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MA in International Relations

Educational aims of the programme
The programme is innovative and challenging because it provides a multidisciplinary approach to examining international relations. The programme will critically engage with theoretical approaches to International Relations in order to better understand the world.
To further aid understanding of the world, the programme will critically examine in-depth issues of enduring international significance, including: conflict, the role of multilateral institutions, US foreign policy, state-building in the colonial and post-colonial world, and the role of humanitarian actions by state and non-state actors. The programme will enable students to carry out original and independent research through developing research methodologies appropriate to the study of International Relations.

Target award Learning Outcomes - Master of Arts
A student successfully completing the programme of study will have acquired the following subject knowledge and understanding as well as skills and other attributes.
A student who is eligible for this award will be able to:
1. Display a critical awareness of political, historical and legal aspects of international relations.
2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of debates that inform an appreciation of International Relations,International Relations theory and related subjects.
3. Draw upon knowledge of the ways in which theories and concepts have developed in particular contexts in their assessment of relevant issues and debates.
4. Demonstrate a detailed and critically informed knowledge and understanding of the role and contribution of state and non-state actors in shaping international politics.
5. Display an ability to critically reflect upon their research and, if relevant, professional practice.
6. Engage critically with theories and concepts relating to International Relations and put them to productive use.
7. Consider and critically evaluate their own work in a reflexive manner with reference to academic and/or professional issues, debates and conventions.
8. Develop substantive and detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more designated areas of the field(s).
9. Engage with new and emerging forms and arguments, drawing upon a variety of professional and academic skills.
10. Conduct advanced forms of research for essays, projects, or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry.
11. Propose, design, conduct and present sustained independent research at an advanced level that will demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of International Relations related issues.
12. Understand the limits of the major research methods associated with the study of International Relations, and be able to apply this knowledge critically to their own work.
13. Appreciate how diverse audiences and communities engage in the discussion of International Relations at local, regional, national and international levels.
14. Manage time and resources effectively, by drawing on planning and organisational skills.
15. Work in a flexible and independent way, showing self-discipline and reflexivity.
16. Plan and implement tasks in a professional manner.
17. Retrieve and generate information, and critically evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research.
18. Communicate ideas at an advanced level, deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and adapting a problem-solving approach demonstrating professionalism.

Important Notice:

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the university's approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application


Unicaf offers a flexible rolling admissions model with multiple start dates for each programme throughout the year
15/01, 19/02/, 18/03,15/4, 20/5, 17/6,15/7, 19/8, 16/9, 14/10, 18/11 and 16/12.

*Start dates for university programmes may be subject to change. Students are advised to regularly check their student profile for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding programme commencement dates.

Duration: 2 - 5 years

Study mode: Online learning

Financing: Scholarships Available

Programme Pathway
Foundation Courses
Name Code
Induction Module LJMU-IND-M-100
Postgraduate Certificate Level
Name Code
Understanding International Relations LJMU-7500-IRUIC
The War/Peace Cycle LJMU-7503-IRUIC
International Human Rights Law LJMU-7527-UNICAF
Postgraduate Diploma Level
Name Code
Research Methods for International Relations LJMU-7501-IRUIC
Conflict and Warfare in International Law LJMU-7526-UNICAF
War and Peace in Africa since 1990 LJMU-7504-IRUIC
Postgraduate Award Level
Name Code
Research Project in International Relations LJMU-7502-IRUIC

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for admission are:

  • An accredited UK Honours degree with minimum 2.2 classification or international equivalent. Some professional qualifications may also be acceptable. Extensive professional experience may also be considered in exceptional cases.
  • Official transcripts from all universities, colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended.
  • English Proficiency: IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of at least 6.0 (and no individual component lower than 5.5) or equivalent English language qualifications. Students who do not hold the above English language qualifications are required to take the online Academic English Placement Test. This is an IELTS-type test (Reading & Writing) where an overall score of 6.0 (with no individual component lower than 5.5) is required.
  • Personal Statement (minimum 500 words) explaining how the programme of study will benefit the student’s career progression.
  • Up to date CV
  • Two references (academic or professional) listed on CV stating referee’s full name, contact details, and relationship to the applicant.

Applications from non-standard applicants are welcome and will be considered individually.

* Entry requirements may vary depending on the programme of study.

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