Master in International Relations (Online)


Program Description

Why study International Relations?

  • What are the main characteristics of the international order?
  • How has globalisation changed international relations?
  • To what extent is the international order based on conflict or cooperation?
  • How is the global financial crisis affecting international politics?
  • Do foreign military interventions in civil wars help or hinder peace-making?
  • Why are economic resources so unevenly spread across the world, and what are the prospects for global justice?

If you are interested in these questions and are excited at the prospect of exploring them with like-minded individuals, but your circumstances or commitments make is difficult for you to attend university, then our online International Relations MA is for you.

The programme offers challenging and thought-provoking modules to help you formulate your answers, and a lively, intelligent group of students and academics with which to debate and exchange ideas.

What to expect

Want to know more? Here’s a brief summary of what you can expect if you decide to study with Queen Mary Online:

  • Modules taught by academics at the cutting-edge of their fields, involved in contributing to the international understanding of the subject
  • Opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to think, talk and write critically about contemporary international challenges
  • Firm foundation for further study
  • Focus on traditional and current challenges in international relations in conjunction with emerging areas of interest in the developing world
  • Discussions on the historical significance of globalisation and how it relates to a number of key issues in international relations.

The programme is available for part-time study as a masters degree, postgraduate diploma or certificate.

The diversity of our staff and students makes Queen Mary a great place to study international relations.


Our online International Relations MA is offered on a part-time (2 years) basis. During that time, you will undertake four taught modules and a 12,000-word dissertation.

For each module, you will be awarded 30 credits each and you will receive a further 60 credits for your dissertation. In order to graduate you must have accrued the full 180 credits, which involves completing every aspect of the modules and passing all relevant assignments.

We also offer shorter versions of the programme that will give you a Postgraduate Diploma (four semesters, 120 credits, no dissertation) or a Postgraduate Certificate (two semesters, two taught modules, 60 credits).


  • Contemporary World Politics: Theories, Concepts, Themes
  • International Security: War and Peace in a Global Context
  • Themes and Cases in US Foreign Policy
  • Globalisation and the International Political Economy of Development
  • Dissertation

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the International Relations MA, you should have:

  • A minimum of an upper second-class honours degree in politics or a related discipline.*
  • IELTS 7.0 (including 6.5 in the writing component), if your first language is not English.

*We may consider graduates with a minimum of an upper second class-honours degree in another subject with either additional relevant qualifications or work experience.

If you would like to apply but are unsure whether you are qualified, please contact our online course advisers.

International applicants

At Queen Mary, we are proud of our global community and have a long history of welcoming students from around the world. Over the years, many thousands of our international graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers.

All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. While you may not need to provide an official English language qualification, you need to provide evidence of sufficient English language ability in line with the IELTS requirements above. Please check the guideline for English language requirements for further information on the English language levels required.

If you have not achieved the required English language level yet, you may be eligible to take a Pre-sessional English course or continue to take English language tests in your country to reach the level needed.

For any questions about the English language requirements or about entry qualifications specific to your country, contact our course advisers who will be happy to help.


As a student at Queen Mary Online, we ask you to play an active role in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. We use a mixture of online tutorials, discussion forums and group webinars designed to generate informed discussion around set topics.

Assessment for the MA in International Relations is by coursework only. The module leader will set assessments appropriate to the content of their module which will usually take the form of a research essay or critical evaluation. They will also be available to advise and support you throughout the course.

The final dissertation will involve more in-depth study and independent research on a topic agreed with your supervisor.

Where we could lead you

Graduates from our programmes progress to diverse positions of responsibility in government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and the not-for-profit sector as well as broader roles in the media and finance sector. They also go on to careers in academia and our programmes help students develop the required research skills.

The combination of theoretical understanding, rigorous debate, independent research, self-reflection and critical evaluation make graduates from the International Relations MA very attractive to a range of prospective employers.

To make it more concrete, here are a few examples of where our students have been employed:

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Moody's
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society
  • Volkswagen
  • Alliance for Peacebuilding
  • United Nations – Perú
Last updated Aug 2019

About the School

QMUL Online offers you world-class teaching delivered by leading academics and professionals at the top of their game.

QMUL Online offers you world-class teaching delivered by leading academics and professionals at the top of their game. Read less