Applications are now closed for September 2021 entry. Applications for the next intake usually open in October.
Explore the enormous political challenges facing our changing societies
Developed in response to the enormous political challenges facing our changing societies, this programme offers an advanced understanding of the contemporary world, drawing on insights from International Relations as well as European Studies, Comparative Politics and Regional Studies.
You will explore in depth key theories, issues and controversies, and have the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary studies and develop your interests in a vibrant and intellectually stimulating community.
Teaching will be by:
- group work
- guided independent study
You will complete two compulsory courses and four optional courses, after which you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.
European Practitioner Pathway
As an alternative to a classic dissertation, you’ll have the option – subject to performance – of embarking on the European Practitioner Pathway within the programme, i.e. pursue a 6-8 week work-based project and write a practice-related report on their work placement instead.
Visit to Brussels
Another highlight of the academic year will be our study trip to Brussels, where we visit multiple international organisations as well as non-governmental stakeholders and meet with practitioners.
The trip includes our very popular career event at which you will have the opportunity to network with alumni of the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh University Brussels Society) who have built successful careers in Brussels.
- Career opportunities
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 will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.
- How to apply
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.
Award Title Duration Study mode MSc 1 Year Full-time Tuition fees MSc 2 Years Part-time Tuition fees
The 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. A student must pass Part I in order to proceed to Part II.
Please see the Programme Handbook for more information.
Please consult the degree programme table (DPT) of the programme on the Degree Programme Builder (PATH) for an overview of available optional courses. Note that the records will be updated by the end of August for each academic year. Some courses might not run some years due to staff availability.
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. For this programme, there is also the option of doing a work-based dissertation. For details, please consult the programme handbook.
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.
- Additional information
You’ll have access to the University’s Europa Institute established in 1968 to specialise in the law and politics of the European Union; its library is considered one of the best of its kind. Finally, there is also a vibrant community of students interested in international and European Politics, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network with your peers, organise events and even work on publications in the Leviathan - the University’s own journal of Politics and International Relations.
- Reading recommendations
- Leviathan – the University’s own journal of Politics and International Relations
The School of Social and Political Science sits within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. All enquiries and applications relating to undergraduate admissions to the School are handled by our College. Please contact:
CAHSS Undergraduate Admissions
University of Edinburgh
57 George Square
Edinburgh, EH8 9JX