MSc International Politics


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

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 rigorous training in political theory, with special reference to the study of politics outside Europe and America. At the Master's 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.


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 ForumTypes 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


Students take taught modules to the value of 120 credits + dissertation. Credits must be taken in the following combination.

  • 15-credit module from A (this module is compulsory).
  • A combined total of 105 credits from lists B, C, D or E, with no more than 30 credits coming from List E.
  • Dissertation (60 credits, compulsory) on some aspect of International Politics.

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


  • Dissertation in Political Studies

Taught Component

Compulsory Module

  • International theory


Guided Options

Choose modules to the value of 15 credits from list B below.


Guided Options

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from lists B, C or D below.


Guided Options

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from lists C or D below.


Guided Options

Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from lists C, D or E below.

List of modules (subject to availability)

  • List B
    • Global Advocacy
    • Political society in the Middle East
    • The Politics of Global Security
    • Conflict, rights and justice
    • Violence, justice and the politics of memory
    • State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus
    • Approaches to Comparative Political Thought
    • Japan Unravelled
  • List C
    • International Politics of Transitional Justice
    • Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
    • State and transformation in the Middle East
    • International migration and diaspora politics
    • Foreign Policy Analysis
    • Comparative International Political Thought
    • Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus
    • International Politics of Human Rights
    • Asian Security
    • Political Thought on the Just Rebellion
    • The Indian Ocean in World Politics
    • The Politics of State Violence: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
    • Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research
  • List D
    • International Economics
    • Global Energy & Climate Policy
    • Government and politics of modern South Asia
    • State & society in Asia & Africa
    • International Politics of Africa
    • State and society in the Chinese political process
    • Politics of Globalisation and Development
    • China and international politics
    • International politics of the Middle East
    • Government and politics in Africa
    • Government and politics of modern South-East Asia
    • International politics of East Asia
    • Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations
    • Northeast Asian politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan
    • Islamic/Democratic Political Thought
  • List E
    • Anthropology of Globalisation (PG)
    • Security
    • Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work
    • Borders and Development
    • Water and Development: Conflict and Governance
    • Marxist Political Economy and Global Development
    • Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development
    • Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific
    • Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World - Economic and Legal Perspectives
    • Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law
    • The Making of the Contemporary World
    • The Law of Armed Conflict
    • Colonialism, Empire and International Law
    • International Political Communication

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

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

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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