MA by Research

Students sat outside the Parkinson Building

If you have a longstanding interest or connections in a particular political or international studies field, perhaps related to your professional occupation or other significant experience, then an MA by Research may be suitable for you.


This type of study works through close one-to-one supervision, tailored specifically to the needs of the project and the researcher. You will research and write a thesis of approximately 30,000 words on a subject of your choice. 

The School offers no broad research training for candidates that register for this degree. MA by Research candidates are not eligible for transfer to a PhD.


The MA by Research can be taken full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).

Areas of supervision

Research opportunities are hosted within three research areas, each of which has a successful and thriving research community.

Explore our research and expertise to see where your interests may best fit and discover more about our academic staff. 

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally possess an upper second class honours degree or equivalent. Applicants with professional qualifications or substantial professional experience are also encouraged to apply, as they bring a particularly valuable outlook to the student population.

If English is not your first language, you will also need an English language qualification, for example IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in all components. If you fail to meet these requirements you may still be offered a place dependent on completion of a pre-sessional English language course offered by the University’s Language Centre

We welcome candidates from across the globe each year. If you would like to discuss international equivalent qualifications please contact our admissions team.