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Masters Degrees (Democracy)

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This MSc focuses on the design, creation, and operation of democratic institutions. Read more

This MSc focuses on the design, creation, and operation of democratic institutions. Students gain understanding of when a given set of institutes are appropriate for a society and what will make them function, and how scholars have thought about these matters, applying theory to examples of institution-building and design.

About this degree

Students are equipped with the theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for an in-depth understanding of democratic institutions and politics. They develop an understanding of the potential benefits and pitfalls of different institutional designs, reforms, and administrative practices, and are able to analyse problems raised by new and reforming democracies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four compulsory core modules (75 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Democracy and Constitutional Design (30)
  • Democratic Political Institutions (15)
  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods or Advanced Qualitative Methods (15)
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods or Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)

Optional modules

Choose one of the following 15 credit modules (the other two remain available as options):

  • Parliaments, Political Parties and Policy Making (15)
  • Governing Divided Societies (15)
  • The European Union, Globalisation and the State (15)

Choose further modules up to a value of 30 credits in total from a list here

The following are suggestions:

  • Public Policy Economics and Analysis (PPEA) (15)
  • NGO, Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Policy and Management (15)
  • Making Policy Work (15)
  • Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
  • Public Ethics (15)
  • Agenda Setting and Public Policy (15)
  • British Government & Politics (15)
  • Law and Regulation I (15)
  • International Political Economy (15)
  • Governing Divided Societies (15)
  • Gendering the Study of Politics: Theory and Practice (15)
  • Conflict Resolution and Post-War Development (15)
  • Democracy and Accountability: Holding Power to Account (15)

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars. Assessment is through unseen examinations, long essays, coursework, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Democracy and Comparative Politics MSc

Careers

Alumni of this programme work in a variety of fields. Many take on roles within their home governments, and a substantial number find jobs with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), working in their home countries or abroad. Some work for a research institutes or provide research for business, and a small number have also gone on to PhD study.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Account Manager, Financial Times
  • Political Organiser, David Lammy MP
  • Consultant, World Bank Group
  • Parliamentary Assistant, UK Parliament
  • Senior Policy Adviser, Civil Service

Employability

Graduates of the programme are equipped with the theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for entry into the world of government policy, non-governmental organisations, or the private sector.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of democracy and comparative politics.

Students on the programme benefit from greater interaction with fellow students and academic staff due to small class sizes.

London features a wealth of seminars, conferences, and other events on democratic topics. These provide a means for students to expand their knowledge and to extend their professional networks prior to entering the job market.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Political Science

89% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including. Read more
At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including: international and global politics, governance and political organisations, and political theory.

We can offer you excellent supervision for your Politics MPhil, in a vibrant and supportive research environment.

We have a Politics Postgraduate Society, which organises:
-The 'New Voices' seminar series, with both internal and external presenters
-Round table discussions on topical issues
-Professional development workshops led by politics staff

You are encouraged to attend conferences to present papers, partial funding for this is available from the School.

Our main research themes are:

The politics of difference

We examine the issues thrown up by the social and political differences of humanity from a variety of perspectives including: analytical and continental political philosophy; comparative politics and international politics; post-colonialism. Our work includes research on:
-Multiculturalism and issues of identity
-Inequality and social justice
-Disability
-Competing discourses of national identity
-Ethnic-nationalism
-Political violence
-Socio-political exclusion and discrimination
-Global norms and cultural difference
-Free speech - toleration and recognition

Popular culture and political communication

Our research addresses various key issues including:
-Representation
-Aesthetics
-Identity
-Cultural political economy
-Memory
-Control

We also assess the processes and depiction of political struggles, such as:
-Armed conflict
-Everyday life
-Political organising and identity formation
-Elections

Political participation and elections

We examine the differing forms of political participation that link society to the political systems of the world. We look at both the formal electoral process and non-electoral politics (social movements, protest groups etc). Our research on the emergence of virtual political participation means that some of our work intersects with popular culture and political communication. We investigate:
-Citizen involvement and (dis)engagement
-Social capital
-Non-participation
-The role of civil society

Political ideologies and political thought

We focus on the history of political thought as well as how these ideas are embedded in programmes for political action. Our research incorporates both historical and contemporary political thought prominent in the Western tradition as well as Asian philosophy and post-colonial thinking. This is an interdisciplinary theme, serving as a bridge between empirical political science and political theory.

Global economic and environmental challenges

We study the importance of political ideas such as sustainable development and globalisation, as well as the struggle to define the core problems that society faces. These challenges pose questions to the nature and reform of global governance, and generate tensions between the state and transnationalising forces in global politics and political economy. Our work has already led to findings on:
-The implications for global justice
-The policy challenge for governments and non-governmental actors
-The empowerment of various actors

Democracy, the modern state and political organisations

Our work examines the role of interest groups, social movements, political parties, third-sector actors and charities, community organisations and postcolonial nationalism in relation to the modern state. We draw from ancient and modern political thought to understand the interpretation of democracy (including democratic rights and the foundations of democracy). Our research interrogates the forms democracy takes, including:
-Elite theories of democracy
-Deliberative democracy
-Cosmopolitan democracy
-Democracy in divided societies

