Magazine

Disclosure: International Relations Careers may be compensated by course providers.

Top 10 Online Masters to Study International Relations

If you’re interested in a career in international relations, you’ll need to get a good education. And what better way to do that than by pursuing an online master’s degree?

There are many great programs out there that can help you learn everything you need to know about international relations. And the best part is, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home!

Here are just a few of the many online masters programs in international relations:

MA in International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

The online MA in International Relations programme from Queen Mary University of London you will have the chance to study topics and key concepts and theoretical traditions within International Relations and their relevance to contemporary themes in world politics. The International Relations MA offers students challenging and thought-provoking modules. Students will expand their knowledge by delving into the complexities of war in a global context, gain an insight into the practices of US foreign policy and learn how globalisation has changed international relations. The research capacities of QMUL in the political area are well known, especially in topics like politics of the developing world, globalisation and development, conflict and war, migration and transnational mobility, security and critical and post-colonial theory. This is a two year study programme and the tuition fees amount to £12,900 per year, subject to an increase on an annual basis.

MA in International Affairs, King’s College London

The International Affairs MA will provide you with an advanced and comprehensive understanding of the complex world of contemporary international relations and politics. The MA in International Affairs combines international relations, military history, strategic studies and regional security studies to educate students in the fundamental issues surrounding international security and conflict politics. With modules covering international relations, strategy and conflict history, modern implementation of deterrence strategy, cyber security, intelligence and future conflict, the course’s multidisciplinary approach enables students to gain a holistic understanding of the global security industry and the challenges it faces.

As well as its core subject areas, the course seeks to transform your research capabilities, with skills modules focussed on critical thinking and evidence evaluation. Students will need to complete a self-directed research dissertation. This complete master’s course is taught 100% online, meaning you can progress your education alongside your career from anywhere in the world, without needing a career break. The flexible two-to-six year curriculum fits around your existing work and life commitments. The tuition fees amount to £17,220 per 12 modules of the MA.

Master in International Affairs and Diplomacy, UOC – UNITAR

The Online Master in International Affairs and Diplomacy as well as the Post-Graduate Certificate in World Studies and the Post-Graduate Certificate in Diplomatic Practice between the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) holds great significance in training and the capacity development in the field of international relations and diplomacy.

The Master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy is a UOC-Certified Master’s Degree. Given its specificity, it does not give general access to Doctoral studies (Ph.D. and similar). Validation of credits for access to such programs can be requested from competent institutions. The Master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy is a degree awarded by the UOC (“Título propio” in Spanish). These online programmes are designed to be perfectly suited to the needs of students and full-time professionals interested in both developing essential knowledge for understanding international affairs, as well as strengthening their capacities in the practice of diplomacy. The Degrees will allow diplomats, government officials, students and other stakeholders to upgrade their studies and knowledge with a formally recognized degree combining the best of university education and UN executive training. The tuition fees amount to € 7,408 per year.

MSc in Global Studies and International Relations, Northeastern University

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, global corporations, nonprofits, and governments have an increasing need for leaders with deep analytical, research, and cross-cultural skills. This Master of Science in Global Studies and International Relations prepares students for internationally focused positions in the U.S. and abroad to take on the complex challenges formed by modern globalization.

The unique interdisciplinary program concentrates on both global studies and international relations, allowing students to gain one comprehensive degree. Classes focus on real-world fieldwork such as analyzing the investment portfolios of developing nations, staging mock debates, crisis management, and the art of speechwriting for top embassy officials; preparing students for leadership roles in international organizations and areas like consulting, nonprofit management, business and industry, education, foreign service, or banking.

With students coming from more than 24 countries and over 34 states and faculty with decades of experience working as ambassadors, foreign service officers, diplomats, there are rich opportunities for discussion and debates on international perspectives. The program can be completed  part- or full-time in one and a half to two years and the tuition fees amount to $37.200.

MA in International Relations (MAIR), American University

The online Master of Arts in International Relations program is designed for aspiring global professionals who want to build a strong foundational understanding of international affairs theory and practice. Students cultivate the economic, statistical, and critical thinking skills needed to analyze cross-cultural communications and foreign policy.
The 39-credit hour AU Online MAIR degree is ideal for students just entering the field of international relations, whereas the 30-credit hour AU Online MIS degree requires that students have seven or more years in the field. Both degrees are taught by “world-class” School of International Service faculty and offer five AU International Relations Online concentration options in Global Security, United States Foreign Policy and National Security, International Development, International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and Social Enterprise. Faculty members are “leading voices in the international affairs community,” and the AU International Relations Online weekend immersion experience allows students to attend face-to-face seminars, meet with their professors and potential employers, and network with their peers. International Relations Online students are charged tuition on a per credit hour basis. For all International Relations Online programs, tuition is $2,050 per credit hour for the Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022 terms.

Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies: International Relations, Harvard University

The graduate International Relations Degree program offered through Harvard Extension School allows distance students the opportunity to pursue a mostly online degree from one of the most recognizable and renowned institutions in the nation. This online master targets the gain critical insight into today’s pressing global issues and fosters the understanding of the factors influencing relationships between nation-states and supranational organizations. The Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: International Relations degree at Harvard is comprised of twelve required classes, and at least three courses must be engaged in on the Harvard campus. Students can choose between a thesis option or the capstone option, and the curriculum offers unique topics. Harvard Extension School offers resources and services to distance students to help them navigate the online coursework during their academic experience. Four advanced international relations certificates are also offered through Harvard Extension School: International Relations, International Security, Nuclear Deterrence, and Religions of the World. Each certificate requires four courses and can be completed online. The average tuition fees for this program amount to $35,760.

