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LLM/MScInternational Relations, Law & Security

Why this course?

Internationally and domestically, security is among the most pressing concerns facing states. Adding to the complexity, is the increasingly broad definition of 'security' as new challenges emerge – for example in relation to climate change – while 'traditional' ones – such as terrorism – are reconstructed, along with the heightened interdependencies between states and within their critical infrastructures.

This MSc in International Relations, Law & Security introduces and familiarises students with contemporary issues relating to the course topics, examining them through legal and political viewpoints. It reflects contemporary policies by taking a broad view of ‘security’, rather than simply focusing on traditional areas of concern.

International Relations, Law & Security offers a genuinely interdisciplinary experience, which sets it apart from other MSc courses.

The core module is co-taught across the Schools of Government &Public Policy and Law, and students are required to choose at least one optional class from each school.

Your experience is further enhanced by learning alongside students from other disciplinary backgrounds.

Work placement

The School of Government & Public Policy allows students to complete a client-based project as an alternative to the standard dissertation.  Students, on the advice of the school, contact host organisations including local, city, and national governmental organisations for project-based MSc dissertations.

These projects will normally be unpaid, however, all costs such as travel and accommodation will be covered by the host organisation if out of town.

Facilities

The School of Government & Public Policy have a number of research centres that relate to the topics covered and the content of the course. For example, the European Policies Research Centre is a leading hub for the study of regional development policy and collection of such data in Europe, a centre that is of increasing importance in the wake of Brexit. 

Specialised policy centres focused on health and energy – such as the Centre for Energy Policy – also add to the applied policy environment at Strathclyde.  The Institute for Future Cities' City Observatory, located in Strathclyde’s award-winning Technology & Innovation Centre, uses data to understand and address urban problems. The University also has many centres and institutes with projects that incorporate European governance and political issues, such as Fraser of Allender Institute.

Guest lectures

During term time, we hold seminars late on a Wednesday afternoon. Speakers include guest lecturers who come to Strathclyde as part of the Erasmus programme. They're also available for individual consultations with you as an MSc student here. Strathclyde’s organised research centres such as the European Policies Research Centre, routinely host their own 'Speaker’s Series' where talks relevant to the content of the course are common. You'll have time for socialising with visiting speakers afterwards.

Course content

Compulsory classes – Semester 1

Contemporary Security Challenges & Responses

The concept of national security expanded to incorporate not only ‘traditional’ threats from hostile actors, but a host of issues ranging from the impact of climate change, natural disasters, resource security and even recession.

Security has become increasingly globalised and interconnected in threat and response while also increasingly recruiting the populace to be ‘secure citizens’. The relevant theories underpinning these developing trends will be examined alongside the key institutions and actors.

Principles of Research Design

This class covers key research design issues and enables you to evaluate alternative research designs and create appropriate research proposals. The class is designed to help you decide a research topic and a design that you will use for your dissertation. Topics covered include formulating research questions, developing concepts, and how to select cases to study.

OR

Legal Research Methods & Skills (Year-long online)

This class equips students with the requisite skills for legal research at Masters’ level and enables them to develop an appropriate thesis proposal.

Legal Research Skills

Students from a non-law background will be required to undertake this short online course at the start of the semester. Topics cover the main sources of legal information, how to use these sources and how to develop an effective research strategy.

Politics elective classes

Please note that classes on offer may vary from year to year.

Contemporary International Relations

This class introduces students to the literature and research agendas related to conflict and cooperation in international relations studies.

We will cover a wide array of approaches that relate to interstate and intrastate (civil) conflict, cooperation and other contemporary security topics such as post-conflict peace, peacekeeping operations, terrorism, and human rights violations.

Comparative Public Policy

This class revolves around the different aims for conducting comparative policy analysis such as explaining the variation of policy output and outcome across different institutional, economic, social and cultural settings, generalising a given theory of policy process in different geographical contexts and by taking time into consideration, as well as capturing the interdependence of countries. Units of analysis include countries, states/regions, local governments, and international organisations.

Students will be introduced to concepts, research design, and methods.

Feminism & International Relations

This class will begin by learning about context, in terms of the expansion and institutionalisation of the feminist movement on a global scale and the emergence of a feminist voice in the International Relations discipline.