Political economy of development

Our research focuses on the interaction of economic forces and principles with political power in the development of societal economics and welfare, as well as on theories of development and post-development. We cover a range of geographic areas in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. We explore questions such as:
-The impact of the ongoing financial and economic crisis
-The role of communities and individuals in the face of global political economic forces
-The impact of the emerging economies (for example Brazil and China) on the global political economy

Critical geopolitics and security

Our research focuses on thinking critically about the political dynamics, consequences and discourses of historical and contemporary geopolitics. We cover both historical and contemporary questions of security, including:
-The territorialisation/de-territorialisation of identity and political agency
-Political cartography
-The role of fear and identity in shaping geopolitics
-Sovereignty and nationalism - the role and impact of the military
-Notions of terrorism and the war on terror
-The geographies of international boundaries
-The war on the trade in illegal substances
-The city and security
-The threat of biological weapons and infectious disease
-The vertical dimension in geopolitical and security studies
-Visual culture and world politics
-Technologies and architectures of security and insecurity
-The human body and security

Theory of international relations

We take an active role in the global debate on the units, actors and structures that shape the dynamics of international politics. Our research covers the political consequences of the constitution of the international as a distinct kind of relation. We examine political concepts including:
-The world system
-International diplomacy
-Networks
-Notions of empire
-Regional integration
-Non-governmental actors
-The (nation) state

Governance in Britain and wider Europe

Our research investigates the dynamics driving public policy-making at national, EU and international levels. We focus on the challenges multi-level governance offers for concerns about legitimacy and accountability. This includes the changing relationship between the governing and the governed over matters of politics and policy. Our geographic scope includes the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, and the Mediterranean

Global justice and human rights

Our work in political philosophy reflects the increasing need to tackle issues at a global rather than a state-only level. We cover issues such as:
-The formulation and justification of human rights
-The competing claims of relativism, particularism, and cultural diversity
-The extension of ideas of distributive justice from states to humanity as a whole
-Proposals to secure global democracy
-The application of just war theory to modern conflicts and to humanitarian intervention
-Environmental justice, especially climate change

We tackle questions of justice from an issue perspective as well as surveys of nationalism, statism, and various non-cosmopolitan theories of global justice.

Political research and methods

We conduct qualitative and quantitative research reflecting both empirical and critical political methodologies. We use quantitative methods, including rational choice theory and experiments, to make sense of topics as diverse as party systems and transitional justice. Our aim is to push innovation in research methods in ethnography, hermeneutics and discourse analysis. We use concepts that challenge traditional notions of politics to investigate methods for research into new challenges, including:
-The rise of life sciences
-The focus on the relationship between the human body and security
-Emergent forms of subjectivity and politics

Research skills development

The University's Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School provides a full range of research training in the social sciences, which meets the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This training includes:
-Bibliographical techniques
-Philosophy of social science
-Quantitative and qualitative methods

The Graduate School also hosts postgraduate events, including open days, and supports personal development.

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You would like to learn from the greatest concentration of Elections scholars in the country. You want to access teaching based on high quality data from the prestigious British Election Study that we run. Read more
  • You would like to learn from the greatest concentration of Elections scholars in the country
  • You want to access teaching based on high quality data from the prestigious British Election Study that we run
  • You are interested in cutting edge research-led teaching by internationally renowned specialists in the area of elections and democratic engagement

The democracy and elections pathway will appeal to students interested in aspects of formal and informal politics, party and non-party engagement, the elected and electors and in the relationship between the process of government and the normative foundations of democracy.

Teaching and learning

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PART-TIME STUDY

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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You would like to learn from the greatest concentration of Elections scholars in the country. You want to access teaching based on high quality data from the prestigious British Election Study, which we run. Read more
  • You would like to learn from the greatest concentration of Elections scholars in the country
  • You want to access teaching based on high quality data from the prestigious British Election Study, which we run
  • You are interested in strong methods training, which makes all the difference for future employability and future study

The democracy and elections pathway will appeal to students interested in aspects of formal and informal politics, party and non-party engagement, the elected and electors and in the relationship between the process of government and the normative foundations of democracy.

Teaching and learning

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PART-TIME STUDY

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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Democracy and Governance are at the heart of the social and political transformation that has characterized Estonia over the last two decades. Read more
Democracy and Governance are at the heart of the social and political transformation that has characterized Estonia over the last two decades. For years, Estonia has been ranked as one of the most dynamic reformers in Europe, while at the same time maintaining a stable democracy and social environment. It’s a leader in e-government, internet-based voting and other governance fields.

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Our MSc in Politics provides an advanced grounding in contemporary political science, focusing on empirical and normative democratic theory, political institutions, public policy and citizenship across different political systems and diverse social contexts.The MSc brings together many of the existing strengths of the department in different parts of the world. Read more
Our MSc in Politics provides an advanced grounding in contemporary political science, focusing on empirical and normative democratic theory, political institutions, public policy and citizenship across different political systems and diverse social contexts.The MSc brings together many of the existing strengths of the department in different parts of the world.

The programme can be tailored to specific regional interests through option courses in West Europe and North America, East Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East. The degree will provide you with a firm academic foundation in the study of comparative politics and a base of knowledge for careers in fields such as policymaking, development, and NGOs.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mscpolitics.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 latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, 2008)

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

- offers an advanced grounding in international public policy while allowing you to specialise in particular issues or regions of interest.

