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.
The Masters in International Relations is a full-time, taught programme running for 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programmes. The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years. In total, you will attend 144 lecture/seminar hours in UCC.
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.
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. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional requirements for 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 that 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.).
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
+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.
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.