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MA in International Relations - Development focus

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi guys, I'm hoping to do a MA in International Relations with a focus on development/ humanitarian intervention, does anyone have any recommendations? I've looked through the modules of various universities but haven't been able to find one which focuses on that.

    There are also many sticky issues that limit my options. I have no relevant academic background; I have a decent 2:2 in Psychology. Most of the universities are asking for 2:1 and related academic background. Even though I have completed a few social science research modules at BA level and have 2 years of working experience somewhat related to security, it looks like I will be required to take a pre-masters, which will strain my budget as an international student. Preference in focus aside, I have shortlisted the following unis which I might have a chance of getting into - University of Groningen (International Relations and International Organisation), Aberystwyth University, University of Limerick (International Studies), and a local uni back home.

    Any recommendations or advice will be greatly appreciated!

    The 2.2 limits your options and may rule out LSE and some European programmes. There are some other good MSc IR with DEV concentrations. You should be OK with a psychology degree, it is after all Social Sciences and IR is an interdisciplinary master's. your 2 yr career related with security will be an asset as IR admissions like experience. I have seen MSc IR students with less related undergrad degrees in philosophy or English Lit.

    Uni of Sussex Institute of Dev (IDS) offers various master's and IDS is well regarded by academics and practioners. Various NGOs and gov orgs send their people for education. Good balance btw theory and practice, established course with academic rigour.

    SOAS London: Its comparative politics/development programme is more on the theoretical side and less development practice. Well regarded in development studies with various electives. Some government departments sponsor their civil servants and they choose Soas.

    In Europe: International centre of social science (ISS) in The Hague. Its MSc Development is excellent and attracts many international students. Groningen is a smart choice.

    2 yr master's: Louvain MA in IR. Lund Uni in Sweden also offers a good IR/Dev programme.

    The other strong IR & Dev programmes can be found at Graduate Institute Geneva and Sciences Po Paris, but both have high GPA requirements.

    Good luck
    • Thread Starter

    Hi Tcannon, thanks so much for the recommendations and details! The programmes at Sussex IDS and ISS look interesting.

    Hi Flaneuse,

    You are welcome. A friend from Southeast Asia did his master's at Sussex and was happy with fit for his interests and quality. He had a few offers from other UK unis and he chose Sussex. Overall he had a positive experience.

    I don't think you need to worry about having to do a pre-master's. Your 2.2 may be mitigated by your professional experience. Apart from academic rigour, ask admissions about professional development opportunities such as internships, consulting project with NGOs, workshops such as project management, policy evaluation and writing grant applications.
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