Governance and International Politics Double MA 2021

Study the Governance and International Relations Double MA at Aston University, UK, and University of Bamberg, Germany, to gain an unparalleled understanding of key issues in governance and international politics, enriched by both British and German perspectives.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham and University of Bamberg, Germany

Course type


Course format

No placements


2 years full-time

UCAS code(s)

Start date

Course outline and modules

The Governance and International Politics Joint MA is an exciting two year joint masters course, which allows you to develop a deep understanding of issues of contemporary research in the field of governance and international politics. You will spend the first year at Aston University in Birmingham in the UK and the second year at Bamberg University in Germany, benefitting from the combined expertise and experience of teaching staff at two prestigious institutions to enable you to become a highly informed strategic thinker in the political arena.

What you’ll learn

As a student on the Governance and International Politics Joint MA, you will be able to tailor make the course to suit your interests and future career goals.

You will study two core modules in International Relations Theory and Governance of Global Problems, which will give you an advanced grounding in the key concepts and ideas used in the analysis of international relations and international politics.

You will critically examine the nature and impact of the major schools of thought in International Relations and understand how problems such as terrorism, economic and financial crisis, armed conflict or trade wars occur and how they might be best resolved. This will offer you a sense of the identity of International Relations as an academic discipline and give you a set of conceptual tools, which will better enable you to make sense of international events.

You will also examine the key issues in relation to globalisation, global governance and regional integration. Globalisation is the buzzword of our times. No other term has been used and abused as frequently as globalisation. It is variously seen as a threat to established social, political and economic interests or as an opportunity. You’ll gain an overview of political and social science approaches to the meaning of globalisation, global governance and regionalism, explore central issues and debates in relation to the impact of globalisation on social and political transformation, and critically evaluate contending interpretations of the impact of globalisation on social and political change.

Throughout your masters course, you will benefit from active membership of the Aston Centre for Europe, a thriving research hub which organises debates, study visits, and conferences and seminars on current international issues.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.


Core modules

International Relations Theory

This course provides an advanced grounding in the key concepts and ideas employed in the analysis of International Relations and International Politics. It seeks to understand and address some of the most compelling questions within the International Relations discipline, such as: Why do wars occur? How can states cooperate? What is the role of international organisations? This module will offer students a sense of the identity of International Relations as an academic discipline, whilst equipping them with a set of conceptual tools that will better enable them to make sense of the international system and the events that take place within it. International Relations Theory critically examines the nature, impact, and application of the major schools of thought in International Relations.

Assessment method: The assessment is by class presentation (15%) and by one 2,500 word essay (85%).


Governance of Global Problems

The module aims at a critical appraisal of existing models to address global problems. Starting from a critical engagement with the two key concepts of globalization and global governance, the module goes on to assess different international, transnational, regional and local strategies to deal with selected global - or globalized - issues.

Assessment: The assessment by 2.000 words policy paper (80%) and by portfolio (20%).


Dissertation module

Students will demonstrate their ability to design, conduct and report the results of a research project in the subject domain relevant to their masters programme. They will work independently, under the guidance of a supervisor. Preparing a masters dissertation is a complex exercise which will strengthen and test various subject-specific and transferable research skills, including research methodology and academic writing.

Assessment method: Students prepare a 15,000 word dissertation on a research subject of their choosing, guided by a member of the academic staff.

Optional modules
  • Rethinking European Integration
  • EU as a Global Actor
  • Post-migration Europe
  • Rouge states
  • IR and East-Asia
  • Changing China: People’s Republic in the 21st Century
  • Religion and Politics
  • Critical Approaches to Security Studies
  • International political economy
  • Interest groups and lobbying
  • International political communication
  • Negotiation skills: EuroSim and ModelUN
  • Concepts and Strategies for Social Data Analysis
  • Concepts and Strategies for Qualitative Social Science
  • Languages modules


Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Entry requirements

2:1 degree in Social Science, Language or a related subject. Other degrees might be suitable depending on personal statement and motivation. No level of German language required. 

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements

Application: We recommend that overseas students apply before the end of June due to visa requirements as these can take a few weeks to process. 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

You will take part in interactive seminars, discussion and simulation exercises, as well as undertaking group project work. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. MA students are a fundamental part of the intellectual life of the Politics and International Relations study group. All students on MA programmes take part in the regular series of guest lectures and research seminars on issues of contemporary political relevance as well as taking part in the conferences and events organised and hosted by the Aston Centre for Europe and by the study group. All students have the opportunity to take part in a week long study trip to visit the EU institutions and related organisations in Brussels. 

Study skills

All students are allocated a personal tutor at the start of their studies; this member of academic staff can offer individual study advice and guidance and is there to help support your studies.

Furthermore, you will have access to:

  • Our Virtual Learning Environment – Blackboard – to support your studies, including Blackboard discussion groups.
  • The University Library, including over 25,000 books and a wide range of electronic journals.  The library has special provision in place to help part time and distance learning students access their resources
  •  University wide facilities such as the Careers Service, Students’ Advice Centre, Students’ Jobshop, Counselling Service, Sports Facilities and the Chaplaincy.


Assessments on the MA programme take a wide variety of forms, ranging from essays and examinations through to policy reports, briefings and campaign portfolios.

Personal development

The MA focusses on developing your practical skills, so assignments may include working with simulated negotiation sessions, and analysing speeches delivered by politicians. We also help you develop your presentation skills and public speaking, alongside classical assignments such as essay writing.

Students on this postgraduate course come to study at Aston from the UK and all different parts of the world, so you’ll become part of a diverse academic community which will further broaden your horizons.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Davide Vampa

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2021/22): £6,350*

International/EU students (2021/22): £14,750*

*This tuition fee is for the first year of the course at Aston University and does not include the tuition fee requirement for the partner institution.

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

All our MA Programmes equip students with the knowledge and analytical and transferable skills to pursue further postgraduate research or a successful career in the public and private sector.

The careers pursued by our students vary greatly, but typical careers include:

  • employment in international organisations (EU, WTO, UN etc.)
  • research in policy-oriented domestic or international think tanks
  • careers in government administration
  • further postgraduate research at PhD level
  • journalism
  • international marketing or business.

Best University Careers Service Award

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020 for it's use of innovative ideas to engage a high number of students with the service in order to support them with their career planning.

Aston University has strong links with national and international organisations with over 200 employers interacting with students on campus each year.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I study Governance and International Politics Double MA at Aston?

The two year Governance and International Politics Double MA course at Aston will give you an unparalleled understanding of key issues in governance and international politics alongside the opportunity to spend a year in the UK and in Germany, benefiting from the academic and multicultural experience of studying at two prestigious European universities.

Do I need to speak German to take this Double Masters?

No level of German language is required to take this double masters.

Why should I do a masters degree with Aston?

All our MA courses equip students with the knowledge, along with analytical and transferable skills to pursue further postgraduate research or a successful career in the public or private sector.


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