International Relations

Staff member? Login here

Course overview
(MA) Master of Arts
International Relations
Current
University of Essex
University of Essex
Government
Colchester Campus
Masters
Full-time
None
MA L250EK
12/06/2017

Professional accreditation

None

Admission criteria

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

Course qualifiers

None

Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

None

External examiners

Dr Nicholas Walter Vivyan

Senior Lecturer

University of Durham

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

Key

Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 GV900-7-FY or GV903-7-FY Compulsory with Options 30 Compulsory with Options Compulsory with Options
02 GV902-7-FY Theories of International Relations Core 30 Core Core
03 Option(s) from departmental list Optional 30 Optional Optional
04 Option(s) from departmental list Optional 30 Optional Optional

Year 2 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 GV993-7-FY MA Dissertation Core 60 Compulsory

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

- To ensure that students have a thorough grounding in International Relations and its main schools of thought.
- To introduce students to the most advanced debates in the discipline of International Relations.
- To teach students the importance of testing hypotheses derived from International Relations theory empirically.
- To introduce students to a range of issues currently important in international politics, to familiarise them with the academic arguments about these issues and to make them aware of policy choices and their implications.
- To develop a capacity for independent study and research in the area of international relations.

What is the difference between the MA and the MSc variants?
The difference is determined by the methods module you take – Political Explanation (GV900) for the MA and Advanced Research Methods (GV903) for the MSc.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in international relations or related fields at an appropriate level.
A2 Understanding the main political science methods for using quantitative and qualitative evidence to support arguments.
A3 Critical awareness of the use of concepts and arguments in political science.
A4 Knowledge of the main research findings, and main developments and debates in one or more sub-fields of international relations or related fields.
Learning Methods: A1-5 Lectures, participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, writing essays and dissertation, oral and written feedback on essays.

A1 specifically in GV902 Theories of International Relations and the optional modules.

A2 specifically in GV900 Political Explanation, GV903 Advanced Research Methods, GV902 Theories of International Relations, and option.

A3 specifically in GV902, GV958 and in supervision of individual dissertations.

A4 specifically in GV902 and options chosen in consultation with Scheme Director.
Assessment Methods: Taught modules assessed 50/50 by continuous assessment through written assignments and essays, and three-hour closed examinations at end of the modules.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 To question received thinking.
B2 To develop independent thinking.
B3 To muster evidence.
B4 To evaluate and analyse evidence.
B5 To reason critically.
B6 To argue coherently and concisely.
B7 To communicate ideas effectively in writing.
B8 To carry out independent research.
Learning Methods: B1-7 participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, individual guidance on researching and writing essays, oral and written feedback on essays, individual interviews and group sessions with Study Skills Officer

B4 especially in GV900 Political Explanation / GV903 Advanced Research Methods.

B8 especially in supervised dissertation.
Assessment Methods: B1-7 written assignments and essays, written examinations

C: Practical skills

C1 Organize and structure an extended argument.
C2 Use concepts correctly.
C3 Compile systematic bibliographies.
C4 Provide references according to accepted conventions.
C5 Use libraries and IT to access information and scholarly resources.
C6 Sift and synthesize complex information.
Learning Methods: C1-6 participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, individual guidance for essays, individual supervision of dissertations, oral and written feedback on class presentations and essays.

C5 specifically in induction sessions for library use.
Assessment Methods: C1-6 written assignments and essays, closed examinations, supervised dissertation.

D: Key skills

D1 Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.
D2 Access and organise information from a variety of electronic sources.
D3 Understand the use of quantitative evidence.
D4 To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.
D5 Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in political economy or related fields at an appropriate level.
D6 Positive response to feedback and criticism.
Learning Methods: D1-5 participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, written assignments and essays, dissertation.

D3 specifically in GV900 Political Explanation, GV902 Theories of International Relations, GV903 Advanced Research Methods and the option.

D4 specifically in scheduling and balancing requirements for four courses taught in parallel.

D6 specifically in individual guidance on essays, oral and written feedback on essays.
Assessment Methods: D1-4 written assignments and essays, examinations, dissertation.

D6 classroom presentations, written assignments and essays.


Note

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: crt@essex.ac.uk.