Overview and entry requirements
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?
See Department of Politics and International Studies
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.
Why study MSc International Politics at SOAS
We’re ranked 5th in the UK for Politics (QS World University Rankings 2021).
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.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- 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.
- One calendar year (full-time)
Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
Students take taught modules to the value of 120 credits PLUS a 10,000 word dissertation (15PPOC999) worth 60 credits. Credits must be taken in the following combination;
A minimum of 30 credits from List B
A maximum of 45 credits from List C (maximum of which can be 30 credits of language options)
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 & 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.
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 Politics and International Relations students leave SOAS not only with a knowledge and understanding of the complex political and cultural issues of our time, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and management careers.
Recent graduates from the Department of Politics and International Studies have been hired by:
- BBC World Service
- British Red Cross
- British Council
- Center for International Peace Operations
- Channel 4
- Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)
- Department for International Development (DfID)
- Eversheds LLP
- Financial Times
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- Global Policy Institute
- Go East Consulting
- Grassroot Diplomat
- Palestine Red Crescent Association
- Save the Children
- UNICEF Ethiopia
- United Nations
Find out about our Careers Service.
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.