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  1. International Politics and Human Rights
    1. 2016
    2. 2017
Courses

International Politics and Human Rights

MA |
Study International Politics and Human Rights at City, and discover why you will never read international news in the same way again.

Key Information

Start date

September 2016

Duration

Full-time: 12 months

Part-time: 24 months (with an additional three months to submit dissertation, if required)

UK/EU

Full-time: £9,500

Part-time: £5,250 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £15,000

Part-time: £7,500 per year

Application period

Until There is no fixed application deadline for this course. Applications will close when the course is full, so you are encouraged to apply early.

Who is it for?

The International Politics and Human Rights programme is for students who want to explore international politics and human rights more widely and then drill down to specialise their knowledge. The MA is designed to give you the chance to create your own questions about the way the world works – and to shape arguments where you feel it doesn’t. These are some of the questions the course poses:

  • Do human rights offer universal protections, or do they provide ideological cover for neo-imperialist powers?
  • Can human rights provide protection to individuals in a way that supersedes the nation-state, or do they serve the interests of powerful states?
  • Should human rights be concerned with the minimalist needs of security and subsistence, or should they aspire to grander visions of global justice?

Objectives

This is a course where you will challenge your own point of view. We unpick the ideas that structure the way we understand the world, so we can identify how those understandings shape global events. We then focus on how the way we view things may, in itself, be ethically problematic.

International Politics and Human Rights is an evolving subject so you explore unique specialisms backed by real-world research. The department’s academics are actively shaping policy, sitting on the advisory board for the Corbyn shadow cabinet, hosting talks on the human right to housing in London, and engaging in study groups around the Obama presidency. This keeps the content of the course effective and current, giving students a contemporary lens from which to view rapid political change.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

You should have a first or upper second-class honours (or equivalent) degree in politics, the social sciences, humanities or law. However, we also welcome applications from those with substantial experience in human rights organisations, NGOs, social services, journalism and other related sectors.

Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City, University of London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma in Business, Law and Social Science. The course offers a route to City, University of London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, based in purpose-built study facilities. Once you have successfully completed the Graduate Diploma at INTO City, University of London you can progress to this Masters degree.

English requirements

If English is not your first language you will need the following qualification:

  • IELTS: an overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 for each sub-test).

INTO English language programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, INTO City, University of London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Please follow the links below for more information:

Due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Please submit:

  • A completed application form (either electronically or by post)
  • A certified copy of your undergraduate academic results and degree certificate
  • Proof of English proficiency (if you are not a native English speaker, or someone who has not been taught in English for their first degree subject)

Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

You are encouraged to apply online and either upload or email scanned copies of your supporting documents for convenience.

The application form and reference form can also be downloaded via the following link:

Return the completed form to:
SASS-Enquiries
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(1)20 7040 0249/3721
Email: SASS-enquiries@city.ac.uk

Two
core modules give you a theoretical toolkit to develop your own focus.
Professional Insight
From the UN to The Refugee Council, you gain professional insight from our Practitioner Series.
70%
of graduates responding to the 14/15 DLHE survey were in employment six months after graduation.

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

More about funding


Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Scholarships

The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a number of scholarships for postgraduate students. The scholarships are worth £2,000 towards tuition fees awarded on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements.

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • be a UK or EU student
  • be a self-funded student and not in receipt of any other scholarships
  • be a full or part-time student
  • be in receipt of an offer of an eligible degree

Applications should be made on the Scholarship Application Form and should be submitted by Thursday 31st March 2017.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of academic merit and applicants' personal statements. Shortlisting will be conducted by the School’s Scholarships Group. All applicants will be notified of the results by May 2017.

Find out more about the School of Arts and Social Sciences scholarship programme.

Bursaries

Placements

You have the opportunity to undertake a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage students to create their own, by fostering connections offered by the Careers Service. There is also the International Politics Careers Day, which explores career opportunities with international politics degrees and includes:

  • Talks by speakers within the field (including alumni now working within the UK Department for International Development, the UK Ministry of Justice), UNESCO and the EU Commission
  • Talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators
  • Drop-in sessions with careers professionals focusing on CV writing, applications and volunteering

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, student presentations and practical workshops. Teaching is supported by a personal tutorial and supervision system and a general lecture series with outside speakers (both professional and academic).

You will complete 120 credits of taught modules, made up of a mixture of compulsory core and elective options. You will also take part in a dissertation workshop and produce your dissertation over the summer period.

Academic staff

The staff within our Department of International Politics are research active, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Often this research and influence leads to policy change and many media appearances. Find out more about International Politics staff.

You can follow our staff’s activity through their Twitter feed: @cityintpolitics

Assessment

Each taught module is assessed by an essay, either a 5,000-word essay for 30 credit modules or a 3,000-word essay for 15 credit modules. There are no examinations. Your final MA marks are derived from a combination of your essay and dissertation grades.

You are required to submit a dissertation of 15,000 words in an area linked to the MA degree. Your dissertation topic will be agreed with your personal tutor/supervisor.

Sample course materials

If you are new to the subject, you might like to look at:

  • Brooke Ackerly, Universal Human Rights in a World of Difference (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • Tim Dunne and Nicholas J. Wheeler (eds.), Human Rights in Global Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1999)
  • Mark Goodale and Sally Merry Engle (eds.), The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law Between the Global and the Local (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • Paul Gordon Lauren, The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003)
  • Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia (Harvard University Press, 2010)
  • Makau Mutua, Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002).

