Top reasons to study with us
Designed for graduates of any discipline seeking careers in cross-national organisations, agencies or international business.
Design your own programme from a range of options in management, politics, international relations and philosophy.
12-month course, starting in October
Organisations increasingly seek graduates with a deeper understanding of the social, political and moral dimensions of management, so that they can protect the wider interests of society. This unique programme answers the demand for a new kind of management graduate - able to navigate the wider environment and use philosophy as a tool to take on key political and social questions.
We create competent managers who can also see the underlying connections between complex problems. These individuals are able to respond to the demands of reconciling economic growth, sustainability and equitable social outcomes.
We make sure our graduates are in tune with contemporary political developments and international relations. You will learn how to deal with complex issues, such as the management of people and organisational change. You will develop in-depth knowledge of the major historical and intellectual theories, concepts and issues relating to politics, philosophy and the management of institutions.
Alongside this fresh way of thinking, you will acquire and build skills such as intercultural team working, negotiation, research design, and report-writing. You are free to focus on what enthuses you, with options ranging from Diplomacy to Contemporary Philosophy.
Your breadth of skills and ability to understand and present a world view will put you at a distinct advantage in the jobs market.
LUMS is connected to a thriving global alumni network and is linked to the Work Foundation. Past graduates now work in a variety of different industries and organisations, including consultancies and think tanks. The MSc Politics, Philosophy and Management is also the ideal programme if you wish to join a political institution or international body such as an NGO or the United Nations.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Management, Business Studies, Social Sciences, History, Philosophy, English, Languages, Arts or other Humanities subjects. Relevant work experience is beneficial but not essential.
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
The summer dissertation takes place in the last four months of the programme. This is an opportunity to bring together the learning you have acquired throughout the programme in a systematic and integrative piece of work on a topic developed by you. The dissertation acts as an integrative exercise, enabling you to focus your analytic and research skills on a particular issue or series of issues.
As with each large essay, for the dissertation, each student will have a personal supervisor. The form of the dissertation is most commonly an organisational research project in which a student undertakes a case study of a particular organisation, but it can also be a library-based project.
Doing Organisational Research
The module will introduce the students to the nature of knowledge within the organisation studies/management field, and the ways in which the literature can be researched and critically evaluated. It will then provide a systematic consideration of different approaches to research in the social sciences and in organisational studies in particular. This will include an evaluation of different research designs and methodologies, and of a range of methods likely to be particularly useful in organisational research such as: surveys, ethnography, case studies, interviews, questionnaires. The module will also address methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Throughout, links will be made to the practical planning and execution of a piece of research.
Conflict Management and Contemporary Conflicts
The course aims to explore a variety of approaches to conflict management in contemporary conflicts, by third parties and parties in conflict, and critically assesses their effectiveness and potential. The course draws its theoretical foundations from peace and conflict research but is aimed at enabling students to learn to assess the scope for conflict management and peace- building in practice. The module includes both academic literature as well as policy relevant papers.
The focus of the course is on analysing peace processes and practical problems of conflict prevention, conflict management and peace-building in a range of contemporary international, internal, ethnic, community and environmental conflicts.
Students will be divided up into groups of two or three, and each group will take responsibility for identifying and investigating a specific approach to conflict management in a conflict of their choice. The choice of cases will vary with the interest of students. In recent year topics included Afghanistan, Chechnya, Georgia, Kashmir, Kosovo, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Liberia/Sierra Leone, Timor Elste, conflict prevention and the emergent global climate change negotiations, and peace-building in contemporary Africa and Asia.
The course is taught in 10 2-hour lecture seminars, with the first half devoted to the lecture and the second half dedicated to substantial presentations by the student / group.
Human Resource Management I: Contexts, Controversies and Critiques
This module introduces the major debates and perspectives on Human Resource Management. It critically examines controversies about the nature of HRM, placing it in context to understand how it developed and what it constitutes in contemporary organisations. The module examines those issues that are seen as central to the practice of HRM, such as recruitment and selection, performance management, and flexible working.
The module provides an insight into the HRM process, explored in a way that critiques its taken for granted ‘normality’, and unpacks the assumptions underlying this central organisational function.
Human Resource Management II: The rise and growth of HRM
This module examines the conceptual and cultural foundations of Human Resource Management.
- Where does its appeal come from?
- How is HRM done today – and what exactly does HRM do so successfully?
The answers to these questions are around us, all the time, everywhere – except we do not see them because we are accustomed to the assumptions of HRM.
In this module, we will investigate these assumptions and their roots, and so the task of HRM will appear in a different light. The essential question HRM has to answer seems simple: what is the value of a person’s work? The problem, of course, is that the relationship between work effort and the value of work is always indeterminate. How much is an hour of work worth? How much should anyone be paid so that work is ‘fair’ or ‘just’?
These essential questions cannot be answered independently; they depend on other crucial questions: What is the work that I have to do? What counts as the work covered by an employment contract? Where does effort begin and end? What does it mean, for instance, to be ‘committed’ to one’s job, to be ‘passionate’ company or team – in terms of effort? What does it mean to be creative or innovative? Who has ‘potential’? Are these part of the employment contract? What is work today, after all?
International Human Resource Management
In essence this module aims to explore the significance and complications of managing human resources in the international arena. The management of employees is one of the key elements in the success of global organisations and over time managers have adapted a range of approaches to this task. This module will also provide useful insights on such processes. By the completion of the study you will be able develop the skills of analysis and critical evaluation through the examination of human resource issues utilizing HRM models and frameworks in the global context. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate team working, presentation and secondary research skills.
Major Approaches to the Study of International Relations
Major Approaches to the Study of International Relations will explore the development of International Relations (IR) theory in the 20th and 21st centuries and examine it in the light of major historical developments and contemporary events. The module aims at providing the students with the necessary skills and background knowledge to engage critically with the world that we live in. To do so, the module pays special attention to the unequal power relations and Western dominance in the study of IR and politics, and to how they have become embedded into our institutions, theories and methods. The module will also introduce students to theories and debates in human and environmental sustainability.
- compare and contrast the major international relations theories and apply them to contemporary international relations, security and sustainability issues and problems;
- understand the different historical contexts behind these theoretical developments and see how they change and develop over time;
- understand the different political implications of the main IR theories and how these interact with different political movements;
- better understand specialised debates in international relations, security and foreign policy, including a knowledge of specialised terminology;
- put into historical context, understand and criticise debates about international relations, security and sustainability;understand the larger theoretical framework in which international relations are positioned;
- provide space to engage in critical discussions about power, gender and race in IR, and help in developing a more critical eye to the challenges and possibilities of different approaches to and visions of IR;
- obtain an introductory knowledge of environmental sustainability.
Organisations in the 21st Century: New Forms of Organising in the Contemporary World
This module introduces contemporary organisations as institutional structures in which management functions. We begin by considering the formal organisation (and the role of management) which was developed through the twentieth century, and which provides the basis for much of our present-day understanding of organising.
The main part of the module deals with the contemporary situation, and it is argued that the present time is one of extraordinary change in organisations, which offers a considerable challenge to orthodox organisational theory. The material presented looks at what seems to be happening to organisations large and small. It examines a range of key issues in the contemporary organisation including bureaucracy, managerial control, technological change, leadership and management ethics as viewed through the lenses of current debates in social theory, management and organisation studies.
The Management of Organisational Change: Challenges and Debates
What is meant by change management and how to analyse organisational change is an important, contested and complex question. It is the focus of this course.
In recent decades, management gurus, consultants, politicians and academics have talked about a transformation of the workplace but what does this mean? A series of change initiatives have emerged such as Teamworking, Quality Management and Business Process Reengineering which can be understood as part of this transformation and a means to achieve it. This course aims to challenge accepted and simplistic understandings and practices associated with change. Our contention is that to understand what is going on necessitates a reflexive and critical appreciation of the contradictions, complexities and paradoxes of organisational change and interventions that seek to secure change.
The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of key ideas and perspectives in the management of organisational change. Throughout the course we will introduce concepts, theories and cases from studies of managers and organisations. Our focus is upon the development your abilities to analyse change management critically, systemically and reflectively.
