Address some of the most pressing questions in political life. What is politics for - to bring real freedom and equality for all human beings, to realise justice, or to prevent human beings from killing one another in large numbers? What do we owe the global poor? Can we close our borders? Where does power lie in democracies?
On this course, you’ll explore these topics in greater depth and from different perspectives. The course draws on our internationally-recognised teaching and research strengths in analytical political philosophy, intellectual history and critical theory.
You'll be encouraged to attend regular research seminars, where the best current work in political theory is presented by staff and eminent guest speakers from all over the world.
We're ranked 8th overall for research performance in the latest Times Higher Education ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (2014)
From early modern political thought to contemporary international security, from post-conflict development to global financial governance, from the politics of gender to the politics of the environment, you can benefit from expertise on a huge range of topics
Our staff advise governments and international organisations on a wide range of issues, and contribute to news media and current affairs programmes around the world
You'll study 180 credits in total. The course consists of:
Option modules cover a wide range of topics, including toleration, continental political theory, legal theory and political integrity.
Taught modules will run throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms, with the dissertation being completed during the Summer Term and vacation.
You will study at least three political theory modules from:
You can also study up to two modules from:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
You'll complete a 10-12,000-word dissertation (60 credits), allowing you to apply the relevant method to a problem of your choosing.
Examples of previous dissertation titles include:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
|Study mode||UK (home)||International and EU|
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,440||£18,700|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
You may incur some additional expenses for books, but these costs are optional as most of the texts you'll need are available in the University library. If the resources you need aren't available, you can borrow via inter-library loans and order new books to our library for free.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.
You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and one-to-one supervision. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups.
You will be based in the Department of Politics in Derwent College on Campus West. Over half of your teaching will take place in the Spring Lane building. The rest of your contact hours will be nearby on Campus West.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You submit six essays; three are submitted at the beginning of Spring Term and three at the beginning of Summer Term. Essays are usually around 4,000 words long.
Your final dissertation or policy report of between 10,000 - 12,000 words is submitted at the beginning of September.
We offer the opportunity to present your dissertation or policy research report at our research seminar presentation workshops. These are not formally assessed (not credit bearing), but they give you the chance to hone your presentation skills and to get verbal feedback from your tutors and peers.
From political research to journalism, marketing and HR, a masters degree in Political Theory leads to a broad range of career opportunities.
Our students have found work in central or local government, non-governmental organisations, community and voluntary organisations, social enterprise, higher education, accountancy and banking organisations, law firms, media companies and international and global development bodies.
Recent graduates from the department work as university lecturers, parliamentary assistants, librarians and television producers. Other popular employers include:
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent. We are willing to consider applicants with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate professional experience. Additional information may be requested.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, minimum 55 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, minimum 169 in each component|
|TOEFL||87, minimum 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all requirements|
|Duolingo||110, minimum 100 in all other components|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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