Logo close icon
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

International Relations MA Honours

Taught by subject experts and offering valuable work placements, this course will prepare you for a range of fulfilling careers including in diplomacy, international public service and NGOs
September 2024
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
September 2024: £11,000 (UK)*
£17,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Tunc Aybak
" "

Why choose International Relations MA at Middlesex?

In our increasingly interconnected world, the need for different nations and peoples to co-exist presents both challenges and opportunities. By understanding these challenges, you have a greater chance of thriving in the global arena.

If you're ambitious and forward-thinking, with an eye on a career in diplomacy, international public service, international affairs or commerce and political risk, an International Relations MA from Middlesex can be a vital stepping-stone.

This degree is ideal for those looking to broaden their skill set and knowledge. Our London location attracts students from all across the world, which provides a natural environment for sharing international perspectives and cultural diversity.

What you will gain

Some of the benefits you'll enjoy by joining us on this course include:

  • Academic-led field trips to some of London's most important global organisations, such as the UN's International Maritime Organization and Minority Rights Group International (MRG)
  • The opportunity to work alongside a diverse student body that provides a natural environment for varied insight and discussion
  • The chance to gain valuable work experience options on an internship abroad with a major international non-governmental organisation.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Excellent reputation
    Top 5 university in the UK – Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities, 2023
  • Postgraduate success
    93% of our postgraduate students go on to work or further study – Graduate Outcomes, 2022
  • We are an international university
    We're ranked 5th in the UK and 14th globally as most International University – Times Higher Education World University Ranking, 2023.  50% of our students are international

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

Your compulsory modules include Foreign Policy Analysis: Geopolitical Perspectives, Global Security, Politics of Globalisation and Research and Practice Skills.

You will also have the opportunity to select from a range of options in the field of international law, human rights, migration, global governance and sustainable development as well as a work placement. This will enable you to tailor your course in accordance with your career plans and professional interests.


  • Modules

    • Foreign Policy Analysis: Geopolitical Perspectives (20 Credits)- Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to provide you with the skills to enable you to analyse foreign policy practices as crucial sites of political agency and choice in the contemporary geopolitics of international relations. You will draw on the advanced classical and critical theories of international relations and geopolitical perspectives applied to the study of foreign policy traditions, strategies and practices of the key actors and cases in global politics.

      The module is designed to encourage and qualify an international group of postgraduate students who may wish to further their specialized study of foreign policy analysis and/or employment in fields related to governance, business, politics, and diplomacy. The overall aim of this module is to create a multidisciplinary, multicultural learning environment that is reflected in the teaching practice and research of the module leader and receptive to the diverse needs and views of students.

    • Global Security (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      In this module you have the opportunity to analyse changes in the global security agenda since the end of the Cold War, both empirically and theoretically. You will explore the meaning of security and compare competing theoretical perspectives in the discipline. The transformation of military security threats is then analysed with particular emphasis on the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the significance of global terrorism. The module then encourages you to explore the rise of nonmilitary issues of state and human security including human rights abuses, environmental change, crime, disease, poverty, and disasters.

    • Politics of Globalisation (20 Credits)- Compulsory

      In this module your studies will focus on the implications of the forces of globalisation in International Relations. You’ll look in particular at international political processes and institutions at the level of politics, economics and culture. You’ll analyse the relevance of international organisations, and look at transnational politics and issues of global importance. You will explore theoretical debates surrounding these issues and in this way, critically evaluate the effectiveness of international policy. The module aims to provide a platform for students to work constructively in groups, gain leadership skills and formulate arguments and coherent debates in a diverse international environment.

    • Research and Practice Skills (20 Credits)- Compulsory

      This module prepares you to complete either a dissertation or an assessed work placement or a work based learning project. You will attend a series of lectures and workshops and online exercises address research methodologies, skills and employability. You will undertake a series of formative and summative assessments developing your critical and practical skills and leading to either; i) the production of a research proposal or ii) a critical review of the work of the organization you are to be placed with or work with. The satisfactory completion of the module will then allow you to proceed to writing a dissertation of 10-12,000 words or to embark on a work placement assessed by production of a project report / paper and exercises reflecting on your experience.

  • Plus one of the below modules

    • Dissertation (60 Credits)- Optional

      The module aims to enable you to undertake a substantial academic research project focussed on a key issue within your programme. It requires you to apply methodology, research design and method to the practical processes of undertaking a chosen research topic and presenting the findings. The dissertation requires you to draw upon the prerequisite module Research and Practice Skills but encourages you to demonstrate independence and self-discipline in researching a topic of interest and relevance to you and manage an extended project from conception to completion.

