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MA in International Politics and East Asia

How will East Asia accommodate the rise of a more economically and militarily assertive China? Is the US declining as a superpower in the region, or will it maintain its regional dominance? Does Japan still have designs upon regional economic leadership, and will it come to play a bigger military role in the region? How does a ‘non-state’ conduct international relations?

Our MA in International Politics and East Asia gives you the opportunity to approach and answer these questions from a disciplinary basis. This is not a traditional area studies course on East Asia, but rather a disciplinary degree that focuses on the region for its case studies and thus offers unique advantages: strong disciplinary expertise combined with genuine regional expertise.

Our IPEA programme is one of the leading postgraduate programmes of its kind. We have amongst the greatest concentration of disciplinary based East Asia experts in the UK and Europe, and we are home to the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, researching issues of Asia-Pacific and East Asian regionalism.

All of our MA programmes are worth 180 CATS (credits) in total. As part of this course, you will be required to take one core module (40 CATS). You then select 40 CATS (normally 2 modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules. If you pass the taught modules, you will move on to the second phase of the MA programme and complete a dissertation of 10,000 words (60 CATS)

Programme content

East Asia’s emergence as the most dynamic region in the global political economy continues despite a series of crises since the early 1990s. If anything, the crises reinvigorated the study of the international relations and political economy of East Asia. Instead of just focusing on business and economics, the crises highlighted the politics of international economic relations, the impact of globalisation on the region and existing development paradigms, and the need for greater regional cooperation to cope with future economic shocks.

Further information

About the course

Programme Director:
Olivia Cheung

PG modules
Entry requirements

"My graduate studies have greatly improved my ability to synthesise regional political and security trends into policy-relevant advice. I am at present discussing with Fortune 500 companies that are looking for intelligence and political risks analysts and researchers. In a near future, I might as well enter the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat.”

- Walid Lemrini, Double MA with Nanyang Technological University, 2016-2018



The student experience

walid lemrini

My MA in International Politics and East Asia provided me with the theoretical bedrock from which my understanding of Asia-Pacific-related geo-politics and geo-economics has flourished.

The department has enabled me to develop a deeper theoretical vision of the issues I have had an interest in, since I have received my BA in Politics. As such, I have had the chance to sharpen my knowledge on Northeast Asian relations, systems of governance, and economics.

- Walid Lemrini, Double MA with Nanyang Technological University, 2016-2018

Read more student profiles