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Masters Degrees (Elections)

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Elections are more unpredictable than ever. Recent campaigns have shocked and surprised pundits and politicians alike. From the 2015 UK General Election, to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump – recent elections have thrown up some unexpected results. Read more

Elections are more unpredictable than ever. Recent campaigns have shocked and surprised pundits and politicians alike. From the 2015 UK General Election, to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump – recent elections have thrown up some unexpected results. This course is designed to better understand how modern election campaigns work, to identify what strategies have been employed, which have been successful, which have failed, and why. What explains the success of political outsiders and how best can mainstream parties respond? Why have recent results been so unpredictable? And how can we better track public opinion and analyse voting behaviour? 

Working with academics who are expert in the field of elections and polling agencies who have worked on political campaigns, you will get both a theoretical and practical insight into the challenges of running a modern election campaign. This course is ideal for anyone who wants a career in campaigning, social research or political consultancy, or is interested in a career in government or academia. 

The Department of Politics and International Relations has a strong commitment to high quality, cutting-edge research which informs our teaching. We are an international research community that draws on various methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of domestic, transnational, regional and global politics. This includes research into areas such as security, international diplomacy, public policy, the European Union, voting behaviour, political participation, and the impact of new communication technology on politics, nationalism and migration. 

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.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Elections and Campaigning
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

You must take either Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations or Theories and Qualitative Approaches in Politics and International Relations.

  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations
  • Theories and Qualitative Approaches in Politics and International Relations
  • Analysing Public Opinion
  • Political Leaders and Democratic Politics
  • Rejuvenating Politics - New Trends in Political Participation
  • Internet and New Media Politics
  • Social Media and Politics
  • Media, War and Conflict
  • United States Foreign Policy
  • Understanding Defence
  • Non State Violence, Civil War and Security
  • Identity, Power and Radical Theory
  • Theories of Globalisation
  • Sovereignty, Rights and Justice
  • Human Rights - From Theory to Practice
  • Global Politics and Religion

Teaching & assessment

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

Your future career

Graduates of political degrees have much to offer potential employers having developed a range of transferable skills, both practical and theoretical, whilst studying with us. With up to 90% of our most recent graduates now working or in further study, according to the Complete University Guide 2015, it’s true to say our graduates are highly employable. 

The methodological nature of a politics degree provides graduates with valuable analytical and research skills in preparation for careers in government, political consultancy, NGOs and research organisations.

In recent years, departmental graduates have secured jobs in a wide range of professions, such as the law, the civil service, accountancy, management, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, international development and diplomacy. In fact, six-months after graduation, 90% of our most recent graduates are enhancing their skills with further study or forging careers in companies and institutions such as:

  • Bloomberg
  • The Church of England
  • Citigroup
  • The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • The Conservative Party
  • Ernst & Young
  • The European Commission Global Capital
  • HM Treasury
  • The Henry Jackson Society
  • House of Commons
  • Ipsos MORI
  • The Labour Party
  • KAYAK
  • NATO Headquarters
  • Oxford Business Group
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Quadrangle
  • Save the Children 


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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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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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The United States is the most politically and economically influential country in the world and its politics is more important than ever. Read more

The United States is the most politically and economically influential country in the world and its politics is more important than ever.

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.

In this course, you will study a wide range of topics.

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 expert staff

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:

  • Dr Royce Carroll (PhD University of California San Diego), Reader in Comparative Politics and teacher of the core United States Politics module. He has published extensively on topics of democratic institutions, representation and policy-making processes in the US and elsewhere.

  • Professor Jonathan Slapin (PhD University of California Los Angeles), an expert on political institutions and legislative politics
  • Dr Daina Chiba (PhD Rice University), an expert on research methodology and international relations
  • Dr Alex Quiroz Flores (PhD New York University), quantitative methodologist and expert on foreign policy

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).



