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MA International Relations: Security and Development

MA International Relations: Security and Development

Delve into specific debates about global security, trade policy, development aid and conflict resolution, gaining a systematic and critical understanding of the discourse of development issues.

Course details

This course is not running in September 2023. Future start dates are to be confirmed.


online, part-time


2 years

Total fees

£8,300 (flexible payments available)

Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees shown are the most up to date but still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Course overview

Global power structures and developmental politics are in a state of flux after much political and economic disarray. In this course, you’ll acquire a wider knowledge of the fundamental theories of international relations and international debates. You’ll also develop your capacity to apply critical evaluation and reasoning to policy-making in security and development.

Hear from Course Leader Dr Patrick Holden as he discusses his background, the specific areas the course covers, and progression opportunities:

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Read the video transcript on this page.

This course will provide you with the ability to analyse thematic and institutional case studies of world order and global governance. It will arm you with new ways of analysing the practice of security and developmental politics from a global perspective. We’ll take a more problem-focused approach with an emphasis on key subfields of international relations. Together, we’ll analyse these subfields intensely, so that you can go on to practice application in professional scenarios.

Application process

What you’ll learn

Our MA International Relations: Security and Development online programme takes a dynamic, problem-based approach to teaching and assessment.

On this course, you will:

  • develop an advanced understanding and knowledge of the significance of the theories and concerns of international relations, informed by global scholarship
  • gain an in-depth and systematic understanding of the discourse and practice of security and development issues in International Relations
  • build on your ability to apply analysis and critical evaluation to policy-making processes in global security and development
  • grow your competence in using methodologies and techniques both for research and professional environments
  • develop a capacity for both independent research and collaborative efforts.

Why study an MA in International Relations?

We live in an era of dynamic global change. An International Relations degree will give you the in-depth knowledge and skills you need to navigate and critically analyse these changes and developments. Here are 5 reasons to study an MA.

Module overview

Are you interested?

Entry requirements

Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Careers and opportunities

By participating in this programme, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in this growing area of professional activity.

With so much opportunity to practise critical analysis and thinking, research, and application of these skills to real life case studies, you’ll graduate equipped with a diverse portfolio of techniques that give you an intellectual edge.

On successful completion of the course, you’ll have developed the ethical and integrative attitudes necessary to be a professional within this field. You may even be inspired to embark on a PhD programme.

Our MA student cohort is very diverse. Some go on to work in the military and the security sector while others go into the NGO world/third sector or radical politics. The traditional route is also to work in government or international organisations. Many will also work in business. 

Dr. Patrick Holden, MA International Relations: Security and Development Course Leader.

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed based on your process of researching, crafting, and documenting your work through a variety of methods, including presentation and individual work, as well as the framed discussion of practical work.

Assessment methods will be tailored specifically to each module and inclusivity will be catered for so that no students are disadvantaged.

“Skills such as intercultural communication, critical thinking, and analytical/research capabilities are greatly prized in business and the subject knowledge is also relevant.”

Dr. Patrick Holden | MA International Relations: Security and Development Course Leader

How the online programme is delivered

Taking into account different time zones and our commitment to independent study, you’ll be tasked with managing your own schedule within the timeframes required.

During each module, you’ll have weekly contact with online tutors to support your academic development. This will be your opportunity to discuss your experiences and ensure the course is supporting your aspirations and reaching your expectations. 

Learn more about life as an online student:

Student life

Academic team

Patrick Holden

Course Leader

Dr Patrick Holden

Dr. Patrick Holden’s research and teaching has focused on international political economy, the European Union in the world, international development policy, global governance, and regional integration. 

Elizabeth Cobbett

Module Leader

Elizabeth Cobbett

Before entering academia, Elizabeth developed expertise and experience in political economy analysis, with practical experience in feminist and social movements, and grassroots communities, in Canada and Mozambique. 

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