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Masters Degrees (Political Theory)

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Focusing on the interface of theories of the good society, globalisation, legitimacy and power. Political theory is the soul of political science. Read more

Master's specialisation in Political Theory

Focusing on the interface of theories of the good society, globalisation, legitimacy and power.
Political theory is the soul of political science: it’s not about determining what the facts are but about determining what they mean and what should be done with them. It’s about the genuine and the deceptive arguments used to interfere in other people’s lives and business. We need political theory anywhere where power is used both covertly and openly, where policies are made and where choices are questioned and criticised.
As a political theorist, you will ask what would be sensible instead of what people call sensible. Just a handful of questions you will be asking and seeking the answers to: Is there a moral foundation for national sovereignty or self-determination? How far should tolerance go? What can and should be our ambitions for local community building? When does a political theory become a weapon or a form of power? Can authority ever be legitimate? Do we owe anything to future generations, animals, the global poor or minority groups?
This Master’s specialisation offers students an unprecedented opportunity to learn to assess political values, aspirations and dreams in terms of their desirability and reasonability. You will also discover how political theoretical work can be introduced fruitfully in other relevant contexts. This will enable you to help civil initiatives and governmental institutions, not to mention the public at large by imagining and designing policies and ambitions that are both viable and defensible.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/pt

Why study Political Theory at Radboud University

- Our programme is consistently ranked the best Political Science/PT programme in the Netherlands
- The programme has a unique focus on justification and recognition, globalisation and their relationship with power
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups
- You are encouraged to critically reflect on the staff’s ongoing research in the Nijmegen Political Philosophical Workshop
- We are the conscience of real-world politics and policies and prepare you to interpret and contribute to real-world politics

Career prospects

Graduates of political theory are academics, not politicians. We believe that to be a good policy advisor, manager or administrator, you need to have good research skills. Research is what is going to make your advice be both valid and practical: both sides of the coin of policies are equally important to the political theorists.

Job positions

Our graduates find employment in a variety of settings, including in consulting, national and international diplomacy and EU institutions. They can work as policy advisors, managers and leaders in local, regional and national government, as well as in business, media, NGOs, think-tanks and civic organisations. Quite a few go on to pursue a PhD degree.

Our approach to this field

Don’t rules, laws, commands and regulations always imply a violation of human autonomy? Are they not insults to humanity? Is there a way to escape from power?

Political theory is the key to good and valid politics. It is practice-oriented and should not be confused with political philosophy. Political theory is more than a reflection on eternal truths and the essence of concepts; it makes the difference between knowing and understanding. Compared to classical political philosophy it is more concrete, more interdisciplinary in nature, and sensitive both to the workings of power and the limits of feasibility.

Political Theory at Radboud University focuses on four aspects:
1. Critical understanding of theories of the good society
Of course, just like most Political Theory programmes we take a critical look at the theories of the good society. Who is – but also who should be – included in the theories: families or individuals, distinct people or everyone, animals and environment or humans only, future or only present generations?

2. Globalisation
We focus on globalisation in the broadest sense: the globalisation of people, money, technology and values so that we address global, ecological, intergenerational justice, multiculturalism and agonism. We definitely do not limit ourselves to the dominant redistributive justice discourse.

3. Justification and legitimisation
We start off by justifying and discrediting particular policies by the standards of theories of the good society. But we go further. What values, rules, tests and mechanisms are there to help design and assess political choices? Which are appropriate and when? Are they biased? We will discuss deliberative democracy, Habermas’s domination-free discourse, Rawls’s reflective equilibrium, the agora of agonists like Mouffe and, of course, foundationalism.

4. Power
Power is the mother of all political concepts; it is a concept that is too easily taken for granted or ignored by political scientists, political philosophers and politicians. We recognise that power, ultimately the threat of violence, will always be part of politics and that there will always be a gap between what you think you can justify and what others will embrace. At Radboud University we train students to try and chart where power hides in justification practices, both in political theory and political practise.

The combination of these aspects is what makes the Political Theory Master’s specialisation at Radboud University unique.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/pt

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It is sometimes said that political theory concerns the questions of “who gets what and who says?”. In modern pluralistic societies an additional question arises. Read more
It is sometimes said that political theory concerns the questions of “who gets what and who says?”. In modern pluralistic societies an additional question arises: how can we live together peacefully in circumstances in which we disagree about how best to live? These issues are both political and legal. States, and increasingly the international domain, regulate citizens’ lives through law. The LLM in Legal and Political Theory – a unique collaboration between the Departments of Politics and Philosophy and the York Law School offers students the opportunity to study the core issues and approaches of political and legal theory and to consider the relations between them.

