Skip to main content

MA 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 Postcolonialism, 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, ethics, and civil society.

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 our 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:
Madeleine Fagan

Core module
Optional modules
Entry requirements



The student experience

"As an Ethiopian educated in the United States, coming to the UK and studying here was an intellectual adventure for me. When I came to Warwick to study International Relations MA, I was immersed in a diverse intellectual community, where I continued to broadened my horizon. The diversity here is to be celebrated as it makes Warwick what it is. We learn in an advanced, very high standard educational environment and we socialize in the variety of relaxing venues on campus and off campus; we've got the best of both worlds. The seminars by experts every week have been a great bonus to further our understanding on particular subject matters. For me it was such a privilege to study under the provision of great scholars such as Prof. Peter Burnell.

Among the many great memories I will have for many years to come is attending a class where all of us, about 15, are from 14 different countries. I appreciate Warwick for giving me the world in a classroom, to hear ideas, to interpret the world’s ill in different angle and learn to get rid of my box and think worldly. In our classroom, we all spoke the language of the world and I believe that political leaders of our days can learn something from us- if students from 14 different countries with different identities can sit around a table and agree on issues or the very least learn something from each other then why can’t they."

- Yeabsira Zewde, MA International Relations 2013-14

Read more student profiles