International Relations

Open University in Ireland

International Relations

This masters degree will equip you with the tools to analyse key global challenges. This includes how the world responds to international division, rising powers, national and global security threats, the rise of populism, and global ethical dilemmas. You’ll gain a comprehensive grounding in core conceptual, empirical and theoretical debates in international relations. You’ll develop your knowledge of research methods as you progress, culminating in an extended, independently researched dissertation. You’ll also deepen a number of skills that are crucial to enhancing your career development and academic and professional research skills.

Key features of the course

Engage with some of the most important global challenges facing the world today.

Emphasises real world issues, including international division, rising powers, national and global security threats, the rise of
populism, and global ethical dilemmas.

Learn a range of theoretical approaches, concepts, methods and scholarly debates within International Relations.

Develops your independent research skills culminating in a dissertation project.

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits from the following:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
MA International relations part 1 (D818) 90
MA International relations part 2 (D828) 90

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK honours degree or equivalent to be accepted for the MA in International Relations. A degree in International Relations, International Studies or a closely related subject would be ideal. If your degree is not in International Relations, you will be required to show some knowledge of the subject and the study skills expected of a graduate in this field. You should be aware that a degree of at least 2.1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details. If you’re not sure whether your English skills are good enough, there is some help and guidance at our Skills for OU Study website.


2 years

How long it takes
This qualification has a required study order. You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two years by studying one module each year.

Enrolment dates

See course webpage link below for next start date.

Post Course Info

Career relevance
This qualification will give you advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of International Relations and contemporary global changes. It develops your social science research skills, applying these in a variety of projects and an independently researched dissertation. Students graduating from this degree will have demonstrated analysis of complex situations, finding, evaluating and using a variety of sources, and presenting work to a variety of audiences.

The MA will be relevant for careers in a range of sectors including the civil service, international organisations and charities, think-tank and policy research, and serves as excellent preparation for further academic research (e.g. a PhD).

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Flexible

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    Course provider