Politics and International Relations

MA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

Study Politics and International Relations at AFG College with University of Aberdeen in Qatar.

Politics and International Relations

MA (Hons) Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen focuses on the role of politics, power, states, and governments in an ever-changing global context, taught by internationally renowned academics regularly appearing as experts in the media on events unfolding in the world today. This programme offers the perfect foundation for careers in politics, international affairs, NGOs, media and more.

Please note: MA (Hons) is equivalent to a Bachelor degree with Honours.

At a Glance

On Campus Learning
MA (Hons)
48 months
Full Time

Politics and International Relations explores the world in which we live by considering how the decisions we make collectively affect the culture, society and economy of the world as a whole, including an in-depth look at how various political actors including governments and international institutions influence our world.

We provide a supportive yet challenging environment within which students develop knowledge of Politics and International Relations, including historical and contemporary political issues and major theoretical debates. Students are supported by research-active staff who are internationally recognised experts in their fields, and our courses reflect staff specialisms. 

You will study organisations, how states interact, global wealth and poverty and the ever-present concerns of conflict and peace. You can also take advantage of unique options made possible by the research pedigree of our academic team with a strong track record in publishing international papers and articles.

A degree in Politics and/or International Relations from the University of Aberdeen opens doors to a wide range of professions, including many politics-related roles. Our teaching programme develops advanced understanding of international political issues and these skills are relevant to a vast array of jobs. We work closely with employers in developing our programme and our graduates acquire essential skills to prepare them for challenging professional roles. 

What You’ll Study

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Depending on start date, courses may vary or change.


  1. Designated Degree: A minimum of 360 credit points including at least 90 credit points of Level 3 courses and the prescribed courses listed for programme years 1, 2 and 3. 
  2. Candidates seeking entry to the Junior Honours programme must have accumulated, by award or recognition, or been exempted from, at least 240 credit points at levels 1 and 2, including the prescribed courses required to enter programme year 3. 
Compulsory Courses
Getting started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

View detailed information about the Getting started at the University of Aberdeen course

Academic Practice for Study (QB1001)

Introductory course focusing on developing academic practice skills.

View detailed information about the Academic Practice for Study course

English for Academic Purposes (QB1002)

This course aims to provide students with relevant competencies and skills in the use of English for academic purposes, to critically engage with reading and listening material, and to develop skills for analysis and critical assessment.

View detailed information about the English for Academic Purposes course

Politics & International Relations 1: Democracy and Governance (QI1001)

This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

View detailed information about the Politics & International Relations 1: Democracy and Governance course

Introduction to Economics (QB1502)

The course is an introduction to Economics and aims to develop an understanding of the economics of the markets at a microeconomic level and  the economy at the macroeconomic level.

View detailed information about the Introduction to Economics (QB1502) course

Introduction to the Management of Organisations (QB1504)

A level 1 Introductory course to introduce theoretical and management concepts of organisation in order to develop and understanding of their relevance and application in today’s world of business.

View detailed information about the Introduction to the Management of Organisations course

Politics & International relations 2: Power and Conflict (QI1501)

This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context. 

View detailed information about the Politics & International relations 2: Power and Conflict course

Ideas & Ideologies in Politics & International Relations (QI2001)

This course will introduce students to these with profound questions and struggles over identity, belonging, justice and rights underpinning these theoretical debates.

View detailed information about the Ideas & Ideologies in Politics & International Relations course

Global Politics Equality & Inequality (QI2501)

View detailed information about the Global Politics Equality & Inequality course

Researching in the 21st Century (QI3001)

View detailed information about the Researching in the 21st Century course

International Security (QI3504)

This course explores salient concepts of security and conflict, focusing on contemporary issues and problems.