Further online resources that might be of interest:

Modules

The MA places human rights in the context of a constellation of changes in international politics in the 20th and 21st centuries, and you are introduced to the historical and political controversies that human rights generate:

  • Do human rights offer universal protections, or do they provide ideological cover for neo-imperialist powers?
  • Can human rights provide protection to individuals in a way that supersedes the nation-state, or do they serve the interests of powerful states?
  • Should human rights be concerned with the minimalist needs of security and subsistence, or should they aspire to grander visions of global justice?

You will complete six taught modules: three compulsory core modules and three electives. You will also take part in a dissertation workshop and produce a dissertation over the summer.

Core modules

Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics IPM118 (30 credits)

This module provides you with an advanced overview of the theory, history and practice of human rights, with a focus on how the development of human rights has changed the nature of world politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. Specifically, you will look at the key intellectual advances and political events that have shaped the idea of universal human rights, while focusing on the way in which the meaning of human rights is contested and how the idea of human rights has been shaped by existing power structures. Through a detailed study of the theory, history and practice of human rights you will explore key controversies in the field and develop critical thinking and writing skills, as well as a detailed knowledge of the place of human rights in contemporary world politics.

Global Ethics: Principles, Power and Politics IPM117 (30 credits)

International politics raises distinctive ethical concerns - of violence, hospitality and solidarity across borders - and has been seen as different from domestic politics, such that it requires its own ethics. This module seeks to introduce you to the traditions of ethical thought in international politics by looking at pressing issues faced in today's world. The course takes the transformation of world politics in the mid-20th century as a key moment to critically examine both the degree to which international politics has become more ethical and the ways that our understanding of global ethics influences our practical responses to issues like the development of human rights, new practices of humanitarian intervention, global poverty, the development of international criminal law and the creation of new forms of transnational and supranational political authority. The module aims to balance philosophical reflection on the nature of global ethics with practical engagement in contemporary political events.

International Politics Dissertation IPM111 (60 credits)

You are required to submit a dissertation of 15,000 words. The dissertation is worth 60 credits (one-third of your overall mark).

You will start work on the project in the second term, with a research workshop, which will help you develop the necessary skills for undertaking independent research. In the summer term, you will work full time on completing the final dissertation, which will be due by the end of September. The dissertation offers you the opportunity to reflect on and communicate knowledge gained through research and allows you to complement your module work by writing on a topic relevant to your specific interests.

International politics research workshops will help you to develop a research proposal for your international politics dissertation. You will examine issues related to the 'what' and 'how' of research: what kinds of questions can we ask and how should we pursue our research? You will also explore issues such as how to design a research project and examine the role of case studies, different methods of evidence collection (interviewing, archives, surveys), and the relationship between theory and the practice of research.

Elective modules

Choose 60 credits from:

Typical modules offered by the Department of International Politics

  • Understanding Security in the 21st Century (15 credits)
  • International Organisations in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • Theories of International Politics (30 credits)
  • Development and international politics (15 credits)
  • Religion in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future (30 credits)
  • Political Economy of Global Finance (15 credits)
  • The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)
  • Global Governance (15 credits)
  • International Politics of the Middle East (15 credits)
  • Global Financial Governance (15 credits)
  • Strategy, Diplomacy and Decision-making (30 credits)
  • US Foreign Policy (15 credits)
  • Foreign Policy Analysis (15 credits)
  • Economic Diplomacy (15 credits)
  • Global Political Economy: Contemporary Approaches (30 credits)

Typical modules offered by the Department of Sociology

  • Developments in Communication Policy (30 credits)
  • Transnational Media and Communication (30 credits)
  • Criminal Minds (15 credits)
  • Crime News (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by The City Law School

  • International Human Rights in Law and Practice (30 credits)
  • Human Rights in the EU (30 credits)
  • International Criminal Law: Crimes & Institutions (30 credits)
  • Law and War (30 credits)
  • Minorities and Indigenous People in International Law (30 credits)
  • International Law & the Use of Force (30 credits)

* MA International Politics and Human Rights students have access to additional LLM options with The City Law School – a full list is available in the programme specification.

  • Projects Assistant
    Completing the International Politics and Human Rights MA programme at City helped me broaden my horizons.
  • MA Candidate/Program Delivery Intern
    I've been exposed to a variety of disciplines touching on international politics and human rights, which helped make myself a competitive candidate for a job in the field I wanted to go in.

Career prospects

The skills of International Politics graduates are of direct relevance to a wide range of professions:

  • Research
  • Civil service
  • Teaching
  • Media communications
  • Journalism
  • International organisations
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • International finance and the private sector.

80% of City's 2011 International Politics graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduation. Employers included UNESCO, the Open Rights Group, the Grass Roots Group, and the United Nations.

International Politics Career Day

During your MA year you can attend the Department's 'International Politics Careers Day' which explores career opportunities with International Politics degrees and provides:

  • talks by speakers within the field (including City alumni). Previous speakers have included staff from the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Justice, UNESCO, the EU Commission and the UN Peacebuilding Support  Office (PBSO).
  • talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators
  • CV, applications and volunteering drop-in sessions with careers professionals.

You can also make use of the City's Career & Skills Development Service.

Read about how careers advice and volunteering helped one of our graduates land her current job.

Application Deadline

There is no fixed application deadline for this course. Applications will close when the course is full, so you are encouraged to apply early.


Please submit:

  • A completed application form (either electronically or by post)
  • A certified copy of your undergraduate academic results and degree certificate
  • Proof of English proficiency (if you are not a native English speaker, or someone who has not been taught in English for their first degree subject)

Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

You are encouraged to apply online and either upload or email scanned copies of your supporting documents for convenience.

The application form and reference form can also be downloaded via the following link:

Return the completed form to:
SASS-Enquiries
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(1)20 7040 0249/3721
Email: SASS-enquiries@city.ac.uk

Contact details

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