MA in International Relations, Norwich University

The Norwich University Online Master of Arts in International Relations degree program provides a unique approach for students to explore the political, economic, and cultural issues impacting today’s global stage in preparation for a promising career in the ever-changing international arena. The 33-credit hour MAIR program allows students to become immersed in their choice of one of five relevant concentration areas: Cyber Diplomacy, International Development, International Security, National Security, or Regions of the World. All coursework is entirely online and determined by the concentration, courses range from topics like: World Politics; International Relations and Economics and the International System to Cyber Policy and Regions of the World. The highly-experienced, expert Norwich faculty are accessible with all online classes capped at fifteen students, providing both rigorous coursework and mentorship to all online students. As with all online degree programs offered by Norwich Online, the MAIR program finishes with the week-long Culminating Campus Experience. As the oldest private military college in the nation, the perspective on international relations is unlike that of any other school. The tuition fees for this program amount to a total of $27,711.

MA in International Relations, Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University’s Online MA in International Relations gives distance-learning students a flexible way to delve into this exciting field. This comprehensive online course is designed to help students understand the complexities of international arenas, with opportunities to explore contemporary issues such as international security and terrorism. Due to an emphasis on the value of theory-in-practice, NTU’s Online MA in International Relations helps students get to grips with theoretical debates, ideas around global governance and the link between political economy and international security. With teaching and research expertise from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Europe, students will be exposed to insights from every corner of the globe. As a result, students will be exposed to different perspectives, insights, and research approaches, giving you the aptitude and confidence to establish a relevant career path anywhere in the world. The tuition fees for this program amount to a total of £9,500.

 MA in International Relations, UCAM Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia

The master in International Relations offers a global mindset and interdisciplinary studies in key subjects to jump start a career with international institutions, non-governmental and governmental organizations, and private companies operating globally or mature, update and reinforce analytical skills and judgment for decision making in professionals of different fields confronting the complexities of the current international order. The major is designed to train students to fully understand the main parameters of the international contemporary environment, so as to boost their careers in companies, NGOs, and international private and public institutions. The goal of this program is to provide updated, useful, outstanding preparation for careers with a global reach. Geographically, students could apply to study at UCAM (Murcia, Spain), or at partner universities in South America, Asia, USA, Canada, Russia, Africa or the Middle East. The duration of this program is one year and the tuition fees amount to €5,300. The language of instruction is English.

MA in International Relations, Bircham International University

This program examines the complexities and processes involved in the relationships governing the institutions of international governance. It deals with the legal, historical, and context-sensitive socioeconomic and political factors that are key elements in any international environment. It examines the dynamics and structural characteristics, as well as the humanitarian issues operating within the global community. This Master’s Degree considers all the international relations theories, classical and modern, including realism, idealism, behaviorism, globalism, Marxist and imperialist theories, in addition to the people who have elaborated these ideas and the context in which they did it. It critiques and compares theories, and stresses on the relevance of theory in international relations. Admission is open for adults over 25 years of age. The course has a duration of 9 to 12 months and the tuition fees range from €4.680 to a maximum of €7.020.

MSc in International Relations, TROY University

Troy University’s Master of Science in International Relations (MSIR) program prepares students to be successful and competitive in the global arena. One of the largest international relations graduate studies program in the United States, TROY’s MSIR program offers students of diverse backgrounds and undergraduate degrees the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of the international political and economic trends and activities that shape and define the world in which we live and work. TROY’s MSIR program is a 12-course, 36-credit-hour program that will engage students with a diverse curriculum covering history, regional studies, comparative government, foreign policy studies, political economy, geography, conflict management, national security, international organization and law, intercultural relations and developing states. Students will gain a wide-ranging appreciation for the political, historical, cultural, economic and geographical factors that affect international relations and emerge from the program with the analytical and theoretical skills necessary for understanding and evaluating the impact of global and national issues on world events. Students can choose one of three areas of concentration – global studies, national security affairs or regional affairs. The fees for this program amount to $475 per credit hour.

MSc in International Public Policy, Queen Mary University of London

The International Public Policy course can be studied flexibly online at Masters, Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), or Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) level. It combines the specific theories, concepts and cases of public policy with international relations studies to ensure that students gain a firm grasp of the decision-making and implementation processes involved in international public policy throughout the study program. The course explores the development, possibilities and limitations of international policy-making, including cooperation issues, the impact of international law and norms, and the role of international organizations and non-state stakeholders in policy-making. This is a two-year study program and the tuition fees amount to £12,900 per year, subject to an increase on an annual basis. The language of instruction is in English.

Study International Relations at Top Universities

Contemporary Issues in World Politics

Free to audit

Paid certificate

Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World

Free to audit

Paid certificate

Business, International Relations and the Political Economy

Paid

International Relations: China, Russia, the US and the Future of Geopolitics

Paid

About the author

Gladiola Lleshi

Gladiola Lleshi is a law student and a member of the United Nations Youth Association Albania, a youth-led NGO through which she has coordinated and conceptualized projects and activities targeting global challenges and international affairs. Gladiola holds a Law Bachelor’s degree and is particularly focused on EU and International law, which she aims to further in her academic pursuits. Gladiola is passionate about writing and research on citizen engagement, democratic processes, policy-making and international relations.