School of Social Sciences

Politics and International Relations

MA in International Studies


The MA in International Studies prepares students for a wide range of occupational roles in both the public and private sector, including government and civil services, non-governmental organisations, journalism, consultancy and advisory capacities. 

The focus is on stimulating further intellectual development through a rigorous curriculum covering the relevant aspects of politics and international relations. It is expected that graduates from the programme will contribute to the improvement of the quality of public life in the Kurdistan region and assist the community in finding its place in the modern world by producing critical but constructive thinking, promoting open discussion and transparent public processes, and encouraging accountability.


The Master of Arts in International Studies is an 18-month programme. The first two semesters of the programme consist of coursework from advanced modules on topics related to International Studies. The final semester is exclusively devoted to writing an MA thesis, which should typically be between 15,000 and 18,000 words. 

Students may extend the writing of the thesis by one semester if they have justifiable reasons. If a student withdraws from the programme at the end of the first semester, after having earned 60 credits, he/she will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate. Should a student complete all 120 credits of the coursework, but decides not to write a thesis or receives a no-pass mark for the thesis, she will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. Only students who successfully complete coursework and the thesis will be awarded a Master of Arts in International Studies.


The programme comprises the following modules subject to faculty's availability:

Research Methods.
Humanitarian Interventions.
Terrorism and Political Violence.
American Foreign Policy and its Impact on Global Politics.
Theories of Capitalist Development.
International Security.
Independent Study.
The Gulf States and Iraq in the Global Political Economy.
Global Governance.
Classics of International Relations Theory.
Imperialism and Dependency.
Globalisation and Regionalisation.

Skills Development

The programme is designed to enable students to develop analytical as well as essential managerial skills, such as teamwork, leadership and effective communication. An ability to collect and interpret data is also developed through modules such as Research Methods. By the time they reach thesis writing, students will be able to design an original project, conduct independent research and to report the results according to the highest standards of our discipline.


The structure of the programme has been created with specific progression in mind and the assessment methods are designed both to reflect and support this aim. Students are assessed via a wide range of methods that include essays, reports, exams, case studies, policy briefs, group activities, presentations, and a dissertation.


The MA concludes with a 15,000- to 18,000-word dissertation consisting in a piece of original research conducted by the student in conjunction with a supervisor. Writing a dissertation gives students an opportunity to apply the political concepts and research techniques acquired during coursework and to critically investigate a political issue or problem of their choice.

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree are:

1.    Minimum undergraduate average of 70%    

 Note:  Equalized transcript is required for students who have graduated from international institutions.  

2.    Minimum English Language requirement is 50 in PTE, 6 in IELTS or 74 in ibt-TOEFL.  

3.    Interview

Note: For AY 2018-19 applications, please email [email protected] or visit UKH's Registry Office.

Tuition Fee

$4,500 USD per programme

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