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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school



The MSc Programme is taken over twelve months of full-time study (part-time candidates normally fulfil the requirements of the degree in 24 months). It consists of two parts. Part I comprises a programme of six courses; Part II consists of the Dissertation. A student must pass Part I in order to proceed to Part II.

Core courses

and at least one of the following:

Optional Courses

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.


  1. With the agreement of the Director and the relevant outside department, candidates may also select one option from other subject areas, such as African Studies, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, and law.
  2. Course availability cannot be guaranteed.

It is highly recommended to consult the handbooks of individual courses. These are available on the website of the Graduate School. A copy of the Programme Handbook can be found here.


The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship of a maximum 15,000 words in which students have the opportunity to pursue a topic largely of their choosing. Academically it is the most advanced element of the degree. It is also the point where students progress from structured study in courses to independent study.

All students are assigned a supervisor for their dissertation. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to engage critically and analytically with the literature, building upon relevant concepts and theory covered in the taught element of the degree. The dissertation is normally made up of a balance of empirical and theoretical work. However, students are not required to conduct primary field research.

Examples of dissertation topics in previous years in related programmes include International Security, Comparative Regionalism, Modern Peacekeeping, Middle Eastern Politics, African Foreign Policy, EU Environmental Politics, Humanitarian Intervention, International Terrorism, Gender Politics, American Foreign Policy, Cosmopolitanism, International Trade, European Security and Defence Policy, Enlargement of the European Union, Turkish membership of the EU.

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