International Relations

University College Cork

International Relations

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.

Subjects taught

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).

Part I
• 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)

Part II
• 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): Students 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).

Entry requirements

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 applicants must satisfy a Selection Committee which may request applicants to provide letters of reference.

Application dates

Closing Date
Rolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.

Assessment Info

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.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 9 September 2024

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.

Postgraduate research
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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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