    • Work Integrated Learning (60 Credits)- Optional

      The module enables you to apply theoretical knowledge and research to anticipate and respond to challenges in a selected workplace experience. The workplace experience may be undertaken as an internship that you negotiate yourself or in your current workplace or an existing voluntary role. It also aims to foster sustainable long term learning by requiring you to take responsibility for your own learning, design and negotiate learning goals and make informed judgments about your performance across the programme of study. The module asks you to engage as an active subject in the assessment process, thus enhancing your capacity for transformative learning. By selecting a topic of interest grounded in your own workplace experience you’ll be called upon to demonstrate reflexivity, self-regulation and self-assessment in your journey towards personal and professional development.*

      *Due to the evolving Covid 19 situation work placements in the UK or abroad may not be available or advisable. Please contact your Programme Leader for advice if considering any Work Placement before taking the matter further.

  • Optional modules- (20 Credits worth)

    • Environmental Law and Governance

      This module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of environmental governance and the central theoretical approaches on which its principles are based. The module introduces the idea of the governance spectrum ranging from a coercive mode and legal instruments to approaches that rely on the agency and knowledge of environmental resource users themselves.

    • Global Criminology and Policing

      This module aims to engage students in exploring criminological issues from a global perspective, particularly in respect of contemporary debates on the policing of transnational problems and the development of global policing. The module considers policing in a wide rather than narrow context identifying that the changing nature of crime and crime control in a 'globalised' world and the emergence of crimes which transcend national borders requires a globalised approach to crime and justice.

    • Environmental Policy and Ethics

      Through this module the student will develop skills and knowledge to understand and evaluate contemporary environmental policy and the ethical challenges that such policy needs to address. The module also enables an understanding of environmental responsibility and social constructs on 'care' for the environment and the various contexts on being accountable for harm or environmental wrongdoing. The module critically examines ethical traditions and how these traditions inform particular forms of environmental policy and action; in particular the conflicts between continued exploitation of the environment and the contemporary environmental protection 'movement'.

    • Global Governance for Sustainable Development

      This module provides you with skills and knowledge to understand and critique the notion of sustainable development and the many manifestations it takes in policy and governance starting with the global blueprint of Agenda 21. An increasingly popular term, global governance refers to the collaborations of state and non-state actors in advocating, making laws and policies for and undertaking practical actions to address issues that have global scope in terms of impact and/or causality.

    • Sustainable Development and Human Rights

      This module aims to provide a critical exploration of the key institutions and frameworks that govern human rights at the international level and of the international policy context that promotes sustainable development, to examine how the two do, or do not, interact. It problematises the notion of rights as competing, contested and co-opted and questions their ability to function in crisis situations.

    • Migration: Theories & Approaches

      In this module you will look at the relationship between migration, politics and policies from a comparative and European perspective. This relationship is both ‘top down’, with migration becoming an object of contention amongst political parties and migration policies being largely shaped by political divisions, and ‘bottom up’, with the growing presence of NGOs campaigning for migrant rights and migrant activism. First, you will be asked to comparatively examine migration policies, their regulatory role in the attempt to manage and control migratory flows, and how they have been affected by political debates over migration.

      Secondly, you will look at the growth of anti-immigration politics and how anti-migrant mobilisations have become a constant feature at European level, not only for marginal groups but also for mainstream government parties. During this part of the module you will also investigate the growing conflicts between migrants and natives over the uses of space and the distribution of welfare resources. Thirdly, you will look at different forms of migrant participation in the public sphere, from self-organized migrant protest around issues such as freedom of circulation, citizenship rights and labour rights to more institutionalized forms of participation through unions and NGOs.

    • Integrated work Learning

      The module aims to enable students to apply theoretical knowledge and research to anticipate and respond to challenges in a selected workplace experience. The workplace experience may be undertaken as an internship negotiated by the student or in their current workplace or an existing voluntary role. It also aims to foster sustainable long term learning by requiring students to take responsibility for their own learning, design and negotiate learning goals and make informed judgements about their performance across the programme of study. The module asks students to engage as active subjects in the assessment process, thus enhancing the capacity for transformative learning. By selecting a topic of interest grounded in the workplace experience the student will demonstrate reflexivity, self-regulation and self-assessment in their journey towards personal and professional development.

    • Political Violence & Terrorism

      This core module on the MA Criminology will introduce you to key debates about political violence and contemporary terrorism. You’ll be required to consider a range of perspectives emerging from the study of the different forms of political violence, including terrorism and war. It also adopts a critical approach to theoretical and contextual debates on the use of the term terrorism as shorthand for a range of issues relating to political violence. Both institutional and anti-institutional violence will be discussed, along with critical analysis of the controversies surrounding the definitions of violence and terrorism in the different epochs. In the module you’ll examine in detail the contributions of the major schools of thought, along with the most recent sociological-criminological analysis of authorised and unauthorised political violence. The module requires you to critically examine theoretical concepts and practical considerations in contemporary political violence and terrorism discourse drawing on a range of case studies.

