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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    27-SEP-21

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

Political theory is the study of how we do and should think about the nature and organisation of political life and its limits. It is a contested, and exciting field of inquiry, featuring historical, normative, comparative and applied approaches that are often informed by adjacent debates in moral philosophy, legal theory, historical studies, and political science.

Central normative research questions for contemporary political theory include: How might a legitimate or just state be constituted? What gives rulers the authority to rule, and do citizens have a duty to obey? How much, if any, inequality is just? At the same time, political theory constantly finds itself revising its substantive concerns and theoretical assumptions – both in response to actual political developments and by following the dynamic of its own critical inquiry. Thus, feminist thinkers have queried the classic private/public distinction and with it received conceptions of “the political”. Theorists of global justice interrogate the limits of state-bounded political morality. Post-colonial theory and comparative political theory explore alternative traditions and marginalized voices to re-think mainstream assumptions.

Currently, there are eight political theorists in the Department of Government, which is one of the largest concentrations of specialists in the world. Staff research interests are in diverse areas including comparative political theory, contemporary normative theory, the history of political thought, feminist theory, and rational and social choice theory. Our aim is to expose students to a wide array of different normative issues and methods of inquiry and thereby to enable them to engage critically and constructively with the challenges of an increasingly global political context.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors, assistant professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only.

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative methods of assessment differ from course to course, and may include unseen written exams in the summer term and/or assessed essays. In addition you will meet with your supervisor and work on your dissertation.

Careers

This programme is a good preparation for further research work or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 23,520per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London

  • University League Table

    4th

  • Campus address

    London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, Houghton Street, Westminster, WC2A 2AE, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    5th out of 85 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 217
    173 79%

    11th

    4
  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    90 90%

    1st

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.73 75%

    79th

    2

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