EFMD Equis Accredited


The concept of security lies at the heart of many of the current international legal regimes. At the same time security interests, prompt nation states to define their national interest in different ways. This interdisciplinary degree provides an in-depth understanding of both International Law and International Relations pertaining to modern security issues, such as responses to terrorism, responses to the use of force generally and responses to threats to environmental security.

Why study this course at Dundee?

Security and the maintenance and promotion of security are key issues in international law and international relations. There are many career opportunities in these areas ranging from employment with an intergovernmental organisation such as the United Nations, to employment in an international court or tribunal, to advising government and securing a role in the military. If you intend to pursue such a career, then you will need a good understanding of why and how the international community and individual states are to respond to threats to international security. For this, you will need to understand the context in which decisions are made. international law and international relations provide that context.

Our MSc in International Law & Security provides an overview of concepts and themes relating to the study of international security in the contemporary world, from a legal as well as an international relations point of view. It introduces both traditional and 'new' approaches to defining and conceptualising security and considers the impact of International Relations theories upon the subject. It also examines key issues such as war, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, the privatisation of warfare, energy security and environmental degradation.

Our course will equip you with the necessary analytical tools to understand and evaluate all aspects of security in the contemporary world. The issues outlined above lie at the heart of our course, which provides an opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the interactions of law and international relations and the way they combine to shape the responses of states to threats to security. The course also provides an opportunity to understand how those responses, in turn, shape international law and international relations.


What is so good about this course?

The University of Dundee runs two parallel masters degree in International Law & Security:

  • MSc International Law & Security for graduates in International Relations or similar subjects (i.e. this one), and
  • LLM International Law & Security for Law graduates

Who should study this course?

Are you thinking of a career in international law or international relations, as a legal practitioner, an adviser to the government, within the military or police forces, or working with or for intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations, or NGOs such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Then this course (or its LLM equivalent) is aimed at you.

Teaching & Assessment

Politics is big enough to have a real international presence but is still small and intimate enough to offer a friendly and responsive home for students from all backgrounds. This is more than a mere claim - independent surveys consistently rate Politics at Dundee as among the best-received courses in the country.

The Law staff publish widely and many are acknowledged leaders in their fields. Their research is internationally recognised and covers fields right across the legal spectrum. They also have very strong ties with the legal profession.

How you will be taught

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including small group teaching, supervised study, independent research, seminars and presentations.

How you will be assessed

By assessed coursework, examination and dissertation (or research project report).

What you will study

The course is made up of three International Relations modules and three Law modules which are delivered during our two teaching semesters (Sep-Dec and Jan-Apr) and detailed below, as well as the Politics Dissertation which students usually write during the summer vacation.

All students take the Law week-long induction in September or January, plus the first half of the module Legal Research Skills (including the first assessment), usually in your first semester, but can be deferred to your second semester if you don't select any first semester Law modules.

September entry students

First Semester (Sep-Dec)

Three taught 20-credit modules (from the list below).

Second Semester (Jan-Apr)

International Security (core module), plus two other taught 20-credit modules (from the list below).

Summer period (May-Aug)

Politics Dissertation (60 credits) or Research Project (with integrated internship) (60 credits)

January entry students

First Semester (Jan-Apr)

International Security (core module), plus two other taught 20-credit modules (from the list below).

Summer period (May-Aug)

Politics Dissertation (60 credits)

Second Semester (Sep-Dec)

Three taught 20-credit modules (from the list below).

Part-time study

For part-time students, the taught modules will be spread out over two years instead of one in a similar format as above, and the Dissertation will be undertaken during the summer period of the second year of study.

Typical optional modules available

  • LW51120 - International Criminal Justice
  • LW51127 - Transnational Crime and Counter-Terrorism
  • LW51128 - Global Human Rights
  • LW52011 - Regional Human Rights Systems
  • LW52022 - UN Human Rights Law
  • PO51001 - International Relations
  • PO51006 - European Union Security
  • PO51009 - Middle East and Terrorism
  • PO52009 - Russian Politics and Security
  • PO52013 - International Security of Drugs and Organised Crime
  • PO52016 - Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Europe
  • PO52017 - Human Rights in International Relations


Graduates from this degree are likely to pursue careers with international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, or institutions such as the International Court of Justice. You will also be well placed to pursue a career as a government adviser.

Graduates from our Politics & International Relations degrees have successfully pursued careers in politics and diplomacy.

With its distinctive interdisciplinary features and distinctive opportunity to combine theory with practice, graduates from this course are highly valuable to employers as they gain expertise across at least two disciplines.

Entry Requirements

Normally an upper second class first degree in International Relations, Law or a related discipline; applicants with alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience may be considered.

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5

  • Listening 5.5
  • Reading 5.5
  • Writing 6.0
  • Speaking 5.5

English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

About Dundee

Fantastic culture, beautiful landscapes and famously friendly people….Scotland has passion and innovation at its heart and these are just some of the reasons why it’s an amazing place to live and study.

Dundee is located on the banks of the River Tay on the east coast of Scotland. It regularly appears at the top end of ‘quality of life’ surveys in the UK – offering all that’s great about city life, but being friendly, compact and easy to navigate.

The Wall Street Journal named Dundee as one of their ten hot destinations for 2018.

Dundee’s population is around 150,000. With students making up 1 in 5 of the population, our city is geared towards student life.

Our campus is right in the heart of Dundee’s vibrant and fun West End, with shops, cafes and restaurants all on your doorstep.

“Scottish people are nice and friendly. I remember the first day I arrived, the fellow who was supposed to meet me was not there yet. The taxi driver dropped me off, I knocked on the door and he was not there, so I was waiting outside. Someone came and asked if I was okay and invited me in while I waited. He welcomed me and gave me food and drink, so I started to love the people of Dundee and Scotland from the first day I came.” Willy William Mrema is from Tanzania and is studying MSc Geotechnical Engineering.

Program taught in:
University of Dundee - School of Social Sciences
Last updated January 11, 2019
This course is
Start Date
Jan. 2019
Sept. 2019
12 - 24 months
6,950 GBP
per year of study UK/EU students. £16,450 per year of study non-EU students.
By locations
By date
Start Date
Jan. 2019
End Date
Dec. 31, 2019
Application deadline
Start Date
Sept. 2019
End Date
Aug. 31, 2020
Application deadline

Jan. 2019

Application deadline
End Date
Dec. 31, 2019

Sept. 2019

Application deadline
End Date
Aug. 31, 2020