Social and Political Thought MA

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2018
Apply by:
1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Our MA brings together social theory, political theory and philosophy. You learn about the history of social and political thought, and study political and social movements. Our course covers both historical traditions and contemporary developments.

Our research strengths include: 

  • social theory (especially Marxism, Hegel, hermeneutics and critical theory) 
  • recent democratic, socialist and environmentalist thought and practice 
  • the history of political, social and economic thought 
  • the philosophy of social science and the sociology of knowledge 
  • contemporary political philosophy 
  • cosmopolitanism.

Why choose this course?

  • Philosophy at Sussex is ranked 5th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2018).
  • Study on a genuinely interdisciplinary course that bridges subject boundaries, and uses both empirical and normative analysis, while benefiting from our specialised knowledge of selected areas in contemporary thought and the major European historical tradition.
  • Take the opportunity to get involved with our in-house journal Studies in Social and Political Thought.

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of 7.5-8.5 depending on your university. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (Grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.5 or 8 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second class upper division or GPA 3.1/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3/4.0 (grade B+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 5-5.5/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with overall mark of 75%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad' and a GPA of 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 7.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 17/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of 75%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 13.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.4 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading institution with overall mark of 55-70% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from an 'A' accredited university with GPA 3.0/4.0. 

Bachelors degree from a 'B' accredited university with GPA 3.2/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 15.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 105.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 3,33.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.5/4.0 or 14/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 8.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 80%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division or CGPA of at least 3.5/5.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 60%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 14/20 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 1.5/5.0 (where 1 is the highest) or 3.7/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 3 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.5/5.0 or 3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division or CAP 4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 1.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with CGPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with upper second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 5/6 or 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of 70%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3-3.5/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us at pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a humanities or social sciences subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Standard level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade C (Honours) or above in English.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system.

Personal statement

Yes. You must submit a personal statement as part of your application. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Application deadlines

1 August (International), 1 September (UK/EU)

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. 

For details about the part-time course, contact Philosophy Postgraduate Convener Dr Gordon Finlayson at j.g.finlayson@sussex.ac.uk

How will I study?

There are core modules taught in the autumn term, and in the spring term you choose from a list of options.

The largest assessed element in the MA is the 15,000-word dissertation. In addition, the core modules and options are assessed by 5,000-word term papers.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

Life as a Masters student

Our experts

Prof David Berry

Prof David Berry

Professor of Digital Humanities

Research interests

Algorithms, Code, Computation, Critical Digital Humanities, Critical Reason, Critical Theory, Digital Humanities, History of the University, Philosophy, Political economy, Post-digital, postdigital, Social and political theory, Software Studies, University

View David Berry's profile

Dr Anthony Booth

Dr Anthony Booth

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Research interests

Applied Philosophy, Epistemic Normativity, Epistemology, Ethics, Ethics of Belief, Gettier Cases, Islamic Epistemology, Philosophy Of Mind

View Anthony Booth's profile

Dr Andrew Chitty

Dr Andrew Chitty

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Research interests

Collective action, collective intentionality, constructivism in ethics, Ethics, Fichte, Hegel, Marxism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, political theory, recognition theory

View Andrew Chitty's profile

Prof Gerard Delanty

Prof Gerard Delanty

Professor of Sociology & Social & Political Thought

Research interests

capitalism, Cosmopolitanism, cultural heritage, democracy, historical and political sociology, history and philosophy of the social sciences, modernity, Nationalism, Social and political theory, the idea of Europe

View Gerard Delanty's profile

Dr Gordon Finlayson

Reader in Philosophy

Research interests

Critical Theory, German Philosophy, Habermas, Hegel, History Of Philosophy, Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy

View Gordon Finlayson's profile

Dr Tarik Kochi

Dr Tarik Kochi

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

Critical Legal Theory, Critical Theory, Hegel, History and Theory of War, History of political economy, History of Political Thought, International Law, International Political Theory, Jurisprudence/Philosophy Of Law, Social and political theory

