What Will You Study

The MA International Law and International Relations examines global politics and international law and the interplay between the two. Jointly delivered by the Law School and the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion (PPR), it enables you to explore the theory and the practice of international relations and international law, and deepen your understanding of the ways that legal principles apply to inter-state relations.

Our Law School is home to the the Centre for International Law and Human Rights, Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Centre for Law and Society, and the Centre for Child and Family Justice. These influential centres underpin our postgraduate teaching and you will have access to the expertise of academics researching in the field of international relations, international law and other legal and socio-legal issues.

The pathway for the MA ensures a duality: a total of five modules from the Law School and PPR, and a 20,000 word dissertation, enabling you to pursue your own interests whilst becoming practiced at looking at issues from different perspectives.

Your core modules are International Law, Major Approaches to the Study of International Relations, Theory and Methods in Postgraduate Studies or Research Methods in Law and the MA Dissertation.

You will study further elective modules from the Law School and PPR. We pride ourselves on the breadth of options available and you can focus on the issues that most interest you. Elective modules typically include (among many others): Theorising Security and War; Environmental Law; International Relations and Politics of the Middle East; Law and Global Health; Conflict Management and Contemporary Conflicts; and, the Rights of Peoples.

The dissertation is an independent, in-depth inquiry into a research topic of your choosing. The topic will link to a key legal and/or political question or issue and may also directly relate to your professional/career interests. This is your opportunity to make a contribution to the academic community with new, original research and writing. A dissertation supervisor can provide you with support and introduce you to relevant research; their personal research interests will closely align with your chosen topic wherever possible.

Our teaching approach is international in scope and comparative by nature, and we actively encourage you to build a beneficial network of academics, peers and alumni during your time with us. All of this will help you to broaden your experience, deepen your understanding, and prepare for your next step.

Your postgraduate MA degree can open doors to a wide range of careers and provides a training opportunity for those pursuing careers in areas such as foreign and international affairs, national and international non-governmental organisations, journalism and international business.

Whilst on this degree you will have the chance to develop: the skills required to critically evaluate cutting-edge research; inter-disciplinary skills; and, analytical and communications skills. All of which can be a real boost in any sector and highly prized by employers.

The MA is also an ideal stepping stone to PhD study and academia.

Please note: We welcome applications from students without prior study of politics, law or international relations, but you would be expected to work hard to make up the gap to master advanced level study of these subjects.