- taught by academics, current and retired public policy practitioners

- 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 Alsiter Miskimmon and Dr James Sloam, it has 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), David Willets MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills) and Dr Vince Cable. 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. Recent publications include, Bendetto and Milio (eds) European Union budget reform: institutions, policy and economic crisis (Palgrave, 2012) and James Sloam, 'New Voice, Less Equal: the Civic and political Engagement of Young People in the United States and Europe', Comparative Political Studies 2012.

- The Centre for Global and Transnational Politics is devoted to the multi-disciplinary exploration of global and transnational processes. Led by its Co-Directors Professor 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. Professor Rumford and Professor Halperin edit the Routledge Series in Global and Transnational Politics and host the Global Studies Association and a BISA Working Group of Global and Transnational Politics in the Centre.

- The New Political Communication Unit’s research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Core staff include Prof Andrew Chadwick, Prof Ben O’Loughlin and Dr Cristian Vicarri. Recent publications include Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin and Laura Roselle, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order (Routledge, 2013). As well as hosting a large number of PhD students working in new political communication, Chadwick edited the Oxford University Press Series Oxford Studies in Digital Politics and O’Loughlin is co-editor of the journal, Media, War and Conflict.

- 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

Course content and structure

Core course units:
- The Politics of Democracy You will be provided with a sound understanding of contemporary thinking about democracy and political participation through the analysis of liberal democracy and its political institutions. The unit will draw upon a variety of contemporary and historical sources with particular reference to the political systems of Britain and the USA.

- Comparative Political Executives This unit explores the political executives of established democratic systems, focusing on institutions – presidents, prime ministers, cabinets and so on – and how they function and interact with other parts of the political system. You will gain knowledge of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the executives in question, and will also gain useful insights into the difficulties of political leadership, the centrality of political executives and the interdependence of executives with other parts of the political system.

- European Union Politics and Policy This course provides students with an insight into the development and governance of the European Union as a political system. Particular attention is placed on the functions of the EU’s executive, legislative and judicial institutions as well as on a number of key policy areas in which the European Union’s sovereignty has developed in recent years. The course provides students with a solid theoretical background in understanding both the institutional politics and public policy of the EU.

- Political Parties
Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations You will be introduced to quantitative methods commonly used in the study of Politics and International Relations. You will acquire the skills to understand, critically analyse, and carry out a range of quantitative techniques, using statistical software packages such as SPSS.
Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Politics and International Relations You will be provided with an introduction to core theories and qualitative approaches in politics and international relations. You will examine a number of explanatory/theoretical frameworks, their basic assumptions, strengths and weaknesses, and concrete research applications. You will consider the various qualitative techniques available for conducting search research, the range of decisions qualitative researchers face, and the trade-offs researchers must consider when designing qualitative research.

- Dissertation (MSc only) The dissertation gives you the opportunity to study an aspect of Politics in depth. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor and the length of the piece will be 12-15,000 words.

Elective course units:
- Internet and New Media Politics Drawing predominantly upon specialist academic journal literatures, this unit focuses on a number of important contemporary debates about the role and influence of new technologies on the values, processes and outcomes of: global governance institutions; public bureaucracies; representative institutions including political parties and legislatures; pressure groups and social movements.

- Elections and Voting Behaviour

- Social Media and Politics

- Public Opinion and political participation

- Human Rights: From Theory to Practice

- Advanced Quantitative Methods

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts, theoretical debates, and developments related to public policy, democracy, politics, international relations and governance

- a sound knowledge of the texts, theories and methods used to enhance understanding of the issues, processes and phenomena associated with particular fields of public policy, 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, public policy careers, research 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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The Masters in International Relations and Democratic Politics provides an advanced critical and comprehensive understanding of the forces shaping state, inter-state relations and global politics. Read more
The Masters in International Relations and Democratic Politics provides an advanced critical and comprehensive understanding of the forces shaping state, inter-state relations and global politics. Drawing on key theoretical interpretations of democratic politics, the course probes into various tenets of democratic thinking (ranging from pluralism and civil society to egalitarianism and human rights), and explores the interplay between theory and practice in old and new democracies and in processes of global governance. Is democracy a concept limited to a world of territorially-bounded national communities? Can democracy still limit power in a global world? How does democratic policy making operate in the face of complexity? By raising and examining such questions the course explores the changing and contested understandings of democracy in contemporary thought as well as its application to the international sphere in our increasingly complex world.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-DEMOCRATIC POLITICS: KEY DEBATES AND ISSUES
-DISSERTATION AND RESEARCH METHODS
-THE POLITICS OF GLOBAL COMPLEXITY: RETHINKING GOVERNANCE, POWER AND AGENCY

Option modules - You must choose four option modules from the following list (one of your options may be an approved free choice module hosted by another Masters course):
-CONTROVERSIES IN UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICIES AND PROCESSES
-DEVELOPMENT THEORIES, POLICIES AND PRACTICES
-GLOBAL CHANGE: TOWARD A NEW NON-WESTERN ORDER?
-GLOBAL POLITICS OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE (Subject to approval)
-GLOBALISATION, DEMOCRATISATION AND POST-AUTHORITARIAN TRANSITION
-GOVERNANCE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
-ISLAM AND POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
-POLICY, GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES
-POSTCOLONIAL INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: THEORIES AND CONCEPTS
-REGIONAL DIMENSIONS OF ENERGY SECURITY (Subject to approval)
-THE EUROPEAN UNION AS AN INTERNATIONAL ACTOR
-THE STATE, POLITICS AND VIOLENCE

Associated careers

This course will provide you with numerous key skills and knowledge that will prepare you for your future career in a variety of different fields. Our graduates hold posts within various international and national government departments and organisations. Many have also gone on to study for Doctorates within the Department and at other universities around the world.

