Canterbury Christ Church University International Relations

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Canterbury Christ Church University International Relations

Getting to grips with the ever-changing shifts of international politics can be daunting. Our MSc in International Relations introduces you to the fundamental principles of global interaction, and refining your knowledge within specialist classes. You will learn in a systematic and engaging way about the origins, evolution and multifaceted character of the international political system, before turning to the Security Studies specialism, providing specialist insights on power, influence and governance within key national, regional and international structures. A fascinating and relevant degree supported in 2017 by a competitively-awarded Jean Monnet Studentship (£2000) as well as the possibility of in-house internships. Canterbury Christ Church University graduates are well placed to specialise in careers connected to key areas of international relations, enhanced with expertise in security.

You will follow five core modules, which provide a comprehensive foundation for the pathway as a whole. The modules are taught to all graduate students within the Politics/International Relations programme, introducing them to basic concepts, working approaches, research methodologies and current political dilemmas that help link the scholarly subject matter of International Relations, Politics and European Politics to real-world issues.

  • Research Methods 1, and Critical Issues: Shifting Perspectives (Autumn term)
  • Research Methods 2, and Advanced Research in Politics and International Relations (Spring term)
  • The MSc Dissertation (Spring and Summer terms)

All five of these graduate modules have been carefully and methodically laid out in a clear and comprehensive fashion, to prepare you in the most thorough and engaging way possible both to manage your accompanying specialism modules, and to then undertake the graduate dissertation that completes the totality of the degree pathway.

Designed in a thoroughly interdisciplinary manner with colleagues from across the school, the two Research Methods modules are specially designed to introduce graduate students to the fundaments of graduate study, and the subject-specific background and research requirements appropriate for International Relations, Politics, and European Politics.

The working practices and methods laid out in the two Research Methods modules provide students with the historical and theoretical foundations of social and political science, and then move on to examine the full range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques, analytical, methodological and writing skills. The objectives of these two core courses are reinforced in the two associated core modules: Critical Issues: Shifting Perspectives, and Advanced Research in Politics and International Relations, in which students gain a truly interdisciplinary understanding of both International Relations, and the security specialism of their degree. Both these core modules are fascinatingly multi­disciplinary in their construction, allowing students to gain a genuinely multi-dimensional perspective of the classic theories, and contemporary that comprise the world of international relations, and the particular challenges of their Security specialism.

Attention is paid to developing transferrable skills in all five of these core modules, generating a variety of viable research skills and techniques, a range of written outputs, and increasing confidence in giving oral presentations. From this foundation of 80 credits, you then take another 40 credits of taught modules, deepening your Security specialism, and further preparing you for your selected dissertation topic.

The dissertation is the culmination of the postgraduate learning experience in International Relations, drawing upon the wide range of intellectual and skills developed throughout the degree pathway, and providing an extended opportunity for you to undertake independent work, display individual thought, and take responsibility for the management of your own learning.

MSc in International Relations (Security Studies)

Faculty Research Module (40 Credits)
Advanced Research in Politics and International Relations (20 Credits)
Critical Issues: Shifting Perspectives (20 Credits)
Contemporary Security
(20 Credits)
Security in the Digital Age
(20 Credits)
Dissertation: Assessing Security Studies (60 Credits)


Our standard offer for accepting students onto the MSc in International Relations is a 2:1, preferably in directly relatable subjects within the social and political sciences, although cognate subjects including history, law, comparative studies, or the broader range of sociology and psychology, and English will also be considered providing undergraduate marks obtained are robust enough. This is in addition to two letters of recommendation, and a brief personal statement outlining interest and areas of specialism being considered, as well as a complete CV.

The University has a well-established Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) structure in operation. Students without previous qualifications may be accepted as part of this process. If you are unsure  whether  your  qualifications are appropriate please  contact us directly:



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