The MLitt in International Political Theory provides students with a dynamic and systematic understanding of how political theory can be brought to bear on international politics and world affairs.
The MLitt in International Political Theory is a one year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of International Relations. The programme commences in September and ends the following August.
- The course offers a uniquely deep focus on both the history of political thought and contemporary political theory.
- This programme is ideal for further academic work leading to a PhD at St Andrews or elsewhere.
- The MLitt in International Political Theory prepares students for a wide range of professional fields including law, policy research and consultancy, NGOs, charities, international organisations, civil service and publishing.
The programme consists of four taught modules taken over two semesters and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.
Modules are taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials with average lecture sizes ranging from 20 to 30 students and tutorial sizes ranging from 1 to 15 students. Assessment methods include a combination of examination and coursework.
Every MLitt student is assigned a dissertation supervisor who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process.
All International Political Theory MLitt students take two compulsory and two optional modules over the course of the programme. You may, with permission, take modules from other MLitt programmes in the School of International Relations or from another School.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
- Analysis and Interpretation in International Political Theory: introduces methods and interpretive approaches that can be taken in the study of international political theory.
- Texts in International Political Theory: explores the work of important political theorists with particular attention to the ways in which their thought is relevant for international and global affairs.
International Political Theory-focused options:
- African Political Thought: examines the main ideas of the great Africanist thinkers e.g. Du Bois, Garvey, Fanon, Nyerere, Nkrumah, Senghor, Cabral, Biko etc and discuss how these intellectuals reacted to the internal and external variables to evolve a body of ideas which together could be viewed as African political thought.
- Global Constitutionalism: explores developments in international politics and law that reveal an increasingly constitutional order.
- Non-Western Political Thought: explores a range of 'classic' and secondary texts that express different elements of non-Western thought, both ancient and contemporary, to understand the underlying assumptions about the body, political community and the world.
- 'Reason of State': Origin, Nature and Career of a Concept: studies the meaning, origins, development and significance of the notion of 'reason of state' in western political thought.
- Political Philosophy and World Order: explores philosophical reflections on the idea of world order through a study of key political philosophy texts.
- Politics After the ‘Death of God’: explores contributions in post-Nietzschean political philosophy and twentieth-century political theology as a way to understand the currency of notions such as tragedy, evil and hope in modern politics.
- Theories of Friendship and Enmity: this module addresses a number of classical texts in western political thought on the themes of friendship and enmity. Relevant passages from Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and Ethics, Machiavelli's Prince and Discourses, Hobbes' Leviathan and Behemoth, Kant's Perpetual Peace, Schmitt's Concept of the Political and The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy and Derrida's Politics of Friendship will be analysed in some depth with the aim to single out their assumptions about human nature and to derive their implications for politics.
- Topics in International Political Thought: introduces students to key themes in the international realm through close engagement with the ideas of a single theorist.
Other MLitt options available in the School of International Relations:
- Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus: examines the history, languages and culture of the Caucasus.
- Gender and Terrorism: explores gender as a tool for the construction and maintenance of power.
- Identity and Collective Violence: studies the concept of violence as a group or collective phenomenon.
- Ideologies and Social Movements in the Middle East: focuses on prominent ideologies in the modern history of the Middle East, and the role ideas play in the political mobilisation of society.
- Political Economy of Conflict: provides a political economy perspective on conflict in a developing economy.
- Political Order and Violence in the Middle East: examines the causes and consequences of political order and violence in the Middle East.
- Terrorism and Liberal Democracy: explores the development of contemporary terrorism; and the conceptional and definitional issues concerning terrorism.
- Religion and International Politics: investigates the so-called 'global resurgence' of politicised religion.
- Security and Justice Institutions in World Politics: examines the role of different international institutions in governing world politics.
- Social Movements, Revolutions and Authoritarianism in North Africa: investigates the dynamics and outcomes of social protests in the authoritarian regimes of the North African region in the post-colonial period.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.
The final element of the MLitt is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should focus on an area of international political theory in which you are interested. Each student is supported by a relevant supervisor from the School who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Students who graduate from the MLitt in International Political Theory go on to work in various professional fields including law, policy research and consultancy, NGOs, charities, international organisations, civil service and publishing.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
- A strong 2.1 Honours degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
- personal statement indicating your knowledge of the programme and how it will benefit you (500 words).
- a sample of academic written work (2,000 words).
- two original signed academic references.
- academic transcripts and degree certificates.
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
About the School
As a 600-year-old institution, it's no surprise that the University of St Andrews is known across the globe as a world leader in education. We are Scotland’s best university ranked by the Complete Uni ... Read More