Master in International Relations




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Program Overview

The Master in International Relations is designed to be a truly transformative program, and gives students the education, training, and first-hand experience necessary to undertake successful international careers.

The curriculum both encompasses and transcends traditional distinctions between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, with all of our courses given by distinguished professors of wide-ranging experience.

This program provides students with a strong global affairs and business foundation, complemented by a week-long field work in Brussels, while also allowing them to pursue strategic diplomacy and comparative regional studies.


Quick Facts

Program Curriculum

Pre-Courses & Language Lessons

Students will have the option of arriving to Madrid early and taking Spanish language courses as well as additional finance and quantitative methods courses that aim to work as a stepping stone or refresher in those areas.

• Spanish language sessions

• Introduction to Finance

• Quantitative Methods

Core knowledge and competencies

In this first period, students will gain core skills and competencies which they will then apply and hone throughout the entirety of the program. This includes a foundation in classical international relations paradigms, micro and macro economics, quantitative analysis, comparative politics, and international politicial economy.

• Comparative Politics

• History of International Relations

• International Political Economy

• Micro and Macro Economics

• Quantitative Methods

• Theories of International Relations

• A Primer on International Law

• International Finance & Monetary Theory

Area Studies and Topics in International Relations

In addition to acquiring the necessary skill set for international success, it is essential that students learn where and in what field they aim to target their professional energies. For those with a global vocation, this involves identifying the geographic area which is best suited to their professional and personal goals. As a result, in the second Master in International Relations semester we offer a series of courses designed to provide students foundational knowledge in politics, economics, and society of the world´s most important geographic centers, along with an introduction to crucial fields of work in global politics.

• Comparative Development of Africa

• Economic Development Theory

• Politics, Society and International Relations of China

• Conflict Resolution and Mediation Practices

• The European Union

• International Organizations

Fieldwork Visit to Brussels

In between the second and third periods, Master in International Relations students take a sponsored fieldwork visit to Brussels where they visit and learn from regional and global players such as the European Union and NATO, as well as private sector and non-profit parties. This one week trip is included in the program tuition.

Leadership, Strategy, & Finance

Regardless of the field or industry, a strong foundation and understanding in finance, management, and strategy is indispensible. Indeed, one aspect of the Master in International Relations curriculum which sets it apart from its competitors is its proximity to IE Business School, which allows us to offer students a more rigourous foundation in these core topics.

• Politics, Society, and International
Relations of the Middle East
• Corporate Social Responsibility and Entrepreneurship
• Environmental Politics
• Game Theory and International Strategy
• Global Leadership
• Challenges to Democracy in Latin America
• Project Management

The June-July period emphasizes work on the Master in International Relations final project as well as a personalized selection of elective courses for students to choose from. For the Master in International Relations Final Project, students can decide between either an individual written thesis, group case study, or a Capstone project (also in groups). The aim of the final project is to allow students to develop expertise in, and make an original contribution to, a specific field of knowledge within international relations.

• Public Affairs
• Strategic Planning and Policy Foresight
• Social Entrepreneurship
• Written Thesis
*electives are subject to yearly reviews and may change

4th Period (Optional)

In this optional fourth period, students will have the option of spending an exchange semester at one of the Master in International Relations partner schools in Europe or the United States, or additionally by participating in a professional Beyond Borders Experience where students can learn valuable real world skills in an international professional setting. Contact our international admissions team for more information about our Beyond Borders Experience (BBE) offerings:

Dual Degree Programs

Dual Degree Programs at IE offer a combination of business perspective and international relations, and are suitable for highly motivated students that want to reinforce their global affairs foundations while developing the leadership and management skills that will enable them to do more with their specialized knowledge.

Students will receive two different Master’s Degrees in less than two years.

• International MBA + Master in International Relations

• Master in Management + Master in International Relations

• Master in International Relations + LLM in International Business Law

For more information, please visit our Master in International Relations Dual Degrees page.