The LLM in Legal and Political Theory aims to provide:
-Opportunities to study some of the enduring questions of political life including: By what right do some people rule over others?; What is the relationship of law and morality?; Do citizens have an obligation to obey the law?; and, What is the just distribution of rights and socio-economic goods and opportunities within states and globally?
-Opportunities to choose from a wide range of Option Modules in Law, Politics, and Philosophy
-The opportunity to write an independent dissertation on a topic of your choosing supervised by a member of the academic staff

At the end of the course students will:
-Have a critical understanding of the central questions of legal and political theory and of the works of the great legal and political theorists both past and present who have examined these questions
-Have knowledge of the fundamental questions of jurisprudence and of how these connect to issues of political theory
-Understand the distinctive methodologies of the study of legal and political theory

The taught programme, which can also be taken Part Time over two years, is organised around three Core modules that run through the first two Terms and provide the foundations of the study of legal and political theory. In addition, students take Option modules in subjects of their choosing. In the third Term and over the summer, students write a Dissertation.

Each student is allocated a Personal Advisor who will help you to tailor the programme to suit your individual interests. Teaching is done through small groups led by members of the academic staff.

Structure of the Programme

The LLM in Legal and Political Theory taught programme of one year (or two years if taken part time). The LLM is made up of 180 credits. 120 credits are studied through a mix of compulsory and optional taught modules. The remaining 60 credits are obtained through undertaking a 13,000 word dissertation. The programme is structured in the following way:
-Autumn Term: 60 credits (Foundational Issues in Legal Theory; Approaches to Political Theory; and one 20 credit option module)
-Spring Term: 60 credits (Advanced Issues in Legal Theory; and two 20 credit option modules)
-Summer Term/Summer: 60 credits (Dissertation, including research training)

A stimulating environment for postgraduate study

York Law School has developed a reputation for offering academically rigorous, innovative, practical and stimulating programmes of study. We offer a rounded student experience – reflecting the best of academic and professional practice – and have a friendly and dynamic team of experienced academics, committed to the best methods of legal education.

In addition, we enjoy a close relationship with the legal profession, with practitioners involved in the design and delivery of key aspects of all our programmes, and have forged collaborative links in teaching and research across the University as a whole. You'll find studying here a stimulating and rewarding experience which will equip you for your chosen career.

How you’ll be taught on the LLM

On the LLM programme you will be taught using a wide variety of modern teaching and learning methods. Through rigorous academic study you will engage with theoretical, applied and practical studies, ensuring that you develop a deep understanding of legal political theory.

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If you have a demonstrable background in the study of political theory (and preferably some exposure to international studies), this MLitt will develop your understanding of how the dynamic and exciting field of international political theory can be brought to bear on international politics or world affairs. Read more

MLitt in International Political Theory

If you have a demonstrable background in the study of political theory (and preferably some exposure to international studies), this MLitt will develop your understanding of how the dynamic and exciting field of international political theory can be brought to bear on international politics or world affairs. We offer a uniquely deep focus on both the history of political thought and contemporary political theory. Located at the intersection of political theory and international relations, this programme will equip you with the theoretical tools and research skills necessary for an in-depth understanding of many of the central thinkers, theories and debates within international political theory. This MLitt is often a foundation for further doctoral research here or elsewhere, while some of our graduates use it as a basis for a career in law, civil service, the voluntary sector, policy research and consultancy, and international and non-governmental organisations.

Features

* There are over 40 academic members of staff in the School.

* International Relations was ranked top in the UK in Guardian University Guide 2016.

* There is a large and vibrant postgraduate community, with around 100 taught postgraduate and 80 research students in any year, which includes a large proportion of international students.

* We have an established reputation throughout the world for high-quality teaching and research.

* We have specialist areas in international security, terrorism studies, peace and conflict, international institutions, regional studies including the Middle East, Central Asia and Southern Africa, and international theory

Postgraduate community

International Relations has been taught at the University for 25 years; a department was created in 1990 which became a School in its own right in 2003. We are located at the centre of the University, occupying a purpose-built building which opened in 2008.

All International Relations modules taught on our MLitt programmes are distinctive options available only to postgraduate students. At the same time you are incorporated into the wider research life of the School, taking part in our regular research seminars and occasional series organised on specific topics.

