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International Relations

Dublin City University's graduate programme in international governance has three separate MA degree programmes:

MA in International Relations (Full-time and Part-time)
MA in International Security and Conflict Studies
MA in Development (Full-time and Part-time, mixed Mode)

Contemporary international relations impact on our lives in realms such as international politics, human rights, the economy, communications and trade. This degree offers a broad interdisciplinary introduction to this subject. It explores the concepts, forces and processes underpinning international relations, looking at the role of powerful states and international organisations, legal frameworks, foreign policy, and the international political economy. Students come from all corners of the globe and are both recent undergraduates and those already immersed in the field (NGOs, teachers), who want to further their professional development. The programme is suitable for students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, from politics, law and languages, to history, business and sciences.

To provide an in-depth understanding of the core theories underpinning international relations, including liberalism, realism, and constructivism.

To develop a clear and thorough knowledge of the political, social, economic, historical, and cultural contexts of the international system and its institutions.

To detail specific aspects of international relations in the contemporary world (including security and conflict, development, globalisation, international law, area studies and foreign policy).

To provide the opportunity to undertake interdisciplinary options such as language studies and communication studies.

To appreciate both qualitative (e.g. comparative and case study approaches) and quantitative (i.e. statistical) research methods which will enable you to use one or both of these approaches in the completion of your dissertation.

The graduate programme is highly regarded in Ireland and internationally and provides a challenging and innovative learning environment.

This course will develop your critical understanding of the major theories, issues, and debates in contemporary international/global politics.

The advanced knowledge and skills you acquire are much sought after by government, research, the national or international non-governmental (NGO)/non-profit sector, and the inter-governmental (IGO) sector.

Your knowledge and skills will open doors to further postgraduate studies in international relations (incl. International Relations Theory, Area Studies, Security Studies, International Political Economy), Politics/Political Science (including Comparative Politics).

External Speakers Programme
The MA Programme features seminars and presentations by guest speakers with particular experience and expertise, be it as politicians, officials, academics or diplomats, in foreign policy and international relations. The intention is to facilitate the exploration of key issues in international relations in an informal, interactive environment. Amongst previous guest speakers in DCU have been:

Pat Cox (former President of the European Parliament);

Gareth Evans, (member of High Level Panel on UN Reform);

Judge Maureen Clark (Judge of the International Criminal Court);

Sandy Thurman (CEO International AIDS Trust and President Clinton's National AIDS Policy Director);

John Bruton (former Taoiseach and now EU ambassador to the USA),

Dr. Thandika Mkandawire (Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development);

Peter Sutherland (former Director General of the WTO);

Justin Kilcullen (Director, Trócaire);

Conor Lenihan TD (Minister of State for Development cooperation);

Dr Garret FitzGerald MRIA (former Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs) ·

Tom Arnold, (CEO Concern World wide);

Lt. Gen. David Stapleton (Chief of Staff, Defence Forces)

and numerous other diplomats, military officers, visiting academics and leaders of development NGOs.

International Students
Students who have successfully completed the Pre-Masters International Foundation Programme (IFP), are guaranteed a place on their target programme in DCU. Visit for further details.

Further Information
For further information on this programme see the website of the School of Law and Government:

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements
Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent, but appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may be accepted as equivalent to an honours degree, in accordance with the relevant regulations of the University.

Applicants will be ranked by prior academic achievement, their work experience where relevant, and their stated reasons for wishing to take the programme. Applicants are asked to include a 200 word statement outlining

1) Why they wish to study International Relations,

2) What in their record and experience makes them suitable for the M.A. programme

3) The impact which they expect the M.A. would have on their futures.

Some applicants may be called for interview. Such interviews will be held during the month of June.

Applicants who are awaiting their degree results should indicate both the level of award expected, and their undergraduate record to date. Some applicants may be called for interview. The closing date for receipt of applications is below, though we recommend that international students apply early and we will make some decisions on international applications at an earlier date where this is necessary to allow applicants secure funding or visas.

International Applications
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

Graduates are working for development agencies and NGOs such as Trócaire, Goal, Amnesty International, Concern and Oxfam. Our graduates also work in a variety of government departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of An Taoiseach and Department of Justice, as well as international organisations including the European Union and United Nations. Many also work for major multinational organisations, financial services companies, in the media and in international business.

Further enquiries

Michael Breen
t: +353 (01) 7006590

Application date

Dates for Submission of Applications 2018
EU Applicants
Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( by 31st July 2017 (for full-time programme DC608) and by 31st July 2017 (for part-time programme DC609)

Non-EU Applicants
Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( by 10th July 2017 (for full-time programme DC608).

If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

How to Apply and Closing Dates
Make an Application
Applying through the Postgraduate Applications Centre
When applying for this programme ( use the PAC code DC608 for the full-time programme and PAC code DC609 for the part-time programme.

Queries on Completed Applications
Queries on completed applications can be made by e-mail to

Enrolment and start dates

Commencement of Programme: September 2017.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!