International Relations and Security Studies
Attendance mode: Full-time
Start date: September
Faculty of Social Sciences
The new MA in International Relations and Security Studies explores themes of peace and conflict studies, including:
- war, violence and security-building between and within states and regions
- tackling WMD, conventional arms proliferation, political violence and terrorism
- development and operation of international and regional institutions
- past and present transnational challenges in international and regional diplomacy
- contemporary global challenges such as environmental degradation, trafficking/crime and migration
You will develop an advanced academic and policy relevant understanding of international relations and security, along with analytical skills that are in high demand within institutional politics, NGO and lobbying organisations.
You will have the opportunity to take specialist pathways, including specialising in selected regions (Europe, Africa, MENA, Asia, or Latin America and the Caribbean), with opportunities for selected study visits, or take thematic specialisms including international governance, modern diplomacy, security studies, or political violence and terrorism.
The programme is delivered by the Division of Peace Studies and International Development, which maintains an international reputation as a centre for excellence in research, teaching, training and policy engagement (in particular in the fields of disarmament and arms control). This means your teaching will not only be research-informed but also delivered by staff well-positioned to facilitate policy and practitioner engagement.
The University of Bradford has been pioneering and teaching Peace Studies and International Development for over 40 years: we have excellent library collections and our academic staff are experts in their field. We don’t sit in an Ivory Tower – we make knowledge work by collaborating with governments and organisations around the world such as the United Nations, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Africa and the China Development Banks, the Aga Khan Foundation, the UK Ministry of Defence, Saferworld, and the Oxford Research Group, to name but a few.
Our research in politics and international relations was ranked 7th out of 56 universities in the UK in terms of its impact on society and public policy (Research Excellence Framework, December 2014). Our International Development programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world according to the latest QS World University Rankings. Since 2002 the Division has also hosted one of only six prestigious Rotary Peace Centres worldwide.
So, the content of our brand-new degree programmes is informed by the up-to-date expertise of our lecturers and enriched by the experience of practitioners in our field, including our many alumni, with whom we partner inside and outside the classroom. Our students can also engage with detailed policy work by attending our research groups and extracurricular talks, conferences, and training events, on and off campus. Our interdisciplinary degrees reflect the key research theme of Sustainable Societies at the University of Bradford.
Our teaching is interactive and focussed on professionalism and employability. You will have the opportunity to study in groups and teams, develop your own research projects, go on field trips in the UK and abroad, engage in extended simulation games, do ‘immersion days’ on key topics, and develop a wide range of tangible skills directly applicable to careers in politics, international relations, peace and conflict and international development.
You will also learn from your fellow students and from the city. The Division is diverse – on our Master’s programmes you will meet the world in your classroom and learn a huge amount from your peers, many of whom already have significant practical experience in the fields of peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and development. Bradford itself is a fascinating and very multicultural city, as well as being one of the cheapest cities to live and study in the UK, and we make the most of all the city and its beautiful surroundings have to offer by working with community groups.
Applicants should have an undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above.
Plus minimum of:
GCSE grade 4 or C or above in English (or equivalent qualification).
English language requirements:
IELTS 6.0 or above.
If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.
The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.
- The International System in Theory and Context. Core
- Contemporary Security Challenges. Core
- Transnational Challenges: Problems and Responses. Core
- Middle East Politics and Security Dynamics. Optional
- Africa Study Visit. Optional
- Political Violence and Terrorism. Optional
- Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. Optional
- Gender Peace and Development. Optional
- International Environmental Governance. Optional
Note: African Political and Security Dynamics is offered as an option in S1 and it is advised that students going on the Africa Study Visit either take or audit this course.
Learning activities and assessment
The programme will deploy a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment methods to enable you to understand and develop skills for engagement and employment with important policy and practitioner communities (International organisations, governments, NGOs, business associations, etc). You will have opportunities to engage through simulation exercises and training workshops, as well as facilitated contacts with practitioners.
Career support and prospects
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.
Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.
The programme emphasises and develops skills required by employers such as conflict analysis, leadership and decision-making.
Fees, Finance and Scholarships
- Home/EU: £6,680
- International: £15,650
Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.
Every year the University of Bradford awards numerous non-repayable scholarships to UK, EU and international students on the basis of academic excellence, personal circumstances or economic hardship. These include:
- Postgraduate bursary
- Alumni discount scheme (for current students moving onto a higher degree)
- Country specific scholarships
- Chevening Scholarships
- Commonwealth Scholarships
- Half Fee Academic Excellence Scholarships for International Students
- Sanctuary scholarships to enable forced migrants seeking asylum, or those already granted refugee status who cannot access student finance
Rotary Peace Fellowships
Since 2002 the Division has also hosted one of six prestigious Rotary Peace Centres worldwide, set up to develop leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. All Rotary Fellows take our extended MAs lasting 15 months, which includes Applied Field experience.
Rotary fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses. There is a separate application and selection process.
How do I find out more?
Steps to Postgraduate Study
Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).
How to apply
The easiest way to apply is online.
- Apply for 2017/18 courses (September 2017 – July 2018 start dates)
- Apply for 2018/19 courses (September 2018 – July 2019 start dates)
This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.
If you are unable to apply online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a paper application form.
We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:
- Degree certificates/transcripts
- Research proposal (if required)
- Two references (including one academic reference)
- Evidence of English language level (if required)
- A copy of your passport
Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.
You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.
If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.
They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.
Further information is available on our International Office website.
This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.