    • Law & Policy of the World Trade Organisation

      This module will examine the international legal framework for international trade provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The importance of the WTO has dramatically increased in the last two decades, shaping the global trade regimes and regulatory governance. This module is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding and knowledge of global trade regimes: an overview of globalisation and contemporary international economic relations; the regulation of international trade through the WTO; and the relationship among international trade, harmonisation of the law and trade-related issues. This course aims to deepen students understanding of the origins, structure, rationale and scope of the global trading system. Its objective is to enable students to demonstrate their legal and multidisciplinary knowledge, analytical skills and understanding through extended writing in a cogent and appropriate writing style.

    • International Organisations and Dispute Resolution

      This module aims to provide students with a systematic understanding of the rules and principles of International Law and International Relations to the extent that these are relevant towards explaining the legal personality and activities of International Organisations. Special emphasis will be placed on defining the role of International Organisations in the settlement of international disputes including in relation to their involvement in armed conflicts. The course will provide advanced conceptual insights into the legal, political and structural issues that underpin dispute resolution at international level within International Organisation through a thematic focus on issues such as labour, trade, title to territory, and international peace and security. The module will enable students to think strategically about different means of settlement of disputes and their applicability to existing or potential conflicts.

    • International Human Rights Law

      Provides an in-depth understanding of the international human rights law framework under the United Nation organisations.  You will assess the UN’s efficacy in engaging the complementary American, African and Asian regional systems of promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

    • Business and Human Rights

      The Bhopal disaster, the tragedy of the Niger Delta and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory are all examples of what appears to be systematic corporate human rights abuses which are not being adequately prevented or remedied. This module enables students to understand how the sub-discipline business and human rights challenges State-centred architecture of international human rights law and delves into the responsibility of non-state actors such as multinational corporations in the area of human rights. It also challenges the idea that only individuals can commit international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes looking into corporate criminal and civil liability for human rights violations

    • Citizenship, the Right to Nationality and Statelessness

      The module will analyse how international law addresses the nexus of statelessness and human rights, and the importance of citizenship and the right to a nationality for the enjoyment of human rights. It will span the standards, recommendations and jurisprudence of UN and regional human rights systems as they pertain to statelessness, focusing on its causes and consequences and the measures that can be taken to prevent and remedy it.

      The module will promote an interdisciplinary approach focused on practical solutions to statelessness.

To find out more about this course, please download the International Relations MA specification (PDF).

How we'll teach you

You'll explore key issues in international relations through lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials, as well as role-playing exercises, discussions and question and answer sessions with guest lecturers.

Through case studies, you'll identify effective practices, critically analyse international situations and develop recommendations for resolving problems. You'll take part in role-play exercises and group work, as well as doing your own research and reading.

Our knowledgeable teaching staff, including Dr Tunc Aybak (global geopolitics)and Dr Peter Hough (security), are all prominent specialists in their field of research and bring this expert knowledge to their teaching. Your personal tutor will support you with help and advice throughout your studies.

Where will you study?

You'll be based in our Hendon campus, north London.

Teaching and independent learning

In a typical year, you’ll spend about 1200 hours on your course.

Outside of teaching hours, you’ll learn independently through reading articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research, and preparing for assessments including coursework and presentations.

Typical weekly breakdown

A typical week looks like this:


Contact hours per week





Independent study


For placement, there may be additional hours.

Learning terms

On-campus: This includes tutor-led sessions such as seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations as well as student-led sessions for work in small groups.

Online learning: This is teaching that is delivered online using tools like Skype or Zoom, as well as work that you do yourself using online teaching resources.

Independent study: This is the work you do in your own time including reading and research.

Part-time study

You can also study this course part-time.

Academic support

We have a strong support network online and on campus to help you develop your academic skills. Our Sheppard Library is open 24 hours a day during term time and always available online. We offer one-to-one and group sessions to develop your learning skills together with academic support from our library, IT teams and learning experts.

Coursework and assessments

Your learning will be assessed regularly and is made up of 100% coursework.


To help you achieve the best results, we will provide regular feedback.

You'll evaluate your work, skills and knowledge and identify areas for improvement. Sometimes you'll work in groups and assess each other's progress.

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals
  • Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can the International Relations MA support your career?

This master's course can help you develop critical and analytical skills, acquire a significant body of knowledge and be exposed to the latest thinking in the field.

During the course, you'll have the opportunity to develop skills in data research, critical analysis, oral, written and visual communication, reasoned debate, understanding theoretical concepts, diplomacy and policy analysis. All of these are highly transferable and valued by employers across all sectors.

Our university's postgraduate courses have been recognised for their ability to support your career.

