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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MA International Politics

Entry Year:
Get behind the headlines to discover the structures and ideas that shape global affairs, and open up a wide range of exciting career possibilities with this world-class MA.

Key information

Start date

September 2020

Academic year dates


Full-time: one year
Part-time: two years

Part time students may have additional 3 months to submit dissertation if required.

See more about duration


Full-time: £9,880

Part-time: £4,940 per year


Full-time: £15,610 per year

Part-time: £7,805 per year


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

The International Politics MA programme is for students who want to explore international politics more widely. It is designed to help you drill down and follow your specific interests and specialise your knowledge. The course has been designed to give you the chance to pursue your own questions about the way the world works – and to shape arguments where you feel it doesn’t.

The knowledge and skills you develop during the course will enable you to explore a number of rewarding career options – from supporting NGOs to working with the civil service or media.


Is the USA a benevolent global leader or a neo-imperial power? How does the shift in power from the West to the Rest reshape international politics in the 21st century? Can states act effectively in a world increasingly shaped by international institutions and global economic actors?

The International Politics MA will challenge your point of view and help you:

  • Explore an expansive and ever-changing subject and gain an advanced specialist education in international politics
  • Learn about the broad contours of the field while developing specialisms backed by real-world research
  • Probe the ideas that structure the way we think about the world and examine the institutions that determine events
  • Focus on how you can use this new understanding to judge global affairs for yourself
  • Examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between governments, transnational actors and networks, and intergovernmental organizations
  • Gain an advanced conceptualization of global political issues in the 21st century
  • Understand contemporary theoretical debates and the rapid political change in the contemporary world
  • Develop your analytical capacities through a variety of learning techniques
  • Prepare for a diverse range of careers, as well as provide contextual knowledge
    that will be applicable for life-long learning in a rapidly changing political and social world.

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.

INTO City, University of London

Don’t meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You’ll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and the Arts programme.

Kaplan International College London

City works in partnership with Kaplan International College (KIC) London to provide preparatory courses for international students. Pre Masters courses at KIC London offer comprehensive support to students wishing to complete their postgraduate study at City. Progression to this degree is guaranteed if you complete the KIC London Pre-Masters course at the required level.

International Equivalences

If you are applying with an overseas degree, the following is an indication of international equivalents of an upper second class degree from a UK institution. Please note these figures are intended as a guide only and individual applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

  • China: Bachelor degree (Xueshi) in a suitable subject with an overall grade of 75 – 85% (depending on the standing of the awarding institution)
  • USA: Bachelor degree in a suitable subject with CGPA 3.2
  • India: Bachelor degree in a suitable subject with CGPA 6.5 / overall 65% / 1st Division classification
  • Turkey: Lisans Diplomasi or a Műhendis Diplomasi with a minimum CGPA 3.0 or 65%
  • Italy: Diploma di Laurea in a suitable subject with a minimum score of 104.

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

Don’t meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

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.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for 2020 are now open:

Apply for MA International Politics (Full Time)

Apply for MA International Politics (Part Time)

When you apply online you will be expected to submit the following:

  • One application form
  • A short personal statement (c800-1200 words) outlining why you are applying for this programme
  • A copy of your degree transcript: We require an original transcript or a copy certified by your institution. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.

Please note: 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.

Return the completed form to:

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(1)20 7040 0249/3721

in London for international politic in the UK (Guardian University Rankings 2015).
electives across three departments to choose from
of graduates responding to the 2014/15 DHLE were in employment or further study 6 months after graduation
During your course

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).


British Council: Chevening awards. Usually for non-UK/EU students. See the Chevening website for further information and guidance.

Find out more about Scholarships for the Arts and Social Sciences.


You may have the opportunity to undertake a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage you to create your own placement, by fostering connections offered by the Careers Service.

There is also the International Politics Careers Day, which helps you to explore career opportunities with international politics degrees. The day 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.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

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

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by academics within the department with industry professionals offering insight in the form of talks for the Practitioner Series. This is a programme of talks from visiting speakers and alumni working within organisations such as The Refugee Council and Amnesty International.

Academic staff

The course is taught by an energised department of practising academics. The staff within our Department of International Politics are research-active, enthusiastic and passionate about their work.

They are actively involved in 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. Their research and influence leads to policy change and many media appearances. This keeps the content of the course effective and current, giving you a contemporary lens from which to view rapid political change.

Industry professionals also offer insight in the form of talks for the Practitioner Series. This is a programme of talks from visiting speakers and alumni working within organisations such as The Refugee Council and Amnesty International.

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


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. 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.

Your work will be assessed by coursework alone, there are no exams. Many students develop their key interest first when they choose their elective modules, then when they write their essays, and finally when they write their dissertation over the summer term.


The structure of this MA gives you the flexibility to design your own degree.

The taught modules are completed in Terms 1 and 2, normally over a single academic year for full-time students and over two academic years for part-time students. You are required to take a total of 120 credits in taught modules.

There is one core module – 'Theories of International Politics' (30 credits) taught in the first term (30 credits).

The remaining credits will be made up of elective modules that you must choose from the list of electives opened to students in the MA International Politics. Throughout the year you can choose elective modules that suit your interests. You can also opt to pursue your interests by studying across departments with optional modules from the Department of Sociology and The City Law School.

The number of elective modules you take will vary depending on the number of 15- and 30-credit modules you choose. All modules run for a minimum of eleven weeks (or one term).

Core modules

Theories of International Politics (30 credits)

This module provides an advanced introduction to contemporary theories of international politics, which a focus on critical engagement with a diversity of theoretical perspectives. Specifically, you will learn about a number of different theoretical traditions, going beyond the conventional triumvirate of realism, liberalism and constructivism. This modules provides you with cutting-edge knowledge of contemporary international politics.

International Politics Research Workshop

This module 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.

International Politics Dissertation (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.

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)
  • Cultural Logics of Contemporary Capitalism (15 credits)
  • Global capitalism: past, present and future (30 credits)
  • Global political economy: contemporary approaches (30 credits)
  • Global ethics: Principles, Power and Politics (30 credits)
  • Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics (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)
  • Strategy, diplomacy and decision-making (30 credits)
  • Foreign policy analysis (15 credits)
  • Economic diplomacy (15 credits)
  • Russian Foreign Policy from Stalin to Putin (15 credits)
  • History of East Asia (15 credits)
  • Revolutions in Modern History (15 credits)
  • Visions of World Order: Ideas and Concepts in the History of International Thought (15 credits).

Typical modules offered by the Sociology Department:

  • Developments in communication policy (30 credits)
  • Transnational media and communication (30 credits)
  • Criminal minds (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by The City Law School:

  • Law and war (30 credits)
  • Public international law (30 credits)
  • Minorities and indigenous people in international law (30 credits)

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

  • Academic profile
    Portrait of Ronen Palan
    Professor of International Politics
  • Justin King
    Student profile
    I chose City with employability in mind; I saw that City alumni had a reputation for quickly finding employment in their given field after graduation..
After you graduate

Career prospects

The skills you will take away from this programme – those of research, analysis and presentation – are highly valued by employers. In 2014-15, 87.5% of City's International Politics graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation.
Current graduates now work within the following organisations:

From government agencies to NGOs and human rights organisations, the course gives you the perfect foundation to prepare for a career in a wide range of fields. You will graduate with the ability to undertake in-depth research, challenge received explanations of topics in social and political life and to examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between governments, transnational actors, transnational networks and intergovernmental or governmental organisations.

82% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Contact details

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