Why choose this course
International relations is an inescapable subject. Politics, economics, and law interconnect on a global scale, affecting individuals and organisations at all levels of society.
On our MSc International Relations course you will study how politics is shaped internationally, while developing the research and analytical skills to support your future career. You will master international relations theories and political science methods that will enable you to investigate the links between local, national, and international politics, and to engage in issues that shape the world today
What you will study
Our International Relations MSc pathway examines the most salient issues in contemporary international politics, in a course that is customisable according to your interests.
A small set of compulsory modules provide the theoretical and methodological grounding needed to conduct political science research, while a wide range of optional modules focus on specific areas including international security; economy and trade; and global governance. Throughout, innovative teaching methods connect theory with the practice of international politics, including trade negotiation simulations as well as the opportunity to experience real time crisis diplomacy at Chatham House’s Simulation Centre.
Students employ research and analytical skills developed during the course to design and carry out an independent dissertation research project, with individual supervision from our academic experts
The course is also based off campus at your placement location in or outside the UK. This is if you choose the International Intervention pathway.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Whatever your plans are, our MSc in International Relations is a great stepping stone in your career development.
Through its assessed, three-month placement, the International Intervention pathway offers an excellent opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills and build personal networks which will significantly enhance your employment opportunities upon graduation.
Students from the Department of Politics have gone on to a wide range of careers. These include working for international organisations, national and local government, lobby groups and non-governmental organisations, as well as private businesses and media organisations.
We also offer doctoral supervision in a wide range of political subjects for talented students who wish to continue their studies.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in either Area Studies (Asian Studies, European Studies etc.), Business Management, Criminology, Economics, Gender Studies, Geography, History, Intercultural Communication and Translation, International Relations, Journalism, Law, Philosophy, Political Psychology, Politics, Public Administration, Sociology, Social Psychology or Women's Studies, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2020-21 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Asylum Seeker Bursary
Application Deadline: 30.06.21
Find out more
Surrey International Masters Scholarship
Application Deadline: 30.09.20
Find out more
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.