95% of our postgraduate students go on to work or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022).

Career paths

Career opportunities exist in diplomatic services and the public and voluntary sector, where international, regional organizations and NGOs often seek those with campaigning, policy and influencing skills. Furthermore, businesses throughout the world seek to employ people with knowledge, business intelligence and innovative skills required in the global political economy.


Our employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has been recognised with the following awards:

The top 20 UK universities for business leaders and entrepreneurs – Business Money, 2023

A top 10 university for producing CEOs – Novuana, 2023.

Global alumni network

You’ll be studying with students from 122 countries who’ll become part of your personal global network. You'll learn how to work with a global mindset and make invaluable connections on your course for your chosen industry.

Work placements

We offer an optional work placement module. You can do this as an internship which you organise yourself, through your current workplace or in a voluntary capacity.

Placements and internships can greatly improve your future job prospects after you graduate. They usually boost your confidence and academic results by giving you the opportunity to practice what have learned in a professional setting.

Our specialist Employability service will help you find placement opportunities.

  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply

The fees below refer to the 2023/24 academic year – January 2024 start.

UK students1

Full-time students: £9,600
Part-time students per taught credit: £64
Part-time students per dissertation credit: £32

International students2

Full-time students: £16,800
Part-time students per taught credit: £112
Part-time students per dissertation credit: £56

The fees below refer to the 2024/25 academic year – September 2024 and January 2025 start.

UK students1

Full-time students: £11,000
Part-time students per taught credit: £73
Part-time students per dissertation credit: £37

International students2

Full-time students: £17,600
Part-time students per taught credit: £117
Part-time students per dissertation credit: £59

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free access to resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Financial support

We offer lots of support to help you with fees and living costs. Check out our guide to student life on a budget and find out more about postgraduate funding.

Postgraduate scholarships

You may be eligible for one of our scholarships including:

  • The Alumni Postgraduate Award – as an undergraduate student continuing postgraduate studies at Middlesex, you can apply for 20% off your fees
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship – full course fees, airfares and a living allowance
  • The Chevening Scholarship – full course fees
  • The European Academic Awards – £1000 to £7000 for students showing academic excellence
  • Regional or International Merit Award –up to £2,000 towards course fees

For international students, we also have a limited number of other awards specific to certain regions, and work in partnership with funding providers in your country to help support you financially with your study.

Find out more about our postgraduate scholarships.

Help from your employer

Your employer can contribute towards the cost of your postgraduate study as part of their staff development programme.

Work while you study

If you are not currently working, we can help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase postgraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

Dr Peter Hough
Associate Professor in International Politics

Dr Hough’s research focuses on global security politics, international environmental politics, sports and politics, and the politics of the Arctic. He is currently a reviewer for the Review of International Studies. Dr Hough is also listed on the Commonwealth Secretariat Register of Experts and is a member of the British International Studies Association committees on Environmental Change and Human Security.

  • Raphael Ejime

    Raphael Ejime

    MA International Relations

    I am currently undertaking a PhD in International Relations at Middlesex University investigating the ‘contagiousness’ of terrorism from one country to another. It involves a careful comparison of the transcripts of terrorist groups showing how they share similar ideology including the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate.

    I also studied for a Master’s at Middlesex. During my course I was able to undertake a work placement with Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), a global union federation situated in Geneva, Switzerland. I benefited from a bursary from the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus). During my work placement with BWI, I was part of a team that researched and developed studies on migration trends from North Africa to Southern Europe.

    I also served at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), London, in the National Security and Resilience (NSR) Department where I worked on the Cocaine Route Monitoring and Support Programme (CORMS).

    In general, I enjoyed my placements during my Master’s as they helped develop the skills required for the real world and international sphere.

    Throughout my Master’s I also had several real life projects such as in the security module  where we had the opportunity to visit the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London. We learnt a great deal about maritime security and intern opportunities with the IMO. Similarly, in the globalisation module, I worked for Building and Woodworkers’ International to campaign for fair workers’ rights during the Brazil 2014 World Cup and for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

    There are several times the facilities at Middlesex helped during the course of my Master’s such as getting my essay more academically structured by the Learning and Development Team (LET) as well as the mentoring I received. The University also offers free printing which helped me to print the required texts I needed, take them home to revise and answer my research and essay questions. More so, the University provides a 24/7 library service during term-time which was useful when I had to stay late in the University.

    My lecturers have assisted immensely in several ways such as Dr Peter Hough, my security module leader, as he provided beneficial feedback which helped my grades improve positively. Also, there was Dr Phoebe Moore who helped to get me the internship/work placement with BWI in Geneva. Besides other members of staff have helped in different ways.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Law

Start: September 2024

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGM195

Global Governance and Sustainable Development MA

Start: September 2024

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGL421

Back to top