Skip to main content Skip to navigation

MA in International Relations

Is there any concept of justice in relations between states? Do states remain the dominant actors in the international system with its current profusion of transnational corporations, international organisations, and regional blocs?

Our MA in International Relations is one of the foremost programmes in Britain and Europe for the study of international relations (IR). It will enable you to tackle the big issues facing global decision-makers, from war to poverty, from security to the complexities of environmental degradation, from inequality to the study of global elites. Traditionally, the discipline of international relations has been concerned with issues of war and peace, focused on explaining and understanding the behaviour of states in their relationships with each other in the international states-system. More recently, however, IR has broadened and deepened as a discipline and is now much more than the study of war, peace, and states.

Programme content

On this MA programme, you will learn the key theoretical approaches in IR from Realism to Post- Colonialism, making theory accessible and understandable and equipping you to evaluate theoretical positions in the light of pressing issues in contemporary political life. IR also incorporates within its theories an understanding of the role of a range of other actors besides states, including NGOs, private enterprise, and international bodies. You will use this pluralist theoretical framework to study international cooperation, identity politics, global governance and ethics.

You will also investigate major questions of contemporary international relations such as:

  • After the Cold War, after bipolarity, with the United Nations in its sixth decade, where is the world to look for order?
  • Is there any prospect of justice in relations between states?
  • Do states remain the dominant actors in the international system with its current profusion of transnational corporations, international organisations, and regional blocs?
  • How will democratisation, economic liberalism, resurgent nationalisms and religious revivals affect world order?
  • And, most importantly, how should we think about these questions?
  • What are the alternative perspectives to your own?

Those who work at the highest levels in business, government, or the voluntary sector, increasingly need to tackle these issues, and the Masters in International Relations programme offers you the opportunity to do so.

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).

Further information

About the course

Programme Director:
Akin Oyawale

Core module
Optional modules
Entry requirements

The student experience

I graduated last summer from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor in Economics, Politics and International Studies. The three years I spent here were beyond everything I could imagine and expect.

After graduating, I felt like I hadn't finished learning from the PAIS department. Warwick is constantly evolving, and so is its Politics and International Studies department. I was glad to find out that Warwick not only offered a Master in International Relations, the course I wanted to do, but also offered the chance to take International Security and International Development as optional modules. This gave me the chance to learn about both subjects that I am most passionate about, while being able to explore new areas of the political sphere and incorporating wider socio-economic dimensions to my studies.

The MA in International Relations allowed me to tackle a diversity of issues and build a new variety of skills, from theoretical knowledge to outstanding approaches and original perspectives. The department, the tutors, my classmates and my friends have helped me achieved goals that seemed out of reach. If I had to sum up my experience and the four fantastic years I spent here, I would say that Warwick is the land of unsuspected and unexpected great opportunities and that its community never fails to lead us towards new horizons.

- Joulanar Maayouchi, MA International Relations 2017-18

Read more student profiles

Core Modules
Theories and Issues in International Relations
Specialist Modules
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
Examining Rising World Powers
International Relations and Security of the Middle East
Issues in International Political Economy
Secrecy and Spies: British Intelligence in the Modern World
The Global Politics of Nuclear Weapons
The Nuclear Question
Theories in International Political Economy
Theories of and Actors in International Development
United States Security Policy
United States Foreign Policy
Optional Modules
Further Optional Modules