International Relations (MSc)

This programme gives a broad assessment of contemporary international relations. It integrates theoretical approaches with the study of many cases and issues. It also explores the ways in which the line between the domestic and international is blurred by trade, financial, environmental, strategic, ideological, cultural and ethical issues.

The programme promotes a close-knit student community with easy access to members of staff who all give a high priority to teaching and supervision while maintaining high-quality, high-volume research.

The MSc programme comprises six 12-week taught units and six assessed essays, followed by a dissertation.

Core units

  • International Political Economy
  • International Security
  • Theories of International Relations

Optional units

You will choose three optional units from a selection offered by the School for Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS). Below is an example of topics that may be offered. Options vary each year but may include:

  • Conflict, Security and Development
  • Gender and Development
  • Managing and Evaluating Development
  • Development Skills in Practice
  • Environmental Politics
  • Masculinities and IR
  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Research Methods
  • Military and militarisation
  • Discourse Analysis
  • US Security Policy
  • International Human Rights
  • Sino-US relations in global politics
  • Politics of Genocide
  • Japan and East Asia
  • East Asia, Europe and Global Integration
  • China’s International Relations
  • European Security
  • The Politics of Insecurity
  • Nuclear insecurity
  • Theories of Violence
  • Understanding Popular Culture in/and World Politics

A list of possible units is available on the SPAIS website.

Third term

Independent study for dissertation.

An upper-second class honours degree or international equivalent.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Students of our MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.

Many sectors – such as the civil service, NGOs and charity work – require an MSc and some volunteer/internship experience. Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for Refugee UK, Shelter, Barnardos, Oxfam, Amnesty International, government departments and the European Parliament, among others.

Further details can be found on our careers and alumni website.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees

UK/EU
£7,400
Overseas
£15,700

Part-time fees

UK/EU
£3,700

Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

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