We'll then discuss conceptual, theoretical and methodological convergences and differences in feminist International Relations. A final seminar will reflect on the impact of feminism on both world politics and International Relations, and focus particularly on engagements and critique from the mainstream of the discipline.

Quantitative Methods I

This class introduces participants to the use of quantitative methods in social research; in particular, the logic and language of empirical analysis, the principal types of quantitative data (official statistics and surveys), and the use of software packages for statistical analysis.

Quantitative Methods 2

This class trains participants in the design, application, presentation, and critical evaluation of quantitative political research using relevant software packages for statistical analysis.

Qualitative Methods

This class provides an overview of the ever-expanding field of qualitative methods in Political Science, International Relations and Policy Studies. A variety of data collection/generation and analytical methods will be examined, and situated within different traditions/paradigms of social research.

Throughout this class, we'll examine how these methods can be applied in students’ own research projects.

Law elective classes

Please note that classes on offer may vary from year to year.

European Human Rights Law

The European Convention on Human Rights is the most influential regional human rights treaty. This class looks at the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and evaluates the substantive guarantees of the ECHR in areas such as fair trial, privacy and freedom of expression.

International Human Rights Law

Human rights protection is a global concern. This class examines civil and political rights along with economic, social and cultural rights, and assesses the range of international monitoring and supervision regimes. Topics covered include the major international treaties and bodies. It also looks at the challenges to human rights in transitional societies as well as the right to self-determination.

Human Rights Law in Comparative Perspective

The proliferation of Bills of Rights in modern democracies has generated a variety of human rights standards as national courts adopt different approaches to rights conflicts. This class examines comparative perspectives on topical issues such as migrant protection.

Terrorism & the Law

While legal responses to terrorism long pre-date the attacks of 9/11, the events of that day prompted a radical shift, with certain countries expanding their already substantial counter-terrorist offences and powers, while others moved to criminalise acts of terror as distinct crimes for the first time.

Human Rights Protection in the UK

The Human Rights Act 1998 is a major constitutional development in the UK. This class examines the on-going transformation in legal culture, the expansion in judicial power and the value of human rights litigation in achieving social change.

International Migration Law

International migration is a global phenomenon that raises multiple complex issues. This class examines the international legal framework governing international migration. Topics include protection of migrant workers, international refugee protection, the EU asylum policy, and internal displacement.

International Institutions & Regimes

The purpose of this class is to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the concepts and theoretical approaches central to understanding and analysing the role of international institutions and regimes in the contemporary world.

This class will survey a variety of international institutions and regimes, exploring how they shape global interactions in a number of cross-cutting issue areas such as security, trade, human rights and the environment. The overall analysis will contribute to the understanding of the theories, practices and processes through which global politics are organised and to an assessment of the future of international institutions and regimes in global governance. 

Learning & teaching

All classes are taught in seminars, which combine theoretical discussion and a strong empirical or policy focus, as appropriate.  Seminars consist of a variety of teaching techniques; including from small-group work, structured debates, presentations, and background lectures.

Classes average 20 contact hours with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes.

Assessment

As a course with classes taken in both Government & Public Policy and Law, modules will have their own methods of assessment appropriate to the nature of the material. These include written assignments, blogs, podcasts, practical team projects, presentations, individual projects, and exams. Most modules involve more than one method of assessment to help you realise your potential.

These account for two thirds of the total assessment. Your dissertation, produced over the summer, accounts for one third of the total assessment.

Entry requirements

First or upper second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, in social sciences/law subjects or substantial professional experience.

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at the University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339 333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

2019/20

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • £7,600

Rest of UK

  • £7,600

International

  • £15,700 

How can I fund my course?

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Check out our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Strathclyde Alumni

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni Discount

10% tuition fee discount is offered to all Strathclyde alumni completing a full-time postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Careers

The programme will equip students with the skills and knowledge to pursue professional careers in areas including the following:

  • government (whether domestically or in supra-national organisations such as the EU or UN)
  • journalism
  • police
  • armed forces
  • international agencies
  • non-governmental organisations
  • law firms

For students, the strong research focus means this course will act as a route to advanced postgraduate study in Politics, International Relations, Law or Security Studies.

For those who wish to pursue a career outside academia, this research component will be beneficial for various research and policy roles and the public and third sectors.

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International Relations, Law and Security

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

International Relations, Law and Security

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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