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International Relations

The MA in International Relations is a one-year comprehensive course. It draws on international relations, conflict/peace studies and international history. The course explores issues such as war and peace, the international order, international crises, counterinsurgency, terrorism and foreign policy. It combines an exploration of the contemporary world with a study of the past.

Entry requirements

To be considered for registration an applicant will normally have;
(a) a primary degree of at least Second Class Honours Grade I level in a suitable subject or the equivalent
(b) Applications from students with a Second Class Honours Grade II degree in a suitable subject may also be considered. 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.

N.B. Before completing the online application and online Supplementary Question Form, intending candidates must consult with the relevant course co-ordinators or prospective supervisors to discuss/confirm their proposed research area (Course Co-ordinator names and contact details are available in the Course Content section further down). Following this consultation the proposed supervisor should be named on the online supplementary questions form.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years

Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

Course Coordinator
Dr. Mervyn O'Driscoll,
School of History
University College Cork
Tel: +353 (0)21 4903477

School Administrators
Deirdre O'Sullivan/Geraldine McAllister,
School of History
University College Cork
+353 (0)21 4902755

Subjects taught

This one-year master’s course has both taught and research phases.
Programme Requirements

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)

Plus 20 credits from:
HI6035 Foreign Policy and Diplomacy: Case Studies in Crises and Decision-making (10 credits)
HI6045 War and Peace: the European State System from 1648 to 1990 (10 credits)
HI6060 The Politics of Terrorism (10 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.

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).

For further details and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar.


Unique Aspects of the 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.

Assessment method

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.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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