Taught course

International Relations (Specialist)

Aberystwyth University · Department of International Politics

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a very good 2nd class Honours degree or equivalent in a cognate subject, plus a satisfactory reference. Candidates who do not meet this requirement will be considered on a case by case basis and are normally interviewed as part of the application process.

Months of entry


Course content

Students of international relations in the 21st century are confronted by a world in flux. Established structures of power and authority are being profoundly reshaped, or even torn down altogether, as new patterns of global relations and new forms of political identity come to prominence. Through this process, the landscape of contemporary global politics is changing rapidly, in pronounced and often unpredictable ways.

At the same time, dramatic advances in science and technology, as well as far-reaching developments in economic and social organisation, require new conceptions of what politics is and where it is happening. As the climate emergency most strikingly demonstrates, the challenges that face international relations now are unprecedented. However, profound change also invites a bold reimagining of the nature of our politics, of our relations with one another and of our existence in the world.

The MA International Relations course enables you to grasp the complexity of this turbulent moment in world politics and to think through its meanings, both theoretical and practical. Whether your background is in International Relations or a different discipline, the range of modules and academic expertise that our MA programme provides will encourage you to stretch your horizons and explore the many different possibilities for envisioning international politics today.

Why study MA International Relations at Aberystwyth University?

  • Opportunity to study at the world’s first university department of International Politics
  • Top 5 in the UK for Student Experience and Teaching Quality for the subject of Politics (GUG 2022)
  • Top 10 in the UK for Research Rating for the subject of Politics (GUG 2022)
  • Opportunity to specialise in many different pathways such as security studies, postcolonial politics, theory/critical theory, and intelligence and strategic studies.
  • Opportunity to integrate into the research culture of a department at the forefront of understanding and tackling the challenges of ‘how we might live’ in the 21st century.
  • Opportunity to study in a challenging and highly stimulating intellectual environment and to engage with the most pressing and thought-provoking issues and topics in international politics.
  • 76% of the Department’s publications were deemed either world leading or internationally excellent, making the Department the best in Wales and 7th in the UK - REF 2014
  • The Department has over 30 academic and research staff, all of whom are research-active.
  • The Department hosts a wide variety of academic events which postgraduate students are encouraged to attend, including guest lectures by leading experts and academics, round table discussions about past, present, and future international issues, and the weekly Departmental research seminars.

Information for international students

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Fees and funding

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Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

This Masters programme emphasises the development of strong research, writing and analytical skills as well as the capacity to work independently - qualities highly valued by employers. You will develop skills in analysis, argument formation and gain an incisive understanding of and expertise in your subject. Graduates from this programme have gone onto work in local and national politics, national civil services, NGOs, international organisations, journalism, academia, legal affairs, and many other career pathways.


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment67
Dissertation33 (15000 words)

Course contact details

PG Admissions
+44 (0)1970 622270