International Politics (Dual Degree)

Study towards two separate Masters Degrees whilst immersing yourself in different cultural and academic worlds.

The Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University and the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., have worked in collaboration to develop and deliver this innovative programme. The outstanding reputations of both institutions can guarantee students high quality teaching, supported by exceptional research in the field of International Politics.

Upon successful completion of the Dual Masters, students have the opportunity to apply for internships with government or non-governmental organisations in Washington, D.C. under the Optional Practical Training scheme.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:1 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent, passed with a minimum score of UK 64%/US cGPA 3.3 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

First Year: Students spend their first year in Aberystwyth studying the discipline from a critical perspectives. Concepts that typically comprise the bedrock of the study of International Relations (such as sovereignty, anarchy, and security) will be explored and subjected to rich and multi-layered interrogation from perspectives that unsettle conventional understandings of international relationships.

Second Year: The second year is spent in Washington, D.C., where theoretical studies are complemented by practical experience and interaction with the policy community. Something which American University’s School of International Service is uniquely positioned to provide.

The Dual Masters is a specialist pathway degree, giving it the advantage of combining advanced, subject specific study in Aberystwyth with core classes in Social Science research methodology and Economics, alongside optional classes from your chosen field of specialisation, taken at American University.

About this course

Degree type: MA

Course code: L286A

Duration: 2 years (full-time)


Year 1 (September – August) in Aberystwyth;

Year 2 (August – May) in Washington D.C.

Contact Time:

Students will normally take one two-hour seminar per module per week and will 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.


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.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees for the first year at Aberystwyth University.

Tuition fees for the second year at American University.


American University tuition fees will be discounted by 20% and the application fee will be waived for students on the Dual Masters degree.

Funding opportunities for Aberystwyth University can be found on our Scholarships pages.

Modules September start - 2023

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.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Work Experience Opportunities

During the second year at American University, students can choose to undertake Optional Practical Training to gain work experience directly related to their major field of study. This can be done during, or after completing their studies. More information can be found on the American University webpages.


Our graduates have numerous career opportunities. Previous graduates 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 degree 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 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.

Teaching & Learning

Modules at Aberystwyth University

During the first year at Aberystwyth University, students will take two core modules and can choose another 100 credits worth of optional modules.

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.

Core Modules/Classes:

During the first year in Aberystwyth, you will study the core module International Politics: Theories and Concepts, along with the Research Paper, which gives you the opportunity to produce an in-depth piece of research through a guided, structured process.

International Politics: Theories and Concepts

This module examines ‘classical’ concepts within international politics, such as the contested meanings of anarchy, sovereignty, power and security, but also tackles the role of colonialism, environment and gender. Attention is paid to contestation and differences of meaning ascribed to core concepts, the political, ethical, practical and methodological consequences involved in the choice of concepts used, and the role of conceptual innovation in the study of a dynamic and diverse subject matter.

Optional Modules:

In addition to the core module and Research Paper, you will choose from a range of optional modules, examples of which include:

·     Global Challenges and the Future of International Relations Theory

·     Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World politics

·     Post-Western International Relations

·     Indigenous Politics: Challenging the Global Order?

·     The EU in Crisis? Integration and Fragmentation

·     Feminist Approaches to Security

·     Emerging Powers and the Global Order

Modules at American University

During the second year in Washington, D.C., you will take core modules in Social Science research methodology and Economics. You will undertake a major research project (either the Practicum in International Affairs or the Substantial Research Paper). Your optional modules will be chosen from one field of specialisation. These include:

·     Energy and Environment

·     International Development

·     Social Enterprise

·     US Foreign Policy