MA Political Thought
Full time 1 year|
Part time 2 years
The MA Political Thought gives you the opportunity to study the thinkers who have shaped the modern world – Locke, Hegel, Marx and others – as well as more recent debates in social and political theory. It draws upon the diverse interests of our lecturers; refers to both Anglo-American and ‘Continental’ literatures; and employs analytical and institutional approaches.
As a graduate of this programme you will have a broad knowledge of classic debates in the history of political ideas and of changing perceptions of money, work and commerce. You will also have the opportunity to take a wide range of options in subjects including philosophy of social science, science and technology studies, and theories of revolution.
The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 135 credits in total, and a supervised dissertation worth 45 credits.
Each taught module is normally taught through seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments.
You can also choose optional modules (up to a maximum of 30 credits), from any other discipline, with the agreement of the module convenor.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Learning and teaching
With the exception of the dissertation, each module on this programme is normally taught through academic lectures expanded through seminar discussion, presentations, group work, reading and essay assignments.
You will have an individual supervisor for your dissertation, which is a 16,000-20,000 word extended political theory essay on a topic of your choice (following discussion and approval from your supervisor).
The teaching and assessment on this programme should enable you to develop insight into recent critiques of modern Western societies and their values, and the ways in which these form crucial theoretical elements in debates across the social sciences.
As a graduate of the MA Political Thought you should be able to:
- Synthesise and comment critically on a body of academic writing relating to contemporary social and political philosophy.
- Appreciate, analyse, interpret and evaluate international socio-political issues, ideas and institutions.
- Construct and defend a rigorous argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.
You will develop a number of skills that are valued in professional and managerial careers: the ability to research and analyse information from a variety of sources along with written and verbal skills needed to present and discuss your opinions. The understanding you will gain of complex political and cultural issues, often in continually changing environments, can also be relevant to both business and public sector appointments.
Consequently, University of Exeter Politics postgraduates have been highly successful in securing interesting career opportunities and progressing to PhD level study.
Employment and professional development
Our excellent Employability and Graduate Development Service provides invaluable support, advice and access to graduate employers. Visit the employment and professional development pages for more information, including podcasts and profiles, about the range of support available.
Students can take advantage of our seminar series and its long-running and highly successful annual postgraduate conference which brings together researchers from across all humanities and social sciences disciplines.
Our research is funded by leading research councils and is used by governments and networks around the world.
The Centre of Political Thought is an active research community distinguished by its diversity, collegiality and engagement between different approaches. Exeter has one of the largest and most diverse groups of political theorists of any Politics department in the UK.
We have a long-standing reputation as a centre of expertise in the history of political ideas and we are the home of the discipline's leading journal History of Political Thought.
Normally a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree (or international equivalent) in an appropriate subject from a recognised university. Appropriate subjects include Politics, Philosophy, History, and Sociology.
Non-standard applications will be considered on their merits and mature students are encouraged to apply.
We have a strong commitment to the widening participation remit and encourage applications from all sections of society, particularly from ethnic and religious minorities. We welcome applications from people with disabilities or special needs and will endeavour to provide all reasonable support for your study.
Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
English language requirements
Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.
Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
Pearson Test of English (Academic)
58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.
Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2019/20
- UK/EU: £8,850 full-time; £4,425 part-time
- International: £18,200 full-time
The funding section has information on all available Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.
Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.
UK government postgraduate loan scheme
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Global Excellence Scholarship
We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.
Please contact us if you would like more information about this programme, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.
University of Exeter
Phone: 01392 723301
Postgraduate Taught admissions
For all enquiries relating to this programme, please contact:
SSIS Student Recruitment Office
Tel. +44 (0)1392 723192
Web: Enquire online
Where to find us
Study our MA Political Thought
Dr Ross Carroll talks about our MA Political Thought, which gives you the opportunity to study the thinkers who have shaped the modern world – Locke, Hegel, Marx and others – as well as more recent debates in social and political theory.