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These postgraduate programmes aim to create highly sought-after researchers who are ready to apply their advanced knowledge and practical skills in the workplace or on further research. Read more

These postgraduate programmes aim to create highly sought-after researchers who are ready to apply their advanced knowledge and practical skills in the workplace or on further research.

You will learn how to collect, analyse and interpret social data and become skilled in interview techniques, surveys, problem-solving, communication skills and the latest industry software.

Students examine issues from across the social sciences and are introduced to both quantitative and qualitative research methods before having the option of specialising.

During the programme, you will research real world issues such as evaluating local health care services, predicting voting behaviour during elections or researching the impact of Hull’s year as the 2017 UK City of Culture on local people.

Taught by experienced researchers who are experts in their fields, the interesting and varied curriculum will be delivered through an enquiry-based approach to teaching including small-group work, tutorials, workshops and independent study.

It was designed with input from industry experts, former students and leading academics to ensure that it means the demands of the modern social research industry.

Students will be provided with a high level of academic support across the programme and all modules will be taught on one specific day (currently Thursdays) to accommodate part-time and working students.

There are four variants: 

  • MSc in Social Research
  • MSc in Social Research with Quantitative Methods
  • MA in Social Research with Qualitative Methods
  • MSc in Social Research (Doctoral Training Pathway)

Study information

MSc in Social Research

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing statistics and data analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Philosophies of Social Science
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Analysing Qualitative Data

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

MSc in Social Research with Quantitative Methods

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing statistics and data analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Philosophies of Social Science
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

MA in Social Research with Qualitative Methods

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing statistics and data analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Philosophies of Social Science
  • Analysing Qualitative Data
  • Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

MSc in Social Research (Doctoral Training Pathway)

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing Statistics and Data Analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Working Beyond Disciplines
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Analysing Qualitative Data
  • Power, Authority and Freedom in History
  • Contemporary Research in Human Geography
  • Professional Practice and Communication Skills

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

* All modules are subject to availability.

Future prospects

These programmes are an ideal route for those aiming for research careers in the public, voluntary or private sectors, including would-be senior civil servants keen to take advantage of the Government’s Fast Stream scheme to find the leaders of the future.

It equips students with practical skills and experience for a wide range of organisations including research agencies, charities, independent organisations, trade unions, pressure groups and lobby groups.

The programmes also offer continuing professional development for those already working as researchers and who want to advance their careers. It is also an excellent training programme for those wishing to progress to PhD level study.



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This programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics. Read more

This programme looks at language from a sociocultural perspective. It's designed for anyone with an interest in the relationship between language, culture and society but also provides a solid understanding of English language and linguistics.

The MA develops your understanding of historical and contemporary debates in (socio)linguistics and discourse analysis and enhances your analytic and linguistic skills by introducing different approaches to the analysis of written and spoken language use from a range of everyday and institutional contexts.

Topics covered include:

  • language and ideology
  • linguistic performances of identity (particularly language and gender, sexuality, ethnicity and social class)
  • language and the media
  • talk at work
  • English in a multilingual world
  • intercultural communication
  • multilingualism and code-switching
  • varieties of English

You're encouraged to engage with these topics by drawing on your own social, cultural and occupational backgrounds in class discussions and in your written work.

You're also encouraged to collect your own samples of written and spoken language use and learn to subject those to in-depth critical analysis.

This MA will draw on findings, theories and methodologies from: sociolinguistics, semantics, pragmatics, spoken and written discourse analysis, ethnography, semiotics, feminist stylistics; multimodal analysis; interactional sociolinguistics, conversational analysis, membership categorisation analysis, performativity and narrative analysis.

The programme’s distinct interdisciplinary ethos is also reflected in your opportunity to choose from a selection of relevant option modules in other departments in Goldsmiths.

Modules & structure

On this programme you will complete two core modules, two option modules and one dissertation.

Core modules

Option modules

You may choose two linguistic options or one linguistic option and one option from other MA programmes within the College, where specifically approved by the Programme Co-ordinator.

