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Study a graduate program in international relations

What will I study in a graduate international relations program?

As the world get increasingly globalised, we become more dependent on each other. A graduate international relations program allows you to explore issues such as ethics and human rights, international political economy, war and how we can work together on the issues that affect the human race.
 
A postgraduate course in international relations is designed students interested in global issues such as terrorism and new social movements. You will study modules in politics, sociology and economics and it is not unusual to have a period of overseas study.
 
Some typical international relations courses include:

  • Human rights, ethics and international relations
  • International conflict analysis
  • International relations and European studies

Length of program

The length of a graduate international relations program depends on where you study and how far you want to go into academia. Postgraduate courses generally last the following duration in these countries: 

  • UK – 1-2 years
  • US – 1-2 years
  • China – 1-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

In order to get onto a graduate international relations program, you will normally have to have an undergraduate degree in politics, law or a related social science subject to an acceptable level. However, some postgraduate courses do accept students from other courses who want to move into the international relations field. 

If you are studying in a country where the first language is different from your own, you may be required to take a language test to prove your skills.

Career development

A postgraduate course in international relations will develop your research, analysis and problem-solving skills. As you will develop an awareness and understanding of cultural difference and issues, it is not unusual for graduates to work abroad.

Many international relations graduates go on to work for charities, non-governmental organisations and in the public sector. Big employers include Amnesty International, the United Nations and the Civil Service.

Going into academia and taking a PhD or further study is also a popular route.

Some of the jobs included in this field are:

  • Civil service administrator
  • Diplomat
  • Risk analyst
  • Journalist

Fees and funding

The cost of graduate international relations programs varies widely from country to country and university to university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:

  • UK - £4,500 - £17,000
  • USA - $5,000 - $30,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 21,000-24,000

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in international relations, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.