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International Relations MA

Course code

L250PINTREL

Start date

September

Placement available

Mode of study

1 year full-time

15 months full-time with placement

2 years part-time

2.5 years part-time with placement

Fees

2019/20

UK / EU £8,000

International £16,850

Entry requirements

2:2

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Overview

International relations is an area of politics that largely focuses on how two or more nations interact with each other. As an introduction to the course you will study the evolution of international relations theory – for example how international relations relates to problems of anarchy, sovereignty, order, justice and solutions.  

Early on in the course, you will have a choice between two topics: International Security which will look at the main concepts and models within the subject as well as its issues and policies, or International Political Economy which considers topics like globalisation, financial liberation and economic growth.

Once your knowledge, understanding and analytical skills have grown in international relations, you will choose a further two additional optional modules which cover democracy, migrant law, post-war world affairs, security in the middle east, and geopolitics. Finally, a research project of your choice under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor completes the course.

In keeping with the importance Brunel places on getting you ready for work, this degree includes the rare option of a work placement – 6-12 weeks of professional practice that takes place between May and September in an organisation with an international dimension to its mission.

Other opportunities to network and build knowledge include the option to take up membership with Chatham House, the leading British think tank on international affairs. Benefits include access to library and archive materials as well as regular events.

In fact, Brunel’s proximity to central London’s world-class research facilities, Westminster and Whitehall means you couldn’t be better placed to immerse yourself in an established political area.

Graduates of the International Relations MA, go to pursue careers in a wide range of organisations, including government, international institutions, non-governmental organisations, business, research institutes and security, or further study at doctoral level.

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

Your studies are built around a foundation of compulsory modules with a range of optional modules to choose from within the subject. To complete your MA, you will undertake a substantial piece of written research in a topic of your choice under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor.

Optional modules are indicative and available subject to numbers.

This course can be studied 1 year full-time, 15 months full-time with placement, 2 years part-time or 2.5 years part-time with placement, starting in September.

Year 1

This course has a professional practice option. Find out more about work placements available.

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Careers and your future

Our students have had great success in seeking employment once they have completed their course. Many have come from, and then continue to work for, government agencies in the UK and abroad — we have taught police, military, and other government officials from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Turkey, Japan, Jordan, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Botswana and several other nations beside.

Within the UK, students with no service experience have gone on to work for the British Security Service, the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Centres, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and other departments of government. Many students have noted to us that the innovative studies they undertook on our programme were important topics of discussion in their interviews. Those already in Government employment have successfully used their MAs to leverage promotion or commissioning.

Students who have sought work in the private sector have likewise had success. Former MAISS students have gone to work for large banks conducting market analysis, to large oil-industry firms, to large consultancies such as McKinsey & Co, to specialist private analysis firms such as MS Risk and cyber security firm Digital Shadows.

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UK entry requirements

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in a social science or related subject. Applicants with a 2:2 in a non-related subject 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 2:2 Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in a non-related discipline who have some relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

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

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2019/20

UK / EU

£8,000 full-time

£4,000 part-time

International

£16,850 full-time

£8,425 part-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

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Teaching and Learning

You will be taught by experts in politics, international relations, public policy and contemporary history, including Dr John MacMillan, Course Director and Senior Lecturer in International Relations whose interests include the interdisciplinary nature of the subject and how it relates other disciplines like Law, Political Economy or Political Theory.

You will learn through a combination of lectures (main classes) and seminars (smaller classes that encourage debate and exchange) and through directed reading. You will also learn from like-minded classmates who come to study at Brunel from across the globe.

Should you need any non-academic support during your time at Brunel, the Student Support and Welfare Team are here to help.

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Assessment and feedback

Assessments are combination of individual written assignments and exams and which vary between modules. You will also be required to submit a dissertation on a topic of your choosing.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.