MLitt in Global Social and Political Thought
University of St Andrews
Saint Andrews, United Kingdom
GBP 25,880 / per year *
08 Aug 2024
Earliest start date
* overseas / home: £11,680
The MLitt in Global Social and Political Thought provides an innovative transnational and comparative approach to the study of the history and influence of global thought traditions.
Global intellectual history – the transnational and comparative approach to the history of ideas – is a developing field of academic study. Studying for the MLitt in Global Social and Political Thought, you will explore social and political ideas from around the world, the connections that link global thought traditions, and how those traditions continue to influence our world.
- Introduces key topics in global thought, providing a broad overview of the field
- The transnational and comparative approach gives this program a remarkable richness and depth compared with conventional intellectual history degrees
- Interdisciplinary character helps you to develop a more rounded understanding of the questions and concepts of global thought
- Prepares students for further academic study and research
The MLitt in Global Social and Political Thought is an interdisciplinary degree with a global approach: it allows you to study social and political thought, not just from Europe as is common in other universities, but also from societies across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
You will discover the key concepts in social and political thought from different regions of the world and learn to discuss how these regions have imagined and re-imagined themselves throughout history. This MLitt compares social and political thought that originated in different regions at various points in history, but you will also consider what connects these traditions and how different intellectual lineages form a shared commons for all of us.
You will develop your understanding of global intellectual history while being encouraged to question its sometimes arbitrary categories. You will also learn to look at theory beyond Eurocentric lenses. In doing so you will think critically about how an awareness of multiple theoretical traditions can help us to respond to global issues such as social injustice, economic exploitation, ideological conflicts, and environmental degradation.
Your learning will include key debates in contemporary global politics – from issues of democracy and rights within states to questions of international law and global justice between states. You will be trained to critically interpret political discussions through the optics of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. The MLitt asks how we can think in common with diverse societies and cultures to create a more democratic and equal world. You will be encouraged to consider the perspectives of the marginalized – the impoverished, the minority, or the refugee – and to think, in terms of practical solutions on the level of policy and research, about ways to democratize and subalternise global politics.
The MLitt is distinctively interdisciplinary. On this MLitt subject, experts from across the University provide their disciplinary perspectives on key topics. Through research-led teaching from scholars working in subjects including history, international relations, classics, literary-cultural studies, and biology you will learn to analyze contemporary debates and compare how these are approached from anthropological, historical, environmental, and philosophical perspectives.
You will be encouraged to develop a more rounded, interdisciplinary understanding of global thought traditions and learn how to critically discuss these traditions from multiple disciplinary perspectives. You will also demonstrate your ability to solve complex problems by critical understanding, analysis, and synthesis.
The MLitt will be of particular interest if you intend to continue to doctoral research as it provides a broad-based program of study culminating in a supervised research project.
The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your program.
The MLitt is structured around four compulsory taught modules:
- Global Concepts: introduces key concepts of political and social thought stemming from different world regions and discusses how these regions have imagined and re-imagined themselves throughout history
- Global Politics: encourages you to think, in terms of practical solutions on the level of policy and research, about how to democratize and subaltern global politics
- Global Theory: considers how an awareness of multiple theoretical traditions can help us to respond to global issues such as social injustice, economic exploitation, ideological conflicts, and environmental degradation
- Special Topic in Interdisciplinary Learning: this allows you to advance your learning by undertaking a research project on an agreed topic and provides preparation for the end-of-degree project
The final part of the MLitt is the end-of-degree project. This takes the form of a period of supervised research where you will explore a global thought topic in depth.
Through the project, you will show your ability to undertake sustained critical analysis, develop and improve your research skills, and produce an extended piece of written work that demonstrates a high level of understanding of your area of study.
You can choose to present your end-of-degree project in one of the following ways:
- A policy report that emphasizes your ability to critically assess policy and make convincing recommendations for policy changes
- A multi-media portfolio that emphasizes your ability to present global thought concepts in exciting and engaging ways
- A written dissertation that emphasizes your ability to plan and execute academically rigorous research.
If students choose not to complete the project requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The taught modules are taken over two semesters – September to December (Semester 1) and January to May (Semester 2). The period from June to August is used to complete the end-of-degree project.
Each taught module will use teaching and learning methods appropriate to its aims. These may include seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials, and independent study.
Assessment methods used may include essays, reports, presentations, practical exercises, reflective exercises, and examinations.
Scholarships and Funding
The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.
The University of St Andrews offers postgraduate scholarships and other financial awards. These may be held in addition to external funding or awards from a government body. These may also cover (fully or partially) tuition fees, maintenance (living costs including accommodation), or both.
Scholarships are available based on academic merit and financial need. There are scholarships available for both home and overseas fee status. The scholarship team recommends reading the terms of each award carefully and applying to a range of funding sources.
Postgraduate study is an investment in your intellectual development and career potential. The University of St Andrews provides scholarships to help as many students as possible continue in higher education.
Scholarship availability may depend on your area of study or fee status (for example, whether you are a 'Home' or 'Overseas' student).
The University of St Andrews’ global reputation makes its graduates highly valued by employers. The MLitt in Global Social and Political Thought provides subject knowledge and applied skills relevant to a range of career paths; it will be of particular interest if you intend to continue to doctoral research.
In addition to broadening your subject knowledge and applying established techniques of research and inquiry, you will develop and demonstrate essential skills including:
- Critical thinking and creativity
- Analysis and appraisal
- Problem-solving and decision-making
- Personal leadership and project management
- Interpersonal communication and teamwork.
St Andrews offers a vibrant and stimulating research environment. One of the great strengths of a St Andrews research degree is the collegiate atmosphere which enables access to expertise beyond your formal supervisors and the ability to conduct interdisciplinary research.
Research students are supported by a supervisory team throughout their studies and are assessed through a substantial thesis of original research.
Program Tuition Fee
English Language Requirements
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