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This programme offers an advanced understanding of the contemporary world that takes adequate account of the global significance of the European dimension in international affairs while still offering a solid understanding of the substantive academic debates in the field of International Relations.The programme has been developed in response to some of the greatest political challenges facing our changing societies, most of which transcend national boundaries and require multilateral solutions: transnational terrorism an religious extremism, growing global inequality, governance of the global financial market, energy security, environmental degradation, resource scarcity, demographic change and migration, human rights and gender equality. Students on this programme acquire the analytical skills to explore these important issues in depth and to engage in some of the most pressing debates and controversies in International Relations.European Politics despite the crisis
The particular focus of the programme on European Politics serves to acknowledge the continued significance of the European Union (EU) in virtually all aspects of International Relations. The programme openly defies the common but often false perception that Europe is losing importance in the face of the 'rise of China' as well as Obama's 'pivot to Asia'. Although the Eurozone crisis dealt a great blow to public trust in the European project, the EU is still the largest trading bloc in the world whose policy making responsibilities have continued to grow regardless of the crisis. Decisions taken by EU member states have global repercussions in virtually all aspects of global governance, which is why nobody involved in the conduct as well as the study of International Relations can afford to ignore the European dimension. The international job market needs fresh minds that understand the vivid intersection between European Politics and its global context.Focus on what interests you most
Within the remit of the programme, students get the opportunity to develop specialisms in:
- specific policy areas (social policy, security, foreign policy, environmental politics, migration, economic and financial policy, and many more),
- study European Politics from a comparative perspective or
- focus more strongly on the intersection with International Relations more generally.
Moreover, students who wish to pursue an academic career after this programme can choose from a range of research skill and theory courses. See programme website for details on courses.Choose what is right for you: PG research or the 'European Practitioner Pathway'
From 2015/16, the programme allows students to opt to do either a classic academic dissertation including study and training in research methods as well as support with independent research; or students can choose to do a work placement in a relevant institution, organization or corporation that then feeds into their more applied and practice-oriented 'work-based placement report'. This new component reflects the objectives of the 'Making the Most of Masters' partnership project that the University of Edinburgh is involved in together with the Universities of Aberdeen and Stirling.Be part of a vibrant learning and research community
The programme is firmly embedded in the Politics and International Relations subject area of the Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science, which is not only one of the largest of its kind in the UK but also provides a uniquely vibrant and intellectually stimulating environment for the interdisciplinary study of European Politics in an international and truly global context. Many of the key staff delivering the programme regularly feature in public debates on European matters, and the guest lectures and various seminar series hosted by the department routinely attract a range of prominent international scholars and practitioners to come to Edinburgh to present their current research and perspectives to the research and student community.
Students on this programme have prioritised access to the Universitys Europa Institute established in 1968 to specialise in the law and politics of the European Union. It is host to the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and it library and documentation centre is considered one of the best of its kind.
Finally, Edinburgh is not just one of the most livable and exciting cities in Europe; it is also a European capital and regional centre of power, that is home to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament - in short, the perfect location for studying global issues in a multi-level European context.We help you prepare for your job search
Students on this programme have the opportunity to take full advantage of a wealth of career support services provided by the University as well as in the context of a bespoke Practice Programme for our students. All students on the Programme are guaranteed a place on our annual study trip to Brussels, which is not only part-subsidised but also involves a strong focus on career opportunities in the European institutions as well as multinational employers based in Brussels.Career prospects
While many graduates of this programme have gone on to further studies and academic careers, many have taken up positions in a wide range of institutions and companies. These include NATO and the United Nations, the European Commission and Parliament, regional and national government institutions, development organisations, educational, research and think-tank organisations, banking, media, lobbying, and commercial organisations. The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.
This MSc Programme is taken over twelve months of full-time study (part-time candidates normally fulfil the requirements of the degree in 24 months). It consists of two parts. Part I comprises a programme of six courses; Part II consists of the Dissertation or Work-based Placement Report. A student must pass Part I in order to proceed to Part II.Core courses
- International Relations Theories (semester 1)
- Institutions and Policies of the European Union (semester 1)
- Dissertation or work-based placement report (semester 2)
Students get to choose from a wide range of optional courses set by the Programme Director. See programme website for selection and details of available courses.
- With the agreement of the Programme Director and the relevant outside department, candidates may also select one option from other subject areas, such as African Studies, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, and law.
- In semester 2 students can audit one additional course (subject to performance in semester 1).
- Note that course availability cannot always be guaranteed for all optional courses.
More information to follow soon. See programme website.Dissertation
The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship of a maximum 15,000 words in which students have the opportunity to pursue a topic largely of their choosing. Academically it is the most advanced element of the degree. It is also the point where students progress from structured study in courses to independent study.
All students are assigned a supervisor for their dissertation. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to engage critically and analytically with the literature, building upon relevant concepts and theory covered in the taught element of the degree. The dissertation is normally made up of a balance of empirical and theoretical work. However, students are not required to conduct primary field research.
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.