View Tarik Kochi's profile

Prof Darrow Schecter

Prof Darrow Schecter

Professor of Critical Theory and Modern European History

Research interests

Critical Theory, critique of instrumental reason, Foucault, Gramsci, legitimacy, Libertarian socialism, Pasolini, systems theory

View Darrow Schecter's profile

Dr Kenneth Veitch

Dr Kenneth Veitch

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

health care law, medical law, obligation, Social policy, Social Theory, Socio Legal Studies, sociology of law, Welfare state

View Kenneth Veitch's profile

Course enquiries

Dr Gordon Finlayson
Philosophy Postgraduate Convener
+44(0)1273 876629
j.g.finlayson@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about the Department of Philosophy

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

UK/EU students:
£7,900 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£7,900 per year
International students:
£15,500 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

If you’re studying part time over two years, you’ll be charged 50% of the equivalent 2018 full-time fee in each year of study. The fee in your second year – if you continue your studies without a break – will be subject to a 2.5% increase (subject to rounding).

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,280 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2017. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

Many of our graduates have gone on to have successful careers in:

  • law
  • the media
  • non-governmental organisations
  • government and administration
  • teaching.

Others have gone on to research degrees. Over the last 30 years, a substantial number of leading academics in the UK and elsewhere have graduated from the course. Among our alumni we count professors of sociology, philosophy and politics, working at universities in the UK and beyond.

Graduate destinations

90% of students from the School of History, Art History and Philosophy were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our Philosophy students have gone on to jobs including:

  • editorial assistant, Pavilion Books
  • media officer, Wickham Youth Action
  • assistant, Gareth Thomas MP.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)

I gained invaluable career skills, such as clear thought, skilled analysis and a confident and direct approach to both theoretical and practical problems.”Rebecca Robbins
Trainee at the College of Law

Text and Critique in Social and Political Thought

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

The module explores the key texts of social and political thought and responses to them by contemporaries and subsequent critics. The module is organised around a reading of key sections from texts such as Hegel's Philosophy of Right and Marx's critique of Hegel.

Theorizing the Social

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module introduces you to the major contemporary approaches to theorising social and political reality and examines how they articulate explanatory and normative concerns. The topics covered concern some of the major contemporary debates on the idea of the social in social and political thought. Consideration is also given to how some of the classical conceptions of the social are challenged by recent developments.

Dissertation - SPT

  • 60 credits
  • Summer Teaching, Year 1 credits

You undertake supervised work on a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Capitalism and its Critics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module provides an account of major theories of capitalism in the tradition of social theory and political economy. It begins with a survey of the classical approaches of Adam Smith and Karl Marx before looking at the main theories of capitalism in the 20th century, mainly Max Weber, Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes and Karl Polayni. We examine each theorist with an emphasis on different elements of capitalism:

  • Smith on the market's 'invisible hand'
  • Marx on capital's exploitation of labour
  • Weber on the foundations of economic rationality
  • Schumpeter and Keynes on the instability of capitalism due to its monetary and financial character
  • Polanyi on the embedded nature of capitalism.

The second topic covers some of the main debates about capitalism and its alternatives in the 20th century, such as Hayak's The Road to Serfdom (1947), the social welfare approaches of Beveridge, Crossland and Marshall, the later critiques of the welfare state by theorists such as Habermas, Offe and O'Connor, and the Social Limits to Growth (1976) arguments of Hirsch and others.

The third focus of the module is on recent theories of capitalism, principally David Harvey's critique of post-Fordist capitalism, Castell's account of the rise of global networked capitalism, Hall's and Soskice's varieties of capitalism theory, and Boltanski and Chiapello's The New Spirit of Capitalism (2006).

The module concludes by looking at debates around the post-2008 economic crisis, the relation between capitalism and democracy, and feminist and ecological criticism of capitalism.

