MA International Relations

Why choose Herts?

  • Research opportunities: Benefit from advanced research and Placement Year pathway options (with placements available in the media, at political organisations, and research institutes).
  • Industry-focused content: Explore contemporary debates within international relations whilst studying energy scarcity, ecological changes, and ideas on global justice.
  • Employment prospects: Our graduates work as policy advisers, communications managers, and researchers for NGOs, government institutions, and large multinational organisations.

About the course

The MA International Relations course provides students with a contemporary, critical, and exciting insight into the vagaries of global politics. Students will study a range of modules, taught by research-active staff who are experts in their fields. The modules are assessed through a variety of both traditional, such as essays, presentations, critical reviews, and non-traditional, such as podcasts, blogs, simulations, assignments, which aim to assess and develop not only discipline-related knowledge but also transferable, soft skills necessary for future employment. Students will also complete a 12,000-word research dissertation on a topic of their choice. Whether it’s the recent Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, the energy crisis, or the war in Ukraine, International Relations has never been more relevant. 

This degree is aimed at applicants who wish to find employment in careers that require advanced research and communication skills, such as government departments, non-governmental organisations, businesses, marketing, journalism, or those wishing to proceed to postgraduate research. 

Pathway Options  

Why choose this course?

  • Innovative curriculum: Modules are varied with contemporary relevance to current developments in international relations. These modules provide students with a critical insight into the realities and workings of the international political system. 
  • Geographic location: The University of Hertfordshire campus is situated within a 20-minute train ride to and from London. London is a global hub for political activity, our excellent location allows students to benefit from opportunities provided in the capital. 
  • Flexibility and skills: The range of study routes and entry points available allow students to develop core transferable skills and to tailor studies to meet individual needs and career aspirations. 
  • Research-led teaching: Students benefit from extensive in-class contact with expert research-active staff.  
  • Diverse cohort: Learn alongside an internationally diverse group of students in a department with extensive experience teaching both home and international students. 

Is this course for me? 

This course would appeal to: 

  • graduates who have completed their BA degree in politics and/or international relations and would like to extend and deepen their subject knowledge 
  • graduates from related disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, such as history, philosophy or sociology, keen to focus or specialise in international politics
  • graduates seeking a flexible MA degree to balance with work and family commitments
  • UK and international graduates looking to combine MA studies with advanced professional and research training
  • graduates seeking MA studies in a closely-knit, supportive research community and those to education as mature students
  • working or retired professionals looking to expand theoretical and empirical knowledge of the global political system.   

What will I study?

Our award-winning lecturers are delivered by research-active staff who will introduce and explain topical matters across the discipline of international relations. You will: 

  • participate in interactive stimulating lectures and seminars and take ownership of your own learning within a supportive and managed environment
  • engage in simulation activities which replicate the international relations environment and experiences
  • benefit from regular detailed and personal supervision sessions to support your independent research
  • gain experience in presenting your research at a student conference where you will provide answers to unprepared questions
  • have external speakers and industry visits allowing you to gain a wider understanding of where your degree fits into the broader framework of international politics
  • attain insights through research study sessions looking into how theories, methods and methodologies operate in a real research environment. 
  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Debates and Dilemmas in International Relations 30 Credits Compulsory
    International Relations Dissertation 60 Credits Compulsory
    Governing the International, the Global, and the Planetary 15 Credits Compulsory
    Designing Research in Global Politics 15 Credits Compulsory
    Conflict, Peace and Security 30 Credits Optional
    Energy and Environmental Politics 15 Credits Optional
    International Political Economy: Contemporary Dynamics and Approaches 15 Credits Optional
    Justice in International Relations 15 Credits Optional
    Geopolitics: Development and Diplomacy 15 Credits Optional
  • Key staff

    Dr Benjamin Nutt

    Find out more about Dr Benjamin Nutt

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA International Relations Download
    Programme specifications
    MA International Relations Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    The expertise, support, and familiarity that the lecturers have brought to this MA in International Relations has been second-to-none. They are always willing to discuss and debate concepts and ideas beyond what is analysed during a lecture; encouraging emails and video calls to stay in touch and to develop yourself and your understandings endlessly

    Jacob Dyer

    MA International Relations (Full Time)

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

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