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Postgraduate Taught

MA International Relations - 2024 entry

Please note: The below is for 2024 entries. Click here for 2023 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year 2023
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Politics and International Relations
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • You will investigate and contextualise major events, current crises and global trends with a particular focus on security, international relations theory and foreign policy
  • Our teaching is informed by the international challenges we face in the 21st Century, the latest think tank reports, policy texts and the core texts that have shaped the discipline
  • Benefit from small-group, interactive teaching where you will be encouraged to debate the ideas and policies that are shaping the work around us.
  • Tailor your degree to your interests and career ambitions with our wide range of optional modules including Global Security, Foreign Policy Decision-Making, The Transformation of Politics in the Global Age, East Asian Regional Order, and The Politics of Global Capitalism
  • We will equip you with skills that are highly sought after by employers or for further study around the world

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View 2023 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

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Programme Director: Dr Stephane Baele

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Employability focussed

Top 15 in the UK for Politics

14th in The Complete University Guide 2023

Top 100 worldwide for the subject in the QS World University Rankings 2022

Flexibility to follow your interests with a world-leading cluster of researchers

Entry requirements

We are looking for applicants with a 2:1 or above in any Social Sciences or Humanities subject. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

We will equip you with the theoretical and empirical research tools needed to understand the forces that shape global politics.

Our teaching is research-led and working with a group of world-leading researchers will ensure your degree is cutting edge and highly sought after. We will encourage you to debate the ideas and policies that are shaping the world around us with your peers and experts in the field. You will also get involved in role-plays and simulations, and graduate-level conferences.

Extra-curricular events, such as stand-alone talks given by policy makers, activists and scholars, are hugely beneficial by giving added perspective of contemporary world politics. Recent contributors have included:

  • Aid workers from conflict and post conflict zones
  • Ex-special forces soldier who served in Afghanistan
  • David Miliband
  • The Head of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan
  • The Head of MI6
  • BBC journalist now turned documentary-maker

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2023/24 entry

UK fees per year:

£11,000 full-time

International fees per year:

£22,500 full-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have over £2.5 million in scholarships available, including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students.

For information on how you can fund your postgraduate degree at the University of Exeter, please visit our dedicated funding page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Teaching and research

Teaching staff

Members of staff teaching on the MA International Relations have a wide range of research interests including humanitarianism, peace building, great power politics, security, activism, and gender. They include visiting scholars at Harvard and Brown Universities, and the Australian National University, and provide consultancy to organisations such as the Department for International Development.

Learning and Teaching

  • Extensive reading and reflection in preparation for the seminar discussions
  • Seminar presentations
  • Debates
  • Role-plays and simulations
  • Group projects and policy briefs
  • Graduate-level conferences

Seminar tutors direct and facilitate class debate and discussions. You will fine-tune your critical reading skills, learn to present in front of an audience, to ask and field incisive questions, and work with your peers to develop consensus views and challenge those of others. A range of media will be used in teaching, from video and audio, newspaper articles and academic journal articles. Fictional works and documentaries also provide insight on how societies interpret and portray international politics.


Assessment varies between modules but will involve essays, workshop contributions, presentations, policy briefs, blog posts and exams. You will also be expected to write a 15,000-word dissertation on a subject that has captured your imagination or is of political importance to you. We will provide dedicated research training to help you structure both the research and writing of your dissertation. Developing the ability to express complex ideas succinctly and in depth, is a core skill that will stand you in good stead, no matter what your chosen career may be.

Library services

Our main library is open 24/7 throughout the academic year. With a book stock in excess of 1.2 million, we have one of the highest UK academic library ratios of books to students. The main library offers self-service machines, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, and an extended Wi-Fi network. The library provides world-class study facilities to all students. It has extensive holdings of works on political science, international relations and the various sub-disciplines.

Read more

I decided to come to Exeter after meeting the faculty here who genuinely care about their students and how we use our time here to prepare for what comes after we graduate. 

Exeter also has a great employability program that focusses on preparing students for the job market. Whatever stage you are at in the process, the career consultants in the Career Zone are always sure to be able to help point you to the resources you need or provide career counseling if you are stuck.

Read more from Serafin


MA International Relations


Career paths

Many of our students are working professionals in governments around in the world, NGOs and aid agencies and chose to take the MA International Relations to provide them with a broader perspective and develop their careers.

Our students go on to work in aid agencies; the media; NGOs in the UK and overseas; government bodies such as the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office; the Diplomatic Service; international organisations including EU institutions and the United Nations; and think tanks. Many of our students also stay on to study for MPhil/PhD and Masters by Research and follow academic careers.

Employer-valued skills

Apart from specialist knowledge and skills relating to a range of careers in government, diplomacy, journalism and the third sector, you will also develop transferrable skills that are highly desirable in a range of careers. These include:

  • High-level research and writing skills
  • Analysis, evaluation and presentation skills
  • Excellent communication skills and experience, both written and oral
  • Good IT skills which may include the handling of statistical data
  • Independent work skills of time-planning and motivation

Careers support

Our careers advisory service provides expert guidance to all students to enable them to plan their futures through psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.

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