School of Politics and International Relations

International Relations

MA ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )


  • 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.

The programme can also be studied as Postgraduate Diploma or a Postgraduate Certificate.

For more details about the programme, entry requirements, fees and contact information, please use the following link Queen Mary Digital


Why study International Relations at QMUL?

The school has particular strengths in international security, conflict and war, the political economy of North-South relations, international political theory, Middle East politics, and the transition from the Cold War to the contemporary post-Cold War world. This programme is led by research active staff, who are responding to the very latest global events, so content is very timely.

You will also learn from academics at the cutting-edge of their fields, who are contributing to our understanding of the subject. The diversity of our staff and students, and the local area, mean that QMUL is a great place to study International Relations.


You will have access to QMUL's comprehensive libraries, which include extensive online resources. You will also be able to use the main University of London Library at Senate House. The British Library can also be easily accessed as a research resource.

The School of Politics and International Relations runs a lively range of extra-curricular seminars and groups at that you can attend to complement your studies, including events run by our various research centres.

If you are a Distance Learning Student, as well as online lectures, your course materials will be also available online and you will also receive the support of a dedicated tutor. 


Our MA in International Relations is offered on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) basis. Students must undertake four taught modules as well as a 12,000 word dissertation.

The full MA is made up of 120 credits through taught units and 60 credits for a dissertation.

Programme structure – MA International Relations

Students must undertake the compulsory training module, four taught modules as well as a 12,000 word dissertation.

Core modules:

  • Dissertation

Compulsory modules:

  • Contemporary World Politics: Theories, Concepts, Themes

At least one module from the following options:

Two modules from the following options:


Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper-second class honours degree in a related discipline.  IELTS 7 (including 6.5 in the writing component) for applicants requiring language qualification.

International applicants

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. You can find details on our English language entry requirements here:

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching

Learning and teaching

As a student at QMUL, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and role-play as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at QMUL.

Independent study

For every hour spent in formal study you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

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

Independent study will foster in you 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 to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Students are assessed by a combination of coursework and exams. Many modules are assessed by coursework only. If a module is assessed by means of coursework alone, this is usually in the form of research essays and the course convener offers guidance and support in the researching and writing of this piece of assessment.


You will also be assessed on a supervised 12,000-word dissertation. Students are currently researching a range of topics for their dissertations including:

  • The global financial crisis: a failure of governments or markets?
  • The impact of India's nuclear tests on global proliferation
  • Is the UN fit to prevent genocide?
  • Is China a good trade partner for Latin America?
  • Is Fairtrade a challenge to neoliberal hegemony?

The Ann Tickner Prize for Best Masters Dissertation in International Relations

J Ann Tickner graduated in 1959 from Westfield College, now Queen Mary, University of London and has gone on to become one of the world's leading thinkers and teachers of International Relations. Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California and Honorary PhD at the University of Uppsala, Tickner is a former President of the International Studies Association and recipient of many other awards and forms of international recognition. Through her numerous books, articles, chapters, and teaching she has been central to establishing the study of gender and feminist perspectives in International Relations.

The J Ann Tickner Prize for the Best Masters Dissertation in International Relations recognises Professor Tickner's singular contribution and past association with the College. The award will be given annually to the outstanding dissertation irrespective of the topic.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2020/21 Academic Year

Full time £9,950
Part time £5,000

Tuition fees for International students

2020/21 Academic Year

Full time £19,850
Part time £9,950

Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.

This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717