International Relations (Distance Learning) at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

Overview Explore the complexities of contemporary world affairs on this MA International Relations, which you can study full-time or part-time alongside work or military service via distance learning. You'll delve into the issues central to national and international security and conflict, including terrorism and political violence, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and the impact of social movements, political resistance, cyber activism and rebellion. With access to the entire course online, you'll learn how to challenge conventional thinking, develop your own perspectives, and take part in key debates about international relations, civil society and global politics. You'll sharpen your ability to analyse and critically assess, both in person and in the writing of reports, essays and policy briefs. After the course, you'll be ready to contribute positively towards matters at the heart of global conflict and international security and defence. You'll be well prepared to progress further within a current military career, or for roles in security, development, social policy, governance, advocacy and communications. When you graduate, you'll be in a strong position to generate creative solutions that benefit the global economy and international society. You'll be suited for roles in security, development, social policy, governance, advocacy and communications. Previous graduates have gone on to work in parliaments, political parties, third sector and civil society organisations. Prefer to study on campus? If you'd rather attend university in person, you can study MA International Relations on campus. What you'll experience On this course you'll:

  • Study essential debates, such as how nuclear and other security threats have evolved, whether global civil society can promote security, development and rights, how terrorism and political violence shape domestic and political affairs, and the role the EU endeavours to play in global politics
  • Develop specialist knowledge in areas relating to security, defence and international conflict
  • Learn from expert academics who are contributing to the latest international relations research, and hear expert guest lecturers respond to current global events, such as the conflict in Ukraine
  • Be able to immerse yourself in an international relations topic of your choice through your dissertation
You can study the course full-time or part-time, either on campus or through distance learning. Careers and opportunities With a rounded skill set, and knowledge of international issues, you'll be an informed global citizen, with a sense of responsibility and commitment to ethical practice and issues of global social justice. What can I do with a Master's degree in international relations? This MA International Relations Master's degree will put you in a strong position to pursue job roles in areas and organisations such as:
  • national, European and international state institutions
  • political parties
  • political lobbyists
  • think tanks
  • security and risk analysis
  • foreign affairs analysis
  • political communication and journalism
You could also continue your studies in postgraduate research, leading to a qualification such as a PhD. You can get help and support from our Careers and Employability service in finding a role and for 5 years after you you leave the University.


Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 module worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits. Modules (full-time) Core modules include:

  • Contemporary Security in International Relations (30 credits)
  • Exploring International Relations (30 credits)
Optional modules include:
  • Defence and Deterrence (Dl) (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (45 credits)
  • European International Relations: Facing New Challenges (30 credits)
  • NGOs & Social Movements (Dl) (30 credits)
  • Researching International Relations (15 credits)
  • Researching International Relations (30 credits)
  • Resistance and Rebellion (30 credits)
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, course content is revised and regularly reviewed. This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through: academic essays briefing papers and reports blog posts narrated presentations a major independent project or dissertation You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. This includes group discussions, peer review activities, and virtual seminars. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree in Politics, International Relations, Peace Studies, Sociology, History, or another relevant subject. Equivalent (directly relevant to course content and extensive) professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.5.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 176 with no component score less than 176.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 176 with no component score less than 176.
TOEFL (iBT)91 with a minimum of 24 in Reading, 23 in Listening, 25 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.
PTE AcademicAn overall score of 61 with a minimum of 61 in each skill.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £8900 Year 1
England £8900 Year 1
Northern Ireland £8900 Year 1
Scotland £8900 Year 1
Wales £8900 Year 1
Channel Islands £8900 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £8900 Year 1
International £8900 Year 1

Additional fee information

Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation.
International Relations (Distance Learning) at University of Portsmouth - UCAS