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International Politics (M.Sc. / P.Grad.Dip.)

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time ; 25 places

Course Description

The objective of the course is to develop students' knowledge of international politics with a comprehensive empirical approach to understanding many prominent problems in contemporary world politics, especially topics where domestic and international politics cannot be understood in isolation from each other. These topics include democratisation, international cooperation, development and foreign aid, international conflict as well as the politics of many environmental issues and their implications for the politics of developing countries. Students will also receive training in research methods.

The M.Sc. course consists of four compulsory modules and four elective (half) modules. The compulsory modules are:

  • International Politics
  • International Conflict
  • Research Design
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods


The elective modules on offer vary from year to year.

In 2019-20 these included:

  • Global Justice
  • State and Society in the Developing World
  • Russian Politics under Putin
  • The Political Economy of International Development
  • Great Power Politics
  • European Identity
  • Varieties of Authoritarianism
  • Interviews in Political Science
  • International Security Cooperation

In addition, students will complete a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words in length. Students who fail to achieve a satisfactory mark for the dissertation element may be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Political Science.

Samuel Johnston, M.Sc. in International Politics. Class of 2018

"Undertaking the M.Sc. in International Politics was a highly positive and beneficial experience, with it enabling me to develop both my analytical skills and my knowledge of areas that interested me. The structure of the programme greatly enabled development in both of these areas, with research design and quantitative methods modules enabling the development of analytical and research skills, and the substantive modules and dissertation enabling us to apply these skills to areas that interested us. In this way, the M.Sc. has a good balance between methodological and substantive modules. Throughout we were both assisted, and challenged, by professors producing top-quality research, who were also able to encourage the development of our analytical skills. Irrespective of whether you want to do a Ph.D. or work in other areas after, this programme will provide you with the ability to succeed in both spheres."

Brigid Francis-Devine, M.Sc. in International Politics. Class of 2018, Department of Foreign Affairs and the ESRI

“The M.Sc. in International Politics attracts students from all over the world, with a range of expertise and academic backgrounds and the course’s structure meant that we had regular, in-depth discussions and debates about a wide range of aspects of international politics. In this way, I was introduced to new political theories, structures, policies and perspectives, and had the opportunity to explore the areas which interest me.

Though this is a taught master’s and the faculty are quite hands-on, there is a focus on independent research, and the regularity of assignments and quality of feedback gave me a chance to really hone my writing style, research skills, and presentation technique. Since graduating, I have worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and the ESRI, and this M.Sc. certainly helped me obtain and excel in these roles.”

Trey Hines, M.Sc. in International Politics. Class of 2017, Legislative Director in the Michigan House of Representatives

“The M.Sc. in International Politics combined the best of in-class and self-directed learning. The professors, each of whom are experts in their field, gave us the tools and opportunities to hone our critical thinking and writing skills in a constructive, classroom setting, but also encouraged us to explore new texts and ideas on our own outside of class. The breadth of class subjects reflects the depth of faculty knowledge and helps students find what interests them most. In giving students such wide latitude in their academic and research focus, the professors ensure that our dissertations are on topics that motivate and inspire us to do top-quality research. The quantitative instruction we receive in class provides an excellent foundation to learn more thorough and complex analyses on our own or with the help of our dissertation advisor.

Since finishing the programme, I have worked as a Legislative Director in the Michigan House of Representatives, where I’m regularly tasked with helping draft and analyse complex budgets and legislation. The skills that I acquired at Trinity have been vital to my success.”


Course Details


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Number of Places


Next Intake

September 2021

Closing Date

31st July 2021

Candidates should normally have achieved an upper second class honour degree or higher from an established university. GPA scores of at least 3.3 out of 4, or equivalent, will be expected from international applicants. A background in a social science will be an advantage but not a necessity. Applications are expected from candidates with a single or joint honours degree in Political Science, Economics, European Studies, History, Sociology, Business and Law.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get In Touch

Course Director

Dr Peter Stone