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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Our Programme

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The MSc in International Political Theory (IPT) equips 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-informed.  Our faculty are specialists in the field, contributing to current debates in some of the most prestigious academic journals.  Students on MSc in International Political Theory will be given the opportunity to engage in those debates, analyse contemporary research and develop their own research agendas.  Together, students and faculty explore the latest big ideas regarding some of the world's most pressing problems.

Programme Structure

The MSc in International Political Theory is a one year full-time or two year part-time programme. 

The Degree Programme Table (DPT) provides an overview of the programme structure including the core and optional courses.  Please note this information is for the current academic year, and that availability of optional courses varies year on year dependent on staffing.

All students take the two 20-credit core courses. In addition to the core courses, students also choose another four 20-credit courses from a list of options.   On successful completion of the courses, students proceed to write a dissertation

Core Courses

All students take two 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.

Optional Courses

Students also choose  four 20-credit courses from the list of options shown in the DPT. With the consent of both the MSc IPT Programme Director and the relevant course organiser, and subject to availability, up to two of your four options may be substituted with alternative courses from either The School or Social & Political Science or another School within the University. 

Students may search other programmes within and outside the School of Social & Political Science 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 Programme Director to take courses outside the School of Social & Political Science 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 School of Law 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 School of Law 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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