2025/26 entry Applications also open for 2024/25

MA International Relations

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
1 year

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
General enquiries:
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About this course

LJMU's innovative MA International Relations provides a grounding in key theories while examining in depth issues of enduring international significance

  • Learn from experts and practitioners in the field of International Relations
  • Benefit from assistance when organising an internship
  • Apply for Erasmus funding which is available for internships in Europe
  • Enjoy free field trips to explore the complex workings of institutions and think tanks
  • Attend the Perspectives in IR research seminar series
  • Learn a language online through Rosetta Stone
  • Join a highly motivated postgraduate research community

This fascinating programme takes an expanded definition of International Relations and covers a range of subjects from economics, politics, law and culture to examining the actions of international organisations, nation-states and non-state actors.

It provides you with an essential grounding in international relations theory and also provides a range of specialist modules which examine in depth issues of enduring international significance: conflict, the United Nations, international affairs in the Asia-Pacific region, and the role of humanitarian actions by state and non-state actors.

In addition to the cross-Faculty taught aspects of the MA, the programme recognises the importance of networking by obtaining employment in a related field. This is why we will hold and attend regular events and workshops with experts in a variety of fields, and support you in arranging work-based learning if interested.


Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Typically students who study the MA will be progressing from their first degree in history, politics or a related-subject.

This programme has been designed to enhance your career prospects in international relations-related fields including government and non-government sectors. It exposes you to the careers available and enables you to network with people in the field.

For students wishing to pursue an academic career or for further study in the field of international relations, this MA will provide a solid basis when applying for a MPhil/PhD.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Core modules

Understanding International Relations
30 credits

This core module provides an introduction to International Relations by examining the theories, key concepts and authors. It aims to:

  • engage you in independent and critical thinking
  • develop and engage with the theoretical concepts and apply them to the world
  • develop the ability to present and defend arguments and interpretations in an appropriate and scholarly manner
  • help you understand global events from the state, non-state and international perspectives

Research Methods for International Relations
10 credits

This module provides a thorough understanding of the key skills required to develop and carry-out a research-based project or dissertation on the subject of International Relations. It aims to:

  • introduce you to postgraduate-level methodological and theoretical approaches to researching international relations
  • provide the opportunity to critically appraise methodological and theoretical approaches to researching international relations
  • provide the skills required to undertake a research project at postgraduate level

Research Project in International Relations
60 credits

This module will prepare you to undertake your dissertation following the relevant research methods module. It will enable you to:

  • engage in independent and critical thinking and apply theoretical concepts in the field of international relations
  • apply knowledge of recent advances within the field of international relations and situate the proposed work accordingly
  • identify, access and critically evaluate relevant research resources
  • present and defend research findings in an appropriate and scholarly manner
  • examine an appropriate area of research and modify the project after discussion, reflection and feedback

Critical Security Studies
20 credits

Through an exploration of key contemporary issues including gender, race, health security, nuclearization, migration and terrorism, this module will provide a set of key concepts and resources to help students develop an in-depth understanding of the modern security environment through the lens of Critical Security Studies. As such, this module will provide students with the necessary theoretical tools to understand how ‘security’ opens up wider questions of power, inequality, war, and peace internationally. In particular, this module will be important for students who are keen on pursuing a career within policy-making, research and industries concerned with security, development and peace-building.

Optional Modules

The War/Peace Cycle
20 credits

This module develops a comprehension of the theory, practice and historical development of the War/Peace Cycle. It will demonstrate an understanding of the strategic significance of the War/Peace cycle in international relations over the course of the last 200 years. It also builds in-depth knowledge of particular problems in the War/Peace cycle.

War and Peace in Africa since 1990
20 credits

This module engages with both political science and historical approaches to the study of warfare in contemporary Africa. It will enable you to:

  • consider the nature of international interventions in African wars
  • consider the dilemmas of post-conflict agendas of justice and reconciliation

Conflict and Warfare in International Law
20 credits

This module aims to:

  • consider current controversies in international law pertaining to the use of force between states
  • provide you with an understanding of legal limitations on methods and means of armed conflict
  • explore modern and emerging challenges to the law of armed conflict

The United Nations, International Security and Global Justice
20 credits

The module aims to:

  • introduce you to the work of the United Nations in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security
  • develop your understanding of the legal framework which governs the work of the UN in this area

International Human Rights Law
20 credits

Introduces students to the basic conceptual, institutional and substantive elements of international human rights law, current debates regarding the interpretation and application of international human rights law.

The module will provide students with critical appreciation of contemporary issues of global and regional concern relating to the interpretation and application of international human rights law.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Full-time students spend around seven hours a week in on-campus sessions and part-time students three to four hours. The Practitioner Workshops and the Perspectives in IR series take place four times each semester and add an extra 30 minutes a week to the on-campus study time.

Teaching methods

Teaching will be delivered as a combination of class discussions, lectures and workshops with core academic staff and invited practitioners, experts and guest lecturers. The aim is to give you as much insight into the world of International Relations as possible and this is best achieved through a mix of academic discussion and real world experiences.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

The aim in all the assessments is to test your understanding of International Relations. Assessments on this course are a mixture of essays, presentations, exams and portfolios.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

I have taught widely across the School on modules related but not limited to: security, the sociology and politics of sports, international organizations, IR theory, sociological theory and identity, qualitative methods and international fieldwork, and global issues.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based within the John Foster Building on the Mount Pleasant Campus the School of Humanities and Social Science has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support the study of humanities and social science.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • a minimum 2:1 honours degree in a related subject such as Law, History, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Anthropology or Economics

Alternative qualifications considered

  • applications from candidates with non-related degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additional requirements

  • Relevant work experience

    • we welcome applications from non-standard applicants who can demonstrate relevant work experience of at least 2 years in an international relations related field and an ability to succeed at MA level.

International requirements


    • IELTS 6.5 (minimum 7.0 in writing and 5.5 in other elements)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
    • to demonstrate the ability to benefit from and contribute to the programme
  • RPL

    • RPL is accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

A pre-written personal statement (minimum 500 words) can be copied and pasted into your application in the appropriate section of the online form. Your personal statement should include information on why you are interested in the subject of International Relations, why you are interested in the International Relations programme at Liverpool John Moores University, and how your previous knowledge and experiences would contribute to you being successful on the programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.