Taught course

International Relations

Oxford Brookes University · Department of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Students are normally required to have at least a second-class honours degree from a university in the UK or an equivalent qualification from countries outside the UK. The degree should be in an appropriate discipline.

MA International Relations; MA International Relations (Environment); MA International Relations (Global Political Economy): MA International Relations (Security)

Months of entry


Course content

This course covers the central foundations of the contemporary discipline of International Relations which has grown beyond the traditional concern with inter-state relations.

The International Relations masters course provides specialised training in the key theories and concepts of advanced International Relations, including the application of these to real world cases and issues, culminating in autonomous learning and independent study in the form of a dissertation.

We offer four pathways:
International Relations
International Relations (Environment)
International Relations (Security)
International Relations (Global Political Economy)

Students studying for the MA/PG Dip in International Relations are required to complete the following three compulsory modules during Semester 1 (20 credits each):

International Relations in Theory and Practice provides an advanced investigation into theoretical approaches in the discipline of international relations, as well as an overview of contemporary debates. It establishes a clear understanding of the role and purpose of theory, and its relation to substantive issues in international relations.

Global Political Economy examines the emerging global political economy through the vantage point of competing theoretical perspectives and the evolution of these perspectives, resulting from theoretical debates and the progressive encounter with empirical developments. Different theories reveal different aspects and dimensions of the global political economy and they are used to present key historical developments and contemporary issues of the global political economic order.

Readings in Social Science - Social science is essentially contested, which has implications for research methods. Above all, methods of empirical investigation cannot be separated from assumptions about ontology (the nature of social reality) and epistemology (the nature and status of knowledge that we can have about this reality). Even those who assert that 'facts speak for themselves' do so from the point of view of particular ontological and epistemological assumptions. At the same time, amidst this uncertainty, social scientists have to get on with empirical investigations into concrete matters. Given the contested and contestable nature of social science, the aim of this module is not to provide a 'master solution' to this problem. Instead it provides a meta-framework through which you can reflect on the merits and limitations of different forms of social analysis and methodology, and their relative adequacy in relation to different types of research questions.

In semester 2 students take modules according to their pathway, including options such as:

Research Methods in the Social Sciences
International Security in the Global Era
Production, Finance and Global Governance
Global Governance, Civil Society and Social Movements
International Development
Global Theory: From Kant to Hardt and Negri
Citizenship in Theory and Practice
Gender in a Global Context
Global Politics and the Environment
The Law and Politics of Transnational Organisations
Violence and Post-War Reconstruction
International Energy Politics
Dilemmas of International Ethics
Independent study

Information for international students

You will usually need: IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Fees and funding

For Masters scholarships, please visit:

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
18 months
full time
9 months


part time
18 months
full time
9 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 484901