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Master of Arts in International Relations

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of International Relations
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
33 Cr.Hrs
2-4 Years
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time and Part Time

Master of Arts in International Relations

The Master of Arts in International Relations provides an opportunity for the growing body of graduates in International ‎Relations to pursue graduate degrees. The program enables students to acquire the analytical and critical skills that will prepare them for ‎future careers in government, academia, industry, international business, foreign policy, ‎diplomacy, international law, regional and international intergovernmental organizations, non-‎governmental organizations, etc. The program will also prepare students interested in pursuing ‎higher-level studies and research (i.e., doctoral level) in one of the most rapidly changing and ‎challenging fields.


1. ​Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goals
The program goals are:

  • Expose students to a range of sophisticated theoretical approaches in International Relations.
  • Offer students multifaceted forms of learning experience.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to specialize in a particular aspect of International Relations.
  • Equip students with the necessary level of skills, and enthusiasm, to pursue professional careers related to International Relations.
  • Provide students with the necessary level of skills, and enthusiasm, to pursue doctoral programs in International Relations.

    ​Program Learning Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program, students should be able to:

  1. Integrate International Relations theories, approaches, and concepts to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of global politics.
  2. Analyze and reflect upon political, historical, legal, and economic problems within the context of global politics and propose solutions to help solve them.
  3. Identify and critically assess varying interests and power balances among different actors and stakeholders involved in global politics.
  4. Evaluate regional and global issues of particular significance to the United Arab Emirates in particular and the Gulf Region at large.
  5. Independently formulate research questions within the specialized track of either Foreign Policy Analysis or Global Political Economy and answer these questions through the application of rigorous social scientific research methods.
  6. Engage critical problems in global politics and present creative solutions verbally and in writing, independently and as part of a team. 

Completion Requirements
Before graduation, student should complete all graduation requirements that include:

        • Successfully completing all courses of the program.
        • Successfully completing the thesis as specified in the curriculum.
        • Obtaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Special Admission Requirements
Admission Requirements for Master programs

  1. The student must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent from a recognized university with a CGPA of 3.00 out of 4.00. Students with a CGPA between 2.5 and 2.99 may be admitted conditionally.
  2. The degree must be in a major that qualifies the student to study the master program.
  3. Applicants to the program should fulfill the English language requirement as follows: 550 on the TOEFL (PBT) (should be taken inside the university), 79 on the TOEFL (IBT) (outside the university) or 6 on IELTS (Academic), or 1400 EmSAT.
Program language: English
Program Structure


  Compulsory credits Elective credits Total
Courses ​15
9 24
Thesis 9 - 9
Total 24 9 33


    5.1.1 Compulsory Courses 

Course Code Course Title اسم المساق Credit Hours Pre-requisite
‎0205611‎ Contending Theories in International Relations نظريات العلاقات الدولية 3  

Foreign Policy Analysis تحليل السياسة الخارجية 3  
‎0205613‎ Global Security Challenges تحديات الأمن العالمي 3  
‎0205614‎ Global Political Economy الاقتصاد السياسي العالمي 3  
0205615 Research Methodologies طرائق البحث 3  
‎0205666‎ Thesis الرسالة 9  
Total Credit Hours 24  

5.2.2 Elective Courses
Course Code Course Title اسم المساق Credit Hours Pre-requisite
0205621 Great Power Politics in the Middle East سياسة القوي العظمى في الشرق الأوسط 3  
0205622 US Foreign Policy السياسة الخارجية للولايات المتحدة 3  
0205623 Domestic​ Politics and Foreign Policy
السياسات المحلية والسياسة الخارجية 3  
0205624 Politics of Foreign Aid سياسات المساعدات الخارجية 3  
0205641 Global Economic Institutions المؤسسات الاقتصادية العالمية 3  
0205642 Political Economy of Sustainable Development الاقتصاد السياسي للتنمية المستدامة 3  
0205643 Political Economy of Migration الاقتصاد السياسي للهجرة 3  
0205644 Political Economy of Development الاقتصاد السياسي للتنمية 3  
0205654 Internship التدريب العملي 3  

Course Description

0205611                Contending Theories in International Relations                    3 Credit Hours

This course examines the major approaches, theories, and debates in contemporary International Relations theory. It examines the central assumptions of key theoretical approaches, addresses the main paradigmatic debates in the field. It also assesses the utility of various theoretical approaches in explaining key issues and cases in the contemporary international system. the course should provide students with a basic toolkit with which to evaluate existing theories and think about the nature and possibility of causal explanation in International Relations.


0205612                Foreign Policy Analysis                                                                  3 Credit Hours

This course provides a rigorous analysis of foreign policy as a function of the state in the international arena, in terms of the theories associated with its formulation and practice, as well as the real-world case examples of foreign policy issues, ranging from historical to contemporary. It focuses on how states formulate and implement their foreign policies as well as what are the drivers and determinants of the foreign policy.


0205613                Global Security Challenges                                                          3 Credit Hours

This course provides comprehensive exploration over the subject of Security Studies as a sub-field of International Relations. The course will cover both classical approaches to Security Studies as well as more contemporary debates in the field. A range of topics will be covered throughout this course, covering hard and soft security topics, as well as conventional and unconventional challenges, across a range of contextual settings.


0205614                Global Political Economy                                                              3 Credit Hours

This course offers students an in-depth analysis of the concepts and contending theoretical and analytical approaches in Global Political Economy. It provides an overview of contemporary issues in international economic relations such as cooperation and conflict in the global political economy, regional trade agreements, the rise of global production, the nature of financial crisis, political economy of development, and the political economy of the environment.


