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Masters Degrees (Biopolitics)

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Providing a thorough grounding in the classical traditions of social and political theory, this MA addresses key concepts and ideas that are central to the analysis of contemporary society, politics and culture. Read more
Providing a thorough grounding in the classical traditions of social and political theory, this MA addresses key concepts and ideas that are central to the analysis of contemporary society, politics and culture. These include debates over the basis of contemporary capitalism, neoliberalism and biopolitics, and the fundamental socio-biological question of what it means to be ‘human’.

The programme anchors many of these debates and concerns within the history of social and political thought. You’ll study two core modules. The first — State, Capitalism and Market — reflects analytically and critically on capitalism and its recurrent crises, particularly the recent financial crisis. The second core module — Politics and Social Theory — focuses on the concept of ideology as a defining feature of politics, and especially the role that both religion and science have played in constituting modern political ideologies.

We also encourage you to pursue your own substantive interests by choosing from a wide range of optional modules. Questions can be explored through personal research in your final dissertation project. Following the course, you’ll be well-placed to move into a wide range of careers including teaching, media, accountancy, public and charitable sectors.

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Questions about security – what drives it and what undermines it – shape global politics. Read more
Questions about security – what drives it and what undermines it – shape global politics. Terrorism, conflict, environmental catastrophe, weapons of mass destruction and weak states are all security issues that are reflected in our media, dominate policy-making in international politics, and increasingly impinge on our daily lives.

This stream in Transnational Security Studies is an exciting new course that brings together many of the existing strengths of the Department of Politics and International Relations, including expertise in the areas of security studies, comparative politics, international law and conflict, political theory, and global politics.

The core of the course traces the security studies discipline from its traditional approaches through its evolution to include ever more transnational dynamics. You can tailor the course to your specific interests through optional units in subjects such as political violence, biopolitics, media, communication and conflict, international law of targeting, and regional international politics. You will be provided with both a firm academic foundation in the security studies discipline and a base of knowledge for careers in fields of policymaking, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and more.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mscpgdiptransnationalsecuritystudies.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The Department of Politics and International Relations is a young, vibrant and rapidly-rising department and was ranked in the Top 10 small politics departments in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

- The course is taught by world-class scholars and informed by cutting-edge research.

- The course offers an advanced grounding in security studies while allowing you to specialise in particular issues or regions of interest.

- Our international cohort of students will provide you with excellent opportunities to obtain genuinely global perspectives.

Department research and industry highlights

- The Centre for European Politics was officially launched by Lord Mandelson in September 2007, with the mission of producing research in two principal areas: the study of democracy in Europe, and Europe as an actor in world politics. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Dr Alister Miskimmon and Dr James Sloam, it has recently hosted a number of high-profile speakers, including Lord Mandelson, Professor Simon Hix (LSE), Roger Liddle (Policy Network), John Peet (The Economist), Sir Stephen Wall (former European policy advisor to Tony Blair), and David Willetts MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills).
Recent funded research projects include: a European Union Committee of the Regions consultancy on EU External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy; an EU-funded Workshop on the Review of the European Union Budget; and Teaching Democracy.

- The Centre for Global and Transnational Politics is devoted to the multi-disciplinary exploration of global and transnational processes. Led by its Co-Directors Dr Chris Rumford and Professor Sandra Halperin, its central concern is to theorise and conceptualise the substance of, and connections between and among, political processes that operate at all levels or scales: the local, national, international, transnational, and global.
The Centre recently won £54,000 from NORFACE, a partnership of European Research Councils including the ESRC, for a pan-European research network on globalisation and the transformation of Europe's borders, and £20,000 from the joint AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme for a research network on the normative foundations of public policy in a multi-faith society.
Dr Yasmin Khan’s recent book The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (Yale University Press) won the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Book Prize of 2007.

- The New Political Communication Unit’s research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Dr Ben O'Loughlin and Akil N. Awan, together with colleague Andrew Hoskins at the University of Warwick, were awarded £300,000 from the ESRC for a study of terrorist networks on the internet.
Unit Co-Director Professor Andrew Chadwick is one of the founding members of the US National Science Foundation's International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policymaking, a three year project focusing on how political interaction on the internet can contribute to better government policy. It is funded through part of an overall grant of $1m to the State University of New York at Albany, from the NSF Digital Government Programme. Andrew Chadwick’s recent book Internet Politics (Oxford University Press) was awarded one of the American Sociological Association Best Book Prizes in 2007.

- The Contemporary Political Theory Research Group was founded in October 2009, as a result of the development of political theory at postgraduate level and growth in academic staff numbers having created the critical mass it required. The group organizes its activities collectively, and its work focuses on issues around contemporary pluralism, liberalism, democratic theory and radical politics. It brings together staff working in contemporary Continental philosophy, normative political theory, and American pragmatism, and its postgraduate members include two students on the College’s most prestigious studentship, the Reid Award. The group also has ties to the College’s Philosophy Team and the interdepartmental Humanities and Arts Research Centre.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts, theoretical debates, and developments related to security studies

- a sound knowledge of the texts, theories and methods used to enhance understanding of the issues, processes and phenomena associated with particular fields of politics and international relations

- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of research methods within the disciplines of politics and international relations

- a solid foundation for progression to either a politics-related career or continued academic study.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different politics and international relations-related areas, including roles as officials in local government, personnel officers and higher education lecturers. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Human geography is a dynamic discipline with profound influence on current debates in the social sciences and humanities. Read more
Human geography is a dynamic discipline with profound influence on current debates in the social sciences and humanities. Human geographers focus on the relationships between space and society, in particular the interconnection between environment, place and identity, knowledge, globalisation processes, social justice, and a variety of other themes of crucial relevance in our contemporary world.

This programme provides you with a rigorous grounding in social theory and mainstream debates and techniques in human geography. It also offers a thorough training in qualitative and quantitative methods. The MSc is closely linked to the University's Cabot Institute, which brings together multidisciplinary research into all aspects of global environmental change.

Programme structure

Core units
-Experimental Geographical Methods: Practising Post-humanism in Social Research
-Theorising Society and Space
-Researching Society and Space: Hermeneutics, Genealogy, and Critical Theory

Optional units - Optional units can change from year to year, but may include:
-Affect/Biopolitics/Technologies
-Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis
-Geographies of Time and Timing
-Geographies of Knowledge
-Practical Statistics for Use in Research and Policy
-Post-colonial Matters

ESRC-funded students must take either of the following:
-Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis
-Practical Statistics for Use in Research and Policy

Dissertation
You will complete a research-based dissertation of up to 15,000 words. You begin work on the dissertation in May and submit by the middle of September.

Careers

The programme equips you for a career in high-level public research, business and the creative industries, and provides an outstanding academic training for prospective PhD students and for those seeking a Master's-level qualification.

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