About this course
Become an expert in international relations and the challenges of globalisation on this MSc in international politics. You'll cover a range of topics on this UK course, including the analysis of global politics, governance and social change. Prepare for a career in politics, advocacy or the civil service, or pursue your research passions to PhD level.
On this master’s degree at the University of Southampton you’ll gain specialist understanding of current global and international politics.
You’ll learn how developments in this area have major consequences for how states:
- interact with each other
- maintain security
- avoid conflict
- deal with issues such as migration and the emergence of new global powers
You’ll also gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the main approaches to the study of international politics
- the issues and events that challenge contemporary understanding of international political change
- philosophical and methodological debates in the study of this subject
Through your dissertation you’ll learn research skills such searching and referencing sources, and managing complex information. These and other key skills, like critical thinking and independent study, will be crucial to your future career.
Your course leader is Dr Kamil Zwolski, associate professor in international politics. His current research and education activities revolve around the European Commission’s Jean Monnet Chair award, which he received in 2019. Read Dr Zwolski’s staff profile to find out more.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject, such as social sciences, economics or history.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time course. You’ll study for a whole year, from September to the following September.
The taught component of the course, made up of compulsory and optional modules, covers the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2). You’ll also carry out some preparatory work for your dissertation in semester 2.
You’ll take exams at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
During the last 4 months of the course (semester 3) you’ll research and write your dissertation.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
We take a variety of approaches to your learning. Depending on your choice of modules, learning methods might include:
- group work
- project work
We’ll support your learning through MSc coursework and dissertation workshops, designed to help you produce high-quality work throughout your master’s course.
We’ll assess you by a variety of methods, including essays, exams and a dissertation. Other methods will depend on your module choice, but may include:
- seminar discussions
- policy briefings
You’ll research and write a dissertation of 12,500 to 15,000 words on a topic of your choice.
The dissertation is your chance to develop your research skills and increase your knowledge on a particular aspect of your course.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
With this degree you’ll be qualified to pursue a career with political organisations, think tanks, advocacy groups or the civil service. The transferable skills you’ll learn will make you desirable to many different employers.
Our graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:
- local authority
You’ll also be in an ideal position to continue your researches at PhD level.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £18,812.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000