To provide students with the capacity to engage critically with the literature in the field of international relations and the ways in which this literature interprets the empirical world of global politics.
The MA in International Relations provides an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the forces shaping the world and of the challenges that these pose both to individual states and to the international community. The movement of monies and peoples, the emergence of network organisations that transcend state boundaries, the impact of a global media and information technology, the rise of identity politics, regional integration, as well as warfare on a global scale have all had a transformative impact on the state, inter-state relations and global politics more widely conceived.
The programme provides students with advanced training in the conceptual and theoretical debates within international relations and an awareness of a comprehensive range of approaches relevant to the study of global politics. Students develop an appreciation of the historical development of the discipline, from one concerned primarily with war in the international system to one that has a wider remit concerned with the social, economic, and political aspects of international relations in a globalised era.
Students have the opportunity to engage with contemporary thought in the social sciences and humanities and its use in unravelling the dynamics of change in social and political relations. The aim is always to provide students with the capacity to engage critically with the literature in the field of international relations and the ways in which this literature interprets the empirical world of global politics.
The programme is structured so that students specialise in the field of international relations and its discourses and also concentrate on those aspects of global politics that interest them most. In addition to core courses devoted to a specialisation in international relations, students have a range of optional courses to choose from. These reflect the research interests of staff in the department and provide students with the opportunity to engage with research in their chosen areas.
This programme is designed to have broad ranging appeal to those interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in the field of international relations and conflict studies. Those who may find this programme of particular interest include graduates in political science, history, international relations, economics, those who have experience in the development field and those who have worked with international organisations.
The International Relations Programme Director is the principal researcher in the field of ethics and human rights at the Centre for International Relations (CIR), one of the research centres in the Department of War Studies. Suggested reading
- John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens, The Globalization of World Politics, 4th edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).
- Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society, 3rd edn (New York: Columbia University Press)
- Hans Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, (McGraw-Hill, 1992)
- Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (McGraw-Hill, 1979)
- Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
- Mervyn Frost, Global Ethics: anarchy, freedom & international relations (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2009).
Please note that where there has been more than one edition of a text, the most recent is suggested here. If you cannot obtain the most recent edition, earlier editions can be used.
Dr Ruth Deyermond
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
One year FT, two years PT, September to September.
Whilst this is not a vocational programme, students on MA programmes in the department have gone on to build careers in: further academic research, NGOs, Civil Service, NATO, UN, media and publishing, finance and investment, teaching, and the armed forces.
Year of entry 2013