International Relations (MA)

Staffordshire University the United Kingdom

For more information about International Relations at Staffordshire University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
3 Years

Domestic course fees
GBP 2040

How you will study
part-time, distance

Course starts
February, September

International course fees
GBP 2040

All study options

About International Relations at Staffordshire University

Postgraduate loans now available

The MA International Relations provides a substantial introduction to the main theoretical debates that shape the discipline and offers excellent preparation for undertaking a research degree.

International Relations is today, an exciting and important discipline of study. It addresses key issues associated with the way countries of the world co-exist in the face of rapid change. The 20th Century has witnessed two world wars and a forty-five year Cold War. It has seen huge technological changes that affect conflict, communications, trade and culture.

It has witnessed the mass movement of people and the growing sophistication of global economic networks. Addressing a wide range of issues, International Relations theorists are at the heart of debates that characterise early 21st Century academic discourse. Critical theorists, post-modernists and gender theorists, contrast with more traditional theorists of conflict, diplomacy and power politics.

Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits in your first year of study and the other 120 credits, split equally over your second and third years of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £2,040 for your first year in 2017/18. The fee for your second and third year of study will be broadly the same, except that an inflationary uplift may apply.* You will be invoiced for the modules that you register for each year, so if your study pattern is different from the expected pattern, you will pay more or less each year accordingly.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

* The fees listed are for the 2017/18 academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an inflationary uplift.

Alumni Discount: If you have previously completed an undergraduate degree with us, you may be entitled to 15% off your course fee for any subsequent postgraduate taught course. For further information please contact Graduate Relations.'

Postgraduate Loans:

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,280 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. You won't have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 per year.

Course content

MA=180 credits

Core modules

International Relations in the Modern Era examines the historical evolution of International Relations theory about historical events of the 20th Century. It examines the First World War and its aftermath, the establishment of International Relations as an academic discipline, the rise of idealism, and the League of Nations and its failure. Through an examination of debates within International Relations, the course compares the 'political realism' of the Cold War with a number of alternative perspectives. The increasing importance of international organisations (including the United Nations), the politics of the global economy, US predominance, the experiences of developing countries all, in turn, inform alternative perspectives including those emphasising interdependence and dependence.

Diplomacy in a Global World introduces and explains the diplomatic system in relation to concepts and practice. It charts the development of diplomacy from its early recorded history in the ancient Middle East to the global age, considering the impact of the changing contexts within which diplomacy has operated. It examines the contexts and tasks of diplomacy in the contemporary world and considers how the nature of diplomacy is rapidly changing in response to rapid technological advances, the growth of international law and organisation, political transformation and shifting patterns of power. It considers the proliferation of actors involved in diplomacy, not only politicians engaged in ministerial and summit diplomacy, but other state and non-state actors engaged in negotiation on an ever expanding set of international issues.

Contemporary International Relations Theory aims to introduce students to the current state of theory in the discipline of International Relations. IR has continued to evolve in ways that span theoretical perspectives and a substantive issue agenda. This module builds on the theoretical aspects of 'IR in the Modern Era' and goes on to consider the developments in the discipline in the last two decades or so of the 20th century and the first few years of this one. The topics covered in this module reflect the emergence of new perspectives and approaches in IR. These include the neorealism-neoliberalism debate, developments in the international political economy, the re-emergence of normative theory and the perspective of gender as applied to International Relations. The impact of critical theory in International Relations will also be explored as will postcolonial theory, post-structuralism, feminism, Green IR theory and constructivism.

The Dissertation is supervised by staff but is a student-centred piece of independent work. Dissertation topics may be drawn from the areas covered in any of the modules taken by individual students. The core courses will help provide context in terms of the general academic discourse underlying research concerns focused on international relations, international history or international policy and diplomatic issues. Students would normally be discouraged from adopting Dissertation topics that are clearly outside the specific taught areas taken by them. The student will be expected to integrate elements of their learning on the programme as a whole, as well as applying skills of research (using primary and/or secondary sources), being cognizant and appreciative of methodological issues, and demonstrating a level of communicative skill appropriate for the Masters level utilizing standard notational and referencing conventions. The length of the Dissertation is set at 15,000 words.

Option modules

International Security begins with traditional conceptions of security examined in relation to the deployment and use of force. It considers the philosophy of strategy, the work and importance of Clausewitz, the nuclear arms race of the Cold War and arms races, arms control and the arms trade today. The influence of the Cold War, and its aftermath is also explored in terms of the impact on the security structures in Europe and on the security of developing countries. Newer challenges to the conceptualization of security are examined especially in terms of a broader set of post-Cold War issues, including terrorism, state and non-state threats, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, alternative/newer approaches to security are examined via a consideration of Peace Research and Critical security Studies.

Money, Trade and Development provides an analysis of the main problems facing less developed countries [LDCs] as well as policies designed to address these problems. It will emphasize the role of human capital, technology, trade and government policy in the development process. Alternative trade regimes and their potential contribution to economic development; poverty and poverty reduction policies, and the potential for government policies aimed at growth promotion will be critically examined. The module will also investigate the impact of external financial relations between LDCs, advanced countries, multinational trade organisations and financial institutions (IMF, WB, WTO, etc).

Foreign Policy Analysis explores some of the most prominent approaches to the study of foreign policy. The roles of states and other actors in the foreign policy-making process are examined. The ways in which international actors and processes influence foreign policy decision-making are considered. Likewise, the module considers the influence of actors and processes in domestic politics and society. The theoretical material of the module is combined with a selection of illustrative case studies including the Cuban Missile Crisis and more recent events.

Graduate destinations

The award will equip you with practical and academic skills attractive to employers. These include independent judgement, self-reflection and critical debate. You may choose to use the specialist knowledge you acquire, to work in one of the many international institutions, national foreign or defence ministries or internationally oriented organisations of many sorts. Alternatively you may wish to continue with an academic career.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyPart-time, DistanceHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsFebruary, SeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 2040International course feesGBP 2040

Entry requirements

2.2 Honours degree or above, or relevant professional experience. Language level has to be at least IELTS 6-6.5 or equivalent.

Join Our Newsletter


Sign up to today for free and be the first to hear about any new study abroad opportunities

Subscribe Now