The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. What is politics for – to bring real freedom and equality for all human beings, to realise justice, or to prevent human beings from killing one another in large numbers? What do we owe the global poor? Can we close our borders? Where does power lie in democracies? You’ll be encouraged to explore these topics, and others, in greater depth and from different perspectives across a variety of optional modules which draw on our internationally recognized teaching and research strengths in analytical political philosophy, intellectual history and critical theory. At the centre of this programme is a core module which provides advanced training in political theory and its research methods. A 10-12,000 word dissertation allows you to apply the relevant method to a problem of your choosing. The MA also features a regular research seminar, where the best current work in political theory is presented by staff and eminent guest speakers from all over the world.

Study Details:

MA 1 year Full-time, 2 years Part-time

Module Details:


One core module to be studied in the Autumn Term

  • Approaches to Political Theory

Choice of five optional modules from list below

  • Analytical Political Philosophy
  • Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy
  • Critical Theory
  • Critical Theories of International Political Economy
  • Ethics and World Politics
  • New Security Challenges
  • State, Space and Globalisation
  • Topics in the History of Political Thought

and the new PhD Proposal in Political Theory module which is only available to study on the MA in Political Theory Programme

Click here to view the Postgraduate Module Handbook.


During the Summer Term students start work on a dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation is due for submission at the end of the summer vacation.


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Entry Requirements


Academic entry requirements

The main criterion for admission to an MA programme in the Department of Politics is a 2.1 BA degree or international equivalent. However, exceptions are sometimes made for students with different backgrounds, in which case assessment is done through review of an academic written work sample. Additional information may be requested.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English may need to satisfy language requirements.

The Department of Politics has a higher minimum level than the University more generally because of the more difficult nature of the literature that Politics students must engage with. The departmental requirements are:

IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component)

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