Democracy and Human Rights

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In contemporary political philosophy, rights are often described as the necessary foundation of democratic government. It's thought that the democratic polity couldn't function without the establishment of and adherence to particular rights. The democratic values of individual equality, trust and compromise are said to help foster a political culture respectful of rights. And enshrining human rights in law is often said to ensure liberal governance.  

The module starts by studying the first attempts to establish political systems based upon rights and contemporary criticisms and justifications of democracy. Democracy was often seen as a source of internal division, a dangerous motor of extremism and unnecessary innovation, and a cause of international instability (because of the usual support of the people for external wars). Yet it could also be described as a just and wise form of government that upholds a polity whose patriotic populace are devoted to the public good.

You study authors who saw democracy and rights as mutually sustaining, from Condorcet and Thomas Paine onwards. You'll explore how such authors addressed the issues of necessity in politics and strove to secure national unity, commercial success and national defence. 

You also scrutinise the presumed fit between rights and democracy by examining the origins of modern ideas about both concepts, from Aristotle's defence of the natural slave and scholastic ideas about rights to the 17th-century attempt to create a minimalist natural law and beyond. Enlightenment-era authors, especially in France and Scotland, put forward modules for reform. They intended to curb the perceived excesses of commercial society and protect certain civil liberties. Some reformers, such as the physiocrats, thought the assertion of rights was key to French economic and political revival – even if this was premised on the avoidance of democracy. For the physiocrats (and for so many early modern authors) there was no necessary connection between democracy and rights. The main goal of politics was to avoid the violence and irrationality associated with mob rule and the active role of the people as political agents.

The module ends by studying current presumed connections between universal human rights and democratic governance.

Hegel and Marx

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The first half of this module examines Hegel's social and political philosophy and its place in his overall account of human consciousness, historical change, and the Absolute. You'll consider notions such as recognition, spirit, freedom and ethical life in Hegel, and their political implications.

In the second half, you examine Marx as an ethical and political thinker. You'll look at a range of his works, beginning with his earliest, investigating his ideas of freedom, species-being, alienation, class, ideology, fetishism and capital, and asking on what basis he advocates and expects the replacement of capitalism by communism.

Language, Art and Representation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to language, art and representation - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

For example, possible topics may be drawn from areas such as:

  • analytic aesthetics
  • continental aesthetics
  • philosophy of language
  • philosophy of literature
  • fiction.

Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

Philosophical Research Skills

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you develop the skills required for effective research and prepare yourself for writing your dissertation.

You cover topics including:

  • choosing a research topic
  • identifying the relevant literature
  • assessing arguments
  • writing a critical literature review
  • critically evaluating your own work
  • writing in a professional manner
  • delivering an effective presentation
  • structuring a dissertation
  • writing a dissertation.

The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module explores the origins, development and impact of the ideas of some of the major theorists of the Frankfurt School. We begin by looking at the early ideas of the Frankfurt School in 1930s, which were influenced by Marx. Then we address the ways that the Frankfurt School theorists attempted to integrate various other aspects of thought in response to historical developments.

We will focus on texts by Benjamin, Habermas, Horkheimer, Kircheimer, Marcuse, Neumann and Adorno. But we also look at the theorists that most influenced them, such as Hegel, Marx and Lukács. In addition, we'll look at certain key themes in Frankfurt School criticism, including:

  • dialectics and negative dialectics
  • determinate negation
  • critique and immanent critique
  • positivism
  • instrumental reason
  • Enlightenment.

War, Terror, Violence and International Law

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

You'll focus upon the contemporary problems of war and terrorism within a historical, political and global context.

Drawing upon approaches from international law, political and critical theory and international relations, this module examines law's various attempts to define what constitutes 'legitimate violence'. We'll look at some of the dominant legal, moral and political arguments behind the justification and condemnation of acts of war, terror and public violence. You also examine:

  • the law's criminalisation of non-state violence
  • the use of new theological arguments to justify 'humanitarian wars'
  • the relationship between violence and international security
  • the ethics of violence.
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