SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc International Politics (2018 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


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.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

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.

Featured events

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



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.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Politics and International Studies 15PPOC999 60 Full Year
Compulsory Modules
Core Module
Module Code Credits Term
International Theory 15PPOH014 15 Term 1
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
Module Code Credits Term
Global Advocacy 15PFFH012 15 Term 2
Political Society in the Middle East 15PPOH008 15 Term 2
The Politics of Global Security 15PPOH015 15 Term 1
Conflict, Rights and Justice 15PPOH018 15 Term 1
Violence, Justice and the Politics of Memory 15PPOH019 15 Term 1
State and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH022 15 Term 1
Approaches to Comparative Political Thought 15PPOH028 15 Term 1
Japan Unravelled 15PPOH033 15 Credits
List C
Module Code Credits Term
International Politics of Transitional Justice 15PFFH010 0.5
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 15 Term 2
State and Transformation in the Middle East 15PPOH011 15 Term 1
International Migration and Diaspora Politics 15PPOH012 15 Term 2
Foreign Policy Analysis 15PPOH013 15 Term 2
Comparative International Political Thought 15PPOH021 15 Credits
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 15 Term 2
International Politics of Human Rights 15PPOH026 15 Term 2
Asian Security 15PPOH027 15 Credits
Political Thought on the Just Rebellion 15PPOH030 15 Term 2
The Indian Ocean in World Politics 15PPOH032
State Violence: Theories of the Leviathan and Beyond 15PPOH034 15 Term 2
Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research 15PPOH035 15 Term 2
List D
Module Code Credits Term
International Economics 15PFFC004 30 Full Year
Global Energy & Climate Policy 15PFFC017 30 Full Year
State and Society In Asia and Africa 15PPOC008 30 Credits
International Politics Of Africa 15PPOC009 30 Credits
State And Society In The Chinese Political Process 15PPOC012 30 Credits
Politics of Globalisation and Development 15PPOC017 30 Credits
China And International Politics 15PPOC018 30 Credits
International Politics of the Middle East 15PPOH047 15 Term 1
Government And Politics In Africa 15PPOC205 30
Taiwan's Politics and Cross-Strait Relations 15PPOC252 30 Credits
Northeast Asian Politics and Society: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOC253 30 Credits
Islamic/Democratic Political Thought 15PPOH046 15 Term 2
List E
Module Code Credits Term
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2
Security 15PDSH020 15 Term 1
Global Commodity Chains, Production Networks and Informal Work 15PDSH024 15 Term 1
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 1
Water and Development: Commodification, Ecology and Globalisation (Development Studies) 15PDSH049 15 Term 2
Marxist Political Economy and Global Development 15PDSH053 15 Term 2
Neoliberalism, Democracy and Global Development 15PDSH054 15 Term 2
Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific 15PFFH011 15 Term 2
Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World - Economic and Legal Perspectives 15PFFC019 30 Full Year
Gender and the Law of War 15PGNH005 15 Term 1
The Law of Armed Conflict 15PLAH022 15 Term 2
Colonialism, Empire and International Law 15PLAH025 15 Term 2
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2


Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

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
Redd Barna (Save the Children Norway)
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:
Research Advisor
Middle East and North Africa Analyst
Associate Editor
Academic Relations Specialist
Program Assistant, MENA
Political Risk Analyst
Oil and Gas Consultant
Regional Consultant
Social Media Manager and Contributor
Project Director
Operations Analyst
Project Manager

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

SOAS is more than a university and a place to get an education, it is a community and a big diverse family.

Arzu Abbasova

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