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Master’s in International Relations

Many schools across the globe offer rigorous Master degree programs in International Relations. These programs generally focus on contemporary issues and situations, with a proportionately smaller portion of coursework dedicated to historical developments. The curriculum strives to foster a deep understanding of today’s political problems and concerns on the international level. Some programs also include skill-focused courses that allow students to put their theoretical knowledge to practical use.

What Is a Master’s in International Relations?

A Master’s in International Relations is a graduate-level program that focuses on analyzing the different aspects of international relations today. Courses may cover specific facets such as economy, international law and security. Other coursework may focus on international relations in a particular geographic region. Many programs also allow students to specialise in an area of particular interest. Foundational courses in an International Relations program may include:

  • Concepts in International Affairs
  • History and Policy
  • Overview of International Economics
  • International Trade Theory

Other courses that students will take generally belong to one of several major concentration areas. These often consist of:

  • Nuclear Policy
  • International Law
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Global Health
  • International Development
  • Global Economy
  • Energy and Environmental Issues
  • International Security
  • International Affairs and Technology

Other fields of study within an International Relations program may include examining developments and issues in specific regions.

The International Relations coursework is designed to prepare its graduates to understand the mechanics and principles of international affairs. Students may study related topics such as sociology, economics, political science, business and law in order to more fully understand these aspects of international relations. Many programs also require students to gain proficiency in speaking and reading in a modern foreign language.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in International Relations?

Completing a Master’s program in International Relations enables graduates to gain a full and nuanced understanding of the many issues facing the global community today. As advances in communication technology continue to contribute to a greater sense of globalisation, an awareness of the global arena is increasingly vital to many spheres of endeavor.

The skill-focused portion of the International Relations curriculum imparts skills that are essential in any field, not just International Relations. Students learn the principles of effective negotiations, the techniques of international business management and sophisticated approaches to data analysis.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in International Relations?

International Relations Master’s graduates often go on to work in one of the many fields connected to global activity. Many find employment with multinational businesses in positions such as:

  • Policy analyst
  • Trade analyst
  • Finance forecaster
  • International development manager
  • International spokesperson
  • International legal analyst
  • International accounting and taxation specialist

Others choose to work with various non-profit organisations, helping to promote endeavors that include:

  • Healthcare outreach and education
  • Human rights activism
  • Gender equality activism
  • Micro-lending and small business development
  • Educational outreach
  • Youth programs
  • Environmental protection
  • Refugee aid

International Relations graduates also work with government branches including security and defense, armed forces, diplomatic corps, intelligence and policy development.

University of Southampton

Southampton, United Kingdom

  • 70SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,820Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

University of Southampton (Southampton) is a public institution located along the University Road in Southampton, United Kingdom. Southampton offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its five academic faculties namely: Arts and Humanities; Engineering and Physical Sciences; Environmental and Life Sciences; Medicine; and Social Sciences....

University of Buckingham

Buckingham, United Kingdom

  • 92SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 19,537Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of Buckingham (UB) is one of UK’S oldest private universities located in the city of Buckingham, England. Through its 14 academic schools, the university offers master’s programs in a wide variety of disciplines....

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin 2, Ireland

  • 115SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,406Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is located in Dublin, Ireland. Situated in the multicultural European Capital, TCD offers undergraduate courses in a wide range of disciplines that come under the faculties of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Health Sciences. ...

University of Chester

Chester, United Kingdom

  • 120SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,424Average Tuition
  • 65%Acceptance Rate

The University of Chester is one of the oldest universities in the UK. Founded in 1839, it is a public university situated in Chester, England. The University has dedicated faculties, through which it delivers master’s degree programs to local and international students. ...

St Mary's University London

London, United Kingdom

  • 128SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 17,554Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

St Mary’s University London (St Mary’s) is located in Twickenham, London. St Mary's offers over 50 master’s degree programs across its 4 academic schools, namely: Arts and Humanities; Management and Social Sciences; Education, Theology and Leadership; and Sport, Health and Applied Science....

Queen's University Belfast

Belfast, United Kingdom

  • 167SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 18,123Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

Queen's University Belfast (Queen's) is a public institution located along the University Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Queen's offers a wide range of master's degree programs across its three academic faculties namely: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering and Physical Sciences; and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences....

The University of Utah

Salt Lake City, United States

  • 172SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 21,296Average Tuition
  • 81.7%Acceptance Rate

University of Utah (the U) is a research-focused university located in Utah, United States, with it’s Asia campus located in South Korea. The U offers a wide range of master’s degree programs across nearly a 100 academic departments. These departments include Architecture, Biochemistry, Computing, Environmental Engineering, and Philosophy....

University of Dundee

Dundee, United Kingdom

  • 180SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 24,141Average Tuition
  • 80%Acceptance Rate

The University of Dundee (DU) is a public research university located in the city of Dundee, Scotland. The University has dedicated faculties through which it delivers master's degree programs to both local and international students ...

Florida State University

Tallahassee, United States

  • 213SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 20,043Average Tuition
  • 55%Acceptance Rate

Florida State University, established in 1851, is a research-intensive University located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida in its capital city of Tallahassee, USA. The University offers a number of master's degree programs from its various Colleges including Fine Arts, Business, Engineering and Arts & Sciences....

University of Kansas

Lawrence, United States

  • 230SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 23,700Average Tuition
  • 93%Acceptance Rate

The University of Kansas (KU) is a state-sponsored, public research institution located in Kansas, United States. KU is spread across five campuses and through its 14 colleges, the university offers a wide range of master's degree courses....

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