MSc International Politics

SOAS University of London

Program Description

MSc International Politics

SOAS University of London

MSc International Politics

Duration: One calendar year (full-time) Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Minimum Entry Requirements: The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Politics or International Relations, or a related social science discipline. Applicants without such a background may be considered for admission depending on their academic training and undergraduate performance.

Start of programme: September intake only

The Department of Politics and International Studies offers seven linked masters programmes in politics and the international politics of Asia and Africa. The MSc in International Politics might be classified as a disciplinary MSc. In it, the objective is to give the student the opportunity to undertake a rigorous training in political theory, with special reference to the study of politics outside Europe and America. At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write substantial papers that often require significant independent work.


Students take taught modules to the value of 3 full units + dissertation. Modules taken must be equivalent to 3 half units per term [ie 3 courses in term 1 and 3 courses in term 2]

  • ONE half-unit from A (compulsory)
  • FIVE half units or equivalent from B, C and/ or D
  • Dissertation (compulsory) on some aspect of International Politics

*All modules offered by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy are subject to convenors’ approval.

A. Compulsory Course:

  • International theory - 15PPOH014 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1

B. Up to TWO of the following TERM 1 half modules:

  • International Relations 1: Foundations of World Politics - 15PFFH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Global Advocacy - 15PFFH012 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Conflict, rights and justice - 15PPOH018 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Political Thought on the Just Rebellion - 15PPOH030 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2016/2017
  • Political society in the Middle East - 15PPOH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Approaches to Comparative Political Thought - 15PPOH028 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Childhood, Politics and Law - 15PPOH037 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2016/2017
  • Violence, justice and the politics of memory - 15PPOH019 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
  • Japan Unravelled - 15PPOH033 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2

C. Up to THREE of the following TERM 2 half modules:

  • International Relations 2: Contemporary World Politics - 15PFFH003 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • International Politics of Transitional Justice - 15PFFH010 (0.5 Unit) - Not Running 2016/17
  • Asian Security - 15PPOH027 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running
  • Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East - 15PGNH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Security governance - 15PPOH015 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Comparative International Political Thought - 15PPOH021 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • International Politics of Human Rights - 15PPOH026 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2016/2017
  • The Indian Ocean in World Politics - 15PPOH032 (0.5 - Term 2 Unit)
  • The Law & Politics of State Violence: An Interdisciplinary Perspective - 15PPOH034 (0.5 Unit) - Full Year
  • Foreign Policy Analysis - 15PPOH013 (0.5 Unit) - Not Running 2016/17
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research - 15PPOH035 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • State and transformation in the Middle East - 15PPOH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus - 15PPOH023 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • International migration and diaspora politics - 15PPOH012 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
  • State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus - 15PPOH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2

D. Up to TWO of the following FULL YEAR modules:

  • Government and politics in Africa - 15PPOC205 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Government and politics of modern South Asia - 15PPOC003 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
  • Government and politics of modern South East Asia - 15PPOC247 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Politics of Globalisation and Development in Asia and Africa - 15PPOC017 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • State & society in Asia & Africa - 15PPOC008 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • State and society in the Chinese political process - 15PPOC012 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations - 15PPOC252 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan - 15PPOC253 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Islamic/Democratic Political Thought - 15PPOC255 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • International politics of Africa - 15PPOC009 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2016/2017
  • China and international politics - 15PPOC018 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • International Politics Of The Middle East - (Full unit Unit)
  • International politics of East Asia - 15PPOC251 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • International Economics - 15PFFC004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
  • Global Energy & Climate Policy - 15PFFC017 (1 Unit) - Full Year

E. Dissertation:

This would be focused on some aspect of International Politics raised by the compulsory course 15PPOH014.

  • Dissertation in Political Studies - 15PPOC999 (1 Unit) - Full Year

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught courses (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.


Most courses involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.


At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students make full-scale presentations for each unit that they take, and are expected to write papers that often require significant independent work.


A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory. Learning Resources

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.


SOAS MSc International Politics students leave SOAS not only with a knowledge and understanding of the complex political and cultural issues of international politics, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers, both in business and in the public sector.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

  • Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP
  • Consulate-General of Japan in New York
  • Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Finnish Broadcasting Company
  • Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Media Programme Africa
  • NATO
  • Redd Barna (Save the Children Norway)
  • Reuters
  • Saïd Foundation
  • The Next Century Foundation
  • The Risk Advisory Group
  • The World Bank
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United States Government
  • World Economic Forum

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

  • Paralegal
  • Research Advisor
  • Middle East and North Africa Analyst
  • Associate Editor
  • Academic Relations Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Program Assistant, MENA
  • Political Risk Analyst
  • Oil and Gas Consultant
  • Regional Consultant
  • Social Media Manager and Contributor
  • Project Director
  • Operations Analyst
  • Lecturer
  • Project Manager

A Student's Perspective

"I realised that one of the most pressing contemporary issues in need of qualified social scientists is climate change. I wanted a program that skilled me with the multidisciplinary understanding necessary to deal with the complexity of this challenge. "

Stina Maria Lindholm

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated September 2, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 3 years
Part time
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 3 years
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