Political Theory MA/PGDip

Course details: Details | Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

This Masters degree explores problems crucial to current politics domestically and in the global sphere. It promotes the study of those problems through theoretical, ethical and practical inquiry, drawing on the expertise of a large and diverse team of political theorists. It is designed for students who are either familiar with the study of political ideas and issues at undergraduate level or who are enthusiastic to focus on this area of study at the postgraduate level.

This degree is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of the MA content from a wide range of optional modules.

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.


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Course details: Modules | Fees and funding | Entry requirements | How to apply.

This programme explores problems crucial to current politics domestically and in the global sphere. It promotes the study of those problems through theoretical, ethical and practical inquiry.

The degree draws on the expertise of a large and diverse team of political theorists. It is designed for students either familiar with the study of political ideas and issues at undergraduate level or who are enthusiastic to focus on this area of study at the postgraduate level.

Issues and questions examined include:

  • Is globalisation a threat to democracy or an opportunity to promote it?
  • Can diverse cultures co-exist harmoniously? Should illiberal religious practices be tolerated?
  • What makes political ideas revolutionary? Can ideas cause revolutions?
  • How should societies respond to state violence and ideological extremism?
  • What is terrorism? Is terrorism ever acceptable?
  • How should we conceive of global justice?
  • Is the current states system an impediment to global justice, or the best institutional hope of achieving it?

Who is the programme for?

The degree will be of interest and benefit to those interested in pursuing careers in law, education, the public sector, and international agencies and NGOs, as well as those interested in undertaking doctoral work in political theory and applied ethics. In all cases, students are encouraged to work closely with staff in a supportive and intellectually-committed environment.

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.

Modules

This degree comprises the following modules:

Core modules

You may choose to follow pathway 1 or pathway 2, and you may choose to take all 80 credits from both.

Core A (pathway 1)

Core B (pathway 2)

Compulsory

  • 60 credits - Dissertation, MA students to submit a 13,500 word dissertation  (not applicable to Diploma Students)

Optional modules (40 additional credits from the following):


The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

Masters degree fees 2018-19
  Full time Part time
Home/EU students £9,000  -
Overseas students £17,010  -
Postgraduate diploma fees 2018-19
  Full time Part time
Home/EU students £6,000  -
Overseas students £11,340  -

Please check with the Department for the latest fees information.
Learn more about fees and funding.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The Postgraduate Student Loan has increased its maximum loan amount to £10,280. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or visit studenthelp.bham.ac.uk

Scholarships and bursaries in the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS).

Entry requirements

For the MA programme you require a good Honours degree or its equivalent. For those whose first language is not English, an IELTS Certificate is required.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Making your application

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students (Tier 4) who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date. The deadline for Home/EU (non-Tier 4) students is Friday 21 September 2018. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry on Monday 1st October 2018.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

More about teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.

Enhancing your student experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

More information about careers and employability

Careers Network

The Careers Network provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

Find out more about support for work experience and internships, bursaries, or mentoring.