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MSc Theory and History of International Relations

About the MSc programme

This is a joint degree with the International Relations Department which allows students to sample courses in both departments. Those taking the programme therefore gain a feel for both international relations theory, taught by leading experts in the field, and recent international history. This gives students a chance to understand and appreciate both the theoretical and the empirical approach to the study of international relations.

Programme details

The structure of the degree is intended to ensure a good balance between the two disciplines. Students choose one broad course in each department, before using their third option to select one of the many highly specialised courses offered by the two departments. They then complete their degree by doing a history dissertation, which will give them a chance to conduct their own empirical research on a detailed historical case-study.

The degree thus represents an excellent preparation for those contemplating further research in either international history or international relations, as well as being accessible to those who are making the transition from related disciplines such as political science, modern languages, economics, law or journalism. The programme provides students with the opportunity to specialise in a wide range of geographical regions or other aspects of international relations including world wars, East-West conflict, European integration, the role of political doctrines and ideologies, revolutions and national liberation struggles. It's also a way to benefit from the expertise of two highly-rated LSE departments.

Compulsory course

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of three units from a range of options. 

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

The programme provides an excellent preparation for careers in business, consulting, government, international agencies, the media, politics and law, or for advanced academic research.


Application code: V1S8

Start date: 24 September 2015

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Intake/applications in 2013: 19/101

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 in any discipline (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £12,024; overseas £18,600

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support)

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions