MA

International Politics (Specialist)

Key Facts

Course Code L286S
  • Qualification

    MA

  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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The global challenges of the twenty first century place important demands on students of international politics. Not only do we need to understand the ongoing changes in the nature of war and conflict, but we are also today faced with important transformations in global power relations, international flows of goods, people and diseases and, indeed, shifts in the nature of political communities on the globe. Whatever your background, whether in international politics or another discipline, this flagship MA programme provides you with the necessary tools to tackle these shifting landscapes.

The scheme will introduce you, first, to the core notions that help shape the analysis of and the practices of international politics but also encourages you to think creatively about the kinds of concepts we need today to capture complex political realities. Taught by a team of world-leading research staff, the core module will challenge you to reflect on the way you think about international politics and the issues facing individuals, societies, states and humanity as a whole. Beyond the core module students pursue their own interests by choosing specialist modules. The options, ranging from the study of war, conflict, strategy and security to the study of global order, international theory and ethics, are designed to stimulate you in pursuing your own path to an advanced study of international relations.

At the heart of the scheme is a desire to expose students to envisioning new, different, better ways forward in our efforts to cope with the challenging political, military, social, economic and environmental contexts we live in today.

MA students taking this course will be integrated into the unique world-leading research culture, including contributing to research groups, participating in a range of events, seminars and roundtables, and attending the weekly departmental research seminar. Whether you are interested in understanding the conceptual underpinnings of international politics or tackling practical policy implications by taking this flagship Masters degree you will be part of a department at the forefront of understanding and tackling the challenges of ‘how we might live’ in the 21st century.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning

Key Facts

Duration:

One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

 Contact Time:

During the first two semesters you will normally take one two-hour seminar per module per week. You will also have contact with academic staff through participation in research groups, attendance in departmental research seminars and masters workshops and through staff office hours (two one hour sessions per week). There will also be additional sessions working towards developing your master’s dissertation. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

 Assessment:

Assessment will be through a combination of essays, project work, short reports, book reviews and dissertation.  It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.

 Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

 English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test. Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Overview

Why study International Politics at Aberystwyth?

Founded in 1919 after the end of World War I, the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth is the world’s first university department of International Politics. The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales and 7th in the UK with 76% of publications submitted rated as world leading and internationally excellent. This research excellence is mirrored in our teaching, as evidenced in the recent 2016 National Student Satisfaction survey. The 2016 NSS placed us in the top ten in the UK and best in Wales among Politics and International Relations departments, with 95% overall Student satisfaction, well above the average for the subject nationally. Our staff’s commitment to excellence in both teaching and research, provides you with an outstanding and dynamic learning environment.

The Department’s vibrant and cosmopolitan learning environment attracts some of the brightest and best students students from around the world, to study in a challenging and highly stimulating intellectual environment, providing a lively venue for contemporary and international political debate. The Department has over thirty academic and research staff, all of whom are research-active. The sheer breadth of expertise offered by the Department allows you to engage with the most pressing and stimulating issues and topics in international politics ranging from the study of war, conflict, strategy and security to the study of global order, international theory, post colonialism, Welsh politics, and ethics.

The Masters programme emphasises the development of strong research, writing and analytical skills as well as the capacity to work independently - qualities on which employers place a premium. A Masters is also ideal for students who want to pursue PhD research.

 Whether you interested in understanding the conceptual underpinnings of international politics or practical policy implications you will be part of a department at the forefront of understanding and tackling the challenges of ‘how we might live’ in the 21st century.

Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Employability

This degree will suit you:

  • If you want to study international relations at advanced level
  • If you wish to develop a critical appreciation of past and contemporary international politics
  • If you wish to nurture a career in areas such as international diplomacy, journalism or the NGO-sector or if you wish to work internationally
  • If you desire formal recognition of skills highly sought-after by any postgraduate employer

Employability

Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your Masters will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained international politics specialist with a strength in depth of knowledge on vital subjects such as conflict, power, peace, justice and injustice, security, the global distribution of wealth and resources and trust in world politics. You will also graduate with a wealth of postgraduate-level skills which are transferable into any workplace. In addition, the prestige of masters from the Department of International Politics will open doors for you into workplaces in every industry.

Transferable Skills

The International Politics Masters programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts.  Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines.

Teaching & Learning

How is the MA in Interanational Politics structured?

The MA in International Politics pursued through the Specialist Pathway is the traditional Masters degree which offers the opportunity for students to pursue specialised, advanced, subject-specific study in the discipline of international politics. Students following this pathway take the degree scheme core module (compulsory), two modules from a basket of options, and three further modules chosen from the baskets or any Masters options taught by the Department (including a maximum of one module offered by another department). More information on modules available from other departments is available at: www.aber.ac.uk/en/modules/. Finally students complete a 13-15,000 word dissertation.

 The core module

The core module, simply called International Politics, will focus on providing students with multiple tools, concepts and perspectives to allow an understanding of how we should approach the study of international politics today. We explore the meaning of anarchy, sovereignty and security in today’s changing global landscapes as well as the role of colonialism, gender and the environment in international politics. Whatever your background, whether in international politics or another discipline, this course will provide an advanced Masters level introduction to the challenges of thinking and practicing international politics today.

Basket and optional modules

In addition to the core module students pursue their own interests by choosing specialist basket and optional modules. Modules on offer cover a wide range of themes such as evolution of violence and ethics of harm; the transformation of the state; 20th and 21st century strategic, intelligence and security challenges; globalisation and political responsibility in 21st century; postcolonial politics; and Wales in the national and international areana. Students interested in specific thematics, such as strategy/intelligence, theory/critical theory, ethics in IR, or security studies, will find distinct routes amongst the ‘basket’ and optional modules to build a schedule of study to satisfy their interests and career needs.

Overall, the structure of the MA International Politics degree is designed to stimulate you in pursuing your own path to an advanced study of international relations.