You may also choose one non-linguistics module, either from our own department (English and Comparative Literature) or from another department. Please note that availability of options across the College varies, but typically you can choose from the following selection.

Please note that your choice of option module from another department needs to be discussed with the Programme Co-ordinator of the MA Sociocultural Linguistics in advance. 

Dissertation

You also produce a dissertation. Dissertation topics in the past have included: 

  • A critical investigation of metaphor in accent coaching internationalisation & the role of language
  • Gun Ownership as Freedom and Safety: Framing in the Blogosphere
  • Tweeting Saudi Women’s Elections: A Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Framing and discourses of gender and national identity in sports commentary
  • Discursive identity construction in relation to global hip hop culture in young men’s talk
  • Representations of aging in women’s magazines
  • Discursive construction of religious identities in interviews with British Muslim converts
  • Code-switching practices in a Tunisian family
  • Discourse and identities in the SLA classroom
  • Language and gender in dream narratives
  • Pauses and silences on Talk Radio
  • Attitudes towards bilingual signs in Thailand
  • Representations of parenthood in UK parenting magazines
  • Political debates on Irish TV
  • Lifetime narratives of older Asian immigrants in the UK
  • The language of text messaging
  • Language and literacy practices on Facebook
  • Attitudes to non-standard language use
  • Discursive analysis of EFL textbooks
  • Gendered speech style in an all-female group of Iranian friends

The best (UG or MA) linguistics dissertation is rewarded every year with the Hayley Davis Prize. 

Approach to teaching

Our lecture/seminar sessions are designed to combine discussions of preparatory reading materials with tutor-led input and hands-on analyses of data/texts by students. We also tend to invite guest lectures as part of option modules and GoldLingS Seminar Series.

Our MA group is usually very tight-knit, students and student reps organise study/revision groups, online discussion forums, outings to lectures across London, and a number of social events.

Assessment

Coursework; essays; examinations; dissertation; presentation

Skills

Transferable skills, including enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts; the ability to analyse and evaluate a wide variety of spoken and written texts from informal as well as institutional settings; an understanding of the concept of communicative competence; the ability to organise information, and to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments.

Careers

Publishing, journalism, british council roles, public relations, teaching, research, translation, advertising, the civil service, business, industry, the media.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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Why this course?. This course provides rigorous training in the analytical frameworks and methods required in the study of public policy. Read more

Why this course?

This course provides rigorous training in the analytical frameworks and methods required in the study of public policy.

It’s ideal for those wanting professional skills to become a policy practitioner, analyst or to proceed to a PhD.

You’ll explore the various methodological tools and their connections to real world problems facing governments and related organisations. You’ll learn a range of key skills:

  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Research Management
  • Data Analysis
  • Report Writing & Presentation

You can study this course full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months.

You’ll study

The MSc in Public Policy is organised into core and optional classes. The core classes provide an introduction to the theory and practice of public policy, as well as a range of skills and methodologies to design, conduct and report on social research.

Facilities

Established in 2010, the School of Government & Public Policy has three research centres:

Learning & teaching

The MSc in Public Policy comprises of core and optional classes and a dissertation. The core classes provide an introduction to the theory and practice of public policy, as well as a range of skills and methodologies relevant to designing, conducting and reporting on social research.

All classes are taught in small-group seminars. You’ll receive considerable time and attention from our staff in the seminars and individual supervision sessions.

If you’re studying part-time you’ll attend classes across two academic years. You’ll work on a dissertation over 10 months.

Classes average 20 contact hours, with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes. Part-time students attend classes across two academic years. They then work on their dissertation over the course of 10 months.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods including essays, options papers and group projects. These account for two thirds of the total assessment. Your dissertation accounts for one third of the total assessment.

Careers

Where are they now?