View detailed information about the International Security course

International Terrorism, Counterterrorism and International Relations (QI3503)

View detailed information about the International Terrorism, Counterterrorism and International Relations course

Dissertation: International Relations (QI4006) or Politics (QI4007)

View detailed information about the Dissertation: International Relations and Politics courses

Modern Day Latin America (QI4002)

View detailed information about the Modern Day Latin America course

Energy Climate and Politics (QI4501)

View detailed information about the Energy Climate and Politics course

Maritime Security (QI3505)

View detailed information about the Maritime Security course

Optional Courses
Modelling and Problem Solving for Computing (QC1002)

This course will introduce students to techniques that support problem solving and modelling with computers, and concepts and methods that are fundamental to computing science. The techniques and concepts will be illustrated with numerous computing examples.

View detailed information about the Modelling and Problem Solving for Computing course

Programming 1 (QC1003)

This course will be delivered in two halves. The first half will provide a self-contained introduction to computer programming. It will be accessible to all undergraduates. Students will be exposed to the basic principles of computer programming, e.g. fundamental programming techniques, concepts, algorithms and data structures. The course contains lectures where the principles are systematically developed. 

View detailed information about the Programming 1 course

Legal System (QL1001)

This course introduces the fundamental components and characteristics of the Scottish legal system. It includes a study skills programme which covers different facets of the study of law along with a series of practical workshops which introduce key legal information sources (both electronic and paper) and appropriate search strategies. 

View detailed information about the Legal System course

Foundations of Private Law (QL1002)

The course provides firstly a map of private law as drawn from the Roman-law-derived institutional scheme. 

View detailed information about the Foundations of Private Law course

Understanding Property (QB1505)

This course introduces students to the world of the built environment, professional surveying practice and the construction industry.

View detailed information about the Understanding Property course

Object-Orientated Programming (QC1502)

This course will build on the basic programming skills acquired in the first half-session and equip the students with advanced object oriented programming knowledge, implementation of data structure and algorithms, and basic software engineering techniques

View detailed information about the Object-Orientated Programming course

Computer Systems and Architecture (QC1504)

This course provides an introduction to computer systems. It includes an introduction to computer architecture and organization, and an introduction to operating systems.

View detailed information about the Computer Systems and Architecture course

Contract Law (QL1501)

The course approaches a selection of current problems in contract law doctrine from the theoretical, comparative and philosophical perspectives.

View detailed information about the Contract Law course

Delict and Unjustified Enrichment (QL1502)

This course introduces students to two of the key branches of the Scots law of obligations, namely Delict (which governs legal liability for situations such as the negligent infliction of harm upon others, or liability for breach of privacy) and Unjustified Enrichment (which is concerned with questions such as, if I pay you money in error, am I entitled to demand that you return it?).

View detailed information about the Delict and Unjustified Enrichment course

Management Accounting 2 (QB2002)

This course extends the operational tools and techniques introduced in AC1514.  It develops more complex problem-solving techniques in the planning, control and decision-making process.

View detailed information about the Management Accounting 2 course

Finance 2: Business Finance (QB2004) 

The main aim of this course is to develop a sound understanding of fundamental principles underlying the theory and practice of finance, thereby providing a strong basis for further study of advanced finance theory and cognate disciplines.

View detailed information about the Finance 2: Business Finance course

Introduction to Human Resource Management (QB2006) 

This course designed is for Business Management students and covers one of the most important functions in an organisation/business, that of Human Resource Management (HRM).

View detailed information about the Introduction to Human Resource Management course

Marketing (QB2007)

This course provides students with an overview of the underpinning concepts of marketing, and the requirements for the development of a market oriented organisation.

View detailed information about the Marketing course

Software Programming (QC2001)

This course is concerned with tools and techniques for scalable and dependable software programming. It focusses primarily on the Java programming language and related technologies.

View detailed information about the Software Programming course

Databases and Data Management (QC2002) 

 This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn to design and query databases using major database technologies. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real-world applications, both in lectures and lab classes.