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We welcome proposals for research in any area connected with media, communications, digital media, cultural theory and practice. We give priority to those with proposals for research within the areas of interest of . Read more

We welcome proposals for research in any area connected with media, communications, digital media, cultural theory and practice.

We give priority to those with proposals for research within the areas of interest of our staff.

Research degrees in this department have two elements:

  • the research work that you carry out individually under supervision
  • a programme of taught courses, which brings you into contact with other students within Goldsmiths

Supervisors and their students form loose research teams, sometimes on a joint basis with another group. When you apply, please indicate your intended research area and any preference for a particular supervisor.

You'll be assessed by a thesis and viva voce.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Research

Having celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2013, Goldsmiths’ Department of Media and Communications is one of the oldest and largest media departments in the UK. It is also unique in its diversity of approaches to, and articulations of, the disciplinary conjunctures around media and culture.

The department has equal research strengths in media and communications and in cultural studies research, in humanities and in social sciences approaches, and in theory- and practice-driven work. Its work spans a wide range of topics and modes of enquiry – from philosophical studies of technology and human life to sociological investigations of media production and use; from issues of identity, embodiment and becoming to post-feminism, queer theory and critical race studies; from global screen studies and transnational investigations of media and culture to news’ role in contemporary democracy.

The Department’s research falls into five main strands which make up our research groupings:

(1) Media and Democracy: building on the work of the Leverhulme programme on the media’s contribution to democracy, including the changing nature of journalism and political communication; studying globalisation in relation to issues of diaspora and nationhood 

(2) Economy, Culture and Communication: investigating communication and discourse in finance and financial media; everyday representations and understandings of the economy and economic life; creative labour, neoliberalism and organisational practices in the arts and cultural industries; the impact of the promotional professions (branding, PR, marketing) on the economy, culture and society

(3) Media Futures: bringing together humanities and social sciences approaches to understanding the changing role of media technologies and global media flows in society, economy and science 

(4) Gender, Feminism and Contemporary Cultures: connecting the long tradition of work within the Department on culture, representation, embodiment and affect to its specific strengths in gender, race, sexuality and labour in national and international contexts 

(5) Screen Cultures and Media Arts: consolidating the long-standing focus on screen cultures within the Department, as concentrated within the Leverhulme programme, combined with an exploration of media arts such as photography, video, digital imagining, sound and performance.

Many of the projects undertaken within the Department are collaborative in nature - such as the work conducted under the umbrella of Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, funded with a 2006 Leverhulme grant to study the design and significance of various contemporary media spaces. Members of the Department have also received funding from AHRC, British Academy, British Council, Carnegie Trust UK, Council for British Research in the Levant, ESRC, EPSRC, Guggenheim Foundation, Higher Education Academy, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, JISC, London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange, Media Trust and Open Society Foundation.

As well as working on collaborative projects, members of the Department have published many books with high-impact international presses, on a diverse range of topics: affect and emotion, artificial intelligence, bioethics, the body and experience, branding, broadcasting, democracy, film history, the future of journalism, media geographies, the mediation of power, post-feminism, postcolonial politics, sound and video cultures.

Members of the Department edit leading academic journals, including Body and SocietyCulture Machine and its sister project, Photomediations Machine), Global Media and CommunicationInternational Journal of Cultural StudiesSubjectivity and photographies.

Recent research projects

Find out more about research in the Department of Media and Communications

Skills & careers

We aim to develop students who are able to express themselves creatively and self-critically in theoretical and/or practice work. You'll develop research skills, presentation skills, an understanding of the workings of the media and their broad cultural and social impacts and an understanding of the pleasures of media consumption.



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The Master of Research (MRes) degree prepares you for study at MPhil/PhD level. We welcome proposals for research in any area connected with media, communications, and cultural theory and practice. Read more

The Master of Research (MRes) degree prepares you for study at MPhil/PhD level.

We welcome proposals for research in any area connected with media, communications, and cultural theory and practice.

The programme combines taught modules in research methodology with a 20,000-word dissertation, and offers advanced-level training to appropriately qualified students. 

We give priority to those with proposals for research within the areas of interest of our staff.

You will be assessed through your research dissertation, and a portfolio of two essays.

Research

Having celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2013, Goldsmiths’ Department of Media and Communications is one of the oldest and largest media departments in the UK. It is also unique in its diversity of approaches to, and articulations of, the disciplinary conjunctures around media and culture.

The Department has equal research strengths in media and communications and in cultural studies research, in humanities and in social sciences approaches, and in theory- and practice-driven work. Its work spans a wide range of topics and modes of enquiry – from philosophical studies of technology and human life to sociological investigations of media production and use; from issues of identity, embodiment and becoming to post-feminism, queer theory and critical race studies; from global screen studies and transnational investigations of media and culture to news’ role in contemporary democracy. 

