How you are assessed
As a student at Queen Mary Online, we ask you to play an active role in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. We use a mixture of online tutorials, discussion forums and group webinars designed to generate informed discussion around set topics.
I enjoy the mix of different types of information-delivery and activities, such as the reading exercises, lectures, webinars and commentary from experts. I have also found the reading lists very useful for providing a broader view of topics covered in each lecture.
International Relations MA student, Queen Mary Online
Assessment for the International Relations programme is by coursework only. There are no exams - our focus is on helping you develop essential data-gathering and research skills. You can look forward to producing work that represents your true academic ability, not just what you can memorise at the time.
Your module leaders will set assessments appropriate to the content of their module which will usually take the form of a research essay or critical evaluation. They will also be available to advise and support you throughout the course.
The final dissertation (MA only) will involve more in-depth study and independent research on a topic agreed with your supervisor. Past topics of dissertations included:
The global financial crisis: a failure of governments or markets?
Is the UN fit to prevent genocide?
Is China a good trade partner for Latin America?
From Actions to Policy: A Theoretical Shift in U.S. Counterinsurgency Security Operations during the War on Terror in Iraq
Is China Challenging US Economic Hegemony?
Tackling cultures of immunity: how can the United Nations effectively address the practice of sexual abuse and exploitation by military peacekeeping forces?
Militarizing Egypt’s Policy making arena: The Army between Socialism and Neoliberalism
Postcolonial President? Barack Obama and Humanitarian Intervention
Globalisation, Inequality and Underdevelopment: The Myth of Economic Convergence
At Queen Mary Online, we take your studies seriously and in return, we hope you will do the same. Each week you will need to invest additional time on individual study. This could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and undertaking research for you dissertation.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. We expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study helps foster the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help you throughout your working life.
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Resources and services
Our online students enjoy the same status as those who attend the Queen Mary campus. You will have access to our extensive online resources and if you are able, are welcome to attend any of the extra-cirricular events run by various research centres to complement your studies.
In addition, you will benefit from dedicated tutor support, enhanced online material, and a range of interactive features. There will be lively online discussions with your peers and webinars led by members of the academic staff, all accessible at the times that suit you.
You'll also be able to turn to our helpful Student Adviser team once you enrol. They will help you with any non-academic questions.
As a member of the Russell Group, Queen Mary is committed to the highest quality teaching and research.
Our research-active staff ensure the content of our programme is dynamic, responding to the latest global events in their respective modules. Our staff have regional expertise in South America, South East Asia, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Together, they hold internationally recognised research strengths in the politics of the developing world, globalisation and development, conflict and war, migration and transnational mobility, security and critical and post-colonial theory.
Professor Jef Huysmans
Jef Huysmans is Professor of International Politics. After finishing his PhD at the University of Leuven (Belgium), he took up a lectureship in International Relations and European studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Later he moved to the Open University where he taught politics and international relations and was Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance. He joined Queen Mary University of London in January 2016.
He is best known for his work on the politics of insecurity, the securitization of migration, and critical methods in security studies and IR. Currently he is working on security and democracy in times of surveillance, the political life of methods, and the political significance of little nothings.
He was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ISA journal International Political Sociology from 2012 until 2016.
Full staff profile
Dr Diego de Merich
Diego joined the School of Politics and International Relations in 2017. He is an alumnus of the United World College of the Adriatic, Italy, and the University of British Columbia, Canada. He completed his PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics in 2015, with a dissertation on the critical ethics of international development.
In 2015/16, he was responsible for a mainstreaming review of the LSE100 syllabus, which resulted in the largest equalities initiative of its kind in UK higher education. He was awarded departmental teaching prizes in 2014 and 2016.
Diego’s research interests include the ethics of care; human empathy and affect in moral theory; the ethics of international development, and intersectionality mainstreaming practices around the world. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and became DL Programmes Coordinator for SPIR in 2021. He recently completed a co-authored textbook, Global Politics: Myths and Mysteries (Oxford University Press, 2022).
