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Global Affairs MSc

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The MSc Global Affairs examines the politics, society, economics and history of the world’s non-western, regional and rising powers and their role within a changing world order.

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Key Benefits

  • The MSc Global Affairs is a unique course that looks at the world from the perspective of non-western regions, and critically examines the connections between the local and the global.
  • You will develop an in-depth and multi-disciplinary understanding of the politics, society, economics and history of at least two of the following countries and/or world regions: Brazil, China, India, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
  • You will gain hands-on experience of designing and executing an independent research project on a global subject – either a dissertation with research methods training or capstone project alongside specialised policy-oriented micromodules.
  • With a flexible curriculum, the course allows you to develop the kinds of specialist regional knowledge (including the possibility of learning a language), research skills and awareness of yourself as a global citizen that are valued by employers, policy-makers and scholars in a fast-changing world.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration full-time: One year, part-time: two years

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Course leaders

Course director: Dr Louise Tillin
Admissions tutor: Dr Anastasia Piliavsky

Further details

Course contact for further information Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department African Leadership Centre India Institute Lau China Institute



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Course detail


Our course is designed to enable you to develop an advanced understanding of the politics, society, economy and history of non-western countries, regions and rising powers, including via comparative analysis. The course allows you to build regional specialisation, alongside a consideration of cross-cutting and transnational issues in global affairs. With a firm focus on regions beyond Western Europe and North America, this course offers a truly global perspective on the changing world.

Course purpose


Course format and assessment


We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment. 

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

A typical 15 credit module involves 20 hours of lectures and/or seminars, plus 130 hours of self-study to prepare for classes and assignments. A typical 30 credit module involves 20-30 hours of lectures/seminars plus 270 hours of self-guided or group-based learning/project work. The dissertation module involves five hours of dissertation supervision and approximately 595 hours of self-guided learning while researching and writing the dissertation. The capstone project will involve 30 hours of lectures/ tutorials, 18 hours of project work, and 52 hours of self-guided or group-based learning.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary methods of assessment for this course are:

  • Most 15-credit modules are assessed through a combination of essays, other written and oral exercises such as policy papers, multi-media presentation and writing/data based exercises. Some may involve exams.
  • The dissertation module will be assessed on the basis of the dissertation (12,000 words).
  • The capstone project will be assessed on the basis of a group research report (c 4,000 words per person), individual policy paper (6000 words) and an individual action appeal. 

Regulating Body

King's College London is regulated by the Office for Students. 


Year 1

Required Modules

Courses are divided into modules, and students on this course take modules totaling 180 credits.

You are required to take the following modules:

  • Introduction to Global Affairs (30 credits)

You are also required to take either:

  • Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Research Methods (15 credits) 


  • Global Affairs Capstone Project (60 credits)
  • Plus 3 x 5 credit online modules offered by the International School for Government – these may typically include Approaches to Policy Making, Communications, Media and Public Policy, Learning what Works (Evaluation), and Robust Decision-Making under Deep Uncertainty (total: capstone project plus three online modules = 75 credits)

You are also required to take 30 credits from a range of regional introductory modules that may typically include the following:

  • Contemporary Brazil (15 credits)
  • Contemporary India (15 credits)
  • China & the Age of Globalisation (15 credits)
  • Russia & the EU (15 credits)
  • African Issues in Global Affairs (15 credits)
  • Politics and Economics of the Middle East (15 credits)


Optional Modules

In addition, students take 45 credits from a range of optional modules (subject to availability) that may typically include:

  • India in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • Religion & Politics in India and Pakistan (15 credits)
  • China & Global Governance (15 credits)
  • Contemporary Chinese Politics (15 credits)
  • Politics of Energy Security in Eurasia (15 credits)
  • Power & Social Conflict in Russia (15 credits)
  • Latin America Development in Historical Perspective (15 credits)
  • Culture and Identity in Brazil: Contradictions of Modernity (15 credits)
  • Divided Cities, Contested States: Urban Violence & Transformation in the Middle East (15 credits)
  • Political Economy of Authoritarianism in the Middle East (15 credits)
  • The State & Development in Africa & Asia (15 credits)
  • Emerging Powers in Global Leadership (15 credits)
  • Environment and Global Health (15 credits)
  • Governing Complex Societies (15 credits)
  • Many other modules offered by the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy
  • Language modules offered by the Modern Language Centre (which may include Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian). Language modules can also be taken for additional credit (15 credits)

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for update.


Entry requirements & how to apply

Minimum requirements 2:1

Minimum Upper Second (2.1) in, but not confined to, Politics, IR, Area Studies, History, Geography, Anthropology, Liberal Arts, PPE or Modern Languages.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered: 

Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £23,460 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,730 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for:  

  • books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • library fees and fines 
  • personal photocopies 
  • printing course handouts 
  • society membership fees 
  • stationery 
  • travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • graduation costs

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

MSc Global Affairs graduates will have a wide range of career options including in further academic research, consultancy, NGOs, government and international organisations, media and publishing, business, finance and investment.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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