The discipline of International Relations is both theoretical and practical. Academics teaching in the discipline are frequently called upon to apply their insights to the realities of international relations. In consequence staff members provide expert judgements in the media, give advice to legislatures or governments, or provide non-governmental organisations with briefings on specific issues or countries.

International Relations is a distinct discipline that draws on diplomatic history, political theory, political economy, political science and international law to provide theoretical perspectives to explain the processes and patterns of international affairs in the modern world. This enables you to assess developments in the international system and specific geographic regions. You will explore issues such as the origins of war and peace, foreign policy making, international trade, international terrorism, human rights, international organisations, international law, and the interaction of political and economic development. You also analyse the ways in which states relate to other international actors, and develop normative theories that relate the world as it is to the world as it might be. All of these have practical applications for you as both citizen and potential decision maker.

Careers

International Relations postgraduates may find employment as policy makers within national and EU civil services as well as political research units. Fieldwork-based jobs with aid agencies, other NGOs or journalism also present employment opportunities. With the increasing globalisation of industry, commerce and banking, the particular knowledge and awareness of the International Relations postgraduate are particularly relevant.

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This MA provides students with key analytical skills to study the ethical dimensions of public policy. The programme, drawing on three areas of excellence at UCL, is a unique mix of politics, law and philosophy, centred on the normative evaluation of public policy at both the domestic and international levels. Read more
This MA provides students with key analytical skills to study the ethical dimensions of public policy. The programme, drawing on three areas of excellence at UCL, is a unique mix of politics, law and philosophy, centred on the normative evaluation of public policy at both the domestic and international levels.

Degree information

The programme explores the moral quality of the decisions citizens and professionals take, and the justice of the legal and political structures within which they operate. Students develop the ability to analyse important modern political theories, and justify their position on issues concerning the relationship between politics, law and society.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Meanings of Liberty: Applied Methods in Political Theory (30)
-Seminars in Political Theory, Colloquium in Legal Philosophy and Peer Assisted Learning Sessions (30)

Optional modules - students choose modules worth a total of 45 credits from the list below (the others remain available as options).
-Contemporary Political Philosophy I: Authority, Obligation & Democracy (15)
-Contemporary Political Philosophy II: Social Justice and Equality (15)
-Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
-Global Ethics (15)
-Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition I and II (30)
-Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition I (15)
-Jurisprudence and Legal Theory I & II (30)
-Jurispudence and Legal Theory I (15)
-The Ethics of Poverty (15)
-Public Ethics (15)
-Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights (15)
-The Ethics of Counterterrorism (15)

Dissertation/report
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
Teaching for all modules takes the form of seminars where time is dedicated both to introducing knowledge and materials, and allowing students to test their understanding, knowledge and evaluative skills, through discussion, criticism and debate. Assessment is primarily through long essays, coursework and the dissertation.

Careers

This MA provides an excellent foundation for further research in political theory, or a wide variety of careers in this field.

First destinations of recent graduates include:
-UK Parliament: Researcher for MP
-Nacro: Resettlement Plus Helpline Information Officer
-Medway Council: Political Assistant
-English Speaking Union: Publicity Officer
-London Sustainable Business Forum: Research
-Vault Europe: Business Journalist
-Centre Forum: Research Intern
-Stephen Rimmer and Co Solicitors: Trainee Solicitor
-Legal & Constituency Ltd: Underwriter
-City University: Graduate Diploma in Law

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Journalist, BBC
-Political Analyst, DeHavilland
-Policy Adviser, HM Treasury
-Politician, The Labour Party
-DPhil Politics, University of Oxford

Employability
Students of the Legal and Political Theory MA acquire advanced analytical transferable skills and exposure to cutting-edge legal and philosophical work - problem-solving, logical skills - combined with deep understanding of challenges of the contemporary world. As a result our students have an excellent record of employability in leading professions - law, consultancy, politics, journalism and academic careers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of legal and political theory.

Weekly interactive seminars offer students an unrivalled opportunity to meet and engage with some of the leading figures in the field.

The Legal and Political Theory MA benefits from the interdisciplinary research culture of the School of Public Policy, as well as from the participation of UCL Philosophy and UCL Laws.

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How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should… Read more
How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should we think about democracy – as the participation of citizens, the contest of representatives or the search for a common good through deliberation? What is justice – equality for all human beings, solidarity among some human beings or the free play of personal choice?