The Department’s research falls into five main strands which make up our research groupings:

(1) Media and Democracy: building on the work of the Leverhulme programme on the media’s contribution to democracy, including the changing nature of journalism and political communication; studying globalisation in relation to issues of diaspora and nationhood 

(2) Economy, Culture and Communication: investigating communication and discourse in finance and financial media; everyday representations and understandings of the economy and economic life; creative labour, neoliberalism and organisational practices in the arts and cultural industries; the impact of the promotional professions (branding, PR, marketing) on the economy, culture and society

(3) Media Futures: bringing together humanities and social sciences approaches to understanding the changing role of media technologies and global media flows in society, economy and science 

(4) Gender, Feminism and Contemporary Cultures: connecting the long tradition of work within the Department on culture, representation, embodiment and affect to its specific strengths in gender, race, sexuality and labour in national and international contexts 

(5) Screen Cultures and Media Arts: consolidating the long-standing focus on screen cultures within the Department, as concentrated within the Leverhulme programme, combined with an exploration of media arts such as photography, video, digital imagining, sound and performance.

Many of the projects undertaken within the Department are collaborative in nature - such as the work conducted under the umbrella of Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, funded with a 2006 Leverhulme grant to study the design and significance of various contemporary media spaces. Members of the Department have also received funding from AHRC, British Academy, British Council, Carnegie Trust UK, Council for British Research in the Levant, ESRC, EPSRC, Guggenheim Foundation, Higher Education Academy, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, JISC, London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange, Media Trust and Open Society Foundation.

As well as working on collaborative projects, members of the Department have published many books with high-impact international presses, on a diverse range of topics: affect and emotion, artificial intelligence, bioethics, the body and experience, branding, broadcasting, democracy, film history, the future of journalism, media geographies, the mediation of power, post-feminism, postcolonial politics, sound and video cultures.

Members of the Department edit leading academic journals, including Body and SocietyCulture Machine and its sister project, Photomediations Machine), Global Media and CommunicationInternational Journal of Cultural StudiesSubjectivity and photographies.

Recent Research Projects

Skills & careers

The Department of Media and Communications aims to develop students who should be able to express themselves creatively and self-critically in theoretical and/or practice work. 

You'll also develop: 

  • an understanding of the workings of the media and their broad cultural and social impacts
  • an understanding of the pleasures of media consumption

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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This course focuses on the political development goals of sustainable peace, good governance and stable democracy. Read more
This course focuses on the political development goals of sustainable peace, good governance and stable democracy. Drawing on different theoretical approaches and various empirical examples throughout the degree programme, it asks students to critically assess alternative suggestions for establishing peace and inclusive, durable democracies in developing countries.

Key topics include inter alia the possible definitions, arguable causes and consequences of democracy; the political, social and economic effects of different political institutions; and the typically contested origins of violent intrastate conflicts as well as the suggestions that have been made to help overcome them.

The course adopts a unique interdisciplinary approach which is grounded in the acknowledgment that it is extremely difficult to meet international development targets in states experiencing endemic political instability, violent civil conflict, gross human rights abuses and acute crises of governance.

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This MA looks at contemporary changes in media and communications, by putting into perspective the transformations that affect the way people live and work, national and international institutions evolve, and how cultural practices develop. Read more

This MA looks at contemporary changes in media and communications, by putting into perspective the transformations that affect the way people live and work, national and international institutions evolve, and how cultural practices develop.

This programme's internationally acclaimed and comparative approach to the events, issues and debates of our times is particularly suited for those interested in exploring the bigger picture as well as the nitty-gritty of transformations in media and communications and their impact on culture, society and politics.

Its cutting-edge and interdisciplinary approach to postgraduate learning, independent study, and life skills provides you with the analytical skills, conceptual knowledge and practical understanding of the real and imagined shifts that are taking place in – and through – the media industries, everyday life online and on the ground at home and abroad. 

The Masters attracts budding scholars, media practitioners, activists, and advocates from many regions, with a variety of educational and professional backgrounds.

It's particularly suitable for those wanting to move their knowledge and analytical skills up a level for further study as well as for those who have experience of studying or working in the media and cultural sectors, non-profits and other third sector organisations, alternative media, the arts, grassroots and international advocacy and activism.

The programme achieves these goals by:

  • exploring the challenges traditional media sectors face as news, entertainment, and services go global and converge on the web
  • critically studying the past, present, and future of the internet and information and communications technologies
  • examining changes to communicative cultures, media production, and services in a ‘post-Web 2.0’ context
  • thinking about how ordinary people, businesses, governments, and multilateral institutions (mis)use ICT
  • looking more closely at how local communities, governments, and transnational corporations look to influence media futures
  • researching differences in how people, cultures, and countries access and use media and communicate across borders
  • debating the implications of the digital divide, media censorship, and digital surveillance by governmental and commercial agencies
  • reading, watching, and hearing how artists, creative entrepreneurs, power elites and ordinary people respond to technological and social change

The Programme Director is Professor Marianne Franklin. Lecturers, guest speakers, and research students on this programme are affiliated to the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, the School of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University (USA), the United Nations Internet Governance ForumEdinburgh Law SchoolLe Monde diplomatique, a number of international NGOs, activist and advocacy groups, international academic and media networks.

