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Engage with visiting speakers and practitioners

On our master's courses, you'll address the most urgent issues facing the world today, as practitioners working in modern-day politics bring a wealth of experience and insight to your studies.

Our relationships in government, the public sector, research institutes and universities means we often welcome guest speakers who contribute to our teaching.

Retired practitioners who have held top positions in the British civil service, diplomatic corps and military co-curate some of our modules with our academics, providing expert, policy-led teaching. 


Discover Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading

Watch our film to learn more about studying a master's degree in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading.

Continue your journey at the University of Reading 

Hear why Callum choose to continue his studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations after his undergraduate degree at the University of Reading. 

Small-group teaching

Small-group teaching is at the core of all our master's courses, giving you the chance to work closely with our academics.

In two-hour seminars you'll learn through lively, stimulating discussion and debate, developing your ideas and presenting them to your peers.

Find out more about how you'll study

Research methods training

When you undertake a master's with us, you can choose to undertake modules in research methods training.

These modules train you in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and are incredibly useful if you wish to eventually pursue a PhD or a career with a core focus on research. 

Learn from academics involved in current affairs

Our academics regularly feature both in academic literature and the media, offering their expertise on current issues. Our staff offer particular expertise in UK, EU and American politics and in the UN.

It's natural that our teaching is research-led and relevant, with our academics being so active in modern-day politics.

Tailor your studies

We offer an exciting range of modules across all of our master's degrees. When you study with us, you'll have the flexibility to create a bespoke programme of study that suits your interests and aspirations.

In particular, we have several innovative modules on our courses that give you the opportunity to gain practical skills and hands-on experience of real-world politics:

  • On our Parliamentary Studies module, you'll have the opportunity to visit government institutions at Westminster and Cardiff, and hear from political visitors from the UK Parliament.
  • On modules throughout our MA International Relations and Diplomacy course, you'll undertake practical assessments, such as writing policy briefs and lobbying exercises, as well as learning from guest speakers such as diplomats.
  • On the MSc Public Policy course we offer the Capstone Project module, where you can undertake a placement with an external employer, where you'll work with colleagues to solve a real-life policy problem. 


You can also choose to study a language with the Institution-Wide Language Programme. 

Read more about our optional modules in the Department of Politics and International Relations (PDF, 0.4 MB)

Preparing you for career success

We place a strong focus on employability, ensuring you gain the skills and experience you need to pursue your ambitions. We equip you with the skills that are vital for your future professional career or in further academic research. As well as advancing your subject knowledge, you'll develop strong IT skills. Undertaking a master's degree with us will challenge you in a number of ways, helping you to develop your presentation techniques, and analytical, communication and leadership skills. You'll build your ability to confidently work in both a group and independently. 

Work Placement

Put your academic knowledge to practice and build your network with a work placement in an external organisation focused on international relations or international security. You will gain invaluable first-hand experience and independent problem solving, working within a professional environment . Further develop your independent and critical research skills through a written reflective research report which counts towards your final mark. 

Our Graduates

Many of our graduates go on to work in fields related to their politics and international relations studies.

Graduate career destinations have included:

  • Office for National Statistics
  • Civil Service Fast Stream
  • Department for International Trade
  • Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Cabinet Office.

Academic excellence

Learn from world experts in the field of politics and international relations. Our staff work on internationally recognised research, and many have invaluable experience working as advisers to government bodies, the military and international organisations.


Our research

97% of our research outputs are rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, meaning that the University of Reading is 6th highest in the UK for research outputs (Times Higher Education analysis of the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021 – Politics and International Studies, when scoring by GPA Output).


Life in Reading

Reading's bustling town centre has strong transport links to London and the south east. London and Oxford are both just 25 minutes away by train, where you have access to great research resources and a wide variety of speaker meetings and other events.