Taught course

Social and Political Thought

University of Warwick · Department of Sociology

Entry requirements

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in the area of sociology or a closely related subject (however, all serious applications from other disciplines will be considered); a strong personal statement

Months of entry


Course content

This MA programme provides you with a thorough grounding in the classics of Social and Political Thought and a deep and varied engagement with their 20th and 21st Century offshoots. This course addresses a range of key concepts and ideas that are central to the analysis of contemporary society, politics and culture, including debates over the basis of contemporary capitalism, neoliberalism, biopolitics, ideology, and the fundamental question of what it means to be ‘social’ and/or ‘human’.

Programme content

The degree is structured around two core modules. The first of these is State, Capitalism and Market (convened by Professor Nicholas Gane), which uses theoretical resources such as Michel Foucault’s writings on biopolitics to think analytically and critically about capitalism and its recurrent crises. This module looks in particular at the recent financial crisis and the role this crisis has played in the reconfiguration of structural relations between the market and the state. A key part of this module is the critical analysis of political-economic discourses of neoliberalism that argue for the sovereignty of markets and economics over all things ‘social’. The second core module is Politics and Social Theory (convened by Dr Charles Turner) uses the work a wide-range of classical thinkers (for example, de Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber) and Twentieth Century writers (Arendt, Schmitt and Rorty) to consider the possibility of developing a sociological understanding of politics.

Beyond these two core modules, you can pursue your own research interests and specialisms by choosing four modules from a wide range of options, and then progressing to research and write their own 15,000 word dissertation.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 with no more than two components at 6.5 or 6.0, or other accepted language test.

Fees and funding

UK students
For 2018/19: £8,580
International students
For 2018/19: £19,300

There are several funding opportunities available for students applying for this course. Details can be found here:


Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Office
+44 (0)24 765 23600