Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

MA Politics (Political Theory)

This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines.

You will explore the variety, dynamism and relevance of political theory in the modern world, gaining an insight into political thought and practical application of political ideas.

You will consider the various ways in which theory is vital to understanding a range of urgent and pressing problems (such as terrorism, global poverty, social cohesion, immigration, censorship, war and the environment) in contemporary politics and address the practical implications of these ideas.

Throughout the course you will build a portfolio of in-depth study of many of the defining events and dynamics of modern society, across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, providing an understanding of the world that will prove invaluable in further academic study or a range of postgraduate careers.

The Political Theory and Cultural Values Research Group is an active team of enthusiastic academics, pursuing cutting-edge research into a wide variety of strands of political thought.

The Political Theory Centre is part of the White Rose Association for Political Philosophy, linking you into the complementary political theory teams at York and Sheffield Universities.

Links with the Leeds Centre for Democratisation afford excellent opportunities for discussing the application of many of the ideas studied on the programme. Political theorists form part of a large department of political studies, including International Relations and Development, which additionally provide an auspicious context for the study of applied theory.


Through compulsory and optional modules, this programme will offer you:

  • the chance to engage in in-depth critical analysis of political thought
  • the opportunity to examine the nature of freedom, justice and equality
  • a firm grounding in political analysis
  • a critical insight into the defining events and dynamics of modern society
  • a rigorous grounding in the dominant paradigms of political science
  • the chance to personalise your programme.

You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you are a part-time student, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is tailored for interactive small-group work, and uses a combination of lecture and seminar-discussion modes.

Teaching on political theory modules is predominantly seminar discussion-based, while other modules include more lecture-oriented material.

You will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussion to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exam and coursework, depending on the module.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a related discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Politics and International Studies Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Communication and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Communication and Society (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines:

UK/EU students: 31 July

International students: 30 June

Documents and information you’ll need:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of your degree certificate or equivalent, as well as a copy of the transcript of your grades (or partial transcript if you’re still studying) certified by the awarding institution
  • Two references
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English isn’t your first language.


Interviews:

The School of POLIS does not typically interview applicants; however, in certain circumstances programme leaders may invite you to an interview as part of the selection procedure. This may allow us to further assess your aptitude and interest in the programme if your circumstances are not straightforward. If invited to an interview, you will receive an email invitation from the School to attend on a specific date. We will do our best to accommodate requests for an alternative date but this cannot be guaranteed.


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
 
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Politics and International Studies Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: £7,500 (total)

International: £16,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

POLIS Scholarships for UK/EU Students

POLIS offers one full-fees scholarship for UK/EU applicants wishing to study a full-time Masters.

For applicants who are nationals of China, Japan, Nigeria, India and South Korea and wishing to study a full-time Masters, POLIS offers up to five scholarships to the value of £3000.

Find out further details of the POLIS Excellence Scholarships schemes.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.


Career opportunities

The emphasis on applied use of political thought, particularly from a transformative perspective, means the critical analytical skills learnt here are of use in a wide range of employment sectors, including the civil service, public sector organisations and the third sector.

Many graduates go on to complete PhDs in Political Theory, having had the opportunity to strengthen their command of a certain area of political thought during their Masters studies.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


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