2020 start

International Relations and East Asia

School of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Department of Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences

Explore the political, economic, societal and cultural factors and ideas shaping international politics in East Asia. You’ll be well prepared for a career in international relations and global policy.
East Asian postgraduate

Course description

This course explores key issues in international relations and global politics, with a particular focus on the East Asia region. You'll learn about the major structures and ideas shaping international politics in East Asia such as changing power dynamics and regional identity.

The course is jointly run by the Department of Politics and International Relations and the School of East Asian Studies so you will be taught by leading experts from both departments.

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Core modules

  • International Politics of East Asia
  • Research and Dissertation Preparation
  • Dissertation 

Optional modules

Choose from a range of optional modules which might include:

  • Contemporary Global Security
  • Global Health and Global Politics
  • International Political Sociology of Civil Wars
  • Terrorism and Political Violence
  • Feminist and Decolonising Approaches to International Relations  
  • The Political Economy of China
  • Global Governance and Japan
  • Media, Culture and Society in East Asia
  • Postwar Japanese Politics
  • East Asian Research Methods


You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, small-group seminars, group work, tutorials and class presentations.


You’ll be assessed on your essays, policy briefing papers, exams, presentations, a group project, book reviews and a 12,000-word dissertation.

When it comes to doing your dissertation, you'll have individual support from one of your tutors. Your dissertation involves carrying out a major piece of independent research on a topic relevant to the course. It can be taken in the Department of Politics and International Relations or the School of East Asian Studies.

You'll use a variety of research methods during group projects to generate insights, and then communicate your findings to a non-academic audience through a video, podcast, website or printed brochure.

Some modules will require you to submit reflections and questions each week in response to the assigned readings.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You’ll need a good first degree in any subject. You would normally be expected to have a 2:1 from a university in the UK, or an equivalent qualification from an institution overseas. Applicants with other qualifications combined with relevant professional experience may also be eligible.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Dr Jennifer Coates
Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies and Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 114 222 8415

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.