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MA in International Relations

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Politics and International Relations

Course overview

This MA addresses the fast-changing 'international' terrain including the 2008 economic crisis, EU fragmentation, questions of migration and human rights around the world.

It gives you the opportunity to explore the character of the contemporary world in an interdisciplinary manner, drawing upon a strong theoretical basis as well as an empirical grounding.

The programme offers great diversity in fields of study:

  • international relations, post-colonial theory, human rights, international political economy, war, genocide and post-conflict societies
  • areas of study – Europe, China, Japan, India, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East
  • methodology – empirical analysis and data collection, textual and discourse analysis, hermeneutic and philosophical enquiry

It also offers diverse subjects of study: 

  • migration
  • human rights
  • memory and justice
  • war and post-conflict
  • global political economy
  • IR theories
  • political theory
  • psychoanalysis
  • identity politics
  • gender, sexuality and the body in non-Western societies.

The MA is especially relevant if you are considering further study at PhD level, or if you want to work in areas where an understanding of international relations is essential (journalism, diplomacy, NGOs, international organisations, for example).

It offers valuable training and analytical skills for those working in non-governmental organisations, international institutions and corporations, diplomatic services, government offices, media industry and teaching. 

A wide view of the 'international'

This programme differs from MA degrees in international relations offered elsewhere because it provides a wider view of the ‘international’ that questions its necessary Western focus and looks for alternative ways of ‘knowing’, ‘encountering’ and ‘experiencing’ the world.

It also takes an interdisciplinary approach, allowing you to tailor the degree to your needs, and offers an unusual diversity in the areas of specialty of our staff, many of whom are internationally recognised for their expertise.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Jeremy Larkins

Modules & structure

Core modules

You take the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Theories of International Relations 30 credits
  MA in International Relations Dissertation 60 credits

Option modules

Students can also choose to make up their remaining 90 credits from the following list of options:

Module title Credits
  An(Other) China: Postcolonial Theory, Postmodern Concerns 30 credits
  Visualising Asia: Body, Gender, Politics 30 credits
  Politics of Human Rights 15 credits
  Memory and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies 30 credits
  Politics of Knowledge: Debates in Human Science 15 credits
  Psychopolitics 15 credits
  Middle Eastern and Islamic Thought: Political Philosophy in a Comparative Perspective 15 credits
  MA in International Relations Workplacement 30 credits.
  Development for the 21st Century 30 credits
  Decolonising Politics: Actions and Ideas from the Global South 30 credits
  Counter-Mapping London: The Politics of Space 30 credits

Students may choose up to 30 credits of approved options from other departments at Goldsmiths.

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

Voted one of the top political universities in the UK by students*, and ranked in the world's elite**

Politics and International Relations

In the Department of Politics and International Relations at Goldsmiths our focus goes beyond voting systems, parliaments and the conventional arenas of power. And it looks beyond the West. 

We study politics and international relations for the 21st century, in which anarchism may be as important as liberalism, and in which Asia and Africa are as economically and geopolitically important as Europe and North America. 

We also take an unconventional approach. So you may be working on group projects, writing a blog, or submitting a Manga comic instead of an essay.

Find out more about the Department of Politics and International Relations.

*Which? University 2016
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Suggested reading

Staff List:

  • Jasna Dragovic-Soso, ‘History of a Failure: Attempts to Create a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1997-2006’, International Journal of Transitional Justice, 10/2, July 2016: 292-310.
  • Michael Dutton, Streetlife China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1999)
  • Elizabeth Evans, The Politics of Third Wave Feminisms: Neoliberalism, Intersectionality, and the State in Britain and the US (AIAA 2015)
  • Jeremy Larkins, From Hierarchy to Anarchy: Territory and Politics before Westphalia (New York: Palgrave 2010)
  • James Martin, 'Capturing Desire: Rhetorical Strategies and the Affectivity of Discourse, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol 18, no 1.
  • Georg Menz and Alexander Caviedes, Labour Migration in Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2010).
  • Saul Newman and John Lechte, Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, Images, Violence, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013).
  • Saul Newman, Michael Levine and Damien Cox, Politics Most Unusual: Violence, Sovereignty and Democracy in War on Terror (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
  • Rajyashree Pandey, Perfumed Sleeves and Tangled Hair: Body, Woman, and Desire in Medieval Japanese Narratives (University of Hawaii Press, 2016).
  • Sanjay Seth, ed., Postcolonial Theory and International Relations: A Critical Introduction (London: Routledge, 2013).

Recommended Readings:

  • Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics, 4th ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
  • Cynthia Enloe, Bananas, Beaches, & Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (University of California Press, 1989).
  • David Campbell, Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity, revised ed. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998)
  • E.H Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis, 1919-1939, revised ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001).
  • Collins, P H and S Bilge. 2016. Intersectionality Cambridge: Polity
  • Fanon, Frantz. 1952. Black Skin, White Mask.
  • Frosh, Stephen, A Brief Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012.
  • Keohane, Robert O. ed., Neorealism and Its Critics (NY: Columbia University Press, 1989).
  • Kerr, Rachel and Eirin Mobekk, Peace and Justice: Seeking Accountability After War, Cambridge: Polity, 2007.
  • Halbwachs, Maurice, On Collective Memory, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
  • Hopgood, Stephen, The Endtimes of Human Rights (Cornell University Press, 2013)
  • Misztal, Barbara, Theories of Social Remembering, Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2003.
  • Minow, Martha, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence, Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.
  • Nash, Kate, The Political Sociology of Human Rights (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  • Osiel, Mark, Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory and the Law, London: Transaction Publishers, 2000.
  • Olick, Jeffrey, The Politics of Regret: On Collective Memory and Historical Responsibility, New York: Routledge, 2007.

Staff

Skills & careers

Skills

You'll develop:

  • a critical engagement with the broad field of international studies
  • communication skills
  • research skills
  • presentation skills
  • writing skills

Careers

The MA is especially relevant if you are considering further study at PhD level, or if you want to work in areas where an understanding of international relations is essential (journalism, diplomacy, NGOs, international organisations, for example).

 

It offers valuable training and analytical skills for those working in non-governmental organisations, international institutions and corporations, diplomatic services, government offices, media industry and teaching.

Our graduates go on to work within these areas but many also undertake professional training in law, accountancy, journalism, business administration, teaching, social work or nursing.

If you would like to speak to some of our current students or alumni, please contact Dr Anca Pusca.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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