Entry requirements

Upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in any discipline with a considered interest in the relevant areas covered by the MSc.

Months of entry


Course content

About the MSc programme

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.

Our programme includes a compulsory course which gives you an overview of the methodological diversity within political theory, and a wide range of optional courses that allow you to focus in on areas of more specific interest to you. You will also complete a 10,000 word dissertation, giving you the opportunity to conduct independent research on an approved topic of your choice. The programme is a good preparation for further research work, or for a career in education, public administration, NGOs or the private sector.

Department of Government

The Department of Government is home to some of the most internationally respected experts in the study of politics. Within the Department, our expertise centres on six sub-disciplinary pillars of political research: Comparative Politics, Conflict Studies, Political Behaviour and Political Psychology, Political Economy and Institutional Analysis, Political Theory, and Public Policy and Public Administration. Both our research and educational curriculum reflect these sub-disciplinary strengths. The Department produce influential research that has a global impact on policy.

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students.

Fees and funding


Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme. Visit the website for more information about the fees.


The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support Scheme, Master's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships.

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Find out more about financial support.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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