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University of Gloucestershire
Postgraduate research

International Relations

MA by Research

Course options

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Study type
Full Time
Course length
2 Years
Distance Learning (UoG delivery)

Course overview

Join a tight-knit community of International Relations researchers as a student on our MA by Research or PhD programmes. We produce innovative theoretical and empirical research, developing cutting-edge insights into the nature of global political challenges and their solutions.

We welcome proposals for research degrees from across the breadth of International Relations. Our particular research strengths are in:

  • Climate change geopolitics
  • Gender equality and secularism
  • Global austerity
  • Global health
  • Labour exploitation and labour rights
  • Low wage labour migration and family migration dynamics
  • Middle East politics
  • Post-conflict recovery in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Security and identity in digital spaces

Study style

Contributing original knowledge to your chosen specialism in International Relations, you’ll develop your own research project under the guidance of an expert team of academic supervisors.

Develop a 30,000-word thesis on the MA by Research programme or an 80,000-word thesis on the PhD programme. You may also have the opportunity, subject to progress, to upgrade from the MA by Research programme to the PhD programme if you wish to develop your MA project into a PhD.

You’ll be supported to develop an extensive range of research skills and professional aptitudes to ensure you graduate as an expert independent professional researcher. This training is delivered through an exciting research design and methods programme and a range of bespoke workshops – connecting you to researchers and research students across the university.

As an integral part of University of Gloucestershire’s International Relations department, you’ll be invited to participate in the Academic School’s research seminar series, and use dedicated office space for postgraduates at Francis Close Hall campus in Cheltenham.

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Entry requirements

    • At least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area.

    • A master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic.

    • We actively encourage applications from students from a range of diverse backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement.

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent.

    • Please provide a copy of your research proposal. This should be 1,000 words (excluding references and appendices) following the structure outlined in this research proposal guide.

      Please note; we’re unable to process applications without a proposal for the School’s consideration. Not supplying one will delay the processing of applications.

      When funded projects arise, they will be advertised on the University webspages but we are also very happy to talk to potential students about self-funded or government loan-funded research and developing a project; please contact Dr Matt Wood in the first instance.

Fees and costs

You're viewing fees for the course option. Choose a different course option to see corresponding course fees.

Start date Course code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
October 2024 £5,100 £12,775
February 2025 £5,100 £12,775
October 2025 TBC TBC
February 2026 TBC TBC
October 2026 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?


Our postgraduate research students cultivate a diverse set of skills that are highly valued in the UK and internationally, preparing them for successful careers within academia and beyond.

As a postgraduate research student at UoG, you’ll develop and refine a range of skills across research, academic practice, project management and critical analysis to equip you for your future. Whether it’s contributing to ground-breaking academic research or applying problem-solving skills in the workplace, we’ll ensure you’re ready to take on your next challenge.

This versatility opens doors to opportunities across various sectors, from education and research institutions to commercial organisations and NGOs, where you’ll have the confidence to apply your researcher skills and develop innovative solutions to meet your ambitions.

Become an Expert Researcher

You’ll be enrolled on our Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods – developing your skills as a professional researcher and supporting the development of your project.

Three female students in a lecture

Join our Research Community

You’ll be part of our research seminar series, enabling you to learn about the range of cutting-edge research taking place at the university. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your own research as part of the seminar series– great for developing your research dissemination skills and receiving feedback from a range of academic experts.

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Share your Research at Academic Conferences

The School of Education and Applied Sciences will support you to present your research at conferences. These opportunities ensure that you stay abreast of the latest developments in your field and can develop your external research reputation.

A student smiling and taking notes

"Curiosity and enthusiasm are vital"

These traits are essential for undertaking International Relations research and enjoying the process. I find supporting individuals to navigate the complexities of a research degree, figure out what they want to know, how they want to do this, and what they need to do along the way to achieve so rewarding. At the University of Gloucestershire, we treat our research students as core to our academic community. It is fantastic to be part of the development of a new generation of International Relations scholars.

Dr Samantha Louden-Cooke, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics

Portrait picture of Dr Samantha Louden-Cooke

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