About This Course
1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time
EU Fees 2021
€6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time)
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Non-EU Fees 2021
See Requirements for full details.
Closed for applications: we will reopen in November.
Non-EU Closing Date
Extended until 31 July 2021
13 September 2021
The MA in International Relations is a one-year comprehensive programme based at the School of History in UCC. The programme draws on international relations, conflict/peace studies and international history; it explores issues such as war and peace, the international order, international crises, counter-insurgency, terrorism and foreign policy.
Our MA course combines an exploration of the contemporary world with a study of the past. It is a field of study that considers the subtleties of diplomacy together with the stark realities of state interactions and looks at how these interactions impact our world. This field of study is of immense importance in today’s richly connected complex world and consequently, individuals skilled in navigating these international relations are prized by potential employers.
A brochure outlining the structure, modules, thesis, and library resources available to students of MA in International Relations can be downloaded here: MA International Relations (CKE45) brochure.
Students take modules to the value of 90 credits comprising taught modules to the value of 45 credits (Part I) and a dissertation to the value of 45 credits (Part II).
- HI6026 US Foreign Policy and Contemporary History (10 credits)
- HI6056 Issues in World Politics (5 credits)
- HI6092 International Relations Theories and Approaches (10 credits)
- HI6035 Foreign Policy & Diplomacy: Case Studies in Crises and Decision-making (10 credits)
Plus 10 credits from:
- HI6045 War and Peace: the European State System from 1648 to 1990 (10 credits)
- HI6060 The Politics of Terrorism (10 credits)
- GV6115 European Security (10 Credits)
- LW6633 Public International (5 Credits)* and
- LW6566 Contemporary Issues in Public International Law (5 credits)*
- HI6063 Work Placement and Portfolio (10 Credits)
- HI6100 History Dissertation (45 credits): A dissertation of a maximum of 20,000 words must be submitted by a specified date in September. Your thesis will be on a relevant topic within the broad areas of international relations, including international history and conflict/peace studies.
Note: All electives are chosen in consultation with the programme director and are subject to availability and timetable requirements.
Postgraduate Certificate in History (International Relations): Candidates who pass at least 30 credits of taught modules may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in History (International Relations).
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
The Masters in International Relations is a full-time, taught programme running for 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programmes. The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years. In total, you will attend 144 lecture/seminar hours in UCC.
The taught half of the course is centred on continuous assessment such as long and short essays, the compilation of portfolios, policy papers, in-class exercises, analysis of international texts, class participation, and oral presentations. There is one formal written examination. The 50% weighting for the thesis reflects the importance of independent research.
Who teaches on the programme
Why Choose This Course
This is one of the first MA courses in Ireland to offer you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of international relations. The course has a very successful track record and has produced many high-calibre graduates who have gone on to enter the worlds of international diplomacy, academia, government, and business. It offers a unique combination of contemporary and historical approaches to analysing international relations.
Our learning approach reflects our commitment to the Connected Curriculum where we emphasise the connection between students, learning, research and leadership through our vision for a Connected University. Our staff are at the forefront of this integrative approach to learning and will support you in making meaningful connections within and between topics such as history, politics, law, conflict, society, and policy.
At UCC we support our student community by offering scholarships and prizes to prospective and current students. Please see the Scholarships & Prizes page for more information. See also the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences postgraduate study page.
Skills and Careers Information
Past graduates of the course over the last decade have gone on to further study, academia, diplomatic service, international organisations, the EU, international think tanks, non-governmental organisations and public service. Others have embarked on careers in multinational companies, as well as in traditional sectors such as teaching, journalism, and the civil service.
The School of History at UCC is a leading international centre for postgraduate research in history, international relations, and European studies. Consult our PhD page for areas of potential PhD supervision in the field of international relations.
To be considered for registration an applicant will normally have a primary degree of at least Second Class Honours Grade I level in a suitable subject or the equivalent.
Applications from students with a Second Class Honours Grade II degree in a suitable subject may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). These applicants may be requested to submit a proposal and/or attend an interview.
All candidates must satisfy a Selection Committee who may request applicants to provide letters of reference.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Fees and Costs
The EU fee for this course is €6,130; €3,130 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,130 (Year 2 Part-time).
The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,080.
If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.
EU student fee payment:
Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.
International student fee payment:
Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.
How can I pay?
By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.
If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at email@example.com .
The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.
Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional requirements for all applicants
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Briefly describe a research proposal which may form the basis of your thesis.
Please submit a copy of a short analytical/critical/report/creative writing sample or essay (1,000 words approx.).
Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.
Before completing the online application, intending candidates must consult with the relevant course coordinator or prospective supervisor to discuss/confirm their proposed research area.
Dr Mervyn O'Driscoll
School of History
University College Cork
+353 (0)21 4903477
The School of History may ask applicants to provide letters of reference if necessary when considering applications.
The closing date for non-EU applications is Extended until 31 July 2021Apply Now