Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £9,000
International/EU fees**: £19,100
Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice (MRes)
Interest in issues of sustainable development, environmental justice, and geopolitics and security has never been so intense, as recognised by the investment in so-called ‘global challenges’ research. The MRes in Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice is especially suited for students looking to progress to PhD study in these areas. It combines core concepts with intensive research methods training in the form of a long-form dissertation that is ideal preparation for further postgraduate study including PhD programs. Reflecting the collaborative and outward facing nature of our research culture, the curriculum also includes the potential for innovative placements and research engagements with external partners.
In the Department of Geography you’ll join a vibrant research community (ranked 5th in the UK for research excellence in the most recent REF2021 assessment) and contribute to our renowned research culture with your own independent dissertation project. In particular, you will work with the leading researchers based in our Department of Geography’s Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice (GDSJ) research group, which currently consists of over 20 research-active staff and 35 PhD students. You will also benefit from the GDSJ’s links to scholars in Politics and International Relations, Information Security (including the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Cyber Security for the Everyday) and the GeoHumanities.
Study the MRes in Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll address the complex, dynamic future of developmental, social, geopolitical and economic processes that aim to secure justice globally. You’ll learn to tackle issues that are high on the national and international agenda, graduating with excellent employability prospects in the UK and abroad, and a range of transferable research skills to take into your chosen career, including further postgraduate study.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key social and environmental relationships, incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. You will look at the concept of 'risk society', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will consider the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.
In this module you will develop an understanding of research methods used for exploring the social sciences. You will look at the key methods used by social scientists, with teaching delivered by those who have practical experience in their field. You will look at the research process and explore research beyond the field, becoming familiar with the practical considerations of a range of methods, their benefits and challenges, their epistemological basis, and their ethics.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how your cultural geography learning is relevant beyond the academy. You will critically reflect on the role of impact and knowledge exchange in the contemporary academy, examining how you may put your cultural geographic ideas into practice.
The dissertation gives you the opportunity to study an aspect of geopolitics and security, in-depth, by managing and carrying out your own piece of research and analysis. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor who will help you develop your research aims and objectives, identify bodies of relevant literature, establish a particular strang of conceptual thought, and select appropriate research methods for the collection and analysis of data. You will produce an extended written report of 15,000 words, and will be encouraged to work with an external organisation to build a network of contacts and relationships to facilitate your future career.
This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.
Teaching & assessment
Assessment is by coursework only. Formative feedback and detailed ongoing discussion of work before final submission is a central part of the teaching ethos of the course. Students also have significant autonomy in the selection of topics for coursework and dissertation allowing them to develop particular interests and specialisms.
Each module has a specific assessment as follows:
- Key Concepts in Justice, Development and Sustainability – 5000 word essay (20 credits)
- Research Methods for Social Science – group presentation and 2000 word dissertation proposal (20 credits)
- Social Media & Audiencing – blog posts and a podcast or video (20 credits)
- Dissertation – 35000 - 40000 word dissertation (120 credits)
Please note, these modules are currently provisional and are subject to module validation.
Geography, Politics, International Relations, English, History, Classics, Sociology, Philosophy and other related subjects may be considered.
Candidates with professional qualifications or relevant professional experience in an associated area will also be considered.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
MSc Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice requires:
- IELTS 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0 No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 61. No other subscore lower than 54.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
- Duolingo: 120 overall, 135 in literacy and Production. No subsscore below 100.
Your future career
Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice at Royal Holloway, University of London has a strong emphasis on skills development and employability, putting graduates in an excellent position to progress to further study or a rewarding career in their chosen field. Ideal for both recent graduates and professionals seeking further training, this programme will provide you with excellent field experience, placement and networking opportunities for a career working in commercial or political organisations such as banking, energy, media, think tanks, NGOs and government, where risk (management), threat and insecurity are critical to strategic policy development..
Our recent alumni have progressed to fulfilling careers in government, the media, risk and security consultancies, non-governmental organisations and public organisations both in the UK and abroad. An ideal stepping stone for PhD progression, Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice will help you to achieve your career and academic ambitions.
- 90% of Royal Holloway graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
- Study a programme with a strong emphasis on skills development and employability.
- Graduate with a Masters degree in a field with excellent graduate employability prospects.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,000
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £19,100
Other essential costs***: You should allow for up to £150 for travel and subsistence from campus to London for fieldwork and trips to organisations and societies.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.
All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration). This means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year.
** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.