This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines.
You will explore the variety, dynamism and relevance of political theory in the modern world, gaining an insight into political thought and practical application of political ideas.
You will consider the various ways in which theory is vital to understanding a range of urgent and pressing problems (such as terrorism, global poverty, social cohesion, immigration, censorship, war and the environment) in contemporary politics and address the practical implications of these ideas.
Throughout the course you will build a portfolio of in-depth study of many of the defining events and dynamics of modern society, across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, providing an understanding of the world that will prove invaluable in further academic study or a range of postgraduate careers.
The Political Theory and Cultural Values Research Group is an active team of enthusiastic academics, pursuing cutting-edge research into a wide variety of strands of political thought.
The Political Theory Centre is part of the White Rose Association for Political Philosophy, linking you into the complementary political theory teams at York and Sheffield Universities.
Links with the Leeds Centre for Democratisation afford excellent opportunities for discussing the application of many of the ideas studied on the programme. Political theorists form part of a large department of political studies, including International Relations and Development, which additionally provide an auspicious context for the study of applied theory.
Through compulsory and optional modules, this programme will offer you:
You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.
If you are a part-time student, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
Teaching is tailored for interactive small-group work, and uses a combination of lecture and seminar-discussion modes.
Teaching on political theory modules is predominantly seminar discussion-based, while other modules include more lecture-oriented material.
You will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussion to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.
Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exam and coursework, depending on the module.
The emphasis on applied use of political thought, particularly from a transformative perspective, means the critical analytical skills learnt here are of use in a wide range of employment sectors, including the civil service, public sector organisations and the third sector.
Many graduates go on to complete PhDs in Political Theory, having had the opportunity to strengthen their command of a certain area of political thought during their Masters studies.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
The Master’s programme in Political Theory will teach you political theory and applied philosophy in a theoretical, practical and analytical way. You are challenged to critically analyse and reflect on current political contexts and social and political thought.
The Political Theory track provides students with the conceptual tool-kits to analyse the complex normative and methodological issues of contemporary political life. Students are encouraged to take an active role in critical reflection on political practices, institutional arrangements, and social science methods by building on a solid foundation in social and political thought. The track combines analytical rigor with policy relevance.
The Political Theory track provides a unique opportunity to study analytically rigorous political theory and applied philosophy in a political science programme; we apply political theory as a guide to public policy and pressing social problems.
We have an international student body and an international faculty.
The Department of Political Science is consistently ranked among the World’s top-50, and is the largest in the Netherlands. This provides students with a broad foundation in political theory and opportunities for electives and thesis research in a wide variety of related areas of study, from international relations to political economy, from electoral politics to public administration.
The track is designed for independent students that wish to gain a rigorous foundation in political theory and moral philosophy in order to apply these to pressing social problems. It is aimed at students that aim to develop normative and methodological tools that they can apply to complex domestic and international challenges. The programme is writing intensive; students are expected to develop a capacity to work independently and in group settings.
This programme prepares students for careers in government, global business, think-tanks, non-profits, and journalism with a focus on public policy, analysis, and advocacy at the local, national, and international level. The programme also provides a strong foundation for a career in academia. For more information, see the webpage on career prospects.
Political Theory is a track of the accredited degree programme Political Science. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Political Science and the title Master of Science (MSc).
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 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 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
Political theory is the study of the good society. Public debate is dominated by controversies such as what justice requires of citizens and the state; what the most important rights and liberties are; and what protection there should be for minorities in majoritarian democracies.
Political theory provides a scholarly examination of these questions, informed by adjacent debates in moral philosophy, legal theory, historical study, and political science. Currently, there are eight political theorists in the Department of Government, which is one of the largest concentrations of specialists in the world. Staff research interests are in diverse areas including comparative political theory, contemporary normative theory, the history of political thought, feminist theory, and rational and social choice theory. We aim to address issues in a global context.
The programme includes a compulsory course and a wide range of optional courses, and you will also complete a dissertation on an approved topic of your choice. The programme is a good preparation for further research work, or for a career in education, public administration, NGOs or the private sector.
This programme is a good preparation for further research work or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector.