Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent), preferably in a humanities or social sciences subject. Relevant degrees include political science, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, sociology, and area studies. A degree in the social sciences or humanities does not constitute a strict requirement and applicants with degrees in other disciplines will be given due consideration. Relevant work and voluntary experience will also be considered, particularly in cases where candidates fall short of the academic requirement

Months of entry


Course content

This MA examines a wide range of issues of contemporary relevance in global politics. More than any other, the contemporary era has thrust many of the core and emerging issues of international relations directly into our everyday lives, requiring us to reflect on them systematically. Taking the exciting and troubling times in which we live as its starting point, this course emphasises a philosophical and historical orientation with a distinctive critical edge for which international relations at Sussex has an international reputation.

This course brings together students from a wide range of educational, national, political and professional backgrounds. It is a theoretically grounded course, covering issues of theory and history of international relations, as well as a wide range of issues of contemporary relevance in global politics and international order.

Sussex is one of the leading UK centres for research in international relations theory. Our Centre for Advanced International Theory provides a unique forum for advanced fundamental research in international politics.

Academic activities

On many of our MA courses, you are encouraged to participate in:

• visiting practitioner and lecturer workshops on specific topics

• our New Security Challenges lecture series involving high-profile practitioners, policymakers and analysts.


You will be assessed by term papers. You also write a supervised 10,000-word dissertation.

Research placements

A research placement allows you to gain experience in an area of work relating to your subject of study and to acquire practical skills in preparation for a professional career. Research placements run over a 12-week period in the summer term and vacation. If you take a research placement, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation based on your experience.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

Autumn term: Foundations of World Politics • International Relations Theory.

Spring term: you take two options from East Asia in the International System • Foreign Policy Analysis • Governing Global Capitalism • Human Rights in International Relations • Irregular Warfare • Peace Processes and Post-Conflict Reconstruction • Queer International Relations • Reading Foucault in IR • Religions, Cultures and Civilisations in International Relations • Rethinking Imperialism • Russian Foreign and Security Policy • Science, Technology and War • Terror, Security and the State • The Global Politics of Disease and Biosecurity • The Middle East in Global Order • The Political Economy of Development • The Political Economy of Global Finance • The Political Economy of the Environment.

You also take a Research Methods and Professional Skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops, including one that prepares you for your dissertation.

Summer term: you carry out work on your MA dissertation under the supervision of a member of faculty. There is also a dissertation with a placement option.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/global-studies/international-relations-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment50
Dissertation50 (10000 words)

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
44 (0)1273 877686