International Relations (MSc Econ)
- Duration: 1 year
- Mode: Full time
Why study this course
Gain a thorough understanding of International Relations and be taught by leading researchers in the field.
Flexible study programme
Select specialist modules in a broad range of areas taught by staff who are leading researchers in their fields.
Benefit from our environment
We are an interdisciplinary school which frequently hosts a range of research seminars and visiting speakers.
Our MSc Econ International Relations programme bridges the subfields of international relations theory, international security, political science and philosophy, international law, foreign policy analysis, diplomacy, international history and international political economy.
This programme provides a structure for the advanced study of an exciting disciplinary field. Specialist optional modules address a range of contemporary global concerns such as environmental politics, feminism, digital technologies and conflict management.
You’ll develop a full understanding of the development of the discipline of International Relations and will be able to pursue specialist interests within a general framework.
This programme will acquaint you with the main issues in International Relations, and will demonstrate how they have a bearing on a range of specialist areas of study. It is structured to give you the methodological tools necessary to conduct critical research in this broad and demanding field.
You’ll be introduced to the main theories and concepts in the field of International Relations through the programme’s core module, and to the practice of research in this field through the taught course on research methods and skills. After the completion of your coursework, you will write a dissertation on the topic of your choosing with the support of an academic supervisor.
Following a remarkable expansion in 2016, the International Relations team at the School of Law and Politics has become one of the largest in the UK. You will be taught by staff who are leading researchers in their fields and unlike other postgraduate International Relations programmes in the UK all of our modules are taught by permanent academic staff.
Where you'll study
Our vibrant student body combined with highly qualified academic staff provides the perfect environment to explore the dynamic and fast-paced fields of law, politics and international relations.
Typically, you will need to have either:
- a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as international relations, politics, English, modern languages, history, religious studies, geography, economics, psychology, sociology, social policy and journalism or an equivalent international degree
- a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification.
English Language requirements:
IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with at least 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other subskills, or an accepted equivalent.
The application deadline is 31 July. If you submit an application after this date, we will only consider it if places are still available.
We will review your application and if you meet the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
This programme is designed to provide a strong grounding in the disciplinary and academic skills central to the study of International Relations.
The programme is delivered in two stages. Stage One (the taught component) comprises 15 and 30 credit compulsory and optional research-led taught modules over the autumn and spring semesters. Module work will be assessed at the end of each semester.
Stage Two requires the researching and writing of a dissertation on a topic of your choosing. The dissertation is worth 60 credits, and the work is supported by a supervisor.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.
Year One comprises taught modules to the value of 120 credits, delivered through 15 and 30 credit compulsory and optional modules. Upon successful completion of the taught stage, you will progress to the 60 credit dissertation.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Issues in International Relations||PLT050||30 credits|
|Public International Law||PLT052||15 credits|
|Research Methods: Approaches to Knowledge||PLT062||15 credits|
|American Foreign Policy||PLT075||15 credits|
|Anglo-American Relations||PLT078||15 credits|
|Global Environmental Politics||PLT426||15 credits|
|From Mary Wollstonecraft to Lady Gaga: What is this Thing called Feminism?||PLT428||15 credits|
|Critical Geopolitics: Power, Territory, and Society in the Arctic||PLT438||15 credits|
|Secrecy and Accountability: Intelligence in the 21st century||PLT444||15 credits|
|Multilateralism and International Law||PLT449||15 credits|
|Politics of War, Humanitarian Intervention and Global Justice||PLT453||15 credits|
|International Politics of Tourism: Difference, Discovery & Desire||PLT454||15 credits|
|The Politics of International Intervention in Conflict and Peace||PLT456||15 credits|
|Decolonising the Present||PLT458||15 credits|
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Learning and assessment
How will I be taught?
You will be taught through a range of methods including lectures, seminars and workshops which are designed to assist you to analyse and evaluate ideas and information from guided reading.
This programme introduces you to the nature of post-graduate research, primarily through the taught course in research methods and skills, and subsequently through independent self-directed research with the support of a supervisor leading to the dissertation.
Study for a Master’s degree is intensive and challenging and it is important that you take full advantage of the teaching that is provided in order to succeed. Attendance at classes and dissertation supervisions is compulsory. We will expect you to undertake self-directed study, completing the required readings and being prepared to participate fully in class discussions.
How will I be assessed?
The main form of assessment will be coursework essays. Other forms of assessment might include unseen examinations, seminar presentations, class tests and book and article reviews.
Summative assessments count towards your degree. Your marks in these assessments count towards your formal progression from stage one (taught modules) to stage two (the dissertation), and towards the determination of your final award. The dissertation comprises the stage two summative assessment.
How will I be supported?
We will support you in improving your study and research skills with dedicated classes at the beginning of each semester.
All modules are supported by Learning Central, a virtual learning environment that is available on and off campus through which you will access a wide range of materials for your modules.
You will receive pastoral support through our personal tutor scheme and academic staff have dedicated office hours to meet with students to discuss any learning queries. We offer a programme of visiting speakers and guest lectures at which students are welcome. A designated Disability and Diversity Officer ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities. The University has a range of services to support you, including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service and excellent libraries with specialist subject librarians and resource centres. The University also offers writing skills support for students whose first language is not English.
Feedback is given orally during seminars and you will receive written feedback on your summative coursework. Feedback will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your learning and writing, as well as how you might improve your performance. Written feedback will be made available no later than four weeks from the submission of your assessment.
What skills will I practise and develop?
You are expected to assume a greater responsibility for your education as you undertake your postgraduate studies. Through your Masters degree, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and more generic employability skills.
During the programme you will be able to extend your communication and presentation skills, both oral and written and develop collaborative skills. You will enhance your analytical skills, be able to develop a reasoned argument and reflect on your own learning by making use of constructive feedback.
You will be encouraged to work independently and develop your research skills by seeking relevant materials from a variety of sources, evaluating this evidence to develop a reasoned argument. You will reflect upon empirical and theoretical issues and critically evaluate current research.
Upon completion of the programme, you will have the qualities needed for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative, in complex and unpredictable professional environments.
Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Fees for entry 2024/25 are not yet available.
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
Graduates from this programme have found employment in a variety of fields, including government and diplomatic service, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), media and international organisations. A number of our graduates have gone on to pursue PhDs and further research. The course is also useful as a general qualification for careers such as teaching, banking, and commerce.
Other course options
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.