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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


The course will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the forces shaping global politics and state and inter-state relations. It will also give you an appreciation of the context of international relations in terms of global inequalities, power and environmental risks. 

Our students come to us from all over the world, so you will be working in an international environment. The course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need for a career working in a global body, government department or organisation dealing with international policy. 

You will also be encouraged to improve your research skills and learn how to take an active part in international and academic conferences and debates.

This course offers a unique combination of critical thinking in relation to international relations and the study of global environmental politics. We were the first university to offer this special focus on the environment, which has become a central issue of global relations.

What makes this course different

Golden trophy

1st In UK to focus on global environmental politics

This cutting-edge course was the first of its kind to have a special focus on global environmental politics.

Group of people holding up awards.

Our academic team are experts in the field of international relations

Our academic team are world-renowned experts in current global debates through their pioneering research.

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Join a global community of students and researchers

Join a global community of students and researchers


We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

You will study three core modules leading up to a dissertation of 15,000 words.

The first module focuses on the Critical Theories of International Relations and then you will look in detail at Global Environmental Politics - one of the key issues and potential crises facing the international community in the 21st century.

These modules have been much enjoyed by students on the course and described by external examiners as "cutting edge" in their content.

The third module will give you experience of Qualitative Research Methods, equipping for your research project. For this you can choose a subject linked to your previous professional interest or a completely different area for analysis. 

There are also optional modules to choose from, including Conflict, Displacement and Human Security, International Human Rights, Law and Policy in the Middle East and an Introduction to Forced Migration. 

Our academic team are actively involved in shaping the global debate on many of these issues and will guide you through the modules with creative learning methods, feedback and advice.



  • Core Modules

    Critical Theories International Relations

    This module encourages an in-depth engagement with some of the key ideas that constitute Critical International Relations. Our starting point is the view that the discipline of International Relations has contributed very little to the amelioration of global problems. In a world of mounting global problems some radical re-thinking is required. All the critical approaches discussed on this module supply a different account of the character of international relations, and suggest different ways in which we might act to address the problems that we confront.


    Global Environmental Politics

    To develop an in-depth and critical understanding of the theoretical debates, institutional processes and political practices associated with the international politics of the environment and environmental change and the ways this is contested and represented in the media and by social movements.


    Research Methods for Social Science

    This module equips students with an understanding of how to take up and use a range of research methods to inform evidence based policy making with a view to them putting these into action to enhance their employability.


    Policy and Practice of Humanitarianism and Development - Mental Wealth

    The module aims to offer you a combination of theoretical and practice-based knowledge and experiences from the fields of humanitarianism, development and international politics, with an interdisciplinary and participatory approach. The module provides an in-depth analysis of the politics of policy and practice of development and humanitarianism. The module will also offer practical applied skills in analysing case studies and policy-making related to international development, humanitarianism, displacement, gender-based violence, and human trafficking.


    Independent Applied Research Project

    This module consolidates the knowledge acquired and skills developed in earlier modules intended to prepare you to execute a piece of independent and original work. The module aims to support you in the research and development process suitable for conducting an appropriately managed project, whilst improving your research skills and refining your ability to use them productively. It also aims to help you to offer evidence of self-management in respect of planning, recording and evaluation within the original work produced.

    Optional Modules

    International Human Rights

    This module aims to provide an overview of human rights international human rights, their enforcement mechanisms and the contexts in which they are implemented. The module juxtaposes the conceptual and normative framework for international protection of rights with the prospects and strategies for their realisation through a range of methods both formal and informal and by the agency of diverse actors. The module critiques universal and regional human rights regimes as well as domestic approaches through examination of a range of human rights issues. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on examining the procedural and substantive provisions to examine good practices and testing tools and strategies.


    Introduction to Conflict, Displacement and Human Security

    1. To familiarise students with key aspects of contemporary conflicts, changing dynamics of displacement and increased human insecurity.

    2. To adopt a comprehensive approach to the understanding of the intersection of conflict, displacement, human security and development.