Modules & structure

The programme is broken into three parts:

  • core modules
  • option modules (where students can devise their own specialisations)
  • dissertation

The themes covered may vary from year to year, depending on research developments and staff availability.

Along with two compulsory (core) modules, research skills module, and a research dissertation, you can choose from a range of theory and practice option modules from Media & Communications as well as other Goldsmiths departments.

Distinguishing Features: this programme's content, structure, and assessment takes an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to:

  • reading, thinking and articulating challenging ideas
  • conducting individual and collaborative research
  • accessing and contributing to current debates
  • incorporating practitioner and activist perspectives
  • teaching and learning that is both research-led and student-inspired
  • supporting excellence in individual and group projects 

Activities: Based on an interactive communication model of learning and teaching, the core programme is organised around lectures, participatory workshops, student presentations, written work, informed debates.

  • It features guest speakers from around the world and various media and communications domains.
  • It involves students in creating their own media-based projects, such as our prize-winning live Video Conference event with international partners.
  • It looks to foster original research dissertation work, formal presentation and collaborative skills.
  • It provides instruction in the fundamentals of designing and successfully completing an independent research dissertation project alongside one to one supervision and workshops

On completing this programme you will be able to (re)enter the workplace, return to your creative pursuits, activism, or advocacy project or, if you wish, continue onto further research with up-to-date knowledge about the facts and fictions around these trends.

Core modules

You also take: 

Research Skills (60 credits)

As an integral part of successfully completing the Dissertation component, students take part in a two-term Research Skills module. Here we cover topics such as: 

  • research design and planning - from start to finish
  • deciding on a topic/research question formulation
  • finding and using the literature at an advanced level
  • selected data-gathering and analysis across the arts, humanities, and social science spectrum
  • academic thinking, writing, and presentation
  • citation formats, ethics that matter, and the theory-method relationship from several angles
  • coping with stress, being creative, and originality

By term’s end students will be fine-tuning their individual research projects, contributing to our study of these themes in class presentations. Workshops and one to one supervision will provide further support for students until the end of the summer teaching term.

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. 

Assessment

Individual and group presentations; live video/web conferences, examined essays and research papers; qualitatively assessed assignments and discussion leading; dissertation.

Careers

Graduates from this programme find work and excel in a number of domains:

  • national and global media corporations
  • government departments
  • global news & broadcasting
  • online media
  • PR and advertising
  • NGOs and non-profits
  • intergovernmental organizations
  • the entertainment industry
  • the arts and cultural sectors

Alumni have found work with the BBC world service, Globo corporation, Carnegie Foundation, European parliament and European Commission, CCTV, NBC, Google, Microsoft, NGOs (eg Greenpeace, Global Partners) and charities (eg Dementia UK), newspapers (eg in South Korea, Brazil, Slovenia, China), alternative media and advocacy networks, museums, theatres and art gallerires, online national and international media outlets (eg Chinese, indigenous Taiwanese), PR and marketing around the world.

Other alumni have continued on to PhD programmes, at Goldsmiths and elsewhere. Many have been successful in gaining research scholarships and funding to further their academic and practitioner careers.



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Established in 1987, this very popular programme is the oldest Masters degree in Middle East Politics in the UK. Read more
Established in 1987, this very popular programme is the oldest Masters degree in Middle East Politics in the UK.

As a student here you will examine key issues in Middle Eastern domestic and regional politics, developing a critical understanding of the patterns of state-society interaction in the region, the processes of state formation, the constitution of social and political forces, and an awareness of the different perspectives and debates within this field.

This programme particularly explores the meaning of democracy within an Arabo-Islamic setting, developing your critical awareness of debates about democracy as well as the strategies and dynamics of political liberation in the Arab world. Our discussions will be located within discourses and counter-discourses on Orientalism, Occidentalism, Islamism, secularism, and civil society; and we will apply the concepts and methodologies discussed to concrete situations through our discussion of specific case studies from the Arab Maghrib and Mashriq.

To add a further dynamic to your studies you will also have the opportunity to take a beginners level introductory course in Persian, Arabic or Kurdish as part of this Masters programme.

Further information on this programme can be found on our website: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/politics/politics-international-relations-middle-east

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The political and social dimensions of religions are at the heart of this innovative programme, which explores the role of religions and theology in global development. Read more

The political and social dimensions of religions are at the heart of this innovative programme, which explores the role of religions and theology in global development. You’ll consider religion as a resource, obstacle and participant in development, exploring the relationships between religions, aid agencies and local communities.

You’ll develop your understanding of both development and religious studies, as core modules introduce you to theories and issues in development and how they relate to developing countries across the Global South. In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules in each area, allowing you to specialise in topics such as the links between conflict or gender and development, or the role of religion in public life.

Drawing on sociological, historical, anthropological and political approaches, this diverse degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge to research the relationship between religions and development in a stimulating environment.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.

Course content

This course is taught jointly by Theology and Religious Studies and the Centre for Global Development.

Across the year you’ll study a core module introducing you to theories and approaches in development studies, and how social, economic and political inequalities lay at the heart of development. In Semester Two another core module will focus on the complex relationships between religions and global development – the views of different religious traditions towards issues such as poverty, gender and welfare, and the roles they can play in development.

