School of Social Sciences

Politics and International Relations

MA in Politics and International Relations


The mission of our University’s is to be the leading higher educational institution in the region.  We seek to contribute to the social, intellectual, economic, cultural, governmental and industrial development of Kurdistan, and Iraq as a whole. The University of Kurdistan-Hewler teaches exclusively in English and applies academic and teaching standards and practices that are comparable with those of western universities.   Indeed, the Department of Politics and International Relations boasts an international faculty of highly qualified and committed academics and experts in their subject areas to guide you throughout your studies with us. 

Beginning in the fall of 2020, we are offering two new Master’s programmes; one in Politics and International Relations and one in Diplomacy and International Law.  The key combined aims of these two degree schemes are to produce high quality graduates who are able to think critically and creatively, and to be able to apply their acquired knowledge to the developmental challenges of the region and beyond. 

Our Master’s degree in Politics and International Relations is designed to allow students to comprehend the complex nature of political life both within and between states.  Here, we emphasise such topics as democracy and political expression, political institutions, economy and governance, institutions and practices, and so on, at both national and international levels.  Our Diplomacy and International Law programme meanwhile investigates such themes as the nature of the interaction between states at a diplomatic level; the protocols and skills required of diplomats; human rights architecture and its role; the practice of international law and its theoretical underpinnings, and so on.

It is expected that graduates of our Master’s programmes will further pursue an academic career, if they so choose, or find future employment in government ministries, the diplomatic service, international and non-government organisations, and so on. 


Our Master’s Degrees comprise of four semesters.  The taught component of each programme consists of two semesters comprising four modules, making a total of eight.  In Semester One, we provide four modules forming a common foundation for our two MA pathways.  In Semester Two, all modules are subject specific to the particular MA pathway.  The taught modular component of the programmes represents two-thirds of the final credits.  The final one-third of the credits is taken up by the thesis which occupies the two remaining semesters.  Here, students undertake independent research specific to the subject area chosen, under the supervision of a member of our academic faculty.  Note: research topics must be selected on the basis of the availability of sufficient supervisory expertise, and be closely aligned to the subject area of the specific pathway curriculum.   


Throughout both programmes, graduate students will become familiarised with a number of sub-fields of study within their subject areas.  The modules have been selected on the basis of those recommended as mandatory to the respective fields by the British Quality Assurance Agency inspectorate (QAA).  

Skills Development

The MA Programmes in Politics and International Relations and Diplomacy will equip students with a comprehensive and distinctive set of key skills to enable continuation of an academic career or a range of practical employment possibilities.  After successful completion of either Programme, students will be able to:


·       Demonstrate highly developed levels of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

·       Show familiarity with the major theoretical and methodological issues associated with the study of politics and/or International Relations and Diplomacy.

·       Undertake high quality research.

·       Demonstrate good communication and presentational skills.

·       Analyse complex political problems and issues.

·       Dissect, analyse and disseminate complex academic literature.

Subject Specific:

Politics and International Relations Students

·       Demonstrate a high level of understanding of the nature of the political world at state and sub-state levels.

·       Show a sophisticated understanding of the nature of the state and its institutions.

·       Demonstrate a solid understanding of the nature of government and governmental institutions.

·       Show good understanding of the relationship between society and government.

·       Demonstrate good knowledge of political power and its application in policy formation at national and international levels.

·       Demonstrate a solid appreciation of the relationship between the economic and the political at multiple levels.


Diplomacy and International Law Students

·       Show a high level of understanding of the nature of the international relations and diplomacy arenas.

·       Show a sophisticated understanding of the theory, institutions and application of international law.

·       Demonstrate a keen appreciation of the nature of state behaviour and state-interest pursuit at the international level.

·       Demonstrate a high level understanding of the nature and function of international institutions.

·       Demonstrate a solid comprehension of international human rights in theory and practice.   

·       Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the nature and tasks associated with the art of diplomacy.


A number of strategies will be employed involving essay writing; examinations; student presentations; report writing; evaluation of discussion quality and overall contribution to seminars; thesis writing. 


The MA Programmes place an evaluation at 33.3% of the overall course mark on the production of a thesis written by the student under the supervision of a chosen/assigned supervisor.  The thesis is expected to be between 25,000-30,000 words in length.  The thesis will be assessed by both internal and external jurors and the student will submit to a viva voce examination. 

Admission Criteria

The University adopts an approved set of admission criteria for all Masters programmes, as follows.

Minimum admission requirements shall be normally:

  1. Completion of a recognised university undergraduate degree, at least to Bachelor level with Honours (or equivalent), in a relevant discipline;
  2. Minimum undergraduate average of 60% (equalized transcript is required for students who have graduated from international institutions). 
  3. Minimum English Language requirement is  50 in PTE, 6.0 in IELTS or 74 in iBT-TOEFL. 
  4. School entrance Test for English Department
  5. Interview

Applicants dismissed for any reason from any university, school or college shall not be considered. 

Tuition Fee

$6,000 per programme

Apply Now