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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

King's College, University of Cambridge with wildflower meadow in the foreground

The Master of Studies (MSt) in International Relations is offered by the Department of Politics and International Studies and provides a two-year, part-time route to a full Cambridge Master's degree. The MSt is designed for students who wish to study while pursuing their careers. Our students use the knowledge and analytical skills acquired on the course to further develop their careers in areas as diverse as international organizations, NGOs, teaching, blue chip companies, the civil service, the armed forces, finance, law, film-making, transport and business.

We also welcome recent graduates wishing to undertake postgraduate study on a part-time basis. 


Why Cambridge?

  • The unique course structure offers a 2-year, part-time route to a full Cambridge Master's degree.
  • You will be able to study while maintaining your current job.
  • The Department ranks 1st for Politics (Complete University Guide by subject, 2025).
  • The University of Cambridge consistently ranks among the top 5 universities in the world.
  • You will be taught by internationally renowned scholars.
  • You will be part of a highly motivated group of participants from all over the world.
  • Successful applicants become members of a Cambridge college and will enjoy full access to the University's world leading facilities.
  • During your residential study sessions, you will stay in a traditional Cambridge college and have the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful historic city.




Watch our MSt in IR introductory video

Listen to information and highlights both academically and socially from current students and professors and get advice on how to apply and thrive within the programme. 

Watch the introductory video for the MSt in International Relations Programme on YouTube

How is the course structured?

The course is taught in six intensive residential study blocks during which students live in Cambridge. Outside of the residential sessions students can continue their careers alongside their studies in their home countries. The course has been designed to be accessible to those in full or part-time employment and to international students.

During the first year, students take a core course made up of three modules central to the subject of International Relations. Students then select three additional modules for assessment and a further three for credit, which they select from a list much like the one on the Course Overview page.  In addition to their selected modules, students are encouraged to audit the lectures of modules they have not selected.

All courses are taught by Cambridge academics who are leading experts in their fields of international politics, law, history, theory, etc. Those who complete the first year successfully will spend their second year researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice. This will be individually supervised by an academic specialist in their area.


Where are our MSt students from?

The MSt in International Relations attracts students from a broad range of professional and geographical backgrounds. The course admits some 50 students per cohort from every corner of the world. The graphic below indicates the global spread of the past five cohorts.


Key Facts

Study mode: Part-time

Duration: Two years

Entry Requirements: 2.1 UK honours degree, 3.7 GPA or equivalent

Cohort size: Approx. 50

Contact email:

Important Dates

Applications open: 3 September 2024

Application deadline: 28 February 2025

Course dates: September 2025 - July 2027

Provisional Residential Teaching Sessions:

2025-26 2026-27
22 Sept - 03 Oct 29 Jun – 10 Jul
08 Dec - 19 Dec 28 Sept – 02 Oct
13 Apr - 24 Apr 11 Jan – 15 Jan

What do our students say?

"I have received two promotions since I started the course. Although the FCO does not consider qualifications when promoting staff, the improvement in my writing and critical thinking at speed I have acquired from the course has helped me develop a range of crucial skills." 

  • JC, HM Diplomatic Service

"The beauty of this course is its diversity. Classmates travel from all over the world to Cambridge every 10 weeks from countries as diverse as China, Sudan, USA, Australia, Kosovo, Kashmir and Iraq. Our 50 classmates fused a brilliant mix of professions combining the worlds of government, military, finance, law, business, development, economics and media."

  • JS, documentary photographer