Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

We will be making some changes to the way our programmes will be delivered in 2021-22 to ensure we continue to respond to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. All programmes will be delivered in-person on campus with some specific sessions within each programme being delivered online in a pre-recorded format. Where necessary, changes will also be made to assessment formats.

The MA International Relations deals with the most pressing global challenges of the 21st century from a critical perspective.

On this International Relations degree, you will engage with a variety of approaches essential to understanding contemporary world politics. You will learn the foundations of classic International Relations, and will also be challenged with a wealth of critical and unorthodox approaches.

Truly international approaches

You will learn to move beyond the standard canon of textbook theories, and to study International Relations using an interdisciplinary approach, paying particular attention to the complex relationship between power, culture, and identity.

Instead of replicating state-centred and Eurocentric caricatures of international politics, the programme also offers a broad view of 'the international', which explores alternative ways of experiencing the world. This will help you develop your own critical analysis of crucial questions of power, conflict, and justice.

Study with experts

You will study in small groups, supported by lecturers and tutors pushing the boundaries of contemporary International Relations scholarship. You will be introduced to cutting-edge approaches to the subject, and an unusually wide range of area expertise, including Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

The programme will also allow you to tailor your degree to your needs and interests by choosing from a range of option modules. These can include modules about the international politics of security, development, violence, human rights, resistance, justice, gender, religion, and the politics of knowledge, among others.

Throughout your studies you’ll gain analytical skills essential for further study at PhD level. These will also be invaluable should you wish to work in fields like journalism, government, diplomacy, or in NGOs, international organisations, and think-tanks. You will also have the opportunity to do a work placement during your studies, and gain real-world work experience as part of your degree.

Why Goldsmiths?

You will be part of a multicultural and creative powerhouse located in a global city that lives and breathes international politics. In the classroom, you will have truly global conversations with your classmates from across the world. Outside the classroom, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of events on world politics at Goldsmiths – for example, at our Centre for Postcolonial Studies or the Political Economy Research Centre – as well as many other London institutions.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Martina Tazzioli.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

You take the following compulsory modules:

Compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Theories of International Relations 30 credits
  MA 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
  Counter-Mapping: The Politics of Space 30 credits
  Politics of Human Rights 15 credits
  Memory and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies 30 credits
  Decolonising Knowledge: Debates in Human Science 30 credits
  Psychopolitics 15 credits
  Islam, Revolution, and Empire 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
  Gender and Politics 15 credits
  Armed Politics and Political Violence 30 credits
  Political Economy of the Global South 15 credits
  The United States in the World Economy 15 credits
  Experts and Economies 15 credits
  Finance and Power 15 credits
  Rethinking (In)security 15 credits

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


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. 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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say

Renan de Souza

The MA International Relations gave me the analytical tools that are key to my job and made me stand out in the competitive job market in the first place.

As an International Affairs Analyst for CNN in Brazil, I need to analyse current world politics in real-time. The MA International Relations at Goldsmiths, University of London prepared me well for this. It gave me the analytical tools that are key to my job and made me stand out in the competitive job market in the first place. During my studies, I learned to analyse contemporary international relations from a variety of critical perspectives. In the seminars, my lecturers often pushed me to think creatively outside the box. Beyond theories and academic analyses, the course also offered me the possibility to sharpen my job profile and gain real-world experience during a work placement module. As part of my studies, I thus worked for a human rights organisation on the situation of conflict and peace in Colombia. In doing so, I gained relevant experience in advocacy on human rights, international development and peacebuilding, including informing British MPs about the situation in Colombia. I thus feel that the MA International Relations at Goldsmiths offered the perfect combination of theory and practice.

I am the winner of the Chevening Scholarship Program awarded by the British Government to study in the United Kingdom. I was selected through a competitive process involving over 60,000 candidates from all over the world. Moreover, I am also the winner of the Gobernador Enrique Tomas Cresto award granted by the Argentine Senate recognising me as a leader of Latin America and highlighting my contribution to the continent's development. I was the youngest person in history to receive this award. In 2020, I was nominated to 2020 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD). In support of the International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by United Nation's General Assembly resolution 68/237 and to be observed from 2015 to 2024, the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors from all around the world as a progressive network of relevant actors to join together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development of Africa, it's people on the continent and across it's Diaspora.

Amanda Dietsch

Getting to have work experience at Mercy Corps gave me a taste of what future humanitarian work will look like after finishing the course.

My work placement experience at Mercy Corps was a fantastic opportunity that allowed me to bridge the coursework with applicable, transferable skills I was able to foster throughout my time there. I enjoyed getting to be a part of a multi-disciplinary team working on a project start to finish that was tackling pressing issues in our world today, understanding Climate Change and Conflict nexus in fragile regions. I also was able to see what all goes into putting on a forum with different actors in this space, to have a more in-depth discussion about the multi-layered solutions for a global problem. Getting to have work experience at Mercy Corps gave me a taste of what future humanitarian work will look like after finishing the course. The people I have met at Mercy Corps has allowed me to build connections with individuals across different sectors that will help me on my path to building a meaningful career.

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.

International qualifications

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

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £8370
  • Home - part-time: £4185
  • International - full-time: £17760

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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.

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.




You'll develop:

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


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.

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