International Political Theory (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in International Political Theory provides students with a dynamic and systematic understanding of how political theory can be brought to bear on world affairs.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A strong 2.1 Honours degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £9,870
- letter of intent indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 International Political Theory MLitt page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
The MLitt in International Political Theory is a one year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations. The programme commences in September and ends the following August.
- The course offers a uniquely deep focus on both the history of political thought and contemporary political theory.
- This programme is ideal for further academic work leading to a PhD at St Andrews or elsewhere.
- The MLitt in International Political Theory prepares students for a wide range of professional fields including law, policy research and consultancy, NGOs, charities, international organisations, civil service and publishing.
The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.
Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials with average lecture sizes ranging from 20 to 30 students and tutorial sizes ranging from 1 to 15 students. Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework.
Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
All International Political Theory MLitt students take two compulsory and two optional modules over the course of the programme. You may, with permission, take modules from other MLitt programmes in the School of International Relations or from another School.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
- Texts in International Political Theory: explores the work of important political theorists with particular attention to the ways in which their thought is relevant for internaional and global affairs.
- Analysis and Interpretation in International Political Theory: introduces methods and interpretive approaches that can be taken in the study of international political theory.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
- 'Reason of State': Origin, Nature and Career of a Concept: studies the meaning, origins, development and significance of the notion of 'reason of state' in western political thought.
- Global Constitutionalism: explores developments in international politics and law that reveal an increasingly constitutional order.
- Politics After the ‘Death of God’: Evil and Tragedy in Modern Politics: explores contributions in post-Nietzschean political philosophy and twentieth-century political theology as a way to understand the horrors and tragedies of modern politics.
- Terrorism and Liberal Democracy: explores the development of contemporary terrorism; and the conceptional and definitional issues concerning terrorism.
- Religion and International Politics: investigates the so-called 'global resurgence' of politicised religion.
- Identity and Collective Violence: studies the concept of violence as a group or collective phenomenon.
- Political Economy of Conflict: provides a political economy perspective on conflict in a developing economy.
- Gender and Terrorism: explores gender as a tool for the construction and maintenance of power.
- Political Order and Violence in the Middle East: examines the causes and consequences of political order and violence in the Middle East.
- Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East: focuses on prominent ideologies in the modern history of the Middle East, and the role ideas play in the political mobilisation of society.
- Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus: examines the history, languages and culture of the Caucasus.
- Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa: investigates the dynamics and outcomes of social protests in the authoritarian regimes of North African region in the post-colonial period.
- Security and Justice Institutions in World Politics: examines the role of different international institutions in governing world politics.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of international political theory in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
Conferences and events
The School of International Relations hosts a variety of research seminars throughout the academic session to promote the work of the faculty, students and visiting speakers.
A number of student-led associations and organisations contribute to development and profile of International Relations throughout the University and the community.
- Model United Nations (SaintMUN): promotes awareness and understanding of international affairs among the student body through simulated debates and seminars.
- International Politics Association (IPA): provides a platform for those involved in the practice of international relations and political affairs to express their views and offer their insights.
- The Foreign Affairs Society: encourages the St Andrews community to explore global politics and current affairs.
After the MLitt
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in International Political Theory.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in a PhD programme at St Andrews.
The Economic and Social Research Council provides PhD studentship funding for UK students which covers university and college fees and contributes towards living costs.
Students who graduate from the MLitt in International Political Theory go on to work in various professional fields including law, policy research and consultancy, NGOs, charities, international organisations, civil service and publishing.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).