Taught course

Theory and History of International Relations

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) · Department of International History

Entry requirements

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

About the MSc programme:

The MSc Theory and History of International Relations is a specialist, multidisciplinary degree taught by the Department of International History and the Department of International Relations – both have a global reputation for their high quality research and dynamic contributions to the development of their respective disciplines.

This unique joint degree programme has been designed for students who want to understand and appreciate both the theoretical and the empirical approach to the study of international relations. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to take courses tailored to their specific interests, in terms of method, time-frame and geographical scope. The choices available are wide and deep since this is a joint degree with the International Relations Department and the International History Department (where it is based).

The curriculum combines an exceptional level of analytical training in theory, balanced with the discipline of historical based case-studies and advanced research. You will be taught by leading experts in both disciplines. You can choose one broad course from each Department. For your third option you can chose one of many highly specialised courses offered by either Department. You will then complete your degree by doing a history dissertation, which will give you the chance to conduct your own empirical research on a detailed historical case study.

This well-balanced and bespoke course, allows you to develop your intellectual understanding and ability to analyse a wide range of international relations’ history, organisations, trends and challenges including world wars, East-West conflict, North-South relations, European integration, globalisation, diplomacy and peace-building.

A hugely flexible joint degree, it can be tailored to provide you with a more advanced understanding of international relations and theory, or it offers an exceptional foundation if you are making the transition from related disciplines such as political science, modern languages, economics, sociology, law or journalism. You will have the opportunity to study alongside students drawn from a wide range of disciplines. In addition, you will benefit from being in the wider LSE learning environment with its many guest lecturers and speakers including policymakers, world-leaders and practitioners, all tackling today’s complex and rapidly changing world of international relations.

This popular, long-established and well-respected course will better equip you to progress towards your chosen career including within the field of analysis, consultancy, research, policy making, global and local governance, crisis intervention, peace-building, risk assessment, journalism, intelligence gathering and academia.

Department of International History

We teach and conduct research on the international history of Britain, Europe and the world from the early modern era up to the present day. We are one of the world’s leading centres for historical study and research. History at the LSE is consistently ranked amongst the top ten in the QS World University subject league tables, and in the top three in the UK and Europe.

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

Course contact details

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