MSc Global Politics

Durham University

Program Description

MSc Global Politics

Durham University

Why Global Politics?

We live in an increasingly globalized world. Nuclear proliferation, terrorism, failed states, global poverty and inequality, financial market instability, biodiversity losses, and climate change - are among the global challenges we face and which demand global cooperation if they are to be to adequately resolve.

The MSc Global Politics provides students with the tools to understand and critically assess these challenges and the forms of cooperation required to address them.

The programme's core modules concentrate on the institutional drivers of global politics and offer an incisive overview of the main theoretical and applied moral debates concerning the ethics of globalization.


The MSc Global Politics thus aims to provide students with knowledge of the political, economic, cultural and moral debates about how and to what extent the effects of globalisation can be governed.

It will provide the means for students to develop the analytical and conceptual skills necessary to understand and discuss:

  1. The key international and transnational structures, organisations and institutions that have developed in the era following the Second World War
  2. The range of the academic debates in the area of global governance
  3. Policy developments and innovations in the fields of economics, security, and environment
  4. The moral justification for different and sometimes competing regimes of global governance.

Students will also benefit from the wide range of academic resources within the School of Government and International Affairs, the Law School, the Department of Geography, and the School of Economics, Business and Finance, making the MSc Global Politics a truly unique interdisciplinary programme.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of:

Core Modules:

  • Theoretical Approaches to Global Governance
  • Global Governance Institutions
  • Theories of Global Justice
  • Ethical Aspects of Global Governance


12,000-word research dissertation providing students with the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of one field of global politics

Optional Modules:

A choice of up to four modules from the list of elective modules both within the School of Government and International Affairs and within other Schools and Departments at Durham University.

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MSc degree programme is divided into four core and four optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than 12,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually, a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000-word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the latter half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

The School hosts events throughout the year which all postgraduate students are invited to attend. These events provide students with the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies. Global Politics students also typically benefit from participation in Global Policy Institute events.

Towards the end of the programme, students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Subject requirements, level and grade

A good honours degree (2:1) or its equivalent from a recognised university.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study

What Our Students Say

“I felt a natural attraction to Durham University because of its heritage and its outstanding academic reputation both in the UK and abroad, but what I really enjoy the most is the interdisciplinary nature of the MSc Global Politics and the unique opportunity to tailor my study path for my future career as a diplomat.”

Isotta Crisafulli

“The stimulating delivery of depth and detail by our tutors in the weekly seminars has been one of the greatest drivers behind the momentum on this course. Furthermore, the variety of cultural and academic backgrounds of my classmates have made for some very interesting discussions reflecting on a plethora of perspectives I would not have been exposed to otherwise. I also really enjoyed the work I do with the Global Policy Journal, (which is related to the course) Working for the journal allowed me to interview, together with other GP interns, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and that was definitely a great experience. ”

Annie Fairchild

“The close-knit nature of the Global Politics MSc has allowed me to closely engage both with our lecturers, and fellow students in the program. The course has inspired us to debate economic and moral issues pertaining to World politics long after classes are over and made me feel part of an intellectual community not simply enrolled in a degree. The international environment of the department as a whole also reinforces the inherently global nature of politics in the current era, both solidifying the relevance of the programme and affirming my choice in the context of my future trajectory. ”

Sam George

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 9, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
1 year
Full time
20,790 GBP
International non-EU Student £20,790; EU/UK Student £11,550
United Kingdom - Durham, England
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
United Kingdom - Durham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info