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International Political Theory (MLitt)

Course Description

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.


* 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.


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.

Visit the International Political Theory (MLitt) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Our minimum academic requirement for entry to most programmes is a 2:1 degree classification from a recognised UK university or the equivalent in a subject-related area

Course Fees

2017/18: Home/EU £9,870; Overseas £20,370

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