GV4G7      Half Unit
Marx and Marxism

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Lea Ypi


This course is available on the MSc in Political Theory. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 2 groups.

The deadline for applications is 12:00 noon on Friday 5 October 2018. You will be informed of the outcome by 12:00 noon on Monday 8 October.

Course content

The course is an advanced level course providing the opportunity to read canonical texts in the history of Marxism and engage with the more recent normative literature related to these texts. The course will cover key issues in the study of Marxism such as the materialist conception of history, the idea of class and class struggle, the role of the state, the analysis of exploitation, the defence of revolution, the role of the party, the analysis of imperialism. It will introduce to the thought of an author that is often referred to in a range of literatures and will provide the opportunity to read original texts and engage with scholarly controversies (both historical and normative) generated by these texts.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the MT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

One formative essay of around 2,500 words.

Indicative reading

McLellan, D. (2000), Karl Marx: Selected Writings, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Cohen, G.A. (2000), Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence, Oxford, Oxford University Press; Lichtheim, G. (1982), Marxism: A Historical and Critical Study, Columbia University Press; Rosen, M. (1996) On Voluntary Servitude: False Consciousness and the Theory of Ideology, Polity Press; John Roemer (ed.) (1986), Analytical Marxism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.


Essay (100%, 4000 words).

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.6
Merit 57.4
Pass 9.3
Fail 3.7

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2017/18: 29

Average class size 2017/18: 14

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Communication