At the same time you’ll be thinking about your dissertation: an independent research project on a topic of your choice which allows you to demonstrate the skills and subject knowledge that you gain. You can choose to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even greater depth. You’ll submit the finished dissertation by the end of the programme in August.

You’ll also have other opportunities to specialise, as you choose from optional modules to focus on topics that suit your interests or career plans. In development studies, you’ll select from modules on topics such as democracy and development, or Africa in the modern world. If you opt for the standard dissertation, you’ll choose another module from religious studies.

If you decide to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

There are three compulsory modules throughout the programme including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose an optional module, or if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits) you’ll take a single optional module.

  • Global Inequalities and Development 30 credits
  • Religions and Global Development 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust 30 credits
  • Modernity and the Jews 30 credits
  • Africa in the Contemporary World 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Democracy and Development 30 credits
  • Gender, Globalisation and Development 30 credits
  • Development Management Techniques 15 credits
  • Research Methodology for Development 15 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
  • Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30 credits
  • Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods 30 credits
  • Religion, Politics and the Future: From Apocalypse to Utopia 30 credits
  • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits
  • Research Project (Theology and Religious Studies) 30 credits
  • Special Options in Theology and Religious Studies 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Religious Studies and Global Development MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Religious Studies and Global Development MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures and seminars, which allow you to discuss the issues arising from your lectures and reading. Independent study is also an important element of this programme, as it allows you to develop your skills and gives you space to form your own ideas.

Assessment

We also use a range of assessment methods. These usually include essays, but some modules may involve project reports and presentations. Modules taught by other Schools within the University may also use different methods.

Career opportunities

This programme will equip you with diverse and in-depth subject knowledge, as well as strong political and cultural awareness. These are all valuable in a wide range of careers – and you’ll also have advanced skills in areas such as analysis and interpretation, oral and written communication, and different types of research.

Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors where they can use their knowledge of development and religion, as well as a variety of other fields. These include the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.

We offer plenty of support to boost your employability, including an impressive array of research training offered by the School, the University Library and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute. The School also has a dedicated postgraduate employment advisor who can offer tailored careers advice.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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Who is it for?. This course is for students looking to explore international development through a communications lens and the role media play in development and policy making. Read more

Who is it for?

This course is for students looking to explore international development through a communications lens and the role media play in development and policy making.

At a time when ideas about freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and access to natural and material resources guide development projects across the world, the question about the role of media and communications for social change becomes ever more pertinent. As a result, this MA will particularly appeal to you if you have an interest in communication studies and cross-disciplinary interests in development studies, sociology and politics.

Objectives

The International Communications and Development MA provides will help you to:

  • Gain an overview of the main issues in the field on International Communications and Development.
  • Develop a broad interdisciplinary overview of developments in broadcasting, telecommunications, the press and information technology.
  • Conduct detailed analysis of sectors or issues of your own choice, drawing on economics, political science, international relations, development theory, sociology and law.
  • Analyse the main directions of media and communication issues in Britain, the USA, the EU, and countries of your own interest.
  • Develop the ability to participate in policy making and evaluation in the context of changing national and global economic and political relations.
  • Gain the relevant skills for employment in government information departments, communications regulatory agencies, mass media organisations, public relations, advertising, academic and professional research.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a combination of lectures, interactive sessions, practical workshops and small-group classes supported by a personal tutorial system. You are encouraged to undertake extensive reading in order to understand the topics covered in lectures and classes and to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the subject. In the course of self-directed hours, you are expected to read from the set module bibliography, prepare your class participation, collect and organise source material for your coursework, and plan and write your coursework.

The Department also runs a personal tutorial system, which provides support for teaching and learning and any problems can be identified and dealt with early.

During the second term the Department offers a Dissertation Workshop to guide you on your dissertation outline.

Assessment and Assessment Criteria

You will submit a 2,500-word essay for each 15-credit module and 3,000-word essay for each 30-credit module. You will also submit a dissertation.

Assessment Criteria are descriptions, based on the intended learning outcomes, of the skills, knowledge or attitudes that you need to demonstrate in order to complete an assessment successfully. This provides a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured.

Grade-related criteria are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment. This provides a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to help you complete assessments. These may be provided in programme handbooks, module specifications, on the virtual learning environment or attached to a specific assessment task.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback will be provided in line with our Assessment and Feedback Policy. In particular, you will normally be provided with feedback within three weeks of the submission deadline or assessment date. This would normally include a provisional grade or mark.

For end-of-module examinations or an equivalent significant task (e.g. an end-of-module project), feedback will normally be provided within four weeks.  The timescale for feedback on final year projects or dissertations may be longer. Take a look at the full policy for more information.

Assessment Regulations

In order to pass your programme, you should complete successfully or be exempted from the relevant modules and assessments and will therefore acquire the required number of credits.

The pass mark for each module is 50%.

Modules

The course focuses on the relationship between communication, development and democracy. Over the course of the year you will develop your knowledge of media and communication studies within the context of globalisation, Political communication and the work of international organisations and non-governmental organisations in development communication.

Your will also cover more specific areas, such as media representation (national and trans-national) and audiences and the communications policies that affect them.

You will take three 30-credit core modules and either two 15-credit modules or one 30-credit module elective modules.

The Department of Sociology at City offers you an extensive range of module options. This enables you to specialise in your particular areas of interest, developing your critical skills and advancing your knowledge, culminating with you undertaking an extended piece of original research.