View detailed information about the Databases and Data Management course

Financial Markets and Regulation (QB2501)

This course provides students with an understanding of the financial system, primarily from a UK perspective, introducing students to the reasons for, and nature of, financial markets and institutions before moving on to explore the need and importance of financial regulation, and investigating the causes and consequences of the recent global financial crisis.

View detailed information about the Financial Markets and Regulation course

Financial Accounting 2 (QB2502)

The objective of FA2 is to build upon material introduced in first year in order to develop students'  technical skills in financial statement preparation.

View detailed information about the Financial Accounting 2 course

Business Law (QB2503)

This course is designed to provide non-LLB students with an understanding of the main issues in business law.

View detailed information about the Business Law course

Understanding Statistics (QB2504)

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of statistical concepts and methods relevant to accounting, management, finance, real estate and economics.

View detailed information about the Understanding Statistics courses

Operations Management (QB2505)

Operations is the part of management that considers processes rather than people and focuses on the  organisation rather than its environment.

View detailed information about the Operations Management course

Introduction to International Business (QB2506)

International Business by necessity spans a number of discipline subject areas and as such it is difficult to locate its boundaries precisely. However, the topic covers a set of ever changing issues and relationships that affect both individuals (whether as consumers, employees, entrepreneurs etc.) and organisations (whether governmental, Not-for-profit, or commercial), and in this course it will be studied from these different perspectives.

View detailed information about the Introduction to International Business course

Human-Computer Interaction (QC2501)

This course looks at why a computer system that interacts with human beings needs to be usable.

View detailed information about the Human-Computer Interaction course

How You’ll Study

Teaching at levels 1 and 2 is by a combination of formal lectures and small group tutorials. Honours teaching varies in style, although many courses are based on seminars. Assessment is generally by traditional exams and assessed essays, although, in some courses group work, projects, quizzes and other techniques are used.

Students are expected to write a dissertation in their final year.

Learning Methods 

Group Projects
Individual Projects

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Politics and International Relations 

  • A core curriculum with topical themes of conflict and security, representation and democracy, comparative politics and policy.
  • Special focus on the Middle-East, Latin America, North and South Asia, the Nordic Countries, Central and Eastern Europe – as well as Scotland, the UK and the EU.
  • Teaching staff with specialist expertise in political parties and elections, democracy and democratisation, energy politics, European politics, integration and regionalism, human rights, interest groups, modernity and religion, international political economy, nationalism, conflict resolution, regional international relations and security studies.
  • A vibrant Politics & International Relations Society that hosts exciting debates throughout the academic year as well as international trips.
  • All the history and legacy of being part of a university developed over 500 years of national and international political turbulence, social change and emerging democracy.
  • Analyse global issues, systems and trends from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
  • Gain knowledge and research skills In the areas of politics, international affairs, and international institutions which will widen your appeal to employers in all sectors.
  • We are ranked 7th in the UK for International Relations and 9th in the UK for Politics by the Guardian University Guide 2024.

Entry Requirements

  • 65% or above in the Thanawiyah or 5 passes at C or above in IGCSE
  • 40 UCAS points at AS/A Level or completed IB Certificate
  • Proof of English language at IELTS 5.5 or above (minimum 5.0 in all sections) or equivalent qualification*

*if the most recent academic qualification is not taught in English.

Advanced Entry

  • Applications for advanced entry will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Documents Required

  • Equivalency Statement Letter from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education
  • No objection certificate (NOC) from the National Military Service, Ministry of Defence. (For male Qatari Nationals only)

English Language Requirements 

To study for a Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows: 

  • IELTS Academic: OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0 
  • TOEFL iBT: OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21 
  • PTE Academic: OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54 
  • Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency: OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162;  Speaking - 162; Writing - 169 



  • The tuition fee for entry in September is 89,000 QR per year.
  • Tuition fees are fixed at the point of entry so there is no annual increase for returning students.
  • Flexible payment methods are available.