Flexible study

We offer a range of flexible study options, allowing you to tailor your degree to suit your needs, interests and personal circumstances.

Combine your degree programme with a secondary specialisation, take an extended version (120 ECTS) or start in January instead of September. You can also study part-time, study only the modules that interest you or head to another global capital for a term and gain two Master's degrees in the process.

Programme specialisations

You can choose to focus on one area, or select one of our subjects as a secondary area of focus. For example, you can read for an LLM in International Law with International Migration or an MA in International Development with International Conflict and Security. This option allows your programme and diploma to reflect the intrinsic interdisciplinary nature of both the School and your degree.

You can make a choice on your secondary area of focus at the beginning of the academic year. You should submit an application for the programme that interests you most, then decide whether to choose a secondary area of research on arrival at BSIS.

To include a secondary area of focus on a standard programme, you must choose;

  • three modules (four for an extended programme) from your MA/LLM pathway
  • two modules (four for an extended programme) from the secondary area
  • one further module from the full list of modules offered at BSIS.


MA primary specialisation only (eg: MA in International Relations)

Standard Extended
3 modules from stream, including compulsory 4 modules from stream, including compulsory
3 further modules from catalogue 5 further modules from catalogue
Dissertation Dissertation

MA with secondary specialisation (eg: MA in International Relations with International Conflict and Security)

Standard Extended
3 modules from first specialisation, including compulsory 4 modules from first specialisation, including compulsory
2 modules from secondary specialisation, including at least one compulsory 3 modules from secondary specialisation, including at least one compulsory
1 further module from catalogue 2 further modules from catalogue
Dissertation in first specialisation Dissertation in first specialisation


  • MA students on standard programmes may not take more than three law modules and those on extended programmes may not take more than four law modules.
  • LLM students on Standard programmes must take a minimum of four law modules and those on extended programmes must take a minimum of five law modules.
  • Students may not be registered on more than 3 modules per term (full time) or 1 or 2 modules (part time).
  • All students, irrespective of start date, standard or extended programme, full time or part time status, must take the dissertation module, Fundamentals, Dissertation and Research, in their first and final semesters.

Extended programme

All programmes at BSIS are offered in both the standard (90 ECTS) and the extended (120 ECTS) programme format.

The extended programme allows you to broaden your knowledge and experience by taking more options and gives you a greater opportunity for internships. You can also take parts of the programme in Canterbury as well as in Brussels.

To be awarded a standard Master's degree, you must take six taught modules, the methodology module 'Fundamentals, Dissertation and Research' and submit a dissertation. For the extended programme, you must take an additional three taught modules. See the relevant programme page for more information.

Short courses

A short course enables you to take only the module, or modules, that are of most interest to you. You may choose any of the modules offered at the School at any given time, and receive a certificate of completion for that module. The course fee is on a pro-rata basis (the normal programme fee, divided by seven).

By taking the modules individually, you can accumulate sufficient credit to be awarded a formal qualification such as a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or, in exceptional circumstances, a Master's (LLM or MA) in your chosen specialisation.

See the full list of academic modules taught at BSIS

Two Capitals Exchange

On this programme, you initially follow the curriculum of your chosen degree at BSIS. The curriculum for the second part of the degree is dependent on your chosen location, but is within the sphere of international affairs.

Gain an insight into the nature of change as an endemic feature of politics on a national, regional and global scale; an understanding of the causes of change; and ways in which to manage that change. You also gain a firm understanding of the complex relationship between the concerns of domestic and international politics, and global and geopolitical issues.

We currently offer this programme in two additional locations:

Beijing city skyline


In Beijing, you study at China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU). It is China’s top foreign affairs institute and doubles up as an academy for the country's future diplomats.

The exchange is offered as a one semester exchange or as a one-year dual-award.

Spending a semester in Beijing has given me a once-in-a-lifetime crash course and exponentially increased my understanding of the truly globalised world we live in.

Aerial view of Capitol Building, Washington DC

Washington DC

You are enrolled on the Government and International Affairs programme of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech (VT).

Based on VT's National Capital Region Campus in Alexandria, you study towards a Master's in Public International Affairs (MPIA).

For more information, email bsisadmissions@kent.ac.uk.