MIR - Master of International Relations

The Master of International Relations (MIR) Programme is a prestigious, well-rounded and challenging programme geared toward preparing ambitious students to take their place in the competitive international relations marketplace, or to prepare students for further study in the field.

The MIR Programme provides students with advanced training, by way of one year of coursework, practical work experience (internship) and an academic dissertation, in the general methods, scope, theories, and findings in the field of International Relations. It gives a systematic preparation for original postgraduate research or for a demanding international career; and it constitutes a programme of training for those who have graduated in other fields and wish to transfer to International Relations.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a Bachelor degree. Whilst we accept applications from all varieties of  undergraduate majors, a prior degree in international relations, history, social sciences, etc. will be an ideal preparation to commence your MIR studies at GSD.

As the language of instruction is English, you need to submit a proof of your language proficiency.

Application procedure

Graduation requirements

Successful completion of mandatory academic coursework and practical work experience thanks to the GSD Internship Programme will earn the MIR student 60 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credit points. The remaining 30 ECTS credits points, out of a total of 90 ECTS required, include a significant independent research project (Master’s dissertation).

 

Below you find the different components and themes of the MIR Programme.

Public International Law

Nowadays international law is recognized as an important tool for providing order to world politics and for minimizing global conflict. International law also provides the legal framework for the international relations and diplomacy, which makes it crucial for the future diplomats, world leaders and international civil servants to have solid theoretical knowledge and practical skills in this area. 

Teaching of International Law at GSD is supposed not only to provide the students with theoretical concepts, but also to develop necessary skills and competences for efficient fulfilment of practical tasks during the students’ future professional activities as diplomats, international civil servants, representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, states’ decision-makers, experts and other specialists in diplomacy and international relations.

A course on Core concepts in International Law as well as a practical course on Current Issues in International Law oriented on current events/problems in the international politics and their legal aspects.

International Relations Theory

This module aims at examining the theoretical concepts that form the basis of the study of International Relations as an academic subject.
The first term deals primarily with the theoretical concepts of International Relations. It deals with the historical and philosophical aspects of these theories but also correlates these theories to practical examples of past and contemporary International Relations.
The module continues with geopolitical theories. The course seeks to examine the influence of geopolitical factors on contemporary international relations and how geopolitical factors can impact the 21st century’s international system. It further provides a critical understanding on geopolitical representations and geo-strategic considerations influencing state and non-state actors in the current word system. This part of the module provides an inter-disciplinary framework to understand and apply international relations theories.
The final section of the module continues the inter-disciplinary approach of analysing and understanding traditional International Relations theories. It deals with introducing students to the structures and processes underlying relationships in the contemporary international system, with a focus on particular geopolitical fault lines, especially those such as Western Eurasia, the Wider Black Sea Region and Central Asia, the Near East, and the Caucasus, while also exploring new areas of geo-strategic importance. This course also aims at developing an understanding of the policies and interests of the main players in this particular geopolitical context and of the key complex problems that are on the contemporary international agenda.

Economics & Development Studies

The aim of this module is to introduce the graduate students to current economics and international development, and to analyse and address these issues through a variety of tools.
The first part of the module demonstrates the importance of international economic theory in order to promote greater understanding of real-world economic trends. The course is a multidisciplinary programme which offers the opportunity to engage with a range of perspectives and interpretations around the theme of economic globalisation and its implications for the less developed regions of the world. The course focuses on the nature and meaning attached to the concepts of development and globalisation, and the variable ways in which global economic, political, and institutional processes interact locally within the Third Word and post-communist societies. This course further emphasises the relationships between the more and the less developed regions of the world, and addresses the issues of the impact of globalisation on the processes of development in the Third World and in the post-socialist transitional societies.
The second part of the module examines specifically the problems of social, economic and political development in “Third World countries.”  The course content focuses on problems of nation-building in Africa and Asia in the post-colonial era.
The last part of this module on Geo-economics adopts a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates economic, financial, geographic, demographic, historic, cultural and political factors, in order to examine the geo-economic aspects of contemporary International Relations. The evolving strategic position of the nation state in the context of globalisation, economic competition and international trade is analysed. Various competitive intelligence strategies and different approaches to develop geo-economic dispositions are discussed.

