University of Leicester

MA International Relations and World Order

At A Glance

Course Title

MA International Relations and World Order

Course Type

Full Degree

Course Level


Study Method

Distance Learning

Start Date

March / September

Course Duration

12 – 24 months

Awarded & Delivered By

University of Leicester
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Course Description

The International Relations and World Order MA will provide a comprehensive analysis of contemporary international relations in the post-Cold War period. By taking this course you will have the opportunity to study a range of international issues but especially to investigate whether international relations in the post-Cold War period has been founded upon a Western model of ‘World Order’. The course will introduce you to differing concepts of order in the post-Cold War world. It will enable you to think critically about the nature of international relations: about the extent to which Western interests, institutions and culture dominate the world system and the challenges and responses generated by that dominance. The course focuses on both theoretical and empirical approaches to this subject.
You will complete two core modules, including one which will critically examine the means by which the West maintains its concept of ‘Order’. You can then choose two option modules which, along with your dissertation, allow you to specialise in areas that interest you or complement your professional goals. As well as equipping you with a detailed understanding of contemporary international relations, this degree will develop your ability to think both analytically and critically and to produce reasoned arguments encompassing your increased knowledge and understanding of the issues.

Course Content

This module critically examines the means by which the West maintains its concept of Order. It will begin by considering the relationship between order and justice in international relations before moving on to consider the idea of a ‘New World Order’ and assessing its originality. The position of the United States as the sole superpower after the Cold War will be examined and the ability of the US to imprint its model of Order globally will be evaluated. The module will analyse the way Western interests are upheld through concepts of security, the international economic system and international institutions such as the United Nations. A variety of challenges to this Western concept of order will be examined, including those from other parts of the world as well as from various parts of the academic community.
This module provides a critical survey of the main theories associated with the study of international relations, from ‘orthodox’ approaches such as Realism and Liberalism to more radical theories including Marxism, Postmodernism and Gender-based approaches. The module is primarily concerned with the varying theoretical explanations for why things happen in international relations. It will discuss the general properties of IR theory and its evolution since the foundation of the discipline of International Relations after World War One, along with a focus on the significance of, and relations between states and non-state actors, and the impact of the international structures that constrain and direct the actions of these actors. The module will also relate the study of IR theory both to wider theoretical debates within the social sciences, and to developments in contemporary history.

Choose two option modules from:

  • American Interventionism after the Cold War
  • Democracy and Legitimacy in the European Union
  • Diplomatic Systems
  • Intelligence: Key Concepts and Debates
  • International Security
  • The Art of Negotiation
  • The International Politics of Protection
  • EU Enlargement and Democratic Consolidation in Post-Communist Europe
  • The Politics of Human Rights
  • Strategy in the Modern World
  • Governance and Corruption
  • The Politics of European Integration
  • Euroscepticism
  • The Politics of Conflict and Violence
  • Gender in Global Perspective
  • The Politics of Modern Global Nuclear Order
  • The Politics of Violent Conflict and its Legacies in Northern Ireland
  • Europe as a Global Actor
  • Political Economy of International Development

Study Method

The MA in International Relations and World Order is studied 100% online through the University of Leicester distance learning platform. Therefore it is essential that you have reliable, regular access to the internet (preferably with a broadband connection) in order to participate.
As a distance learning student, you will have access to the University Library’s electronic service, the Leicester Digital Library, which includes a large number of e-journals and e-books. You will be guided through your modules by a well-trained and experienced tutor who will be available online throughout your studies. You will have access to the library’s special service for distance learning students, access to the internet and database services, as well as the virtual learning support environment, Blackboard.
You will get a weekly reading list accompanied by questions or exercises to get you thinking and help you engage critically with that week’s literature. Each week you are invited to join the online forums to discuss your reading, ask questions, share ideas and debate arguments.
Alongside your weekly reading and discussions you are expected to complete module activities, designed to build a supportive online community of students as well as develop your key scholarly skills. E-tivities take the form of a combination of non-credit bearing and credit-bearing assessments designed to complement and support the learning objectives for your particular module. Credit-bearing assessments for each module include a reflective statement and an end of module essay.
Your modules are structured enough to keep your studies on track whilst remaining flexible to the unique needs of distance learners, many of whom we know combine studies with demanding jobs. You will be supported by a dedicated team of tutors and support staff available through Blackboard and email. Administrative support is available by telephone, and you can contact your personal tutor via telephone or Skype. You will be encouraged to contact other students to share views, ideas and issues and to create a virtual student community.

Course Fees

Please get in touch with us to get the most up-to-date course fee for this programme.

Entry Requirements

  • 2:1 degree or its equivalent in Politics, History, International Relations or other related subjects.
  • Equivalent relevant professional experience will be considered.

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

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This degree programme has intakes in March & September. Click the Enrol Now button and share your information so that one of our Academic Advisors will get in touch with you promptly.

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