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Masters in International Relations

Masters in International Relations

With a rapid increase in the global connectedness and the interdependent nature of the modern world, it has become imperative to understand international relations. A masters in international relations degree can equip you with the proper knowledge to become a responsible global citizen and comprehend contemporary international politics.

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Moreover, the master’s curriculum covers a broad variety of topics such as history, culture, and economics, with equal emphasis on theoretical and practical learning. The program will help students develop their analytical and communication skills, enabling them to partake in meaningful policy debates.

Masters in International relations scope

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Types of Masters in International Relations

Types of International relations degrees

A master’s in international relations can be obtained as a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MSc). Many universities try to adopt a dynamic approach to teaching this program and explore the different areas that the program can be paired with.

For instance, many international universities are exploring how local politics, law and market forces overlap with international relations.

There are also many specialised courses offered under the banner of international relations. These include MSc in Public Policy, MA in Global/International affairs, MA in International Policy, MSc in Terrorism etc.

Top Universities for Masters in International Relations

1. London School of Economics
Course: M.Sc. International Relations 

London School of Economics offers one of the most prestigious international relations programs. The student cohort consists of over 140 nationalities, and the school has over 200 student clubs and societies. While studying the core courses in detail, you have the unique option of focusing on a specific region like Africa, Asia, Europe or the Middle East. LSE, along with Peking University (PKU), offers a chance to pursue a double M.Sc. degree and study international relations of the Asia Pacific region. At the end of the course, students will get a law degree from PKU and an M.Sc. degree from LSE. 

2. Australian National University (ANU)
Course: Master of International Relations

Australian National University offers a Master of International Relations program that lasts for two years. The program provided at ANU lays particular emphasis on understanding the dynamics of international relations of the Asia Pacific region. ANU has also been rated as Australia’s top university due to its high placement rate.

3. King’s College London
Course: International Relations MA

King’s College is one of the most reputed colleges in London. It offers a one-year masters in international relations program that focuses on a research-based training approach towards the subject. King’s College alumni are a part of various charities like green peace and Amnesty International, and various non-governmental organisations like the U.N., NATO etc.  This valuable network of alumni can help the new students navigate the field and enjoy the advantages of the university’s prime location. A student must have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (at least 67%) in related fields like economics, history or political science. 

4. The University of Sydney 

Course: Master of International Relations

The University of Sydney is the number one college in Australia for undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses. The university also stands at the 23rd position for top colleges in humanities in the world, according to Q.S World University rankings, 2021. The duration of a Master of International Relations at The University of Sydney can range from one to two years, depending on the applicant’s previous qualifications and experience in the field. Although the applicants can apply for a reduced volume of learning if they have a diploma in international relations or a graduate degree with honours in social sciences, humanities or law. Furthermore, the university provides students with a unique opportunity to build their research capacity with the help of a compulsory Capstone project.

5. University of Melbourne

Course: Master of International Relations

The University of Melbourne offers an excellent two year Masters program in International Relations. The program focuses on building essential theoretical skills in the international political economy and governance. It also allows students to learn through practical experiences by being a part of an optional internship program. It also offers various exchange programs for students to upskill themselves and have a truly enriching experience. The alumni of the University of Melbourne are a part of global organisations like The European Commission, Australia Broadcasting Corporation and Department of Foreign Affairs. The University of Melbourne also offers a double degree program with the American University in Washington D.C. This enables the students to get a degree in Maters of International Service from American University. Not to mention, students have a unique opportunity to study at both these universities and experience the student life of Australia and the USA.

6. Leiden University

Course: International Relations (MA)

The International Relations Program offered by Leiden University is unique mainly because of its humanities-based approach towards international relations and its one of a kind curriculum that offers five specialisations. Additionally, the experienced faculty members belong to a wide range of backgrounds like history, economics, linguistics, sociology etc. and strongly believe in taking an interdisciplinary approach to teaching international relations.

7. New York University (GSAS)

Course: MA in International Relations

Masters in international relations is offered by the graduate school of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at New York University, which was ranked at number 7 in ‘Best international politics programs’. Students studying at GSAS also have the unique opportunity to tailor the curriculum according to their interests and experience a multi-disciplinary approach to international relations. Furthermore, they have a chance to explore important research conducted by Stern School of Business and NYU Law. 