These questions have exercised minds since ancient Athens and, in recent years, they have received new interpretations in political theory, one of the most intellectually fertile sub-disciplines of politics.

Our MA Political Theory will help you secure a solid grasp of key debates in social and political thought, give you a strong foundation in theoretical principles. You explore topics including:
-Research methods in critical political theory and analysis
-Classical and contemporary texts of political theory
-Democratic theory and social justice
-Philosophy of social science
-Ethics and public policy

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

The key member of our academic staff for this course is Professor David Howarth, who works on faith, politics and public space in democracies.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
A programme of seminars and events run by the department
Your future
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

This course will instil a wide range of analytical, critical, and communication skills that will enable you to pursue the career of your choice, whether in the public, private, or third sector, whether with a domestic or international focus.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Political Theory
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life. The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. Read more
Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life.

Overview

The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. What is politics for - to bring real freedom and equality for all human beings, to realise justice, or to prevent human beings from killing one another in large numbers? What do we owe the global poor? Can we close our borders? Where does power lie in democracies?

Course Content

You’ll be encouraged to explore these topics, and others, in greater depth and from different perspectives across a variety of optional modules which draw on our internationally recognized teaching and research strengths in analytical political philosophy, intellectual history and critical theory.

The MA also features a regular research seminar, where the best current work in political theory is presented by staff and eminent guest speakers from all over the world.

Modules
You'll study one core module:
-Approaches to Political Theory

Plus, five optional modules from a range of subjects:
-Analytical Political Philosophy
-Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy
-Critical Theory
-Critical Theories of International Political Economy
-Ethics and World Politics
-New Security Challenges
-State, Space and Globalisation
-Topics in the History of Political Thought
-PhD Proposal in Political Theory module

Our range of modules allow you to study issues connected with toleration, continental political theory, legal theory and political integrity.

A 10-12,000 word dissertation allows you to apply the relevant method to a problem of your choosing.

Careers

From political research to journalism, marketing and HR, a masters degree in Political Theory leads to a broad range of career opportunities. You might find yourself working for:
-Central or local government
-Non-governmental organisations
-Community and voluntary organisations
-A Social enterprise
-A university
-Accountancy and banking orgs
-Law firms
-Media companies
-International and global development bodies / organisations

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The MSc in Contemporary Political Theory offers advanced training in key issues and thinkers in contemporary political theory, from both Anglo-American and Continental perspectives. Read more
The MSc in Contemporary Political Theory offers advanced training in key issues and thinkers in contemporary political theory, from both Anglo-American and Continental perspectives. The department’s theory group has research and teaching interests in applied analytical political theory (with issues including immigration, citizenship and the politics of recognition), post-Nietzschean theories of identity and post-identity politics, democratic theory and pragmatist philosophy.

You will study a mixture of core and elective units, including a generous choice of free options, and write a supervised dissertation over the summer. Teaching is conducted primarily in small group seminars that meet weekly for two hours, supplemented by individual tuition for the dissertation.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mscpgdippoliticaltheory.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The Department of Politics and International Relations is a young, vibrant and rapidly-rising department and was ranked in the Top 10 small politics departments in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

- The course is taught by world-class scholars and informed by cutting-edge research.

- The course offers an advanced grounding in international relations while allowing you to specialise in particular issues or regions of interest.

- Our international cohort of students will provide you with excellent opportunities to obtain genuinely global perspectives.

Department research and industry highlights

- The Centre for European Politics was officially launched by Lord Mandelson in September 2007, with the mission of producing research in two principal areas: the study of democracy in Europe, and Europe as an actor in world politics. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Dr Alister Miskimmon and Dr James Sloam, it has recently hosted a number of high-profile speakers, including Lord Mandelson, Professor Simon Hix (LSE), Roger Liddle (Policy Network), John Peet (The Economist), Sir Stephen Wall (former European policy advisor to Tony Blair), and David Willetts MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills).
Recent funded research projects include: a European Union Committee of the Regions consultancy on EU External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy; an EU-funded Workshop on the Review of the European Union Budget; and Teaching Democracy.

