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    School of Social and Political Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Politics & Government

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    22 November 2018

Course content

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.


Visit the International Political Theory (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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