8. University of Essex

Course: MA International Relations

The University of Essex offers one of the most prestigious international relations programs in Europe that focuses on balancing historical discussions along with understanding contemporary global events. It is a top-rated research university in the U.K. and has a prolific politics department that has received the prestigious Regius Professorship. Additionally, the university also offers an opportunity to attain a double degree in politics or economics with its partner universities in Germany and Japan. Students will establish a diverse approach to different global problems using the experience and skills acquired.   

9. Central European University

Course: MA in international relations

Central European University offers two programs in Masters in International Relations. The one year program focuses on a dynamic approach to understanding issues related to the global economy. The two-year program is mainly for the students who had taken a three-year undergraduate program and are interested in a thorough masters program.

10. Johns Hopkins University

Course: Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR)

Johns Hopkins University is located in Washington D.C. and offers a two-year program Masters program in International Relations. The university has recently redesigned its curriculum to provide more flexibility to the students and help them make the best of this program. Students are now required to take up six compulsory core courses and then customise their curriculum accordingly with the ten remaining courses.

 

 

Application procedure

The application process is relatively simple, and the candidates can apply through the official website of their preferred university. You can visit the website and search for the international relations program under the graduate/postgraduate tab. Some universities might have a different name for the program, so make sure you go through the course details to see if it is the right program for you. Once you have found the program you wish to apply for, you can go through the application deadlines, eligibility criteria, and the curriculum.

If the program offers everything that you are looking for and aligns with your future goals, you can go ahead and look for the ‘Apply Now’ option and enter your details to create a student login account on the website. After that, you need to upload the necessary documents like your transcripts, resume, letter of recommendation, and a personal essay may be required. 

Course Structure

The Master in International Relations might be offered as a one or two-year postgraduate program, depending upon the country. It can also be alternatively known as a masters in global affairs in many universities worldwide. The core courses and electives offered in Masters of International relations may vary depending upon the type of university and the duration of the program. Here is a general list of core modules, electives and specialisations to give you an overview of the course:

Core Courses

International Politics
International Law enforcement
Comparative Politics
International Political Economy
Theories in International Relations
International security
International Relations Theory
Evolution of the International System
Global Ethics
Researching International Relations: Curiosity, Methods and Ethics in the Study of Global Politics

Electives

Human Rights
Globalisation and the State in Developing Countries
Conflict and Terrorism
Gender/ed/ing International Politics
Migration and People Movement
Global Environmental Politics
Genocide, State Crime and the Law
Genocide
Sovereignty, Justice, Indigenous Peoples
Economic Diplomacy
Terror, Law and War
Conflict and Peace-building
Organised Crime and Human Trafficking
Global Health Security
Foreign Policy Analysis

Specialisations

World Affairs
International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
Peace and Conflict Studies
International Governance
International Political Economy
Foreign Policy Analysis
International Security

Entry requirements

Masters in International relations entry requirements

To be eligible to apply for a masters in international relations program, you must have an undergraduate degree in the field of humanities or social sciences. Some programs may require you to have a 2:1 degree or equivalent in specific areas like politics, history, international relations or a field similar to any of these disciplines.

Although the eligibility requirements vary in different countries, and some universities may also require a minimum work experience in a field related to the program. They might also need you to have a certain GPA (67% or above) to be eligible for this knowledge-intensive program and, in some cases, a minimum GRE score as proof of your verbal reasoning ability.

If you apply to English-speaking countries abroad, you need to take an English proficiency test like TOEFL or IELTS and get a minimum score, depending upon the university requirements, to be eligible for the postgraduate program. In addition to providing supporting documents like official transcripts, CV, references etc., the applicants will also need to submit a statement of either academic purpose or a personal statement expressing their interest in this particular program.

