Taught course

International Relations (Distance Learning)

University of Portsmouth · School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics and Literature

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree in Politics, International Relations, Peace Studies, Sociology, History, or another relevant subject. Equivalent (directly relevant to course content and extensive) professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.5.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content


If you're interested in national and international organisations, conflict and uncertainty, and in how they are shaping contemporary international relations, our MA International Relations will develop your grasp of the central issues. You'll study the contours of contemporary insecurity, such as weapons of mass destruction (WMD), terrorism and political violence, and explore the power of social movements, political resistance and rebellion.

You'll challenge conventional explanations, develop your own arguments, and participate in key debates about international relations and global politics. You'll develop advanced analytic skills and critical assessment abilities, and learn to write engaging reports, policy briefs and essays.

When you graduate, you'll be in a strong position to generate creative solutions that benefit the global economy and international society. You will be suited for roles in security, development, social policy, governance, advocacy and communications. Previous graduates have gone on to work in parliaments, political parties, third sector and civil society organisations.

Course highlights
  • Immerse yourself in pressing topics, such as whether global civil society can promote security, development and rights, how terrorism and political violence shape domestic and political affairs, how nuclear and other security threats have evolved, and the role the EU endeavours to play in global politics
  • Learn from passionate and experienced academics involved in leading international relations research on subjects including development NGOs and language, transnational civil society, and remote warfare
  • Build up expertise in issues relating to security, risk and global civil society, and understand how to apply this to real world problems as they happen
  • Hear expert guest lecturers respond to current global events, the security dimensions and international ramifications, such as the conflict in Ukraine
  • Develop a high level of specialist knowledge in an area of your choice through your dissertation

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Business and Law Career-Ready Programme. This support will continue for 5 years after you graduate.

Career support

You'll benefit from:

- Networking events

- Regular emails from the Career Ready Programme sharing job opportunities, application tips and events

- Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council

- Workshops to enhance your employability skills

- Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair

- 1-to-1 appointments

- CV and cover letter advice

- Interview preparation and practice

- Support starting your own business

Careers and opportunities
Once you complete this Master's in International Relations, you'll be an informed global citizen with a sense of responsibility and commitment to ethical practice and issues of global social justice – skills in high demand across a range of professions.
You'll gain a broader understanding of international organisations and the issues facing them, and learn the skills needed to succeed in civil society and policy making environments, such as policy development, strategy and communication.
Graduates of this course have gone on to work in areas such as:
  • national, European and international state institutions
  • political parties
  • political lobbyists
  • NGOs
  • think tanks
  • international development
  • international human rights
  • security and risk analysis
  • foreign affairs analysis
  • political communication and journalism
Graduates of this course have gone on to work for organisations such as the:
  • Civil Service (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Ministry of Defence (MoD)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

1 year full-time distance learning, 2 years part-time distance learning

Course contact details

Admissions Team