Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Programme Specifications

Programme Specification

MSc International Relations

Academic Year: 2014/15

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if full advantage is taken of the learning opportunities that are provided.

This specification applies to delivery of the programme in the Academic Year indicated above. Prospective students reviewing this information for a later year of study should be aware that these details are subject to change as outlined in our Terms and Conditions of Study.

This specification should be read in conjunction with:

  • Summary
  • Aims
  • Learning outcomes
  • Structure
  • Progression & weighting

Programme summary

Awarding body/institution Loughborough University
Teaching institution (if different)
Owning school/department Department of Politics, History and International Relations
Details of accreditation by a professional/statutory body
Final award MSc
Programme title International Relations
Programme code EUPT37
Length of programme
UCAS code
Admissions criteria


Date at which the programme specification was published Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:43:03 GMT

1. Programme Aims

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide a foundation for advanced study for students specialising in International Relations.
  • Enable students to specialise in the study of international relations, deploying appropriate theories, concepts, methods and historical context.
  • Enable students to analyse and evaluate the linkages between national politics and society, transnational actors and international relations in the global arena.

2. Relevant subject benchmark statements and other external and internal reference points used to inform programme outcomes:

Subject benchmarks for Politics and International Studies.

3. Programme Learning Outcomes

3.1 Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • Theoretical and analytical perspectives in the field of International Relations
  • Linkages between these perspectives and the realities of International Relations. as approached through case study.
  • Particular specialist areas of International Relations, including the practical operation of particular international and domestic organisations.
  • The opportunity to develop practical language skills, with a view to enhancing candidate employability;
  • Significant case studies as the basis for a research dissertation.

3.2 Skills and other attributes

a. Subject-specific cognitive skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • High-level skills in processing information and in communicating it in either written or oral form (and the opportunity to develop modern language skills).
  • High-level conceptual and analytical skills, including the evaluation of evidence in complex policy-making arenas, and the application of concepts and theories to case-study materials.
  • Critical and evaluative skills at an advanced level in relation to the structures, theory and practice of policy-making in international relations at the level of the nation state and international organisations.
  • Research Skills in the context of an extended Dissertation, and at the level necessary to provide for further progression in a research career (academic or non-academic).
b. Subject-specific practical skills:

On successful completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Show strong awareness of issues relating to contemporary international relations.
  • Display policy-evaluation skills in the context of national and international foreign policy-making.
  • Demonstrate an ability to link, both conceptually and empirically, issues across national and international contexts. 
c. Key transferable skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to show competence in:

  • Management of self-learning (using the Library and other printed, audio-visual and electronic resources; revision and examination techniques, reading efficiently, problem solving, action planning, self-motivation, time management).
  • Written, verbal and visual communication.
  • IT skills.
  • Team work and networking. 

4. Programme structure

Full time students take modules with a total weight of 70 cr in semester 1 and 70 cr. in semester 2. In addition, students complete a 40 cr dissertation between May and September

Semester One

Compulsory Modules (total 40 credits)

Module Code


Modular Weight


International Relations Theory



Philosophical Foundations of Social Science Research



Optional Modules (choose one)

Module Code


Modular Weight


Institutions and Policy Making in the European Union



Language options



 Semester Two

Compulsory Modules (total 40 credits)(choose one Dissertation module only)

Module Code


Modular Weight


Research Methods



International Politics: Issues and Policies






Dissertation (P/T)



Optional Modules (choose one)

Module Code


Modular Weight


Comparative Foreign Policy: Issues and Cases



Media and Modernity



 Marketing Politics


5. Criteria for Progression and Degree Award

In order to be eligible for the award, candidates must satisfy the requirements of Regulation XXI.

6. Relative Weighting of Parts of the Programme for the Purposes of Final Degree Classification

Prospective students

Information on studying at Loughborough University, including course information, facilities, and student experience.

Find out more »