Examples of organisations our graduates work for include:

  • Audit Scotland
  • Centre for African Family Studies
  • Centre for Scottish Public Policy
  • Confederation of Passenger Transport
  • German Red Cross
  • Hall Aitken Associates
  • Health and Social Care Alliance
  • HMRC
  • Invicta Public Affairs
  • Ministry of Finance Iceland
  • Morgan Stanley
  • National Centre for Social Research
  • NHS 
  • Ofgem
  • Santander Bank UK
  • Scottish Council for Development and Industry
  • Scottish Refugee Council
  • Serco Group
  • The Improvement Service
  • The Scottish Parliament
  • United Nations Development Programme 
  • West and Central Voluntary Network


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Why this course?. The MSc in Political Research provides you with focused training in research methods. It helps you to develop your professional skills in empirical political science. Read more

Why this course?

The MSc in Political Research provides you with focused training in research methods. It helps you to develop your professional skills in empirical political science.

The course explores different methodological approaches and their application to real-life political problems. It equips you with key transferable skills in:

  • research design
  • a range of research methods and their application
  • the management of different types of data

You’ll study

Along with giving you research skills, this course will enhance your ability to choose appropriate research methods and confront the issues of research design.

It's organised into core and optional classes. You’ll also complete a dissertation.

Facilities

Established in 2010, the School of Government and Public Policy integrates the Department of Government with three research centres:

Learning & teaching

The MSc in Political Research is designed not only to give you research skills, but also to enhance your ability to choose appropriate research methods and confront the issues of research design. The course is organised into core and optional classes. You'll also complete a dissertation.

You receive training with a strong empirical focus, and supervision in small-group seminars and in individual sessions You’ll receive considerable time and attention from our staff.

Classes average 20 contact hours, with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes. 

Part-time students attend classes across two academic years. They then work on their dissertation over the course of 10 months.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways like essays, options papers and group projects.

These account for two thirds of the total assessment while your dissertation accounts for one third of the total assessment.



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Why does the behaviour of political actors – leaders, parties, pressure groups, voters, protestors, and so on – vary across countries and over time? And what are the consequences of political institutions for regime stability, economic development, political representation, and the dynamics of electoral politics?. Read more
Why does the behaviour of political actors – leaders, parties, pressure groups, voters, protestors, and so on – vary across countries and over time? And what are the consequences of political institutions for regime stability, economic development, political representation, and the dynamics of electoral politics?

This course allows you to focus on these and other questions of interest and apply them to politics in the developed and developing worlds.

Our course provides you with an overview of classic controversies and contemporary debates in comparative politics. You learn about the main theoretical approaches to the study of politics, as well as the major issues and topics in this subfield of political science. You also choose from a wide range of optional modules including:
-Global environmental issues
-Democracies in Europe
-International relations
-International security
-Conflict resolution

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research 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. Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our MSc Global and Comparative Politics will help you develop key employability skills which will make you attractive in both the public and private sector, including analytical reasoning, research, communication, and essay-writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Advanced Research Methods
-Comparative European Politics
-MA Dissertation
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)

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Do different models of Europe – supranational, intergovernmental, transnational, or multileveled –require different forms of democratic governance? Who are the main political and economic actors in the region and how do they connect to the larger international system? To what extent can they shape the future of Europe?. Read more
Do different models of Europe – supranational, intergovernmental, transnational, or multileveled –require different forms of democratic governance? Who are the main political and economic actors in the region and how do they connect to the larger international system? To what extent can they shape the future of Europe?

Our MSc Multilevel Governance in Europe gives you the opportunity to use social scientific methods to deepen your understanding of the study of European politics. It is designed for good graduates in politics, economics, law, sociology, European studies or related disciplines.

You study European politics and European integration, as well as theory and explanation in political science, and choose optional modules on topics including:
-Political parties in Britain and Europe
-Global environmental issues
-International relations
-International security
-Conflict resolution

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research 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.

