Skip to Content

International Relations MA

Subject area: Politics and History

Apply Full-time

Apply Part-time

Mode of study

1-year full-time; 2.5-years part-time

PG Code


Start date


International Relations MA


Please note the application deadline for this course is Friday 25th August 2017, any applications after this date will be considered on an individual basis, subject to course vacancies.


We regularly host online webinars to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like.

For a playback of our recent MA International Relations webinar, click here.

Postgraduate Loans: From 1 August 2016, students who live in England will be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan in academic year 2016/17 of up to £10,000. Find out more

About the course

International Relations presents policy-makers and scholars with a wide range of issues that require analysis and evaluation. Students graduating with a Master’s degree in International Relations will be equipped to understand and interpret these issues more deeply and to think creatively about the challenges facing the world in the 21st Century.

Students on this course will benifit from:

  • Research-led teaching: courses on the International Relations MA are designed and taught by international renowned researchers in International Relations, Contemporary History, and Law.
  • The department hosts an active guest lecture series featuring leading scholars and thinkers in the area of International Relations, Politics, and History.
  • Students takings the Brunel MA in International Relations will have the opportunity to become members of the leading British think-tank, Chatham House.


  • The Brunel MA in International Relations will develop your knowledge of this evolving discipline and will provide you with the opportunity to study topics across its key sub-fields.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Course director: Dr John MacMillan

Course Content

The MA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.


Evolution of International Relations


Choose at least one of the following:

International Security

International Political Economy


China and Contemporary Geopolitics

The United States in World Affairs, 1945-2001

Middle East Security

Democracy and Intervention

Imperialism and Culture

Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

  • Courses are designed and taught by world-renowned experts in politics, international relations, public policy and contemporary history.
  • The department has a distinctive concentration of expertise in the history of modern political thought.
  • We have close links with government, industry, and international organisations, with guest lectures from key political, intelligence, and business figures, as well as placement opportunities in some courses.
  • Academic staff are dedicated to furthering knowledge in their particular fields.

Teaching and Assessment


Assessment varies by essay, dissertation and examination.

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.


Graduates of the MA International Relations at Brunel will be able to pursue careers in a wide range of organisations including government, international institutions, non-governmental organisations, business, research institutes and security.

A number of masters’ students have also elected to pursue further study at doctoral level.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/17 entry

UK/EU students: £7,300 full-time; £3,650 part-time

International students: £15,400 full-time; £7,700 part-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Entry Criteria 2016/17

  • A UK first or 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a social science or related discipline. Applicants with a 2:1 in a non-related discipline in which essays are not a core mode of assessment (e.g. maths, natural sciences) will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Applicants with a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a non related discipline but that have some relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Applicants who hold a UK (2:2) Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a social science or related discipline with some relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.