Fee Structure

S.no. University Fees
1 London School of Economics $35,565
2

Australian National University 

$46,910
3

King’s College London

$39,338
4

The University of Sydney 

$46,000
5

University of Melbourne 

$45,551
6

Leiden University

$21,133
7

New York University (GSAS)

$80,000
8

University of Essex 

$26,507
9

Central European University 

$14,575
10

Johns Hopkins

$59,622

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Scope of double degree

International-relations

Many international universities are coming up with innovative double degree courses at the graduate level. This is mainly being done to help students augment their growth in more than one subject. Moreover, the opportunity of pursuing a double degree inevitably opens up a variety of unconventional routes for graduates and help them gain deeper insight into the codependent relationship between various fields. Pursuing a dual degree, especially in the field of international relations, is highly imperative to get a deeper understanding of the global scenario and conduct valuable academic research.

For instance, top universities like the London School of Economics and Peking University have come together to provide students with a genuinely global experience by allowing them to pursue their double degree in two different parts of the world. Therefore, it is generally advised that students pair an international relations degree with a related field like business, politics, law, conflict resolution, etc.

Application procedure

The application process is relatively simple, and the candidates can apply through the official website of their preferred university. You can visit the website and search for the international relations program under the graduate/postgraduate tab. Some universities might have a different name for the program, so make sure you go through the course details to see if it is the right program for you. Once you have found the program you wish to apply for, you can go through the application deadlines, eligibility criteria, and the curriculum.

If the program offers everything that you are looking for and aligns with your future goals, you can go ahead and look for the ‘Apply Now’ option and enter your details to create a student login account on the website. After that, you need to upload the necessary documents like your transcripts, resume, letter of recommendation, and a personal essay may be required. 

Key skills gained

A masters in international relations can help you acquire the professional skills to deal with human rights, peacekeeping between nations, public policies, human trafficking, war and terror-related activities, nuclear proliferation etc. Through its research-intensive curriculum, it will allow you to hone your analytical skills and be more articulate while putting forth your argument. It will undoubtedly assist you in improving your communication skills and better understand foreign policies and their repercussions.

Career opportunities

International relations graduates can be employed in either the public or private sector. In the public sector, they will have the opportunity to be a part of various advisory groups at the national level and also be an integral part of ministries. They can also become relations consultants for a variety of non-governmental organizations. Here are some responsibilities that graduates of International relations can take up

1. Further research

The governments of various countries offer many research programs for graduates in international relations. You can continue with your research work by being a part of a junior research program that can eventually make you eligible for taking up an assistant professor position at reputed universities.

2. Civil services 

You can also take up a variety of competitive exams and be a part of the civil services. This will give you the chance to represent your country at international forums and start constructive discussions.

3. Diplomacy 

A degree in international relations will assist you in becoming a diplomat and representing your country’s interests in global issues. His responsibility is to act as a mediator between his country’s government and foreign officials and facilitate strategic agreements, treaties and friendly relations.

4. Non-governmental organizations

With extensive knowledge about international relations and peacekeeping, a graduate in international relations can also work as a social activist for various NGOs. You can utilize your expertise and resources to uplift others and bring about significant changes on a national scale.

5. Law

With the help of excellent negotiation skills learned from the masters in international relations, you can take up the position of an international lawyer and mediate disputes between different countries.

6. International organizations

Pursuing a masters in international relations will help you develop the necessary competencies to be a part of international organizations like the World Economic Forum, World Health Organization and The United Nations.

7. Policy analysis 

You can also work for the government to modify various public policies and identify political issues through intensive research. A degree in international relations will also make you capable of giving sound political advice to leaders regarding international relations.

Conclusion

A masters in international relations can be challenging due to the constantly changing economic situation and evolving points of view. It will not only help you gain in-depth subject-related knowledge but aid your holistic development by improving your public speaking skills and providing you with the know-how to tackle negotiations and advocate conflict resolution. After completing the program, you would be able to think critically and solve problems effectively. These skills will come in handy even if you wish to change your career field altogether in the future.

International relations programs offered abroad cover a diverse range of areas and allow you to study in a multicultural environment. Before choosing a program, ensure that you thoroughly check the curriculum as different colleges tend to take different approaches. Some might offer more research-focused courses, while others may offer some project work along with that. You need to choose the program that will accelerate your growth by catering to your individual needs, which will help you actualise your future goals. 

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