The MA in International Relations is a one-year comprehensive programme based at the School of History in UCC. The programme draws on international relations, conflict/peace studies and international history; it explores issues such as war and peace, the international order, international crises, counter-insurgency, terrorism and foreign policy.
Our MA course combines an exploration of the contemporary world with a study of the past. It is a field of study that considers the subtleties of diplomacy together with the stark realities of state interactions and looks at how these interactions impact our world. This field of study is of immense importance in today's richly connected complex world and consequently, individuals skilled in navigating these international relations are prized by potential employers.
Why Choose This Course
This is one of the first MA courses in Ireland to offer you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of international relations. The course has a very successful track record, and has produced many high-calibre graduates who have gone on to enter the worlds of international diplomacy, academia, government and business. It offers a unique combination of contemporary and historical approaches to analysing international relations.
Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between topics such as history, politics, law, conflict, society, and policy.
At UCC we support our student community by offering scholarships and prizes to prospective and current students. Please see the Scholarships & Prizes page for more information. See also the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences postgraduate study page.
To be considered for registration an applicant will normally have a primary degree of at least Second Class Honours Grade I level in a suitable subject or the equivalent.
Applications from students with a Second Class Honours Grade II degree in a suitable subject may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). These applicants may be requested to submit a proposal and/or attend an interview.
All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Briefly describe a research proposal which may form the basis of your thesis.
Please submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report/creative writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.)
Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.
Before completing the online application, intending candidates must consult with the relevant course coordinator or prospective supervisor to discuss/confirm their proposed research area.
Dr. Mervyn O'Driscoll
School of History
University College Cork
Tel: +353 (0)21 4903477
The School of History may ask applicants to provide letters of reference if necessary when considering applications.
The taught half of the course is centred on continuous assessment such as long and short essays, the compilation of portfolios, policy papers, in-class exercises, analysis of international texts, class participation, and oral presentations. There is one formal written examination.
The 50% weighting for the thesis reflects the importance of independent research.
Students take modules to the value of 90 credits comprising taught modules to the value of 45 credits (Part I) and a dissertation to the value of 45 credits (Part II).
HI6026 US Foreign Policy and Contemporary History (10 credits)
HI6056 Issues in World Politics (5 credits)
HI6092 International Relations Theories and Approaches (10 credits)
HI6035 Foreign Policy & Diplomacy: Case Studies in Crises and Decision-making (10 credits)
Plus 10 credits from:
HI6045 War and Peace: the European State System from 1648 to 1990 (10 credits)
HI6060 The Politics of Terrorism (10 credits)
GV6115 European Security (10 Credits)
LW6633 Public International (5 Credits)* and
LW6566 Contemporary Issues in Public International Law (5 credits)*
HI6063 Work Placement and Portfolio (10 Credits)
HI6100 History Dissertation (45 credits): A dissertation of a maximum of 20,000 words must be submitted by a specified date in September. Your thesis will be on a relevant topic within the broad areas of international relations, including international history and conflict/peace studies.
*The two 5-credit LW modules (LW6633 & LW6566) must be studied as a 10-credit package.
Note: All electives are chosen in consultation with the programme director and are subject to availability and timetable requirements.
Postgraduate Certificate in History (International Relations): Candidates who pass at least 30 credits of taught modules may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in History (International Relations).
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
1 year, full-time, 2 years, part-time.
Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.
Start Date 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
Past graduates of the course over the last decade have gone on to further study, academia, diplomatic service, international organisations, the EU, international think tanks, non-governmental organisations and public service. Others have embarked on careers in multinational companies, as well as in traditional sectors such as teaching, journalism and the civil service.
The School of History at UCC is a leading international centre for postgraduate research in history, international relations, and European studies. Consult our PhD page for areas of potential PhD supervision in the field of international relations.