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Postgraduate Taught

MA International Relations

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Security Studies
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:2 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • This programme offers a cutting-edge educational experience to explore, understand, analyse, and contextualise some of the big challenges facing humanity today
  • With a particular focus on security, international relations theory, and foreign policy, it combines academic insight with experiential learning, placing you at the heart of the dynamic currents that shape contemporary global politics
  • You will engage with the latest think tank reports, policy texts, alongside the core texts that have shaped the discipline
  • Interactive teaching encourages debate and reflection on the ideas, processes, and policies that shaping the work around us
  • Tailor your degree to your interests and career ambitions with our wide range of optional modules exploring everything from key ideas to new challenges, the legacies of the past to the challenges of the future, as well as region-specific options covering key areas of global politics today
  • The programme also equips you with skills crucial for employment in the twenty-first century, using forward-looking assessments to foster the informed global leaders of tomorrow

Apply online

View 2024 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

Get a prospectus


Programme Director: Dr Brieg Powel

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Employability focussed

Top 10 in the UK for Politics

9th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 10th in the The Complete University Guide 2024

Top 100 for Politics in world subject rankings

QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

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

Entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree with 53% or above in their first degree in a relevant subject area. While we normally only consider applicants who meet this criteria, if you 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 B2. 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 delivered by world-leading researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields. Learning on the programme involves debating and collaborating with peers in both classroom and multi-media environments, engaging with external speakers, and putting your skills to the test in role-plays and simulations set in the exciting world of global politics.

Extra-curricular events, such as stand-alone talks given by policy makers,activists, and scholars provide alternative, real-world perspectives of world politics. Recent contributors have included:

  • Aid workers from conflict and post conflict zones
  • Serving and former military and intelligence leaders
  • Leading policy-makers from across the world, either at national government level or in transnational organisations
  • Journalists and content-providers from key global organisations such as the BBC and Meta

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.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries 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 world order, great power politics, humanitarianism, peace building, security, theory and ideas, climate politics, activism, and gender. Our permanent staff provide consultancy, comment, and expert advice to organisations such as the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and Ministry of Defence, BBC, Chatham House, Open Democracy, Freedom House, and the Foreign Policy Centre. Visiting scholars include colleagues from Harvard and Brown Universities, and the Australian National University.

Learning and Teaching

Exeter educators employ advanced pedagogies in and around the classroom, supporting learning with a vibrant multi-media electronic learning ecosystem. Students are presented with a variety of exercises and challenges, designed to foster the skills necessary for the global leaders of tomorrow. Activities include:

  • Group projects and policy briefs
  • Critical analysis of policy positions
  • Vibrant, expert-led seminar discussions
  • Presentations
  • Structured debates
  • Role-plays and simulations
  • Interactive mind-mapping
  • 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, combining more traditional researched-based analysis with forward-looking tasks that prepare students for the twenty-first century world. Tasks may include essays, workshop contributions, presentations, policy briefs, blog posts, and post-simulation ‘after action reports’. Every student also completes a dissertation on a subject that has captured their imagination, working with an expert supervisor to produce a unique study. The University of Exeter provides 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.

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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 a wide range of employers and occupations, demonstrating the crucial importance of the knowledge and skill sets our students develop whilst studying with us. Employers include: 

  • Aid agencies
  • Media
  • NGOs in the UK and overseas
  • Government bodies such as the Ministry of Defence and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
  • The diplomatic services of various states
  • International organisations, including EU institutions and the United Nations
  • ·Big (and not so big!) business
  • Think tanks

Some of our students decide to continue their studies via MPhil/PhD programmes, or Masters by Research, all of which set them up for research-based career paths in academia and beyond.

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
  • Strong 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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