SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

MSc International Politics (2020 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


The MSc International Politics explores key issues and debates in world politics from a variety of perspectives. We cover important questions such as: Why do wars happen? Is global peace possible? How is power exercised in international politics? What are the conditions for cooperation among states? How does migration challenge and change the international political order? We look at orthodox answers to such questions and interrogate them through a variety of critical, non-Western and marginalised views. Students will utilise different theoretical lenses in combination with SOAS’s rich empirical expertise, and are invited to examine the dynamics of world politics from the perspective of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We also interrogate how international politics is informed by questions of empire, colonialism, race, gender and class.

This programme is ideal for students who want to learn about key issues, themes and debates in world politics, or those who are interested in how international politics is practiced in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It will be of particular interest to students and practitioners who want to pursue a career in international organisations, diplomacy, think tanks, non-governmental organisations and global advocacy groups.

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

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.

  • International Theory (15 credits) & Methodology in the Social Sciences (15 credits)
  • At least 45 credits from List B
  • Up to 45 credits from List C
  • 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
Methodology in the Social Sciences 15PPOH060 15 Term 1
List B 

A minimum of 30 credits from List B

Module Code Credits Term
The Politics of Global Security 15PPOH015 15 Term 1
International Migration and Diaspora Politics 15PPOH012 15 Term 2
International Politics of Human Rights 15PPOH026 15 Term 2
International Politics of the Middle East 15PPOH047 15 Term 1
International Political Economy 15PPOH057 15 Term 2
International Relations of South Asia 15PPOH058 15 Term 1
International Security Politics in East Asia 15PPOH059 15 Term 2
China and International Politics 15PPOH049 15 Term 2
Artificial Intelligence and Human Security 15PPOH048 15 Term 1
List C

A maximum of 45 credits from List C (maximum of which can be 30 credits of language options)

Module Code Credits Term
Globalising China 15PPOH056 15 Term 2
Government and Politics of Africa 15PPOC257 30 Term 1
Taiwan in International Politics 15PPOH073 15 Term 2
Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 15 Term 2
State and Transformation in the Middle East 15PPOH011 15 Term 1
Conflict, Rights and Justice 15PPOH018 15 Term 1
Global Advocacy 15PFFH012 15 Term 2
Geopolitics and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus 15PPOH023 15 Term 2
Political Economies of Northeast Asia: Japan, Korea and Taiwan 15PPOH061 15 Term 2
Political Theory, Race and Empire 15PPOH045 15 Term 1
Race and Caste 15PPOH070 15 Term 2
State Violence: Theories of the Leviathan and Beyond 15PPOH034 15 Term 2
Politics of Island Southeast Asia 15PPOH066 15 Term 2
Borders and Development 15PDSH023 15 Term 1
Colonialism, Empire and International Law 15PLAH025 15 Term 2
Comparing Democracies in North East Asia 15PPOH050 15 Term 2
Elections, Social Movements and Gender in Taiwan 15PPOH054 15 Term 1
State and Society in the Chinese Political Process 1 15PPOH071 15 Term 1
Religion in Global Politics: Theories and Themes 15PSRC174 30 Full Year
Political Economy of Development 15PDSC002 30 Full Year


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

Modules are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

The MSc programme consists of three taught modules (corresponding to three examination papers) and a dissertation.


Most modules involve a 50-minute lecture as a key component with linked tutorial classes.


At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work taking place in two-hour sessions. 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

I chose to study at SOAS because of the interesting course options that cover pertinent topics other leading institutions are yet to cover.

Mariam Iqbal

Find out more