This programme can be studied part-time as MA, Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). The PGDip and PGCert are shorter taught versions of the masters programme. They don’t require a dissertation but provide you with masters-level content.
Here’s a brief summary of what you can expect if you decide to study with Queen Mary Online:
The PGDip in International Relations is available for part time study over four semesters (two academic years). During that time, you will undertake four compulsory modules. For each module, you will be awarded 30 credits each. In order to receive your PGDip you must have accrued 120 credits, which involves completing every aspect of the modules and passing all relevant assignments.
1) Contemporary World Politics: Theories, Concepts, Themes This module is designed to provide you with a command of key concepts and theoretical traditions in international relations and an understanding of their relevance to contemporary themes in world politics.
We will evaluate political developments and statements and analyse critical themes in world politics. Through a close reading of advanced theoretical texts, you will expand your conceptual and theoretical knowledge and begin to think critically about competing interpretations of events, and longer term developments in international relations.
Online discussions will encourage you to compare and critically evaluate theoretical knowledge and to express your arguments effectively.
2) International Security: War and Peace in a Global Context Violent conflict and the use of force remain salient issues in contemporary international relations. While some have theorised that the advent of globalisation and spread of liberal democracy would make the use of force and violent conflict less relevant to the world, war and conflict have remained an integral part of the international system, forming an obstacle to providing stability and security for many states.
In this module, we will examine how force is used by states and other actors, and how it is managed in world politics. Together, we will survey a variety of perspectives on the causes of war and peace in order to better examine the roots of violent conflicts and security problems in the present day.
A major theme of the module looks at war in a global context, not only in terms of integrating contemporary concerns with globalisation, but also by looking at interconnections between north and south, and war and society. We will also explore the responses of the international community to violent conflict, looking broadly at the contested notion of ‘Just War’, international law, and the role of the United Nations.
Overall, the module will provide you with a broad perspective on the place of armed force in contemporary international relations.
3) Themes and Cases in US Foreign Policy In this module, we will consider the principal forms in which US foreign policy has been practised and interpreted since the foundation of the Republic. Amongst these are American Exceptionalism and Anti-Americanism, ‘spheres of influence’, liberal interventionism and protectionist isolationism, Cold War containment, the ‘War on Terror’ following 9/11, and the strains on uni-polarity in the early 21st century.
Case studies linked to these themes will allow us to consider the role of Native Americans and immigration, the war of 1898, gunboat diplomacy in the Caribbean, the ideas of Woodrow Wilson, the Vietnam War, the consequences of the 9/11 attacks, and the challenges posed by China.
4) Globalisation and the International Political Economy of Development This module provides you with a detailed examination and critique of theories of globalisation, an assessment of contemporary globalising processes, and how these particularly influence the developing world.
We will examine the analysis of contemporary manifestations of ‘globalisation’, including neo-liberalism, US hegemony and contemporary imperialism, capital flows, global commodity chains, state-market relations, patterns of global inequality, international institutions, and questions of cultural homogenisation/imperialism.
The module also looks at the ways in which ‘globalisation’ is resisted, focusing on the rise of transnational social movements and NGOs, and the politics of ‘anti-globalisation’, and how this relates to an ostensibly ‘post-development’ era.
In addressing these issues, the module concludes by asking the most important question: how do we think of ‘development’ in an era of ‘globalisation’, US hegemony, neo-liberalism and imperialism?