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Previous degree required


Distance/blended learning available?


Tier 4 visa

1-2 Years


Stuart Oliver

Senior Lecturer
020 8240 4075

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There has never been a more important time to study international affairs. Our MSc in International Relations helps you make sense of complex developments in an uncertain political world.

Why study International Relations?

We live in a time of uncertainty; everywhere we look there are huge challenges to the established international order:

  • As well as the serious ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, there is a host of small-scale wars and insurgencies taking place around the world.
  • Population displacement, forced migration and human trafficking are tragic effects of current conflicts.
  • Terrorism continues to pose a major threat in many countries.
  • Growing calls for independence by minority communities in many countries.
  • Global challenges, such as climate change and regional economic inequality.

Understanding and navigating this complex international environment is a huge challenge for governments, non-governmental organisations, and businesses.

This degree programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to make sense of international affairs. The course also has a very strong focus on practical skills, ensuring that you leave St Mary’s with excellent analytical and communication skills.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary’s University has exceptional expertise within the international relations sphere, including recognised scholars in the fields of conflict and diplomatic studies.

We are home to the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery, one of Britain’s leading research units in the fields of organised crime and human trafficking. It has links to a range of external partners, including policy-makers, academic institutions, campaigners, international organisations and NGOs.

Our outstanding team of visiting professors include:

  • Field Marshal Lord Guthrie: the former Chief of Defence Staff.
  • Ambassador Noel Fahey: Ireland’s former Ambassador to the United States and Germany
  • Sir Ivor Roberts: a former British Ambassador to Yugoslavia and editor of the world’s leading handbook of diplomatic practice

Key facts

  • You will be taught by academics with hands-on experience of international political relations
  • Located near international organisations, embassies and think tanks in the capital
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus, with direct public transport into the heart of Central London
Please note: this programme is subject to validation.

Course content

The degree starts by introducing you to the theoretical and conceptual foundations of International Relations. You can then choose from an exciting array of optional modules, including specialist topics on organised crime, mediation and negotiation, international security. This lets you tailor your studies to your interests.


  • Advanced Research Methods 
  • Dissertation 
  • Gender, Identity and Society 
  • Human Rights and Migration in Europe 
  • International Relations Theory 
  • Issues in International Security 
  • Legal Responses to Transnational Crime and Terrorism 
  • Mediating Trafficking Migration and Diaspora 
  • Mediation and Negotiation 
  • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: Policing, Policy and Practice 
  • Organised Crime in Insecure Environments 
  • Political Economy of Human Trafficking and Unfree Labour 
Please note: all information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career opportunities

This course is designed for those wishing to pursue careers in organisations where excellent analytical and communications skills and an in-depth knowledge of international affairs is essential.

This could be ministries of foreign affairs, aid and trade in national governments, international organisations, major charities and non-governmental organisations, and large companies with an active international presence.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops.

The taught programme runs over two semesters full time (September until May). Classes are held in late-afternoon and evening.

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on written coursework and includes assignments specifically designed to build key analytical and communication skills. These include preparing policy briefings, engaging with the media and delivering presentations and speeches.

Your dissertation or professional practice is an independent project that you will complete between June and September.

Qualifications available

The course has three possible exit points:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: successful completion of 60 credits
  • Postgraduate Diploma: successful completion of 120 credits without a dissertation
  • Master's: successful completion of 120 credits plus a 15,000-word dissertation or professional practice report


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Fees and funding

2018/19 fees

  • Home/EU: £7,000
  • International: £13,650

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £7,280
  • International: £13,650

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants for 2018 and 2019 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


For guidance about financing your studies, including information about goverment-funded loans, please check out Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information