- The Centre for Global and Transnational Politics is devoted to the multi-disciplinary exploration of global and transnational processes. Led by its Co-Directors Dr Chris Rumford and Professor Sandra Halperin, its central concern is to theorise and conceptualise the substance of, and connections between and among, political processes that operate at all levels or scales: the local, national, international, transnational, and global.
The Centre recently won £54,000 from NORFACE, a partnership of European Research Councils including the ESRC, for a pan-European research network on globalisation and the transformation of Europe's borders, and £20,000 from the joint AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme for a research network on the normative foundations of public policy in a multi-faith society.
Dr Yasmin Khan’s recent book The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (Yale University Press) won the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Book Prize of 2007.

- The New Political Communication Unit’s research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Dr Ben O'Loughlin and Akil N. Awan, together with colleague Andrew Hoskins at the University of Warwick, were awarded £300,000 from the ESRC for a study of terrorist networks on the internet.
Unit Co-Director Professor Andrew Chadwick is one of the founding members of the US National Science Foundation's International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policymaking, a three year project focusing on how political interaction on the internet can contribute to better government policy. It is funded through part of an overall grant of $1m to the State University of New York at Albany, from the NSF Digital Government Programme. Andrew Chadwick’s recent book Internet Politics (Oxford University Press) was awarded one of the American Sociological Association Best Book Prizes in 2007.

- The Contemporary Political Theory Research Group was founded in October 2009, as a result of the development of political theory at postgraduate level and growth in academic staff numbers having created the critical mass it required. The group organizes its activities collectively, and its work focuses on issues around contemporary pluralism, liberalism, democratic theory and radical politics. It brings together staff working in contemporary Continental philosophy, normative political theory, and American pragmatism, and its postgraduate members include two students on the College’s most prestigious studentship, the Reid Award. The group also has ties to the College’s Philosophy Team and the interdepartmental Humanities and Arts Research Centre.

Course content and structure

You will study four core course units (chosen from a total of six options), two elective units, and write a dissertation over the summer. Core course units include one of three disciplinary training pathway courses and a course in research design.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts, theoretical debates, and developments related to politics and international relations

- a sound knowledge of the texts, theories and methods used to enhance understanding of the issues, processes and phenomena associated with particular fields of politics and international relations

- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of research methods within the discipline

- a solid foundation for progression to either a politics-related career or continued academic study.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different politics and international relations-related areas, including roles as officials in local government, personnel officers and higher education lecturers. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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The School of Government and International Affairs has a vibrant research environment. All SGIA Masters students are welcome to the numerous events organised by the School's research centres. Read more
The School of Government and International Affairs has a vibrant research environment. All SGIA Masters students are welcome to the numerous events organised by the School's research centres. MA Politics & International Relations (Political Theory) students will particularly benefit from the activities of the Centre for Political Thought. The centre runs seminar series, workshops and reading group and actively involves Masters and PhD students in its work.

Student Profiles

Not only has the MA Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) programme allowed me to further pursue what I find to be the most interesting aspect of politics, but working so closely with such knowledgeable tutors on a weekly basis has truly opened my eyes and allowed me to delve into and examine the most fundamental concepts behind political theory. That along with the fascinating debates that I had with my classmates and the thought-provoking essays have contributed to what has been the most important step in my career in politics.” Tarek Abou-Jaoude, 2014/15

“Participating in the Politics and International Relations program at Durham University is the best academic decision I have ever made for two reasons. First, is the engaging learning environment created in the classroom by the professors who lead students in civic discussion and debate. The second reason is what makes Durham University so special, being an international student from the U.S going to school at Durham allowed me to learn international relations in the classroom, and its convenient location allowed me to travel to most places in Europe to gain practical application that cannot be taught by reading a book. You make lifelong friends from all over the world who share your core interests, and that is tailor made attribute of Durham University.” Nicholas Lennox, 2014/15

“Durham has been one of the best experiences of my life. This University teaches the meaning of community and friendship, in an environment that combines historic heritage with the latest trends. The MA in Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) was all I expected. A flexible programme that allowed me to interact both with our lecturers and fellow students of the School of Government and International Affairs. This open environment promoted what it felt a very complete learning experience.” Maria Lleras, 2014/15

Course Content

This programme provides students with systematic knowledge and the tools to critically review the complex relationships between government and society at a variety of levels and in different contexts. It also enables students to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion, theories and paradigms within the broad field of politics and international relations, and to draw lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations. It also aims to develop students' ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate research at the current limits of theoretical understanding, and to equip students so that they have the ability to master complex political concepts and evaluate the significance of major developments in political thought in general as well as international relations theory.

Course Structure
Two core modules worth 30 credits, plus a Dissertation worth 75 credits, plus 5 optional modules to the value of 75 credits - 60 of which must be from the list A.

