International Relations (Research Training)

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. With a wide range of modules and departmental expertise at your disposal, the scheme will expose you 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.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) or equivalent. Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Course Overview

Why study MA International Politics (Research Training) at Aberystwyth University?

  • Opportunity to study at the world’s first university department of International Politics
  •  Our Department is ranked in the top 40 in the world for academic reputation (QS, 2017)
  • 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 
  • The research training pathway is designed to also emphasise social science/humanities research training, a great benefit for those either considering PhD study or envisaging a career in social science research
  • 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 thirty 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

Course Details

How to Apply:

Applications can be made online by visiting our Postgraduate Application Portal, or can be made offline (by post or email). Please see our How to Apply page for more detail.

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.


For further details, and to find out about additional funding opportunities, please see our funding calculator.


For more information on the course please contact Vicki Jones/ Donia Richards at or +441970 622708.

For more information on the application process or entrance requirements, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office at or +441970 622023. 


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation * IPM0060 60
Principles of Research Design PGM0210 10
Quantitative Data Collection and Analysis (for social scientists) PGM1010 10
International Politics IPM1920 20
Research in Politics and International Studies IPM2120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Feminist Approaches to Security IPM7320 20
The EU in Crisis? Integration and Fragmentation IPM0220 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh



Our graduates have expansive career opportunities. Previous graduates from our Department have gone on to work:

• in the development sector

• in local and national politics

• for the Diplomatic Service

• for the Civil Service

• for NGOs

• with international organisations

• as journalists

• within academia

• as governmental and social researchers

• for Foreign Offices

• for the military

• in leadership roles in business/industry (CEOs/Chairmans)

• as political assistants

• as teachers, lawyers and accountants


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. A Masters is also ideal for students who want to pursue PhD research.

This MA Programme will empower you to:

• Develop your abilities in structuring and communicating complex ideas efficiently

• Write for and speak to a range of audiences

• Evaluate and organise information

• Work effectively with others

• Work within time frames and to specific deadlines 

Learning & Teaching

How will I be taught?

During the first two semesters (September to May), you will normally take one two hour seminar per module per week. Some research training modules instead involve weekly workshops or residential workshops.

You will also have contact with academic staff through participation in research groups, attendance at departmental research seminars and masters workshops and through staff office hours (two one hour sessions per week).

There will also be additional sessions throughout the year working towards developing your dissertation. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

Students will undertake a core module, simply entitled International Politics, which will provide an advanced Masters level introduction to the challenges of thinking and practicing international politics today, covering the tools, concepts and perspectives in International Politics. As the Research Training pathway is designed to emphasise social science/humanities research training, students studying via this pathway will also study 60 credits of disciplinary specific and university social science research training modules. Students then pursue their own interests by choosing two modules from any offered by the Department. Students interested in specific thematics will find distinct routes amongst the option modules to build a schedule of study to satisfy their interests and career needs.

In the final semester, students undertake a 60 credit master’s dissertation. 

How will I be assessed?

The taught part of the course is assessed through a combination of any of the following: essays, reports, book reviews, seminar presentations, review essays, research proposals, research critiques, literature searches and assessment of seminar performance.

Successful submission of the MA dissertation at the end of the academic year leads to the award of an MA.