This course allows you to study United States politics at an advanced level in a department ranked top in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) and with an extraordinary number of staff trained in the US. One of the few United States-focused courses in the UK, the course allows you gain in-depth knowledge of the workings of the US political system—what makes it unique, how it has evolved, and how it is changing. You receive a thorough training in the theories and methods needed to conduct your own research into United States politics – culminating in your dissertation on a topic that fascinates you and enhances your career. Your research skills will be in demand by a wide range of employers, including government, international organisations, policy analysis and market research. The course also prepares students for doctoral study.
The core module covers topics relating to the political institutions and policy-making in the United States including:
· The US Constitutional Design
· American Political Parties
· The American Electorate
· Congress and the Presidency
· Economic and Political Inequality
· Interest Groups
· Representation, Race and Gender
· Federalism and the Judiciary
In addition, the course includes modules covering theory and explanation in political science and advanced research methods. Optional modules include such topics as international relations, foreign policy and the politics of Western democracies.
Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious research and graduate training departments in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics and our academic staff work on topics ranging from political institutions, elections and international conflict and violence, to British and European elections. Our staff routinely advise governments, assist in training politicians and civil servants, and provide commentary on political events in national and international media.
Key academic staff for this course include:
Over half of our academic staff completed doctoral training in the United States and many of these staff have published, taught and/or provided expert commentary on topics relating to US politics, including Natasha Ezrow (PhD University of California Santa Barbara) and Gina YannitellReinhardt (PhD Washington University in St. Louis).
The MSc Political Science and Political Economy provides a sound professional training in formal political science and in quantitative-oriented approaches to political economy.
You will acquire the knowledge and techniques to analyse political processes, institutional design and public policy making in liberal democracies.
The programme offers courses in political economy, elections, legislature, executive governments, public policy, development, and international political economy within the framework of a political science-oriented programme. This MSc will provide a set of skills which are highly sought after in public policy making, policy analysis, business, political consultancy and public affairs.
This programme is an excellent preparation for further research work (including a PhD or research in quantitative political science) or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector.
This programme is an excellent preparation for further research work or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector. It will also equip you with the skills needed to pursue a PhD or conduct research in quantitative political science.
Modern democracies are increasingly shaped by the relationships between politicians, mass media and citizens. This interdisciplinary programme applies ideas from a range of approaches to give you an insight into the context and production of political journalism and communication.
Core modules will introduce you to political communication in established and emerging democracies worldwide, exploring the ethics and power dynamics at play. You’ll ask questions around media freedom, the responsibilities of journalists, ‘spin doctors’, the impact of emerging technologies and whether elections really are decided on TV.
You’ll also tailor the programme to suit your personal and career interests, choosing from optional modules on topics such as digital media, PR and the role of the media in democratisation. Supported by our Media Industries Research Centre, leading researchers and experienced practitioners, you’ll be well equipped for a career in this challenging field.
Our School has a range of fantastic facilities to support your studies. The 58-seat Phil Taylor Cinema is equipped with Dolby Digital sound and high-definition projection facilities, as well as projectors for 16mm and 35mm film.
You can also work on your own projects in our 44 editing suites, equipped with Avid Media Composer editing software and Adobe Creative Cloud. The fully equipped TV studio also has a large green screen area, lighting and photo-flash facilities. We also have a track and dolly, sliders, Glidecam and various cranes, and you’ll have access to a new photographic dark room.
We also run a loans service where you can borrow a range of HD digital camcorders and various Canon stills cameras to help with your project work.
Throughout the year you’ll study two core modules that cover the foundations of the programme, exploring the role of communications in contemporary politics.
You’ll look at different models of contemporary democracy and compare the relations between political actors, the media and citizens. From there you’ll move onto recent innovations sparked by cultural, technological and political change. With this in mind, you’ll then design a political campaign that incorporates some of these developments.
On top of this, you’ll build specialist knowledge through your choice of optional modules. These vary every year, but can include topics such as television narrative, media and globalisation, urban narratives, and media and democratisation. The optional modules allow you to focus on topics that suit your own interests or perhaps reflect your career plans.
Throughout the year, you’ll also be preparing for your dissertation through the Dissertation and Research Methods module. Your dissertation is a major independent research project on a topic of your choice, which you submit at the end of the year.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll complete the MA over two years, instead of one, taking fewer modules each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
MA modules will use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, group learning and project work, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, as an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the subjects introduced in lectures and seminars, and to develop your skills in analysis and research. You should anticipate spending at least 20 hours per week on independent study associated with your modules.
Assessments also take different forms so you can develop diverse skills. These are likely to include essays and exams as well as group presentations, projects and reports, as well as campaign analyses and case studies.
This programme isn’t a practical training course, but it does give you an in-depth understanding of the role and importance of political communication – a sector which is constantly growing.
Our graduates have entered a wide range of related careers in political journalism, government communications, communications analysis and advisory roles for political parties. Others have gone on to work for international organisations and pressure groups.
You’ll also be prepared to continue with further research at PhD level and pursue an academic career.
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.