Core Modules:
-Methodology in the Social Sciences
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production

List A - In previous years these have included:
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupations
-International Relations Theory
-Political Ideology
-Human Rights
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain since 1850
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice

List B
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-European Security
-German Foreign Policy
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development in Chinese Business
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-Model United Nations
-Region, Nation and Citizen in South East Asia
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into two core and five optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

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Social and political theory is an exciting interdisciplinary combination of classical and contemporary theoretical developments in the social sciences and philosophy which raise important questions about the way we analyse society and about the scope of critical thought. Read more
Social and political theory is an exciting interdisciplinary combination of classical and contemporary theoretical developments in the social sciences and philosophy which raise important questions about the way we analyse society and about the scope of critical thought.

This is a distinctive MA programme taught by specialists from the Social and Political Theory Research Group in the School of Government and Society. This research group is in the unique position of being able to offer a social and political theory MA programme from a genuinely interdisciplinary team drawn from the Sociology Group and the wider politics staff in POLSIS. It offers an exciting range of modules dealing with topics of perennial interest together with topics of contemporary relevance.

Topics studied can include debates about religious and cultural diversity and conflict, third wave feminism and post-feminism, critical theory and criticism after Marx, the relationship of philosophy to social and political enquiry and criticism, and the study of democracy.

With this programme you are able to explore critically the development of social and political theory and the key current debates. The sociological component of this degree is run by the Social Theory research cluster, which has strengths in:

Critical theory
Postmodernism
Critical realism
The philosophy of the social sciences
Theories of modernity, social movements, and reflexivity

One of the real strengths of our masters programmes is the wide range of available modules, giving students the ability to tailor their course of study to their own academic interests.

About the School of Government and Society

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and International centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.
Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

POLSIS: The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), one of the largest and most academically vibrant departments of Political Science and International Studies in the UK. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) Politics and International Studies at Birmingham was ranked the 6th best in the power rankings highlighting the large number of staff in POLSIS producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

IDD: Be part of global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribute to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Help build capacity of nations and communities to adapt to climate change. Study with us to gain the skills and knowledge essential for working in international development in the 21st Century.

INLOGOV: The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. We enrich the world of local public service with research evidence and innovative ideas, making a positive difference.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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This Master's degree in politics explores pressing contemporary issues using political theory and sociology. Our focus is on the nature and workings of political power and authority and we will consider the relationships between states and societies and the place of politics and power in everyday life. Read more
This Master's degree in politics explores pressing contemporary issues using political theory and sociology. Our focus is on the nature and workings of political power and authority and we will consider the relationships between states and societies and the place of politics and power in everyday life. As well as reading key classical texts of political theory and sociological analysis, we also analyse real-world contemporary problems and address fundamental questions of political power and social order. Topics studied include sovereignty, territory and state building, property and law, the legitimacy of political authority, democracy, violence and pluralism. As well as choosing option modules from the Department of Politics, you can select options from the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, thus offering you access to historical and psychosocial approaches to theory, politics and the social sciences.

The core modules will give you the theoretical framework and confidence to explore and deepen your knowledge in the subjects you are most interested in. You will examine political power, how it originates and operates at an individual, social and political level, its relationship to sovereignty and the state, and how it intersects with issues such as justice and human rights, civil identity, democracy and economics. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, nationalism and religion, war and conflict, 'race', racism and postcolonial studies, psychoanalysis, and gender and sexuality. You can take options from the Department of Politics or from the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation or a research portfolio on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree will enable you to develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the main ideas and current trends and directions in social and political theory.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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Open for 2016 entry, Royal Holloway's MA in Political Philosophy offers advanced training in key issues and thinkers in contemporary political thought, from both Anglo-American and Continental perspectives. Read more
Open for 2016 entry, Royal Holloway's MA in Political Philosophy offers advanced training in key issues and thinkers in contemporary political thought, from both Anglo-American and Continental perspectives. Our political philosophers have research and teaching interests in applied analytical political theory (with issues including immigration, citizenship and the politics of recognition), post-Nietzschean theories of identity and post-identity politics, democratic theory and pragmatist philosophy.

Subject to validation.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/philosophy/coursefinder/mapoliticalphilosophy.aspx

Why choose this course?