Dr Katharine Hall
Katharine Hall received her PhD in 2015 from the Department of Geography, Environment and Society at the University of Minnesota, where she wrote her dissertation on the history of drone technology (Lethal Surveillance: Drones and the Geo-History of Modern War). Before joining the School of Politics and International Relations at QMUL, she held a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows and the Department of Geography at Dartmouth College.
Katharine works in the fields of international relations and security studies, political geography, and science and technology studies, and her research focuses on questions related to modern war and security, military and surveillance technologies, and the longer historical and racialized geographies of militarization and practices of state violence.
Lisa was awarded her PhD by the University of Johannesburg in 2016, having conducted research on the nexus between natural resource governance and transnational organised crime at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. Since then, she has worked in academia in the United Kingdom and South Africa, teaching in various subjects of Politics and International Relations at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Her current research interests span themes of non-traditional threats to security, specifically issues in maritime security, as well as diplomacy. Her edited volume Global Challenges in Maritime Security: An Introduction was published by Springer in 2020, and she is currently Co-Editor in Chief of the journal African Security Review.
Dr Nevena Nancheva
Nevena Nancheva is a recognised Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has been teaching International Relations at the Master's level since 2010. Her leading research interest is nationalism in the European context. She has written on European integration, EU security and migration governance, national minorities, refugee migration, and recently, on nationalism and the construction of 'national' food.
Nevena's 2016-17 research project EU Migrants in the UK: Political Community, Identity and Security is funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust. She is the co-founder of an academic research network on EU migration (eu-migrants.net) hosted by the Centre for Research on Communities, Identities and Difference at Kingston University London.
Dr Alice Martini
Alice has a PhD in International Relations from the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy, and, jointly, the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. Among other publications, she is the author of The UN and Counter-Terrorism: Global Hegemonies, Power, Identity (Routledge, 2021) and co-editor of Encountering Extremism (MUP, 2020).
Her research examines and deconstructs global discourses on security, (counter)terrorism and (counter)extremism, looking into the resulting practices of power and international hegemonies.
She lectures on Critical Security Studies, Critical Terrorism Studies, and, more broadly, International Relations and Global Politics theories.
Before her PhD, she collaborated with the Human Rights Office of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
Dr Olanrewaju Olaoye (AKA Larry)
Larry’s interest in teaching, research and consultancy has developed as a result of 15 years of professional experience within the public sector, private sector and third sector working in different levels of complexity while trouble-shooting and proffering solutions to real-life work problems.
He has worked with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Laureate Online Universities, the British Council and Chevening and is a subject specialist in Public Policy, Governance and Strategy Making. He is currently working on an ongoing project (delivered with KRIU-Kazakhstan) funded by the British Council Creative Sparks Award aimed at developing the Enterprise sector in Kazakhstan
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Dr Paul Hayman
Paul Hayman is a recognised Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, with a PhD in International Theory/Political Philosophy from the School of Government & International Affairs at Durham University. He also holds a Master’s in International Studies from the same department and a Law degree from Northumbria University.
He has lectured at Durham University in political sociology, where he also supervised postgraduate dissertations. He currently holds a senior position at The Open University, managing teaching and learning in Politics and International Studies in the largest academic faculty in Europe. He has a wealth of online teaching experience, supporting students across a range of disciplines and issue-areas, including international relations, political ideas, public policy, social theory, and development studies.
Dr Haro Karkour
Haro Karkour is a recognised Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has been teaching online modules at Masters level since 2012. He has completed his PhD in politics at the University of Leicester with the thesis entitled 'Kosovo, Libya, and the problem with depoliticisation in the theory and practice of post-Cold War Humanitarian Intervention'.
Haro's research is focused on International Relations (IR) theory. He is currently looking at classical realism and its application to US foreign policy, the liberal international order and the 'Global IR' debate. His research has been published previously in IR journals such as International Relations and Journal of International Political Theory.
Read Haro's blog post on how IR students can interpret the G7 Summit in Cornwall >
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