As managers and others seek to initiate, implement and account for the impacts of change projects it is important that taken for granted assumptions and simplistic solutions about organisational life are both articulated, understood and rethought. Throughout the course prevailing assumptions in the managerial literature are examined and evaluated from a range of advanced social scientific perspectives. By the end of course you should have developed an understanding of the complex and contested nature and practice of the management of organisational change.
Theory and Concepts in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy
Diplomacy and Foreign Policy are central to the understanding of international politics. The structure of the international system induces a constant need for political dialogue and negotiations.
This module introduces students to ways of conceptualizing diplomacy and foreign policy in the 21st century:
- Why do states rely on diplomacy?
- What are the current forms and features of diplomacy and foreign policy?
- Is diplomacy the only form of international dialogue besides war?
- How do states (and statesmen) negotiate?
- How has diplomacy evolved throughout history?
- Does ‘global governance’ exist?
The teaching and learning strategy of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy is designed to give students both theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary issues in diplomacy and foreign policy. Academic teaching can be complemented by lectures and in-class activities carried out by practitioners (e.g. diplomats, civil servants, etc.).
Assessment is by 5,000 word essay.
What is Philosophy? Methods, Aims, Debates
Philosophy is a various, contested, self-reflective discipline. It includes many different areas, questions, and approaches to answering them. Metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and aesthetics are just some of the more obvious areas. Philosophers at Lancaster investigate questions about the nature of mental illness, free will, the self, the ethics of new medical technologies, Romantic thought, the emotions, autonomy, and many other topics. Our approaches range across critical reading of historical texts, engagement with special sciences including biology and psychology, conceptual analysis, literary studies, phenomenology, and more.
The aim of this module is to use guided practice in doing philosophy, and in thinking about what we’re doing, to develop the skills and virtues of a postgraduate-level philosopher. We pursue this aim in three strands:
(1) Presentations from philosophy staff on their research work, followed by discussion, to offer a tasting menu of some of the varied questions and approaches in contemporary professional philosophy as done here at Lancaster
(2) Reading and guided discussion of an important text or texts in one or more contemporary sub-disciplines of philosophy
(3) Reflective practice in central philosophical styles of skilled reading, writing, research, discussion, and presentation.
Assessment is by 5,000 word essay.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Fees and Funding
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
Management and Business
- Business Administration MBA
- Business Administration (Executive) MBA
- Business Analytics MSc
- Cyber Security Executive MBA MBA
- Digital Business, Innovation and Management MSc
- Human Resource Management MSc
- Human Resources and Consulting MA
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc
- Innovation and Improvement Science MSc
- Innovation and Improvement Science PgCert
- Innovation and Improvement Science PgDip
- International Business and Strategy MSc
- International Masters Program for Managers No Qual (PGT)
- Leadership and Management PgCert
- Leadership and Management (Health Care) PgCert
- Leadership Practice MSc
- Leadership Practice PgDip
- Leadership Practice (Apprenticeship Pathway) PgDip
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc
- Management MSc
- Management (Entrepreneurship and Strategy) PhD
- Management (Organisation, Work and Technology) PhD
- Management Science MRes
- Management Science PhD
- Management Science PhD (Integrated)
- Medical Leadership MSc
- Medical Leadership PgDip
- Medical Leadership PgCert
- Organisation, Work and Technology MRes
- Professional Development PGCert
- Professional Practice MA
- Professional Practice MSc
- Professional Practice PgCert
- Professional Practice PgDip
- Project Management MSc
- Strategy MSc
- Theory and Practice of Management PhD
- Theory and Practice of Management (IDPM) PhD
Politics and International Relations
- Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies MA
- Conflict, Development and Security MA
- Diplomacy and Foreign Policy MA
- Diplomacy and International Law LLM
- Diplomacy and International Law MA
- Diplomacy and International Law (Distance Learning) LLM
- Diplomacy and International Law (Distance Learning) MA
- Diplomacy and International Relations (by Distance Learning) MA
- Diplomacy and Religion MA
- International Law and International Relations LLM
- International Law and International Relations MA
- International Relations MA
- International Relations PhD
- Philosophy and Religion MA
- Politics MA
- Politics PhD
- Politics and International Relations PgCert
- Politics and Philosophy MA
- Public Policy MSc
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.