- the programme allows you to specialise in political philosophy while addressing questions from both analytic and European perspectives

- the course brings together staff and students working in contemporary Continental philosophy, normative political theory, and American pragmatism

- we offer some studentships and bursaries in support of students taking the MA

- the course offers a wide range of options both within political philosophy and outside of it

- the programme has close connections to the Department of Politics and International Relations which hosts a vibrant international community of postgraduate students working on a wide range of issues in politics, political theory, and international relations.

Department research and industry highlights

- Members of the teaching staff have a wide range of expertise, having published major works in a number of areas and on a number of figures, including Adorno; Aesthetics and Subjectivity; Altruism; Hegel; Deleuze; French and Continental Philosophy; Greek and Roman Aesthetics; the Holocaust and the Postmodern; Music, Philosophy, and Modernity; Richard Rorty; Romanticism to Critical Theory; Scepticism; Schelling; Time and Politics.

Current projects include:
- examining at the possibilities offered by aesthetics, and music in particular, for developing a non-cognitive model of thinking

- investigating the coherence of the notion of tacit knowledge, and its implications for knowledge more generally

- tracing the development of modern French thought to its origins in German Idealism

- imagination in ancient aesthetics

- a pragmatist theory of deliberative democracy

- arguments in defence of associative duties

- psychoanalytic and post-Nietzschean conceptions of agency and selfhood.

Programme structure

Advanced Topics in Philosophy (1 unit)

Two Courses from Among: Contemporary Anglo-American Political Theory (½ unit); Contemporary Continental Political Thought (½ Unit); and Political Concepts (½ unit).

Two half-unit option courses from available options

Dissertation (1 unit)

Core course units:
- Advanced Topics in Philosophy (1 unit)
The aim of this course is to allow students to engage with cutting edge research from across the range of philosophical sub-fields. The course also allows students to develop their understanding of the nature of philosophy and the diversity of philosophical methods, as well to further improve their abilities at written and oral communication of philosophical ideas and arguments. The course will be taught by a number of philosophers who teach on the wider MA programmes, and will be divided into four parts, each presenting a five week introduction to a topic researched by the academic. It will allow students enrolled on the different MA Philosophy streams to compare approaches, and see their own specialism within a wider philosophical context. The module will be taught via a two hour weekly seminar.

- Anglo-American Political Theory (½ unit)
You will be given an advanced grounding in the central ideas and concepts in contemporary Anglo-American political theory, enabling you to engage in its ongoing debates, to gain knowledge of some of the key authors, books and articles, and to acquire a sense of the state of the discipline as a whole. Attention will be paid to some of the main paradigms through which such debate is structured (e.g. individualism v. community, and democracy v. justice), as well as the practical implications of more abstract ideas.

- Contemporary Continental Political Thought (½ unit)
The course addresses key questions and arguments concerning the relationship between identity, power, meaning and knowledge, through examination of key figures in contemporary Continental political thought and philosophy. Specific content varies from year to year, but may include key texts from Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, Sartre, Lacan, Irigaray, Foucault, Ranciere, and Deleuze & Guattari.

- Political Concepts (½ unit)
The course aims to give an advanced grounding in the central ideas and concepts in applied political theory, enabling students to engage in its ongoing debates, to gain knowledge of some of the key authors, books and articles, and to acquire a sense of the state of the discipline as a whole. Seminars will be based on short pieces of key reading thus fostering skills of interpretive analysis and focussing discussion.

Dissertation on Political Philosophy (1 unit)

Elective course units:
Anglo American Political Theory (½ unit)

Contemporary Continental Political Thought (½ unit)

Continental Aesthetics (½ unit)

The European Philosophical Trajectory (½ unit)

The Frankfurt School (½ unit)

The Future of Phenomenology (½ unit)

Human Rights (½ unit)

Identity, Power and Political Theory (½ unit)

Legacices of Wittgenstein (½ unit)

Neo-Platonism (½ unit)

Identity, Power and Radical Political Theory (½ unit)

Post-Holocaust Philosophy (½ unit)

Twentieth Century French Thought (½ unit)

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- a knowledge of the broad range of approaches in contemporary political philosophy from Anglo-American and Continental traditions

- detailed understanding of philosophers and texts in key traditions in political thought

- an ability to read complex philosophical texts with an appreciation of the role of style and context in their composition

- an understanding of the broader philosophical landscape, and the place of political philosophy within it.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and would be prepared for careers in a wide range of areas. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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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. Read more

About the MSc programme

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 is comprised of 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.

