MA in International Studies

The 2008 economic crisis, the fragmentation of the EU, the Arab Spring and the rise of new technologies as tools for political mobilisation, the new Pacific orientation of the US following the growing economic and political importance of China, Japan and India, all mark a fast-changing ‘international’ terrain that our degree seeks to examine and address.

About the department

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants.

See our tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact Dr Rajyashree Pandey
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

This MA 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 politics, post-colonial theory, political theory, political economy; areas of study – Europe, China, Japan, India, Africa; methodology – empirical analysis and data collection, textual and discourse analysis, hermeneutic and philosophical enquiry, as well as diverse subjects of study: migration, technology, memory and justice, urbanisation, art and popular culture, ethics, rhetoric and anarchism.

There are options to gain practical experience through an internship, and the degree is designed to allow you the option to study subjects offered in departments other than Politics.

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. We are one of the few Politics departments in the UK to have art practitioners, curators and some of the best Japan and China area specialists as members of staff.

The MA is especially relevant if you are considering further study at PhD level, or if you work in areas where an understanding of international politics is essential (journalism, 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.

What you study

The programme covers the following modules:

Core modules

  • Global Political Cultures 1: Knowledge, Power and Culture (15 credits)
  • Theories of International Relations (15 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 CATS)
  • Options

You choose modules to the value of 90 credits from:


A list provided by the Department of Politics at the beginning of the academic year.


A combination of units from:

a) a list provided by the department at the beginning of the academic year, and

b) other units from other departments in the college approved by the Department of Politics, but not amounting to more than 30 CATS from outside the Department of Politics.

More about the course


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Coursework; written examinations; dissertation.

Applying and entrance requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

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

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students. 

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

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.

Entrance 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.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence to enroll and study on our programmes. 

Please check our English language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form


+44 (0)20 7919 7766

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702

Staff in the Department of Politics

Part-time Research and Teaching Staff

PhD Studentship Holders

Associate Tutors

Visting Tutors

Administrative Staff

  • Claire Smithson, Department Manager
  • Dan Bowan, Department Secretary
  • Mark Fitzgerald, Part-Time Department Secretary

Modules and structure

Core modules

PO71009A Global Political Cultures 1: Knowledge, Power and Culture 15 CATS (Not Running 2013-14)

This module aims to raise questions about whether the concepts and categories through which we usually study the ‘international’ or ‘global’ are adequate to the task. It critically examines categories of the social sciences and humanities that are usually simply presupposed and ‘applied’, and which, despite their Western or European origins, are assumed to be ‘universal’. It does this by closely examining some of the most important theoretical writings of the post-WWII period, focusing upon books and debates which had repercussions far beyond their immediate disciplinary boundaries, including books by Kuhn, MacIntyre, Foucault, Said, and others. Students explore the claim(s) that far from being objective and universal, our knowledge is shaped by culture, history and politics.

PO71027A Theories of International Relations 15 CATS

This module provides a survey of the classical, critical and newly emerging theories of international relations, namely: realism/neorealism, liberalism/neoliberalism, Marxism, constructivism, post-modernism, feminism, post-colonialism, the aesthetic turn in IR and theories of justice. The module approaches each of these theories through the concept of power, seeking to explain the radical shifts that have occurred both in our understanding of power as well as the role that it plays in international politics in the last century. The module combines its examination of theory with debates on contemporary case-studies that serve to showcase the link between theory and practice.

P071020A Dissertation 60 CATS

The Politics Master's Dissertation is an extended piece of written work of ten thousand words on a research topic of your choice (but subject to approval). It is compulsory for all MA and MRes students who have passed al written papers and is undertaken after the Summer term (i.e. during the 'vacation' period). The dissertation comprises a critical review of the literature and/or original analysis of documentary and/or other evidence on a chosen topic within the fields of your programme. Your work for the dissertation will be supervised by a member of staff with particular expertise of interest in the area chosen for study. The dissertation counts as one full module unit.

Option modules

You choose modules to the value of 90 credits from:


A list provided by the Department of Politics at the beginning of the academic year.


A combination of units from:

a) a list provided by the department at the beginning of the academic year, and

b) other units from other departments in the college approved by the Department of Politics, but not amounting to more than 30 CATS from outside the Department of Politics.

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.

Graduate Profile


"Studying International Studies at Goldsmiths is a rich and truly international experience, where people coming from various countries and academic backgrounds get together to think about the world that surrounds us in a critical and creative manner."

Skills and Careers


You'll develop:

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


Our graduates come from diverse backgrounds and take different career paths, including working for non-governmental organisations, international corporations, central and local government; diplomatic services, management and personnel work; finance; the media; teaching, lecturing and research; health service administration. Many of our graduates 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.

Content last modified: 03 Oct 2014

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