    3. To place emphasis on people as social actors and agents of social change.

    4. To examine strategies to prevent conflicts and to promote reconciliation and peace-building.


    Forced Migration in the Global Era

    As part of this module you will critically examine key issues associated with forced migration and the refugee experience. It will engage you with evaluation of the socio-political processes of construction and production of a range of categories labelling people on the move: forced migrant, refugee, asylum seeker, irregular migrant etc. This will enable you to develop your intellectual position on important contemporary issues ranging from human rights, securitization of migration and their global and local dimensions, such as protracted displacement, to the processes of inclusion, exclusion and identity politics in receiving societies.

    By completing this module, you will be able to evidence both the crucial level of relevant knowledge as well as critical thinking skills required for future engagement in evidence-based assessment and evaluation of the situation of marginalised and vulnerable groups in society - something future employers will look for in your portfolio.


Our students are not only from diverse countries and backgrounds but they also have a wide age range. Some have already worked in international bodies while others are coming to the issues for the first time. 

Whatever your age or background, we encourage you to become part of our research community during your time on the course.  We also give students the confidence to increase their publication profile. One of our current students, for example, has written a book review during the course that was published in an international journal.

In addition to traditional teaching methods of lectures and seminars, we also organise special mini-conferences where students present their work to their fellow students and academics and chair panel discussions. 

The day-long conferences provide opportunities to answer probing questions about your work and to quiz others on their findings. 

This kind of specialist training is designed to enhance your confidence and communication skills when taking part in international conferences and events and in presenting your ideas in a public environment. 

The conferences are also a creative way of broadening your knowledge and providing you with inspiration and ideas for research.


You'll be assessed through a wide range of marked coursework, including essays, project work, oral presentations, critical readings, annotated bibliographies, publicity briefings, and independent research reports.  You'll also undertake a dissertation in which you'll carry out a piece of research in an area of your choice.


Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown is a senior lecturer at the School of Education and Communities at UEL. She is course leader for MSc International Relations.

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Stephen Hobden

Stephen Hobden is a Reader in the School of Education and Communities.

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Robert Michael Ahearne

Robert Michael Ahearne is a Lecturer (Global Studies) in the Department of Social Sciences.

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What we're researching

You will be taught by research-active, well-published academic staff who are experts in their field.

Our academic team are actively researching the key issues of today's globalised world, such as fair trade and wellbeing, justice and natural resource extraction, comparative perspectives of urban deprivation and gender and development. 

We are engaged in cutting-edge research in the area of post-human approaches to international relations, 'the post-human way of war', gender power systems of conflict and violence, psychosocial aspects of forced displacement, digital diasporas, social capital and integration.

Our staff also have regional expertise and excellent contacts in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and Western Balkans.

We have a number of research centres and groups in the area of global studies and run many research seminars and events. All of our postgraduate students are welcome to become part of our vibrant research community.

MSc International Relations at UEL has been an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. The lectures are engaging and stimulating and staff are friendly and approachable. This course has given me the tools and confidence to move forward in my career.

Katy Savage, MSc International Relations

University of East London

MSc International Relations


Some of our students have already worked in an international relations environment while others are looking to start a career in the area.

Many aspire to work for the United Nations or develop a career in international policy or development at a government level. Some have used the skills they have developed on the course to forge careers in local as well as national governments.  

Our course will give you the advanced skills to take your career to a new level. You will also learn how to work in an international environment and how to influence the debate. 

Throughout the course you will have the expertise of our distinguished academic team to guide you. 

Course Leader Dr Stephen Hobden has published on international relations theory, and has contributed to the emerging paradigm of posthumanism. He is currently writing a book related to the International Relations Theory module that is part of the programme. 

Dr Robert Ahearne leads the module on global environmental politics. Dr Ahearne is an expert on resource use in Africa and his research has focused on development processes in Tanzania. 

The depth and breadth of their knowledge and the creative teaching methods on this course may well inspire you to pursue your own career in academic research or teaching.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.