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International Relations (MA) (2022 Entry)

About this taught graduate course

Course overview

This programme will tackle the ‘big’ issues facing global decision-makers such as: war, terrorism, (in)security, environmental degradation, climate change, pandemics, poverty, and inequality, among others.

Traditionally, the discipline of International Relations (IR) 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 state-system. However, the end of the Cold War and other currents in IR have exposed the limitations of this approach, highlighting a need for the inclusion of non-traditional concerns, i.e., things that would normally be outside the remit of ‘orthodox’ IR.

On this programme, you will learn what theory is and what it means to theorise; the key theoretical approaches in IR from Realism to Postcolonialism; and how to understand and apply these theories to historical and contemporary issues. Ultimately, students are equipped to evaluate theoretical positions in the light of pressing issues in contemporary political life.


General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.

Visit our PAIS web pages for department-specific advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.

Postgraduate FAQs (PAIS specific)

Postgraduate FAQs (General)


English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.


Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Theories and Issues in International Relations

This module provides an introduction to International Relations (IR) theory; to the key ideas and approaches that scholars working in the discipline use to understand and explain issues and practices of international politics. The module aims to familiarise students with the key theoretical approaches in IR and to make theory accessible and understandable. This is done via both an analysis of the key theoretical approaches to IR and by examining their insights and limitations through the study of key issues and themes in international relations, and by considering relevant case studies.

International Relations theorising draws from a wide diversity of intellectual sources and its scope is not limited by the narrow confines of the empirics of interstate behaviour. Firstly, IR theories draw from disciplines other than Politics, including philosophy, sociology and economics. Secondly, some of the theoretical literature is explicitly critical about the adequacy of particular theoretical approaches and seeks to deconstruct the role of theory and the theorist in IR, rather than just elaborate and apply existing theories; the module transcends theory through engaging with metatheoretical and philosophical questions. IR theory is not confined to academia. Policymakers and practitioners of world politics are also informed by and reproduce particular theoretical understandings of the way the world works even if they do not specifically recognise or present them as such. Finally, through welcoming a diversity of (unorthodox) perspectives, it becomes possible to even argue that we are all theorists and that we all theorise.


Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Examining Rising World Powers
  • International Relations and Security of the Middle East
  • The Global Politics of Nuclear Weapons

The optional module lists are updated regularly.

You may select up to 40 CATS (normally two modules) from a list of specialist modules for this course, and a further 40-80 CATS from our extensive range of optional modules for a total of 120 CATS of taught modules.

Teaching

Modules are taught via one 2-hour seminar per week. Every seminar will be based on extensive guided reading you will do each week, but there is no strict pattern to how sessions are run. This may include mini-lectures followed by discussion, Q&A sessions, organised debates, peer presentations, policy briefs, small group work, and other projects.

You can also choose to study part-time with us. Find out more about part-time study on our PAIS web pages.


Class sizes

Normally a maximum of 18 per seminar group in PAIS delivered modules.


Typical contact hours

6 hours of Seminars per week for 9 weeks in Terms One and Two plus advice and feedback hours when requested and Dissertation supervision in Terms Two and Three.


Assessment

Assessment methods include research essays and other (written) assignments throughout the year, culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation at the end.


Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.


Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules in a module pre-registration process about which you will receive information at the beginning of September.

Your career

Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Action Aid; World Bank; UN agencies; UK and other universities; Deloitte; Japan Ministry of Defence; Nationwide Building Society; and the UK Cabinet Office. They have pursued roles such as: communications officers for major INGOs, business and financial project management professionals; economists; finance officers; policy analysts and public services associate professionals.

Our Department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Your future awaits - the many things you can do after your degree in the PAIS Department
  • Careers in Government and Politics
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • After your PAIS Master’s – What Next?
  • Assessment Centres and Interviews: an overview of what to expect for PAIS students

Politics and International Studies at Warwick

Join an innovative, creative and passionate department with a lively and interactive culture. Stretch and challenge yourself with the support of friendly staff and your peers.

Find out more about us on our website.


Our Postgraduate courses

Double Degrees

Our Double Degree programmes allow you to study a Warwick MA programme for one year as well as a Masters programme at a partner university.

Learn more about our Double Degrees.


Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees


Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.


Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Funding routes available

Find out about the many different funding routes available for postgraduate study at Warwick.

PAIS Funding Opportunities

Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available in our department.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

Taught course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.

Research course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

Applicant Portal

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Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Postgraduate Open Day

Our Postgraduate Virtual Open Day will help you find out more about your course of interest, as well as general topics like applying to Warwick, accommodation, careers and funding.
Please register your interest to be the first to hear when booking opens.

Postgraduate fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.

Find out more

Live chats

Every week, you can connect directly with representatives from Warwick, who will be answering your questions on applying to and studying postgraduate studies at Warwick.

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Departmental events

Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.

See our online departmental events

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