Social & Cultural Studies

This module deals with contemporary social aspects of International Relations.
The first part of the module, a seminar, critically engages the different scholarly accounts of global governance. It specifically seeks to bring forth the tensions that cut across academic disciplines, theoretical traditions, and normative frameworks. These theoretical frameworks are then applied to specific case studies. This approach aims at dealing with and understanding the complexity of the object of analysis – global governance – and its application in various fields such as global environmental governance in the case of climate change or global health governance in the case of pandemic influenza.
The module continues by giving students an understanding of philosophical and ethical thought with respect to International Relations. This course deals with the public ethics of politics, law, economics, and institutional frameworks in the current international context.  It goes beyond the notions of good governance, best practices and transparency to discuss the need for principles-based national, international and global policy making and management. It further aims at familiarising students with the ethical dimensions of contemporary global issues which impact society on multiple levels – from the intra-state to the international. There will be a specific focus on issues ranging from climate change to peacekeeping to identify the key components, actors and cases related to these issues.
The final part of this module deals specifically with Religion and International Relations. Religion is an increasingly important socio-cultural aspect of our world with an ever- increasing civil-political linkage. In this component students are familiarised with the importance and role of religion in world affairs. The course carries out a historical and scientific study of religion and faith based principles in relation to culture. The overall aim of this part of the module is to show the value, sensitivity, and importance of basic religio-cultural factors as integral to the overall understanding of diplomatic practice of states from the perspective of Globecraft®.

Conflict & Security Studies

The aim of this module is to introduce the students to current threats to international security and to analyse and address these issues through a variety of tools.
The first part of the module addresses the impact of globalization on international security by taking into account the changing security environment in the post-Cold War and post-9/11 era. It reflects upon conventional and new security risks stemming from state and non-state actors, as well as military and non-military threats. It therefore examines human, economic and environmental security challenges, as well as the role of non-state actors, transnational terrorism and organized crime. It also discusses new challenges stemming from climate change, forced migration, and epidemics, and explores the security impact of humanitarian relief and peace-building in a global governance perspective. It finally deals with the nexus between security, development, and political governance as a new means of conflict prevention and sustainable peace-building in an increasingly interconnected world.
The second part of the module examines the post-Cold War world order from the onset of globalization to the emergence of a sole superpower, underscoring an international system dominated by Unipolarity. It will then assess why the hope for a just international order was not realized and instead led to global tensions that reshaped the international system. With Unipolarity challenged by asymmetric threats and the rise of competitors, the module will examine the reasons for the rise of Multi-polarity and evaluate whether the new millennium will be able to evolve a more stable international environment.  Special focus will be given to the threat of a nuclear war and to the respective Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreements and their ability to address these threats.
The last part of this module is designed as a strategic planning tool for students to understand how the political, economic, social and technological forces that shape the world, regions and industries may play out over time. In addition to that, the module introduces students to the concept and processes of Strategic Early Warning Systems (SEWS) and enables them to detect weak signals ahead of time and to find appropriate long-term strategies. This hands-on approach will help the students as future policy makers to set strategic direction.

Globecraft & Statecraft

The intention of the first course is to guide students an in-depth examination of the concepts, processes, skills and contexts of global leadership.  It will have a distinctly applied emphasis and will therefore seek to give students an understanding of how these factors manifest themselves in practical settings and situations.  Case studies and a series of structured, experiential exercises will provide the opportunity of integrating theory with practice.  Class presentations will provide with the opportunity of researching a topic and of leading the class in discussion and/or structured exercises. The students will also be introduced to the concept of self leadership and will be offered the opportunity to achieve a greater awareness of your own strengths and challenges as a leader in a safe and supportive environment.
The aim of the second course is to realise the complexity of problems and leadership challenges we face today that have taken global character and significance. These would include, among others, conflict and peace-building, humanitarian crises and intervention, international economic inequality and instability, and global environmental change. The course will focus on how these global problems can be tackled through collective action, sound global leadership and global governance – hence globecraft. The course will also specifically focus on the effective as well as just mechanisms which should be adopted to address and mitigate these issues.
The third course will deal specifically with Peacekeeping and Crisis Management. The aim of this course is to impart sound knowledge on global and regional security cooperation and the institutional set-up required to ensure those conditions, and improving professional working skills in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. The course has an integrated approach, adequate for the management of complex emergencies, and aimed towards an understanding that would favour the best coordination and synergy among the different actors in the field of peacekeeping and crisis management. The course explores the contribution of regional and international cooperation, including the UN, in addressing the peacekeeping of conflicts, and develops practical skills for interventions. Moreover, the responses of various actors at national and regional level approaches to conflict management, as well as the needs of participants for deepening soft skills for analysis, communication/mediation and strategy development are emphasised.

Internship

GSD students of the Bachelor and Master level have the opportunity to do internships as part of their curriculum in International Relations. This is an ideal way for students to gain practical experience and apply theoretical knowledge to real world issues. 

Find out more about the Internship Programme and about the Internship experience of our students.

Master Dissertation

This module gives students the opportunity to do research and to produce a substantive piece of academic writing (minimum 80 pages or 20 000 words) on a topic of their choice (agreed with by an advisor and approved by GSD).  The module includes a series of lectures on how to formulate research questions, on how to compose academic texts, on how to use references, on research methods, on research ‘ethics’, and on presenting papers at academic conferences.  The lectures will be accompanied by workshops in which students have to apply the skills and concepts developed in the lectures to their dissertation projects. Each student will have a ‘dissertation advisor’, who will guide the student towards the relevant literature, help with the design of the dissertation project and offer subject specific advice. All dissertations must be written in English.