Course specification and structure
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PMINTRLN - MA International Relations

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University, Plekhanov Russian University of Trade and Economic
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Politics and International Relations
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS 6 YEARS
Part-time 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course seeks to offer a rounded view of the development and operation of the international system that encompasses the interconnecting worlds of international politics, law and economics. Thus, students are offered a set of modules covering international relations theory, international politics and the development of states, international law and legal institutions as well as security studies. In addition, there is an opportunity to focus on specific areas or actors within international politics. There are modules covering US foreign policy, the developing issues of ‘human security’ as well as human rights. Finally, the dissertation component offers students an opportunity to formulate a research question relating to international relations and globalisation processes, and to seek to answer it through a sustained piece of analysis.

Course aims

The MA is designed with two main ambitions in mind: first, to equip students who do not necessarily have an undergraduate background in International Relations with the capacity for independent research and reflection on contemporary international relations and with the competences necessary for pursuing a wide variety of careers related to international relations; second, to offer a programme which is not confined to the study of international politics, but offers students a grounding in international law as well and thus enables them to engage in interdisciplinary work.

Our intention is that the MA will enable our students to combine their understanding of the core modules of the MA (international relations and international law) in interdisciplinary research – a wider and more inclusive framework for understanding international relations and one which corresponds more closely to the interconnectedness of the real world. This approach is signalled in the word ‘interdisciplinary’ in our MA title. And it accounts for the interdisciplinary and policy-oriented character of many of the options offered on the MA.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in International Relations

2. Apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in International Relations

3. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in International Relations

4. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses

5. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

6. Exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level

7. Advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level

8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations

9. Learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

GI7028
GI7012
GI7007
GI7064
GI7P12
GI7010
GI7069
GI7073
GI7076
GI7047

Learning Outcomes cover LO1-9

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed by a mix of methods, including essays, unseen examinations, presentations, a research design project, a regional report and a 15,000 word dissertation. Different modules have different mixes. A diversity of assessment is regarded as intrinsically desirable.

Formative Assessment Opportunities are also available throughout the programme as all staff are available to provide feedback on written drafts and engage with students during seminars and office hours thereby directly supporting students in enhancing the quality of their summative assessments. In the case of the Dissertation, students are allocated with a supervisor early during the programme who engages with individual students throughout the research and writing phases. Students are provided with timely feedback on their assessments in line with University guidelines. This ensures that they remain well informed of their ongoing progress and forthcoming responsibilities.

Extra classes are arranged for all students to further their understanding of skills necessary to ensure good academic practice. Library sessions detailing university research and database resources provide relevant and current information on research facilities within the university and elsewhere in London. Dedicated dissertation classes build on this information and also provide students with vital information on conducting research and writing lengthy academic papers.

Further advice on good academic practice and discussions on relevant subject-specific literature are carried out by staff within the classroom. Documents pertaining to good academic practice such as avoiding plagiarism are disseminated to all students and available on WebLearn sites.

All students are required to submit assignments via relevant WebLearn sites through Turnitin. These are marked and made available to second markers and external examiners in all cases and all students are informed of these procedures through module discussions as well as during induction undertaken by the Course Leader.

Modules required for interim awards

Please specify if there are any combinations of modules that a student is required to take to gain either the highest level of award or one of the interim awards listed in section 3.

For Masters award – see course structure
PG Diploma: all class-taught core modules plus two optional modules.
PG Certificate: three modules, not including elective, of which at least two must be core.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The course is designed to enable students to appreciate a critical approach to knowledge and understanding whereby ideas relevant to international relations are examined in a reflective manner that promotes linkages between the various modules. The Core (GI7028), for instance, introduces students to a variety of theoretical approaches to International Relations which can then be used to reflect on the subject matter in the other of the modules. Practically, students are confronted with particular interests, problems, conflicts, structures and processes of international relations which demand judgment as well as reflection. The MA in International Relations explores a wide variety of issues that require such judgment both in its modes of assessment as well as in seminar presentations and discussion.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

This is a valuable course for those planning careers as diplomats, journalists, and officials in international organisations, and also for those with career paths in the voluntary and private sectors. Those working for government departments may find the MA a useful route to enhanced promotion or a move into foreign office work.

Students wishing to move into international relations-related work or change careers may also benefit from the course.

Some of our graduates have also gone on to teach international relations or onto further academic study.

Career opportunities

Students who have taken this course have progressed to an array of careers ranging from the public sector, through NGOs to international companies. The course has proven particularly beneficial for those who are seeking work in organisations operating in a transnational environment.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • an undergraduate degree of second class honours or above in a relevant discipline

Candidates with other qualifications may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L250 (International Relations): 100%
Route code INTRLN

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7012 International Law and International Order Core 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
GI7028 Theory and Research Methods in International Re... Core 20 NORTH AUT WED EV
GI7P12 International Relations Dissertation Core 60 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  
GI7007 The Evolution of the Modern Inter-State System  Option 20 NORTH AUT THU PM
GI7010 Human Rights and the International Order Option 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
GI7047 American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century Option 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
GI7064 International Conflict Resolution Option 20 NORTH AUT MON PM
GI7069 Security Studies Option 20 NORTH AUT TUE PM
GI7073 Human Security Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM
GI7076 Religion and International Relations Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI7012 International Law and International Order Core 20 NORTH SPR WED EV
GI7028 Theory and Research Methods in International Re... Core 20        
GI7P12 International Relations Dissertation Core 60 NORTH SPR NA  
GI7007 The Evolution of the Modern Inter-State System  Option 20        
GI7010 Human Rights and the International Order Option 20 NORTH SPR MON EV
GI7047 American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century Option 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
GI7064 International Conflict Resolution Option 20        
GI7069 Security Studies Option 20        
GI7073 Human Security Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM
GI7076 Religion and International Relations Option 20 NORTH SPR THU PM