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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Our Programme

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The MSc in International Political Theory aims to to equip students with the intellectual skills to analyse contemporary international affairs from a philosophically-informed perspective, with a particular focus on their ethical dimensions. Specifically, the programme trains students to apply the methods and intellectual resources of normative political theory, to contexts beyond that of the modern nation-state.  

Teaching for the course is research-led.  Our faculty are specialists in the field, contributing to current debates in some of the most prestigeous acadmic journals.  Students taking the course will be given the opportunity to engage in those debates, analyse contemporary research and develop their own research agendas.  Together, students and faculty will explore the latest big ideas regarding some of the world's most pressing problems.

The MSc in International Political Theory is a one year full-time or two year part-time programme.  All students take the two 20-credit core courses, Political Theory and International Affairs and Contemporary Political Theory. Together these courses provide a grounding in normative theory and its application to a range of central issues in international affairs: global poverty, international distributive justice, just war theory, humanitarian intervention, human rights and environmental justice.

In addition to the core courses, students choose four further 20-credit courses from a list of options. Please consult the degree programme table (DPT) of the programme for an overview of available optional courses. Note that the records will be updated by the end of August for each academic year. Some courses might not run some years due to staff availability. On successful completion of the courses, students proceed to write a dissertation.

With the consent of both the IPT Programme Director and the relevant course organiser, and subject to availability, up to two of your four options may be substituted by alternative courses from within the SPS Graduate School or an outside School. 

Students may search other programmes within and outside the Graduate School for courses of interest. Students are permitted to choose up to two of these options from other programmes. Students must obtain approval from the MSc IPT Director to take courses outside SPS School as options. Since places on these options cannot be guaranteed, students are strongly advised to have a firm back-up option. 

Law Courses

Courses taught in the Law School run as single- and/or double-semester options. Note that some of these options are advanced and may require previous background in law or strongly advise sitting in on an undergraduate course. Priority will be given to those students with such a background. In order to keep all classes to a manageable and rewarding size, the Law School reserves the right to limit numbers attending LLM and MSc courses. Priority for admission to the course is given to registered Law students. 


The assessment for the core course is by two papers of 3-4,000 words each, one each Semester. The assessment of the other courses is determined by course organisers.

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