Postgraduate MA, PhD

International Relations

Take on global challenges in the 21st century – interpret events, identify trends and make informed judgments about the future. Engage with world politics, global environmental change, terrorism, governance in cyberspace, and conflict resolution with insight and clarity.

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Explore real-world issues and key policy areas, and learn from leading experts who advise governments and shape debates. Our alumni, who form an international network, have used this programme as a springboard into foreign offices and diplomatic services, the UN, EU and OECD, the IRC, Amnesty International, and other NGOs, as well as businesses with an international outlook.

Reasons to study International Relations at Kent

  • The research in the School of Politics and International Relations was rated as 100% 'world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for environment and publications in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • We are now part of the South East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, making us one of the key training outlets in our subject in the UK.
  • Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision.
  • Students enjoy regular meetings with a supervisor and supervisory team.
  • High-profile engagement through the Global Europe Centre and the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, which crystallise our research, policy and practitioner networks into an annual schedule of events.
  • Students have the opportunities to collaborate with other members of staff through the staff research seminar and the activities of our three University-recognised research centres: the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC), the Global Europe Centre (GEC) and the Centre for Critical Thought(CCT).
  • Excellent facilities – the Templeman library and extensive computing facilities.
  • Research students will also be able to benefit from the skills training offered by the University’s Graduate and Researcher College.

What you'll learn

Research interests span conflict analysis and resolution, political theory and European politics. The breadth of expertise within the School enables us to provide research supervision on a very wide range of topics across the area of International Relations.

Current projects of students studying in this area include:

  • Evolving Sino-South Korean Relations: Interplay between National Identity and Interests
  • NAFTA-Land Security: The Mérida Initiative, Transnational Threats, and U.S. Security Projection in Mexico
  • Mediation as a Preventive Diplomacy Instrument: A Comparative Study of International Mediation in Cyprus and Northern Ireland
  • Readdressing the relationship between political philosophy and International Organisations
  • The Land of Maybe: Faroese Foreign Policy Decision-Making at the European Crossroads
  • A Phronetic Approach to the Theory and Practice of Humanitarian Intervention

Choosing a topic

The majority of our research students choose their own research topics. Once you have decided on the nature of your project, you should contact the member of staff in the School whose expertise and interests most closely match your area of research. You’ll then work with your proposed supervisor to refine your research proposal - the starting point for your research.

Your future

The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability Coordinator who organises employability events within the School as well as providing students with assistance in securing graduate opportunities. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.

Politics at Kent was ranked 6th in the UK for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.

Career support
Whether you want to get ahead in your current career, change lanes, or kickstart a new one – we are here to help you realise your ambition.

Fees and funding

Fees for this and other Kent Postgraduate Politics programmes can be found on the Student Finance page.

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:


We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Next steps

Ready to apply?

Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

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Kent focus

Supporting your success

We are here to support your postgraduate journey.

Top 50

Kent ranked top 50 in The Complete University Guide 2024.

Fees and funding

Support for funding so you can focus on your studies.

Research excellence

Kent has risen 11 places in THE’s REF 2021 ranking, confirming us as a leading research university.


It’s easy to study on or off campus at Kent – discover what is right for you.