Taught Masters - MA in Political Theory
A wide range of Politics and Philosophy topics to develop your understanding of theory, with the option of tailored modules to prepare you for a PhD.
At a time of social, economic and political disruption such as our own, at both the national and the international level, reflection upon the ethical, theoretical and normative questions of politics becomes more vital and important than ever. This programme gives students the opportunity to explore many of these issues, to understand their numerous complex theoretical and moral dimensions, and to develop the analytical and critical abilities necessary to help us properly address them.
The programme is jointly taught by the Departments of Politics and Philosophy, both leading departments in the UK with a reputation for research and teaching excellence. A key advantage of this joint-run programme is that it is able to draw upon the resources of both departments to offer a wide range of modules across the discipline of political theory, covering continental and analytical approaches, domestic and international political thought, and contemporary and historical studies.
The MA is designed for students who have a background in political theory and who wish to extend their knowledge and understanding, and for those with little in the way of experience of the subject. There are two pathways: the taught MA track for those who have not had the chance to specialise in the subject and want to learn more, and the research training MA track for those who want to take their expertise further and go on to doctoral research in this area. The research training MA track puts special emphasis on preparing students for successful applications to PhD programmes (whether at Sheffield or elsewhere) and funding bodies; and for a successful pursuit of doctoral studies.
All students must undertake 180 credits of modules, 60 of which are accounted for by an MA dissertation of 10,000-14,000 words. Students on the taught track in addition take four taught 30 credit MA modules in Politics or Philosophy. These modules are assessed by either one paper of 6,000-8,000 words or two papers of 3,000-4,000 words each. As it gives students a wide range of modules to choose from, the taught track is particularly suitable for students who are still exploring their interests in different areas of political philosophy.
Students on the research track write a PhD Proposal of 6,000-8,000 words (consisting of an outline of their projected thesis, with an annotated bibliography or literature search) (30 credits), and take the Politics & Value Research Seminar (30 credits), in addition to taking two 30 credit MA modules of their choice from Politics and Philosophy. As it gives students an opportunity to develop advanced research skills and the outline of a PhD research project, the research track is particularly suitable for students who are planning to go on to do a PhD in political theory or related fields.
All students must undertake a minimum of 30 credits from Politics and 30 credits from Philosophy. (The Dissertation counts towards Philosophy credits for this purpose.)
- Politics option modules (all modules are subject to availability)
- Philosophy options:
- Liberty, Community and Democracy
- Desires of One's Own
- Hegel and his Critics
- Understanding Moral Obligation
- Politics and Value Research Seminar (Research Track students only)
- Philosophy of Sex
For further details specific to this MA, which is run jointly between the Philosophy and Politics departments, please visit the website for MA in Political Theory.
Duration: One year full time, two years part time (September to September). Our part time programmes follow a flexible pathway agreed between the student and their programme director.
Entry requirements: Details
Fees and funding: Details
If there's a question you can't find an answer to, please get in touch and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Our contact details (Department of Philosophy)