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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Third Year Students

In your third year in Politics and International Relations, you may choose to offer four papers, or three papers and a dissertation. HSPS students who are taking Part II over two years take POL 9, while History and Politics students take Theory and Practice. There are separate guidelines for those taking HSPS Part II in one year. The choices available in both Triposes enable you to extend your knowledge of political thought, certain themes of modern world politics, such as gender or conflict, and to study the politics of a particular region such as the Middle East or Africa. 

Paper Guides for 2022-23

POL9Conceptual Issues and Texts in Politics and International Relations

POL10: The History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890

POL11: Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought since c.1890 

POL12: The Politics of the Middle East

POL13: The Politics of Europe

POL14: US Foreign Policy 

POL15: The Politics of Africa 

POL16: The Politics of Conflict and Peace

POL17: Politics and Gender

POL18: The Politics of the International Economy

POL19: Themes and Issues in Politics and International Relations 

POL20: Politics and Religion

POL21: Politics of the Future

POL22: Politics and Public Policy


The deadline for submitting the dissertation is Thursday 4 May 2023 at 12.00 noon.

Penalties for late submission:

  • 1 point per hour or part thereof - up to 3 points (1 point per the first hour, another point for the second hour, and a third point for any further delay up to 12 noon the next day)
  • Next ten days or part thereof - 3 points per day
  • Any work submitted after 10 days is marked 0
  • Electronic submission is mandatory
  • Submission times are standardised as 12 noon (BST) on the due date, with daily penalties applied every 24 hours from the due time

Dissertation examples:

For reference when writing your own dissertation please see below for a couple of examples of first class dissertations written by POLIS students in previous years of the HSPS tripos.

  • Example #1:The US Constitution and debates on the expansion of federal power, 1932-2013
  • Example #2: Global Justice and indeterminacy - the boundaries of the cosmopolitan premise

Options booklet for Third Year Papers 22-23

Student Guides

  • Guide to supervisions. This document gives you a sense of what to expect from supervisions, and guidance on essay writing in Politics & International Relations.
  • Guide to exams. This site sets out how examining works, explains the marking system, and gives guidance on how to write essays under exam conditions.


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