Online MA in International Relations

General

Program Description

This programme can be studied part-time as MA, Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). The PGDip and PGCert are shorter taught versions of the master's programme. They don’t require a dissertation but provide you with masters-level content. 

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

The School of Politics and International Relations

Committed to developing, maintaining and supporting excellent and innovative teaching and research amongst its faculty, the School fosters independent learning and critical thinking among our students. It has particular strengths in: 

  • International security
  • Conflict and war
  • The political economy of North-South relations
  • International political theory
  • Middle East politics
  • The transition from the Cold War to the contemporary post-Cold War world
  • Migration and transnational mobility

Facilities

Our online students enjoy the same status as those who attend the Queen Mary campus. You will have access to our extensive online resources and if you are able, are welcome to attend any of the extra-curricular events run by various research centres to complement your studies. 

In addition, you will benefit from dedicated tutor support, enhanced online material and a range of interactive features. There will be lively online discussions with your peers and webinars led by members of the academic staff, all accessible in a time that suits you. 

A Student Adviser will be appointed to you when you first enrol. They will help you with any non-academic questions and will ensure your experience with Queen Mary Online is positive and stress-free. 

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Structure

Our online International Relations MA is offered on a part-time basis over the duration of two years. 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.

Modules

  • 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

Assessment

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.

"I enjoy the mix of different types of information-delivery and activities, such as the reading exercises, lectures, webinars and commentary from experts. I have also found the reading lists very useful for providing a broader view of topics covered in each lecture."
International Relations MA student, Queen Mary Online

Assessment for the International Relations programme is by coursework only. The module leaders 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. Past topics of dissertations included:

  • The global financial crisis: a failure of governments or markets?
  • Is the UN fit to prevent genocide?
  • Is China a good trade partner for Latin America?
  • From Actions to Policy: A Theoretical Shift in U.S. Counterinsurgency Security Operations during the War on Terror in Iraq
  • Is China Challenging US Economic Hegemony?
  • Tackling cultures of immunity: how can the United Nations effectively address the practice of sexual abuse and exploitation by military peacekeeping forces?
  • Militarizing Egypt’s Policymaking arena: The Army between Socialism and Neoliberalism
  • Postcolonial President? Barack Obama and Humanitarian Intervention
  • Globalisation, Inequality and Underdevelopment: The Myth of Economic Convergence

Independent study

At Queen Mary Online, we take your studies seriously and in return, we hope you will do the same. Each week you will need to invest additional time on individual study. This could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and undertaking research for your dissertation.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. We expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study helps foster the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help you throughout your working life.

Career prospects

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 School of Politics and International Relations 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

You’ll also have access to QM Careers, helping you throughout your time as a QMUL student. You’ll be able to access advice on career choices and on how to maximise the career opportunities available to you. The QM Careers office also provides a service for internships, part-time work, and volunteering while you study.

Entry requirements

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

  • A minimum of an upper second-class honours degree in politics or a related discipline.*

* 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 your first language is not English, you should also have one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall including 6.5 in Writing, and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.
  • TOEFL: 100 overall including 24 in Writing, 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking.
  • PTE Academic: 68 overall including 62 in Writing, and 51 in Reading, Listening and Speaking. 

For 2020 start dates only, the following tests are also being accepted:

  • HOME TOEFL: 100 overall including 24 in Writing, 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking.
  • Duolingo English Test: 125+/160 

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

For any questions about the English language requirements or about entry qualifications specific to your country, please contact our course advisers.

How to apply

You can apply for the International Relations MA via one of the two methods explained below.

Option 1 – apply via our agent

We have a dedicated agent (Samantha) who will support you with your application. Please email Samantha (Sigbinidu@online.qmul.ac.uk), attaching all the following documents:     

  • Completed and hand-signed Consent and Additional Info Form (Word doc download);
  • Colour scanned copies of your academic certificates and transcripts for all university-level qualifications. If these documents are in another language, please provided the originals and the official translated copies; 
  • Your statement of purpose. One page in a Word doc detailing your motivation to study, your professional achievements and career goals. We recommend that you refer to specific modules on the course that you are looking forward to studying and why you want to study with Queen Mary;
  • An up-to-date CV; 
  • One reference letter to support your application. The letter must be [1] on headed paper, [2] be signed, [3] highlight your relationship with the referee, [4] provide a summary of your character and achievements [5] state that they recommend you for the programme with Queen Mary University of London.

Once you have sent all the required documents to Samantha, she will act as your agent and submit the application on your behalf. 

Option 2 – apply using the online application form

Please attach the following documents to the online application form:

  • Colour scanned copies of your academic certificates and transcripts for all university-level qualifications. If these documents are in another language, please provided the originals and the official translated copies; 
  • Your statement of purpose. One page in a Word doc detailing your motivation to study, your professional achievements and career goals. We recommend that you refer to specific modules on the course that you are looking forward to studying and why you want to study with Queen Mary;       
  • An up-to-date CV;     
  • One reference letter to support your application. The letter must be [1] on headed paper, [2] be signed, [3] highlight your relationship with the referee, [4] provide a summary of your character and achievements [5] state that they recommend you for the programme with Queen Mary University of London.

What happens next?

Once you or the agent has submitted your application, our admissions selectors aim to review this within two weeks (provided we have received all the required documents).

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Queen Mary Online offers four part-time, 100% online programmes delivered by the Queen Mary University of London – a world-leading Russell Group university. Gain access to cutting-edge research, a glo ... Read More

Queen Mary Online offers four part-time, 100% online programmes delivered by the Queen Mary University of London – a world-leading Russell Group university. Gain access to cutting-edge research, a global community, and world-class teaching that will empower you to make a global impact. By choosing to study online with Queen Mary, you still enjoy the same status and access to exemplary teaching as our campus students. The advantage you have is the flexibility to pursue your future career at a time and intensity suited to your own unique circumstances and without interrupting your income and career progression. Read less