September 2019 start

Political Theory

Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Department of Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences

Develop your philosophical skills and apply them to some of the most important political and ethical questions in contemporary life.
Postgraduate philosophy students sitting around coffee table

Course description

This MA is designed for students with an interest in contemporary political philosophy and its historical underpinnings. You'll study topics such as global justice, the environment, feminism, capitalism, equality, democracy and international political theory.

The course is taught jointly by the Departments of Philosophy and Politics, both leading departments in the UK with international reputations for teaching and research.

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Core modules

  • Political Philosophy Research Seminar (taught by the Department of Philosophy)
  • Dissertation in Political Theory

Optional modules

Choose three optional modules from a range. Your optional modules must include at least one politics module. The other two optional modules can be philosophy or an eligible politics module.

Modules currently include:

Taught by the Department of Philosophy

  • Feminism
  • Global Justice
  • Philosophy of Law
  • The Political Philosophy of Climate Change

Taught by the Department of Politics

  • The Political Economy of Poverty and Inequality
  • Freedom
  • Capitalism and Crisis
  • Democratic Governance in the Twenty-first Century


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.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You’ll need a first-class or 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or an equivalent grade from overseas.

A degree in philosophy, politics or a related subject is preferred, although we'll consider applicants from a wide range of disciplines, particularly if they can demonstrate other experience relevant to the programme.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 overall with 6 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

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.

Department's postgraduate funding opportunities page

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Dr Alasdair Cochrane

Our masters courses are so exciting because you’ll have the opportunity to develop a genuine specialism in your area of study. As researchers it’s a real pleasure to share your latest work—in my case, on the political theory of animal rights—with students who are eager to learn and challenge!

Dr Alasdair Cochrane
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

+44 114 222 0587

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.