Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

MA International Relations and International Law

UCAS code: LM29

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Social and Political Science

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

In Year 1 you will be introduced to the key principles of international relations and international law. Year 2 introduces more theoretical concepts across the two areas. In Years 3 and 4 you choose from a range of specialist courses which allow you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the two subject areas and the interaction between them, as well as tailor your degree to meet your career needs.

Year 1

You will take an introductory course in politics and international relations and political theory as well as introductory courses on international law, legal systems and public law.

Year 2

Compulsory international relations courses in Year 2 look at how and why states interact at international level, including cooperation through international organisations such as the European Union, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations. You will also be introduced to the comparative politics by comparing and contrasting governments on the global stage.

Compulsory law courses look at the theory and philosophy of law, and at the relationship between law, government and the citizen.

Further option courses are also taken.

Year 3

The compulsory courses examine the key theories and concepts of international relations, and the fundamentals of international law and global affairs. A course in research design is also undertaken in preparation for your honours dissertation in Year 4.

A further two courses from the range of honours options available across politics and international relations or law are also taken.

Year 4

During Year 4 you will undertake an honours dissertation on an international relations topic of your choosing. You must also take either a course on contemporary issues in global security, or a course on international political economy.

A further three courses from the range of honours options available across politics and international relations or law are also taken.

Our facilities

The majority of teaching takes place at facilities located within the University's Central Area. You will also have access to the University's library and computer facilities.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 through the Erasmus programme or the University's international exchange programme.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught mainly through a combination of lectures, tutorials and skills hours.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a diverse set of components, such as essays, exams, policy briefs, group presentations and tutorial participation exercises.

In recent years, graduates have entered careers in the civil service, foreign affairs or political and parliamentary research.

The programmes will also equip you with some of the transferable skills required for employment in finance and consultancy, the voluntary sector, journalism or teaching.

Some graduates choose to go on to further training in accountancy or law or take postgraduate programmes with a view to pursuing an academic career.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA.
  • A Levels: A*AA.
  • IB: 43 points (grades 776 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6 including English. BBB must be achieved in a single sitting by end of S5. National 5: Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C. (Revised 23/03/2017 to provide more accurate information)
  • A Levels: ABB to include English Literature or English Language. GCSEs: Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C or 4. Note: English Language and English Literature GCSE both at Grade A or 7 are accepted in place of A Level English.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects to include English. SL: Mathematics or an approved science at 4.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

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KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.

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Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA International Relations and International Law

Additional Costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

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