University of Sussex

University of Sussex

International Relations

The course examines a wide range of issues of contemporary relevance in global politics. More than any other, the contemporary era has thrust many of the core and emerging issues of international relations directly into our everyday lives, requiring us to reflect on them systematically. Taking the exciting and troubling times in which we live as its starting point, this course emphasises a philosophical and historical orientation with a distinctive critical edge for which international relations at Sussex has an international reputation. This course brings together students from a wide range of educational, national, political and professional backgrounds. It is a theoretically grounded course, covering issues of theory and history of international relations, as well as a wide range of issues of contemporary relevance in global politics and international order. Our Centre for Advanced International Theory provides a unique forum for advanced fundamental research in international politics. The School of Global Studies offers you support in finding a research placement, allowing you to gain experience in an area of work relating to your subject of study and to acquire practical skills in preparation for a professional career. Research placements run over a 12-week period in the summer term and vacation. If you take a research placement, you have the opportunity to write a dissertation based on your experience.

Entry requirements

A 1st or upper 2nd Class undergraduate Honours Degree, preferably in a humanities or social science subject. Relevant degrees include political science, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, sociology, and area studies. A degree in the social sciences or humanities does not constitute a strict requirement and applicants with degrees in other disciplines will be given due consideration. Relevant work and voluntary experience will also be considered, particularly in cases where candidates fall short of the academic requirement.

Course modules

Autumn term: foundations of world politics; international relations theory.
Spring term: you choose 2 from: East Asia in the international system; foreign policy analysis; governing global capitalism; human rights in international relations; irregular warfare; peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction; queer international relations; reading Foucault in international relations; religions, cultures and civilisations in international relations; rethinking imperialism; Russian foreign and security policy; science, technology and war; terror, security and the state; the global politics of disease and biosecurity; the Middle East in global order; the political economy of development; the political economy of global finance; the political economy of the environment.
You also take a research methods and professional skills module, which provides training to prepare you for further research and a professional career. This module is delivered as a series of workshops, including one that prepares you for your dissertation. Summer term: you carry out work on your MA dissertation under the supervision of a member of faculty. There is also a dissertation with a placement option.

Assessment methods

Foundations of world politics is assessed by a 5000-word term paper. International relations theory is assessed by an unseen examination. Assessment of spring-term options is generally by a 5000-word term paper. You will also submit a dissertation of 10000 words.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 14,450 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MA Full-time October 2016 GBP 6,060 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months
MA Part-time October 2016 - 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

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Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 877686