Graduate destinations

This programme is a good preparation for further research work or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector.

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This programme aims to equip students with the intellectual skills to analyse contemporary international affairs from a philosophically informed perspective, with a particular focus on their ethical dimensions. Read more

Programme description

This programme aims to equip students with the intellectual skills to analyse contemporary international affairs from a philosophically informed perspective, with a particular focus on their ethical dimensions.

In the new and rapidly expanding field of international political theory, issues that relate to justice, rights, political obligation and forms of government have grown beyond their nation-state context, and now need to be examined in light of increasing global integration.

This political philosophy programme looks at these international issues with a particular focus on their ethical dimensions, examining the rights and wrongs of international affairs and their global political and economic consequences.

As well as delving into the history of political thought, you’ll be examining the issues of today, with particular emphasis on normative political theory, learning to analyse contemporary international affairs from a philosophically informed perspective.

Programme structure

Teaching will be by lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete two compulsory courses and four option courses, after which you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.

With the agreement of the Programme Director, you may select option courses from elsewhere within the University.

Learning outcomes

Students who follow this programme will be able to:

extend and further develop their understanding of the main concepts and methods of political theory
understand how concepts of justice, rights and democracy apply in international and global contexts
assess critically how existing transnational institutions meet, or fail to meet, appropriate normative standards
apply analytical, critical and philosophical methods to the study of empirical problems in the field of international politics

Career opportunities

This programme will give you the theoretical foundation for further study and a career in academic teaching and research. Alternatively, you may apply your learning to a career relating to international political policy.

The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

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-You want the chance to study a range of interesting and important political problems and questions - and develop strong skills in logic and reasoning. Read more
-You want the chance to study a range of interesting and important political problems and questions - and develop strong skills in logic and reasoning
-You would like a course that has consistently proved an excellent stepping stone for a PhD in political theory
-You are interested in studying in one of the largest and most active political theory research groups in the UK

There has been a long tradition of specialising in the study of political theory at Manchester. Between them, those teaching on this pathway cover a wide variety of fields of interest: from the major debates in contemporary political philosophy (around topics of rights, justice and political morality).

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director.

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This course is taught jointly by the Departments of Philosophy and Politics. It’s designed to help you develop advanced knowledge and understanding of political philosophy. Read more

About the course

This course is taught jointly by the Departments of Philosophy and Politics. It’s designed to help you develop advanced knowledge and understanding of political philosophy. The MA teaches you the research skills you need for a PhD in political theory or a related subject.

Where your masters can take you

A masters from Sheffield will set you apart and is excellent preparation for a PhD at any leading university or for a wide range of careers, including teaching, law, publishing, civil service, charities, and NGOs, among others. Our postgraduate students have gone on to academic posts at Aberdeen, UC Berkeley, Birkbeck, Cambridge, Essex, Keele, Kent, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Manitoba, Newcastle, Nottingham, the Open University, Oxford, Sheffield, Stirling and Zurich.

Our style of teaching encourages originality and independence of mind. You will learn how to express complex ideas clearly, and how to argue persuasively for those ideas. You’ll also learn to understand other points of view. Our graduates have the confidence and the focus to tackle big projects, and they know how to carry out their own research.

We also offer more specific training. For example, many of the modules on the MA Political Theory are relevant to careers in politics, public service and NGOs.

A lively study environment

You’ll be part of a large group of students from all over the world. You’ll socialise together, share ideas and inspire each other.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks us 2nd in the UK for the quality of our published work. We have expertise in almost every area of the subject, particularly philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophical logic, philosophy of psychology, history of philosophy, political philosophy, metaethics and feminist philosophy. The department is also home to The Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies and a number of major research projects.

Studentships

If you qualify, you may be able to get financial support through the University’s studentships and fee waivers, and the AHRC Block Grant Partnership.

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/philosophy/prospectivepostgraduates/funding

Core modules

Political Philosophy Research Seminar; Dissertation.

Other modules include

Research seminars in: History of Philosophy; Morals and Other Values; Mind and Language; Metaphysics and Epistemology; Cognitive Studies. Modules including Human Rights, Politics and Global Migration; The Politics of International Law.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and tutorials. You’ll write a long essay for each module and a dissertation. If you’re going on to a PhD you may choose to write a PhD proposal.

Teaching and assessment

Lectures, seminars and tutorials. A long essay for each module and a dissertation. If you’re going on to a PhD you may choose to write a PhD proposal.

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