Do you want to understand and analyse international relations today in terms of diplomacy, development and environmental sustainability? This program provides the opportunity to adapt to the new global reality.
Graduates may compete for jobs within civil administration, international organizations, research and education institutions, and within the private sector working in international environments. This program is currently the only Master’s degree in International Relations offered at a Norwegian university.
What will you learn?
You will learn the theoretical foundations required to understand IR today, and use these to analyse global political developments from various entry points. You will learn about security, environment, war, violence, state-building, diplomacy, etc. The Masters dissertation will enable you to engage in independent research in a topic of your choice. The program increases the practical understanding of international interactions through (optional) internships and academic exchange programs.
The program is of 2-year duration. The first year comprises compulsory courses including an introductory course, theory and method courses, and elective courses. In the third semester, students are encouraged to take a semester on exchange or to do an internship. Students can choose elective courses offered in the IR program, but also more broadly at NMBU. The master thesis of 30 ECTS is written in the fourth and final semester. Students attending the program typically represent around 20 nations from all continents, each year.
Entering the twenty-first century, the world has been confronted with a new set of international political challenges, notably globalization, poverty, security, and climate change. A master degree in International Relations will prepare students for the new global reality by providing an understanding of how ideology, culture, environment, power, religion, war and conflict influence international interactions between states, people and persons. Job opportunities can be found in academia, in government agencies, in national and international organizations, and in private consultancy agencies.
After graduation, the candidates are expected to have the following qualifications:
An in-depth insight into the major approaches to international relation theory, including four major approaches, Realism, Marxism, Constructivism and Liberalism, and understand the factors stipulated in these approaches as drivers of foreign policy making and international interaction.
A good understanding of the diversity and overlaps within these major approaches, and the weaknesses of using such macro approaches.
A good understanding of the differences between individual scholars within the different approaches.
Training in how to apply theory on current issues within international relations.
Develop an independent research project.
Demonstrate the ability to independently analyze, and to apply research methods to analyze a topic within International Relations.
Evaluate and use primary, secondary and tertiary sources of data as a basis for the elaboration of term papers with coherent and balanced arguments and with correct use of references. Understand the contextual factors in theory generation as well as in cases.
Develop, plan and carry out an independent research project applying relevant methods in IR.
Analyze ethical issues in the use of relevant research methods and be able to account for power relations and value and interest conflicts and the researcher`s position in relation to a research field.
Contribute to discussions feeding into research and produce an innovative master thesis.
Plan and carry out independent research, develop innovative research questions, engage critically and informed in policy formulation and project development.
Solve theoretical and methodological and project and policy problems independently.
To have experience with practical international interaction through participation in multi-national classes and by exchange with other educational institutions.
Present empiric work and academic readings in writing and orally, and write and present orally a master thesis.
Engage in public debates in media, in voluntary organizations, civil society and community meetings, popular dissemination, and in meetings with policy makers.
Contribute to developing solutions for environmental problems by bringing out strategic development and institutional issues, project collaboration and lead networks and centers.
Build research teams and inter-personal communication across academic fields and cultural backgrounds.
Qualifications after graduation:
Graduates will be qualified for positions in public and private institutions where international cooperation is important, such as international environmental negotiations, climate agreements, carbon trading, resource management, etc. Graduates may qualify for PhD programs in development studies, environmental studies and political science.
Contents and structure:
The program is a two-year, 120 ECTS full-time study consisting of a basis of mandatory courses: an introduction course in international relations (5 ECTS), a core course in IR-theory (15 ECTS), a methods course (15 ECTS), and a 30 ECTS master's thesis. In addition, students can choose from a variety of elective courses offered in the program. It is also possible to take courses at other departments and universities, although such courses must be approved in each case. It is possible to integrate internships, exchange or field courses as components in the study program.
Methods of evaluation are varied and may consist of written or oral exams, evaluation of term papers, student presentations and reporting from various activities. Student competencies are tested in written exams and in essays, including pre-defined and open, independent essays where the students are asked to formulate independent essay questions.
Cooperation with other institutions:
Noragric has institutional cooperation with several international institutions, such as Aberystwyth University (Wales), American University (Washington DC), Institute of Development Studies in Jaipur, India (IDSJ), Centre for Development Studies (CDS), among others.
Arrangements, incoming exchange students:
The program is taught in English. Incoming exchange students can design a variety of course combinations.
A bachelor degree or equivalent qualification in political science, development studies, the social sciences, theology, humanities, strategic studies, or law. The bachelor must contain an introductory course in methods for social sciences, or other equivalent qualifications. Please note that students with a former master degree from NMBU will not be prioritized. For admission procedures and English language requirement, please see the NMBU admission web page: https://www.nmbu.no/en/studies/admission
In addition to regular lectures and guest lectures, emphasis is put on problem-based teaching, group- and project teaching, individual work, seminars and field trips.
NMBU has exchange agreements within many disciplines and with many universities across the world. There are ample opportunities to do parts of the studies abroad, both at universities with which NMBU has agreements and other universities/institutions. Refer to the following list: https://www.nmbu.no/en/students/exchange/where
A Bachelor degree.
A Bachelor degree or equivalent in a relevant field with a GPA of minimum 'C' is required to be eligible for application to the program. A bachelor degree in political science, development studies, the social sciences, theology, humanities, strategic studies, or law. The bachelor must contain an introductory course in methods for social sciences, or other equivalent. Applicants must meet the requirement for English language proficiency, and include a 1-page (A4) motivation letter.
- I'm now dedicated to international news, based on the knowledge I gained studying for my MSc in International Relations - Stian Eisenträger, Journalist in the 'Politics and Society' section of the national newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).