International Political Theory (MLitt) 2021 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 international politics and world affairs. It is not a general international relations or international relations theory programme but a specialised programme in political thought.
Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 September 2022
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
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.
Friday 30 April 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- CV or résumé
- personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (500 words)
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
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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 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.
- Analysis and Interpretation in International Political Theory: introduces methods and interpretive approaches that can be taken in the study of international political theory.
- 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 international and global affairs.
Students choose two optional modules.
Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.
International Political Theory-focused options:
- African Political Thought: examines the main ideas of the great Africanist thinkers e.g. Du Bois, Garvey, Fanon, Nyerere, Nkrumah, Senghor, Cabral, Biko etc and discuss how these intellectuals reacted to the internal and external variables to evolve a body of ideas which together could be viewed as African political thought.
- Global Constitutionalism: explores developments in international politics and law that reveal an increasingly constitutional order.
- Agency and Strategy in Non-Western Political Thought: explores different elements of non-Western thought to understand assumptions about the body, political community and the world.
- Migration and Political Theory: explores the relationship between political thought and the complex phenomenon of migration, including how migration influences understandings of citizenship, rights, borders, justice, and security.
- Politics After the ‘Death of God’: explores contributions in post-Nietzschean political philosophy and 20th-century political theology as a way to understand the currency of notions such as tragedy, evil and hope in modern politics.
- '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.
- Theories of Friendship and Enmity: addresses a number of classical texts in western political thought on the themes of friendship and enmity.
- Topics in International Political Thought: introduces students to key themes in the international realm through a close engagement with the ideas of a single theorist.
Other MLitt options in the School of International Relations:
- Gender and Terrorism: familiarises students with how gender is a construction that privileges certain actors over and against others.
- Political Economy of Conflict: provides a political economy perspective on conflict in a developing economy.
- Political Order and Violence in the Middle East: examines the causes and consequences of political order and violence in the Middle East.
- Terrorism and Liberal Democracy: addresses conceptual and definitional issues concerning terrorism; the relationship of terrorism to other forms of political violence; the origins, dynamics and development of contemporary terrorism; the efficacy of terrorism as a political weapon; the dilemmas and challenges of liberal democratic state responses to terrorism; and case studies in terrorism and counter-terrorism.
- Religion and International Politics: investigates the so-called 'global resurgence' of politicised religion.
- Security and Justice Institutions in World Politics: examines the development and efficacy of institutions in the fields of peace, security and justice.
- Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa: investigates the dynamics and outcomes of social protests in the authoritarian regimes of the North African region in the post-colonial period.
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).
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.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.