieg and 'deep battle'; the Second World War; the nature of warfare after 1945; Korea, Vietnam and the Arab-Israeli conflicts; counter-insurgency; low-intensity conflicts; warfare in the 21st Century.Area StudiesChina and the WorldMain topics of study: the IR theory legacy: frameworks for analysis; the traditional China legacy: world views, 'strategic culture', the 'middle kingdom'; the western legacy: colonialism, the 'century of humiliation'; the Communist (Maoist) legacy: eg 'Chinese' Communism, theories of development, 'World Revolution', 'intermediate world', 'United Fronts' etc; the modernisation (Dengist and beyond) legacy: economic and military; current Chinese goals, interests and imperatives - 'Grand Strategy'; China's relationship with Russia (regional and global/strategic); China's relationship with Japan (regional); China's relationship with America (regional and global/strategic); China's relationship with Europe/EU (extra-regional/strategic); China's relationship with India (Asia-wide); China and world structures (UN, Environment/Population, Globalization).European Public and Social PolicyMain topics of study: concise overview of the history of European integration and the current institutional architecture of the EU; the making of the single market; impact of economic integration on member states' diverse traditions of public policy; public health; monetary union; implementation; public opinion and support for policy-making at the EU level; justice and home affairs; the concept of a democratic deficit and its implications.Soviet Foreign PolicyMain topics of study: Marxism and international relations; the Comintern, 1919-1924; Lenin and the West; Lenin and the East; foreign policy during the inner-party struggle, 1924-1929; the Comintern, 1929-1933; the Soviet Union and Hitler's challenge, 1924-1929; Soviet diplomacy and World War II; cold war Europe, 1945-1953; Khrushchev's foreign policy: West; Khrushchev's foreign policy: Eastern Europe; Khrushchev's foreign policy: China; Brezhnev's foreign policy: d étente; Brezhnev's foreign policy: Eastern Europe; Brezhnev's foreign policy: China; Foreign Policy in the late Brezhnev era: Afghanistan and Poland; Gorbachev's foreign policy: West; Gorbachev's foreign policy: Eastern Europe; Gorbachev's foreign policy: Asia; Soviet foreign policy: an assessment.The United States in World AffairsAnalyses the historiography of US diplomatic, political, economic and military interactions with the worldEast-West Encounters Across TimeCombines the study of key concepts that have shaped the dynamics of encounters between East (i.e Asia) and West, such as Said's 'Orientalism' and Iriye's 'IR as Intercultural Relation'; as illustrated by the personalities and figures who have articulated this through politics, literature and travel writing.Theory and IssuesInternational Human Rights
This assesses the development and impact on States of international human rights; examines the regional and universal implementation and enforcement of international human rights; evaluates the efficacy of the human rights project to date; and recommends strategies for improvement. Influencing Public PolicyMain topics of study include: transformation of the state since the 1980s – policy networks and neoliberalism; multi-level governance; approaches to policy analysis; the 'policy chain' from design to implementation; models of interest representation; techniques of public affairs. Politics of Climate ChangeMain topics of study: the rise of environmental politics – from 'Silent Spring' to 'Sustainable Development'; anthropogenic climate change: understanding the challenges; neoliberalism versus gaia? environmentalism and the sceptics; key actors in the global politics of climate change; combating climate change: key national and international policies and regimes; combating climate change: green theory, critical perspectives.Empire, Imperialism, and HegemonyMain topics of study: empire and hegemony: conceptual introduction and historical overview; early-modern imperial and hegemonic powers: case studies; European imperialism; theories of imperialism; US foreign policy: historical overview; the USA in the world economy; theorising US hegemony/empire.Teaching and LearningCourses will be taught through a programme of lectures, directed reading and seminars. Modules are assessed by a variety of coursework and examination methods.AssessmentSuccessful completion of the course requires students to pass six 20-credit modules and a 60-credit dissertation on an appropriate topic. A Master’s degree is awarded if you reach the necessary standard on the taught part of the course and submit a dissertation of the required standard. The pass grade for all modules and the dissertation is C.Special FeaturesTo prospective and current students, we offer a great range of vocational and relevant courses, excellent teaching and facilities and a vibrant London campus experience. If you choose to study at Brunel, you will be taught by lecturers who are active researchers engaged in advancing the state of knowledge and understanding in the very fields in which they teach.
To employers we offer a regular supply of highly qualified and employable graduates who can apply theory to practice in the workplace. We also offer a range of research and consultancy services tailored to meet individual organisational needs. Links with industry and the development of employable knowledge are common themes across all parts of the School.