The European Education Directory

University of York
Politics Department


Address Heslington, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Tel. No. +44(0) 1904 433561
Fax No. +44(0) 1904 433563
Courses Taught Masters:
  • MA Political Philosophy
  • MA Political Philosophy (The Idea of Toleration)
  • MA Comparative Politics
  • MA Public Administration & Public Policy
  • MA History & Politics: Popular Movements
  • MSc Administrative Science & Development Problems
  • MSc Women Development & Administration

  • Research Degrees:
  • MA by dissertation
  • MPhil
  • DPhil
  • Length of course(s)
    Masters: 1 year
    MPhil: 2 years (+ 1 year writing up)
    DPhil: 3 years (+ 1 year writing up)
    Date of Commencement October
    Admission requirements At least 5.50 in the paper-based, or 213 in the computer-based, TOEFL or 6.0 in the British Council's IELTS. Alternatively, grades of A or B in the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English will also be accepted.


    Course/Program description

    * MA in Political Philosophy (The Idea of Toleration)
    This is a one-year taught course designed for graduates in the social sciences, philosophy, or history who are interested in political philosophy and the history of political thought. The MA consists of four taught courses plus a dissertation on a topic of the student's own choice. Students must take core courses in the History of the Idea of Toleration and Contemporary Issues in Toleration, and select two more from a list of courses available also to those doing the MA in Political Philosophy.

    * MA in Political Philosophy
    Similar to the MA in Toleration except that the two core courses on Toleration are not compulsory. Students must take Approaches to the History of Political Philosophy and Contemporary Political Philosophy, and two other courses from a list that usually includes History of the Idea of Toleration, Contemporary Issues in Toleration, The Political Philosophy of the British Idealists, Legal Philosophy, Communitarianism, Marxist Theory, and Ancient Greek Political Thought

    * MA in Public Administration and Public Policy
    This course provides a training in research methods and an in-depth knowledge of public administration and public policy-making in advanced industrial societies. It is both an academic and a vocational course, designed to train both researchers and practitioners. It is a one-year degree, consisting of taught courses - including training in Research Methods and core courses in Public Organization Theory and Policy Analysis and Public Policy - (assessed through essays and project work), and the supervised writing of a dissertation.

    * MSc in Administrative Science and Development Problems
    The course brings together three categories of people: government administrators who run Districts or direct public sector enterprises and younger `high-fliers' who are destined to hold such positions as well as post-graduates interested in the field of Development Studies. The degree consists of four taught courses - Issues in Social and Political Change and Public Organization Theory, Issues in Economic Change, and Policy Analysis and Public Policy - and the supervised writing of a dissertation.

    * MA in Comparative Politics
    The focus of this interdisciplinary programme is on the changing relationship between the national state and the international political economy. The MA provides training in basic theory and comparative methodology and students are encouraged, particularly when writing their dissertation, to specialise either on a particular country or area, or on more theoretical issues such as, for example, contemporary state theory or development theory. It consists of three compulsory courses - The States We're In, State and Society in International Perspective, and Comparative Political Enquiry, two optional courses, and a dissertation.

    *MA in History and Politics
    This programme offers a unique combination of methodological training and substantive studies across the disciplines of History and Politics, taught by members of both departments. The focus is on popular movements across the political spectrum and across a wide variety of periods and societies.

    * Research Degrees (MA by Dissertation, MPhil, and DPhil)
    The department has attracted a lively and growing group of research students. Most are studying for a doctorate, though some take the one-year MA by Dissertation.

    About the University

    The University of York is one of Britain's top dozen research universities. It was set up in 1963, although some of its research centres are older. It has established itself as a centre of excellence in teaching and research in a wide range of fields. The University is located on a 190-acre campus, just over a mile to the south-east of the city walls. It is within easy reach of the city centre by foot, bicycle or bus. Most buildings are set round a landscaped lake which winds through the campus.

    The University has seven colleges, and these are designed to enable students to bridge departmental boundaries and establish friendships more easily than is possible in the larger university community. All students, both graduate and undergraduate, are members of one of the colleges (not Derwent College in particular), whether they choose to live in them or not. Each college provides accommodation, academic offices, lecture and seminar rooms, a dining room, a snack bar and a college bar.

    The Department of Politics at York is one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Its teaching staff numbers, at full complement, eighteen. They are engaged in research in a wide variety of areas, and include scholars who have earned an international reputation. The general quality of the research conducted here was acknowledged in the last Research Assessment Exercise mounted by the Higher Education Funding Council, when the Department was ranked four out of five.

    Research and teaching fall into five broad areas - Political Philosophy, Public Administration and Public Policy, Development Studies, Comparative and International Politics, and Labour Studies. The boundaries between these areas are by no means rigid, and the general intellectual climate in the Department is enhanced by the contacts that take place across research specialisms. There is naturally a close relationship between these research activities and the development of a thriving Graduate School in Politics. The Politics Department has succeeded in attracting growing numbers of postgraduate students from the UK, other countries in the European Union, and the rest of the world.

    Since 1980 the Politics Department has been home to the Morrell Toleration Project, which is funded by the C and J B Morrell Trust. The Trust supports a wide range of activities in political philosophy, including an annual Address on Toleration, regular conferences on the philosophical foundations of toleration, and funding for students who wish to register for the MA in Political Philosophy (The Idea of Toleration). Morrell Lecturers include: Sir Karl Popper, Bernard Williams, Christopher Hill, Alastair MacIntyre, Sir Alfred Ayer, F.A.von Hayek, Lord Scarman, Baroness Warnock, Michael Ignatieff, and Janet Suzman. The Department aims to provide a stimulating environment for the study of political philosophy generally, and of toleration in particular. Political philosophy is a major area of research strength in the Department and six members of staff are regularly involved in teaching on the MA course.

    Academic Publications

  • Haleh Afshar, Islam and Feminisms
  • Alex Callinicos, Against Postmodernism
  • Alex Callinicos, Theories and Narratives
  • Alex Callinicos, Social Theory
  • Allison Drew (editor), South Africa's Radical Tradition
  • Mark Evans, Charter 88
  • Stephen Gundle and Simon Parker, (editor) The New Italian Republic
  • David Howell, A Lost Left
  • David Howell, Respectable Rebels
  • Adrian Leftwich, States of Underdevelopment
  • Susan Mendus, Toleration and the Limits of Liberalism
  • Susan Mendus (editor), Justifying Toleration
  • Susan Mendus and John Horton (editors), After Macintyre
  • Peter Nicholson, The Political Philosophy of the British Idealists
  • T.V. Sathyamurthy (editor), Social Change and Political Discourse in India

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