0205615                Research ‎Methodologies                                                                             3 Credit Hours

The course provides students with the in-depth skills required to be able to design and carry out social science research projects, especially in International Relations. Students will be equipped with a broad range of qualitative and quantitative research skills that are relevant across the social sciences. This course should be considered the beginning of the research dissertation component of the MA Degree. By the end of the course, students should have completed a comprehensive research proposal and ethics application.


0205621                Great Power Politics in the Middle East                                                 3 Credit Hours

The course addresses the foreign policies of some great and regional powers in the Middle East.  . It is divided into two parts. In the first part, students are introduced to the theoretical approaches to the foreign policies of great powers in the Middle East. This is done by studying different texts of International Relations its different theories and approaches that characterize the study of international relations, along with their application to the Middle East. It will study the roles of the USA, China and Russia in the Middle East in general. The second part of the course focuses on actual conflicts in the Middle East such as Iraqi War in 2003 and major non-state actors in the Middle East, Yemeni War, Libyan and Syrian conflicts, the rise and fall of Oslo Peace Process, Iran nuclear crisis etc. The focus will be on the role of the great and regional powers in these conflicts.


0205622                US Foreign Policy                                                                                             3 Credit Hours

This course examines the history, evolution, and theories behind US Foreign Policy. In this class, we will draw on the foundational ideas in American political thought and how they shape America's perceptions of itself and the world. Students will then examine how these thoughts shaped American foreign policy post WW2 in Europe, throughout the Cold War in Latin America, through to the presidency of Donald Trump and beyond with a focus on the Middle East. Finally, the course will tackle the domestic and geopolitical implications that define the United States behaviour with regards to threats to the unipolar world order. The course should provide students with a basic toolkit with which to understand foreign policy objectives of the US and how they go about accomplishing them.


0205623                Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy                                                       3 Credit Hours

The course surveys the theoretical and empirical literature on the influence of domestic politics on foreign policy and international relations in general, with a primary (though not exclusive) emphasis on foreign policy of the United Arab Emirates. Scholars have long recognized that domestic politics influences states' decision-making in international trade and finance. Yet, the past decade has witnessed an explosion of interest in explicating the linkage between domestic politics and international relations more broadly, including the decidedly “high politics" arena of war and peace. We will review a variety of theoretical perspectives concerning both international economics and international security, ranging from the role of individuals and individual psychology, to the influence of interest groups, political institutions, the mass media and public opinion. The goal is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of domestic political explanations for policy outcomes in Emirati foreign policy in particular and international affairs more broadly.


0205624                Politics of Foreign Aid                                                                                    3 Credit Hours

The primary objective of this course is to explore the history, types, and impact, of foreign aid. The course begins with an overview of the history and types of foreign aid, after which we attempt to disentangle developmental and political motivations, and consider debates over the relative success of aid over the course of the past century. The core question asked is whether aid has actually improved the lives of people living in recipient countries, or whether this aid has simply provided rents to (usually authoritarian) leaders at the expense of the poor.


0205641                Global Economic Institutions                                                                     3 Credit Hours

This course provides a thorough examination of global economic institutions and governance, by explaining the history and theory of global economy, trade, fiscal structure and polices, institutions and governance developed to facilitate, organize and regulate areas of global economic activities among nations and in the globe. It will examine underpinning theories of global economic institutions, especially those after the Mid-20th century and practice of global economic governance through international treaties, regime, or organizations in trade, currency, development, investment and regulations.


0205642                Political Economy of Sustainable Development                                 3 Credit Hours

This course introduces students to the political economy of sustainable development. It analyzes the host of factors (Particularly poverty, economic inequality, the pursuit of economic growth through carbon industrialization etc.) that impinge on the natural environment and thus contribute to the degradation/depletion of environmental resources. The course also critically addresses policy interventions to bring about sustainable development. It also critically examines the various debates as to how to deal with environmental protection and environmental sustainability issues. Topics covered include, inter alia, the meaning of sustainable development, poverty and environmental health, economic/income inequality and environmental sustainability, economic globalization and sustainable development, gender and sustainable development.


0205643                Political Economy of ‎Migration                                                                 3 Credit Hours

This course focuses on structural causes of migration rooted in national and international economic policies and practices. Students will first be introduced to major theories of international migration that influence economic policy and then apply those theories to a deeper examination of how migration affects national and global economy. The course seeks to answer two major questions: (1) what are the effects of migration on both the states that receive immigrants and the states that send emigrants and (2) how do policymakers respond to these effects? Topics included are various aspects of migration such as war, economic opportunities, climate change, forced-migration, refugees, asylum seeking, human trafficking and the effect of migration on war and conflict. Finally, the course makes specific focus on the economics of labor markets in the GCC and the UAE. Students will be exposed to a wide range of literature focused on both developed and developing nations.


0205644‎            Political Economy of Development                                                         3 Credit Hours

This course revolves around a simple core question: why have some countries developed successfully over the past five centuries whilst others, including some of the most developed countries in the thirteenth and fourteenth countries, have either failed to develop or stagnated?  This core question needs to be broken down to include two more complex (and controversial) questions, namely, why have some countries managed to reduce or end political violence, develop complex perpetual institutions, and enable ongoing specialisation and economic diversification, whilst others remain “nasty and brutish" (Hobbes) with personalised institutions and limited incentive to develop specialised complex economies?