Through a combination of core and specialist modules, the MSc in International Relations is constructed around a series of modules that will help you analyse the multifaceted origins, evolution and conflictual development of the international political system.
You will explore the analytical application of a range of the core theories and contemporary concepts that make up the canon of International Relations. You will also interrogate the relative merits and shortcomings of ideologies, political, economic and socio-cultural philosophies, structures of power, and systems of governance across in order to better understand the global political system.
Modules on International Relations (as well as the Security Studies specialism) are comprised of formal lectures on key themes of IR, security and globalisation, and interactive seminars that explore global actors, structures, and policies, making use of a robust range of teaching and learning styles to deconstruct this complex and fast changing subject area.
Based on nationally recognized, award winning teaching styles, graduate classes are engaging and interactive, ranging from simulation games that reflect the actual workings of an international institution or a given security actor, to negotiation-based group work, as well as the analysis of key international policy texts, treaties or conventions, Students are encouraged to produce work in the form of briefing notes, blogs and pieces of advocacy, all focusing on contemporary challenges to the international structure, ensuring that students completing the MSc in International Relation graduate with an advanced knowledge of their chosen area through the most contemporary pedagogic styles.
You will follow five core modules, which provide a comprehensive foundation for the pathway as a whole. The modules are taught to all graduate students within the Politics/International Relations programme, introducing them to basic concepts, working approaches, research methodologies and current political dilemmas that help link the scholarly subject matter of International Relations, Politics and European Politics to real-world issues.
Research Methods 1 Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
This module is designed to equip students with theoretical, conceptual and practical research skills at an advanced level of study. The module will examine typical sociological, political science and psychological research questions in relation to the methodologies used to answer them. Students will explore the epistemological issues surrounding quantitative and qualitative approaches and the ways in which these considerations produce different types of knowledges which will be examined in the context of their theoretical traditions. The module will cover introductory methods training in tools such as ethnography, narrative, statistical and discourse analytical methods. Students will use SPSS and NVivo in the physical application of these analysis approaches. This model enhanced autonomous skill development and fosters the ability of students to make professional academic judgments about the application of research methods to their specific research question.
Research Methods 2 Advanced Research Methodology
Research Methods 2: Advanced Research Methodology aims to provide detailed and in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of: advanced quantitative and qualitative theoretical approaches to social research. Advanced research design, data collection, and data analysis tools within the social, psychological and political sciences will be the main focus. The module is designed to allow students to develop their MSc dissertation proposal by focusing on hypothesis and research question development, methodological issues, literature review, structural and content concerns, and the overall management of a larger piece of research in social sciences.
Advanced Principles of International Relations
This module will introduce students to key schools of thought, overarching concepts and definitions from within Politics and International Relations, and their practical application in international affairs. We will utilise theories and analytical frameworks which best aid our understanding of the concepts which are central to our discipline. Bringing together different topics such as climate change, populism and racism, and discussing these in light of leading theories within Politics and International Relations, the module will demonstrate how theories help to understand complex phenomena and therefore provide an analytical frame within the study of Politics and International Relations.
Critical Issues in Politics and International Relations: Shifting Perspectives
The aim of this module is to engage with contemporary political topics and discuss and analyse these through the lenses of different methodological approaches used in Politics and International Relations. Looking at a variety of contemporary debates in Politics and International Relations (for example, migration, minority rights, war and conflict, peace-building, morality and politics, political leadership), students will engage in discussions on the relevance of these themes for contemporary debates in the media and daily politics. The module engages in a multi-disciplinary approach, and brings together different perspectives and scholarship in Politics and IR.
Contemporary Security (Specialised Module 1)
This module provides an in-depth discussion of new security issues: applying established International Relations security theories to contemporary issues, students taking this module will learn about the most influential theoretical approaches and the most pressing global issues. By challenging the dominance of the Realist/Liberal discourse in IR, the module will highlight how contemporary approaches such as Securitization, Feminist Approaches and Post-Colonial Ideas have shaped our understanding of security studies and have allowed us as researchers and students to move beyond the focus on state-centric security issues.
Security in the Digital Age (Specialised Module 2)
The module starts by discussing the political and social context of our time (that of late or post-modernity), focusing on the work of authors such Bauman, Castells and Beck, then moving to a more contextualised discussion of the redefinition of security and associated concepts in the digital age. The second part of the module focuses on a number of issue areas that result from these technological changes: the use of outer space, cyberspace (with discussions centred round issues such as cyber war, cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism and cyber-espionage), but also developments in robotics, sciences and the progressive use of simulations and other virtual scenarios in security and war related contexts. The last part of the module will invite students to rethink the political space of security as a tool of control, order and power.
Students are required to complete a 18,000 word dissertation. The subject of the dissertation is chosen by the students, and they will be supported by a member of staff who will act as their supervisor throughout the writing process. The aim of the dissertation is for the student to apply their knowledge gained in the specialised modules to a specific topic, and demonstrate that they can apply the methodological debates from Research Methods 1 and 2 to a larger piece of individual research in social science.
MSc in International Relations (Security Studies)
Research Methods 1
Research Methods 2
|Advanced Research in Politics and International Relations (20 Credits)
|Critical Issues: Shifting Perspectives (20 Credits)
|Security in the Digital Age
|Dissertation: Assessing Security Studies (60 Credits)