Core modules

  • Democratisation & Networked Communication SGM311 (30 credits)
  • Research Workshop SGM302 (30 dredits)
  • Communication, Culture and Development SGM312 (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules

  • Research Design, Methods and Methodology
  • Rationale and Philosophical Foundations of Social Research
  • Introduction to Qualitative Inference
  • Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics (30 credits)
  • Global Political Economy - Contemporary Approaches (30 credits)
  • Analysing Crime (30 credits)
  • Criminal Justice Policy and Practice (30 credits)
  • Developments in Communication Policy (15 credits)
  • Transnational Media and Communication (15 credits)
  • Celebrity (15 credits)
  • Development and World Politics (15 credits)
  • Religion in Global Politics (15 credits)
  • Evaluation Politics and Advocacy (15 credits)
  • Victims: Policy and Politics (15 credits)
  • Criminal Minds (15 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Applied Qualitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Survey Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Multivariate Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Statistical Modelling (15 credits)
  • Mediating Gender and Sexuality (15 credits)
  • Digital Cultures

Career prospects

Graduates of this MA have entered a wide variety of careers, including:

  • The civil service
  • Broadcasting
  • Press and telecoms networks
  • NGOs
  • The development sector and consultancies
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • PR
  • Media management
  • Regulatory agencies


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A central feature of the work of professionals in education and training today is the evaluation and development of practice, and the ability to bring about change within their institutions. Read more

About the course

A central feature of the work of professionals in education and training today is the evaluation and development of practice, and the ability to bring about change within their institutions. The EdD is a research-based programme focused on the improvement of professional practice. You will work at doctorate level on issues or problems that are of direct relevance to your professional interests and institutional concerns, bringing significant benefit to the organisation in which you work.

You will undertake a programme of studies in the areas of professional development and impact on practice; research approaches and methods appropriate to practice-based research; and leadership issues in promoting the learning of others. In consultation with tutors you will develop a programme of work which leads to the presentation of a thesis.

The programme is intended for professionals with an education or training function from public sector or commercial/business organisations. These include: people working in education settings such as schools, further education, higher education, and local education authorities; trainers and consultants; staff working in inter-agency settings; youth and social workers.

Study themes for Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2) are: issues in professional learning and development; approaches to research.

Study Themes for Phases 2 and 3 (Years 3 to 5) are: professional learning and development of practice-based research, with supervisory support leading to the production of a substantial thesis.

A programme of sessions relating to the themes provides opportunities for you to present and evaluate your own work.

How to apply

Before making your formal application, we recommend that you discuss your proposed research with Dr Jon Berry , to establish that it is appropriate for this award.

Download our information pack on studying for a Doctorate in Education. - https://www.herts.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/83921/Information-pack-2015.pdf

Applications should be returned to Dr Janice Turner, Research Administrator, SSAHRI

Why choose this course?

The Doctorate in Education (EdD) offers the opportunity for those with an enthusiasm for learning to gain the highest level of professional qualification available in the field.

Teaching methods

A series of bi-monthly study days are organised in two-day blocks and single days (including weekend days), supervision meetings, e-learning support and University Research Degrees' Generic Training for Researchers sessions. This research course has a strong cohort experience and attendance to the bi-monthly study days is compulsory. During the study days, which are led by the EdD team, students develop research skills and discuss their ongoing projects. Students are supervised by a principal and up to two second supervisors. The EdD core team includes professionals with a wide range of expertise at the forefront of education and social inquiry:

Jon Berry, PhD. Programme Tutor, Professional Doctorate in education (EdD). Areas of expertise: teachers’ professional autonomy, education policy, the politics of education. Representative publication: Teachers' professional autonomy in England: are neo-liberal approaches incontestable? Forum Vol. 54: 3 2012

Bushra Connors. Current research interests: critical realism, interdisciplinarity, structure and agency interactions, globalisation and Higher Education, pedagogy in a changing world, behaviour management in schools, science teaching pedagogy. Representative publication: Global mechanisms and Higher Education (presented at the Conference of the International Association for Critical Realism, Bologna, 2010).

Joy Jarvis, PhD, Associate Dean, Learning Teaching and Employability. Areas of expertise: professional learning and development including pedagogy in schools and HE, professional identity, professional development and leadership in learning and teaching. Research interests focus on narrative and arts-based forms of enquiry. Representative publication: Other ways of seeing; other ways of being: imagination as a tool for developing multiprofessional practice for children with communication needs (with Trodd, in Child Language Teaching and Therapy, Vol. 24, 2008).

Roger Levy, PhD, Associate Head of School, Research and Enterprise. Areas of expertise: professional learning and development, including mentoring, enquiry into work-based practice and the capacity of organisations to manage change; conceptions of teaching and learning; teacher development, professionalism; curriculum, programme evaluation; qualitative methodology. An active member and past Chair of the International Professional Development Association.

Philip Woods, PhD FRSA, Professor of Educational Policy, Democracy and Leadership. Areas of expertise: policy, leadership, democracy and education, enterprise and entrepreneurialism, alternative education, sociology, research and evaluation. Representative publication: Transforming education policy: Shaping a democratic future(Policy Press, 2011). Active links with US include University Council for Educational Administration and the New DEEL (Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership) network.

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