MA Asian and International Studies

University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

MA Asian and International Studies

University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences


An ideal foundation for a career in Asia, this course includes the opportunity to study in China or Malaysia, developing your knowledge of the culture and politics of the region.

You will study at our UK campus for the first semester, moving to the University's campuses in China or Malaysia for the second. This provides you with the genuinely distinctive opportunity to study the countries of Asia, and the relations between them and the rest of the world.

This course is taught by academics across the University's UK, China and Malaysia campuses, who are experts on Asian politics, history and international relations.

The Global Asia module will introduce you to Pan-Asian themes such as nationalism, globalisation, environmental challenges, resource politics and gender relations. It challenges the prevailing conception of 'Asia Rising' as a new phenomenon and will also allow you to specialise on specific country or regional studies.

You will immerse yourself in the culture of these countries and take language options if required. Accommodation will be organised by the University, although it is not covered by the course fees.

'Being passionate about the South East Asian region and its culture, I decided to go to Malaysia for my spring semester and I am currently living in Kuala Lumpur. This course offers a combination of high-quality education and practical experience. One of the main benefits of living in Asia while studying is the possibility to verify (whenever possible) the concepts learnt in class and to interact with other students from the region.'

Carlotta Panchetti

'I chose this course because it seemed like an adventure. When I saw that I could study in China, in English, I decided to go for it. The split-campus nature of the course seemed like a good first step to studying abroad.'

Gabriel Leatham

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. You could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts

  • Engage with policy practitioners on our UK, China and Malaysia campuses through the Asia Research Institute
  • Top 100 worldwide for politics and international relations in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • Committed to excellence in teaching, having won 13 Higher Education Academy awards
  • Expert academics who contribute to public debate through national and international media, including appearing on BBC TV, BBC Radio 4, the BBC World Service and in such publications as The Guardian, The New York Times and Le Monde

Course details

In the autumn semester, you will take a core module, plus 40 credits of optional modules (up to 20 of which can be from outside the school).

You will spend the spring semester at either our China or Malaysia campuses, and will complete your studies by researching and writing a 60-credit, 15,000-word dissertation, on a subject related to Asia. You will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.



  • Dissertation on Asian and International Studies
  • Global Asia


  • China and the World
  • Comparative Democratic Development
  • EU-China: Trade, Aid and Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century
  • European Union Politics
  • Gender and Development
  • Government and Politics of China
  • International Political Economy
  • Justice Beyond Borders: Theories of International and Intergenerational Justice
  • The Politics of South Asia
  • Special Project A
  • Special Project B
  • War, Peace and Terror
  • When Does Russia Expand and Why?


Spring semester, Ningbo Campus

60 credits of appropriate modules, such as:

  • China in International Relations
  • Global Development Politics


Spring semester, Malaysia Campus

60 credits of appropriate modules, such as:

  • Human Security
  • The International Relations of South East Asia

Watch our lecturers talking about some of the modules on offer in our virtual module fair.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.


This course is ideal if you wish to pursue a professional career in Asia, whether you are mid-career and wish to change direction, aiming to move into policy areas, or interested in taking time out to make sense of your day-to-day policy activities.

It does not presuppose any knowledge of the region. However, modules are designed to enable those who have previous experience of living or working in Asia to expand and build on their existing knowledge.

The semester you spend in China or Malaysia will make you particularly attractive to employers which are seeking graduates with cultural and political experience. This course will develop your skills for a career in a range of fields, such as:

  • academia
  • civil service
  • international cultural exchange
  • international organisations
  • journalism
  • ministerial advising
  • non-governmental organisations
  • policy research


We offer a range of local, national and international placement opportunities, which may be paid or voluntary, part-time alongside your studies or longer placements during University vacations.


If you wish to continue your studies after completing this course, we offer a range of research opportunities with PhD supervision in most subject areas.

Employability and average starting salary

95.2% of postgraduates from the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £42,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent)

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 1, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 year
Full time
8,865 GBP
£8,865 (UK/EU) - £18,675 (international)
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info