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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 note that not every course is available each year and that some courses may only be available with the permission of the course convenor and/or may be subject to space.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc Theory and History of International Relations in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School's Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the Updated graduate course and programme information page.

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 (check availability)

Start date: 22 September 2016

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

Intake/applications in 2014: 29/145

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 £12,504; overseas £19,344

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

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions