Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

International and European Politics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme offers a comprehensive and advanced understanding of European and International politics in the contemporary world. It leverages insights from a diverse array of disciplines, including:

  • European Studies
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Science
  • Area Studies

Over the course of the programme, you delve deeply into pivotal theories, key issues and debates, and contentious will explore in-depth key theories, issues and controversies in the field. Moreover, you will be encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary studies and cultivate your interests within a lively and intellectually invigorating environment. The programme offers a unique opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions, collaborative research and experiential learning, empowering you to broaden your horizons and develop a nuanced understanding of the subject matter.

You will join a vibrant community of students interested in international and European politics, with abundant opportunities to network with your peers, hear from guest speakers and join events organised by the Europa Institute, and engage with the Politics and International Relations faculty.

The highlight of the academic year is the study trip to Brussels, which takes in visits to multiple international organisations and non-governmental stakeholders, and offers the opportunity to meet with practitioners, network through the Edinburgh University Brussels Society, and enjoy the accompanying social programme.

The MSc in International and European Politics is offered as a one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars and group work, with a strong focus on guided independent study.

The programme has two core courses - Institutions and Policies of the European Union and Analysing European Governance and Public Policy, alongside four optional courses, after which you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.


The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which you will have the opportunity to pursue a topic of your choosing in coordination with your allocated supervisor. For this programme, there is also the option of doing a placement-based dissertation.

The aim of the placement-based dissertation is to provide you with the opportunity to work on your dissertation within the context of a workplace of your choosing, which could be within a public sector, a voluntary, a charitable or a private organisation, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

Examples of dissertation topics in previous years include:

  • International Security
  • Comparative Regionalism
  • Modern Peacekeeping
  • Middle Eastern Politics
  • African Foreign Policy
  • EU Environmental Politics
  • Humanitarian Intervention
  • International Terrorism
  • Gender Politics
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • International Trade
  • European Security and Defence Policy
  • Enlargement of the European Union
  • Turkish membership of the EU

  • Placement-based dissertation information

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

While many graduates of this programme have gone on to further study and an academic career, many have taken up positions in a wide range of institutions, including:

  • NATO and the United Nations
  • EU institutions
  • regional and national government bodies
  • development organisations
  • educational, research and think-tank organisations driving knowledge and innovation
  • banking and financial services sector
  • media and journalism outlets
  • public affairs organisations, consultancies and advocacy
  • private sector

The transferable skills you gain in communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Application fee

This programme requires a non-refundable application fee to be paid after you submit your application.

  • £50

Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your residency status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Application fee

A non-refundable application fee of £50 must be paid after you submit your application. Your application will not be processed until we have received your application fee.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD