Multilevel Governance and International Relations Joint MA

Applications for September 2022 entry will open on 1 October 2021. You will be able to apply via a link which will be available from this course information page.

Study the Multilevel Governance and International Relations Joint MA course at Aston University and Sciences Po Rennes to gain an excellent understanding of multilevel governance and international relations, enriched by the unique mix of both British and French perspectives and an integrated work placement.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham and Science Po Rennes, France

Course type


Course format

Integrated placements


1 year full-time

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Multilevel Governance and International Relations at Aston University
UK postgraduate loans are nowopen

UK postgraduate loans have now opened. If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2021, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs.

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Why study a postgraduate degree at Aston University?

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Course outline and modules

The Multilevel Governance and International Relations Joint MA at Aston is an innovative, one-year Masters programme delivered jointly by Aston University in England and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po Rennes), France. The unique way this joint masters is delivered enables you to benefit from a multicultural teaching environment and the combined expertise of teaching staff at two leading sites for research on governance in both Britain and France.

What you’ll learn

You will spend the first semester at Aston University taking several core and optional modules to equip you with an advanced grounding in the key concepts and ideas used in the analysis of International Relations and Multilevel Governance. Semester two is based at Sciences Po Rennes, where you will study a further suite of core modules through the medium of French language, before moving on to undertake a related work placement, and completing a final “Rapport de Stage”.

This is a demanding masters, which will challenge you to engage fully with study opportunities in both learning institutions, but it is a rewarding experience, through which you will develop lifelong skills and open new professional opportunities.

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

Choose one from:

Rethinking European Integration

This module provides students with a rounded understanding of European integration and the current state of the EU, equipping them with the analytical tools to consider why the EU functions as it currently does, whether the EU is sufficiently democratic, the politics behind EU law-making, and controversies over various key policies (the Euro, migration, foreign relations). Hence the module provides the platform for students to become informed and advanced participants in the broader discussion of the challenges and changes facing European integration.’

Assessment method: The assessment is by 2.500 words policy report (80%) and by leading seminar discussion (20%).


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%).

Optional modules

IR and East Asia

Religion and Politics

Critical Approaches to Security Studies

Post migration Europe

Negotiation skills: EuroSim and ModelUN

Concepts and Strategies for Qualitative Social Science


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 with 240 ECTS credits. Other degrees might be suitable depending on personal statement and motivation 

Working knowledge of French language (CEFR B2)

Students will undertake the MUGIR entry interview along with French applicants, which will test motivation and level in French (a Skype interview is permitted).

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. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

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. 

During your postgraduate year, you will get the opportunity to select the EuroSim optional module. EuroSim is an annual international intercollegiate simulation of the European Union (EU). The purpose of this module is to educate you about the inner workings of the European Union, which will provide you with a great experience of how to use politics in a real-world setting. Find out more about the module here.

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 focuses 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. 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.

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

Politics and International Relations Research

Dr Laura Southgate

Listen to Laura discuss her research on China, US relations, and the likelihood of future conflict between the US and China.

Dr Davide Vampa

Listen to Davide discuss his research on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the relationship between the national and subnational authorities in the 5 largest countries of Western Europe.

Dr Ying Miao

Listen to Ying discuss her research on air inequality, and how socioeconomic classes can change the air quality individuals access.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2022/23): £3,850*

International/EU students (2022/23): £7,350*

*This tuition fee is for the first half 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 for students 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. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

UK postgraduate loans

If you're thinking about studying a masters course with us, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to help with course fees and living costs. Find out more here.


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.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship


Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees.

This means that as an Aston University graduate applying to our Joint MA Multilevel Governance and International Relations course, you could save...


UK students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)


International/EU students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

As an Aston University graduate you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

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 its 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 my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Why should I study Multilevel Governance and International Relations Joint MA at Aston?

The Multilevel Governance and International Relations Joint MA course at Aston will give you the chance to gain an excellent understanding of multilevel governance and international relations, enriched by the unique mix of both British and French perspectives. You will also be able to further your practical skills through undertaking an integrated placement during your second semester.

Do I need to speak French to take this double masters?

Students should have a working knowledge of the French language to enable them to maximise the opportunity of studying and undertaking a placement in France.

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.


Chat with current students

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