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our MSc Multilevel Governance in Europe can lead to a career in British and European politics and the private sector. Our course will help you develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, research, communication, and essay-writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Comparative European Politics
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-Advanced Research Methods
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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How do ideologies form and sustain political identities and interests? What are the main ideologies and political discourses that frame and organise our lives today? How do theories of ideology and discourse inform contemporary political analysis? How can these theories help us to explain and evaluate key political processes?. Read more
How do ideologies form and sustain political identities and interests? What are the main ideologies and political discourses that frame and organise our lives today? How do theories of ideology and discourse inform contemporary political analysis? How can these theories help us to explain and evaluate key political processes?

Questions concerning the impact of ideological and symbolic processes on the formation of political discourses, identities and communities are of crucial importance. All of these are covered within our MA Ideology and Discourse Analysis.

You explore topics including:
-Poststructuralist, post-Marxist and psychoanalytic theories of ideology and discourse
-Research methods in critical political theory and analysis
-Key concepts for political analysis
-Mass media and democracy
-Philosophy of social science

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research 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. Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our MA Ideology and Discourse Analysis will help you secure a solid grasp of key debates in social and political thought, give you a strong foundation in theoretical principles whose relevance and application goes well beyond politics, and instil a wide range of analytical, critical, and communication skills that will enable you to pursue the career of your choice, whether in the public, private, or third sector, whether with a domestic or international focus.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Ideology and Political Discourse
-MA Dissertation
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

Read less
How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?. Read more
How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?

Our MSc Political Science gives a general overview of such topics, and as our most flexible postgraduate course offers you a very wide choice of optional modules. You explore the main theoretical approaches to the study of politics and look at what the basic theoretical framework required to conduct research in political science is.

Your optional modules may cover topics including:
-Survey measurement and research methods
-The economy and the state
-Democracies in Europe
-Theories of justice
-Conflict resolution

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research 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. Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
A programme of seminars and events run by the department
Your future
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our graduates from this course can expect to find jobs in market research, the media and central or local government. It also provides a foundation for further research in political science. You will gain key employability skills such as analytical reasoning, research design, and report writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Advanced Research Methods
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design
-Theories of International Relations (optional)

Read less
Interrogate the status quo with leading academics who don’t just talk and write about politics, but actively campaign to create change in the world. Read more

Interrogate the status quo with leading academics who don’t just talk and write about politics, but actively campaign to create change in the world

All around us governments are in crisis, protests are on the increase, dissent and mobilisation is widespread and relayed across the world instantaneously on a screen. Communication is at the very heart of the structures, institutions and actors that give meaning to politics in governments, in parties and on the street. 

The questions we ask

How do we live our politics on a daily basis? Who holds the power to influence political decisions that structure our lives? How might democracy be done better? What is the relationship between politics, the individual, institutions and the media? These are the kinds of questions we’re asking on this programme.

And we take an expansive view, so you’ll learn about politics and communications not just as a singular discipline, but as a subject that’s much more nuanced, moving across everything from governments and parties to NGOs and activists; from economic and environmental policy and conflict representation, to issues of race, gender, social theory and popular culture. 

The processes we use

Alongside traditional lectures and seminars we also do workshops and research exercises to reflect on how political communications are part of the rituals and rhythms of our daily lives and how this is influenced by others.

As part of the programme you may also be tasked with designing and pitching your own political campaign. We use these kinds of exercises because we think it’s only by actively engaging with political communications that we can better understand how it is part of our everyday lives. 

The approach we take

We’re active not passive so this course isn’t just about having our heads in books, it’s about applying ideas to the real world. We’ll expect you to be reading the news every day because we want you to engage with what’s happening and unravel it.

There are also opportunities to interact with industry experts, get involved in live campaigns and collaborate with people coming from all over the world. We pride ourselves on fostering a supportive environment and offering an open door throughout your time with us. At Goldsmiths the conversations are always just starting. 

Modules & structure

The programme’s core curriculum will address a range of contemporary issues, debates and theory in political communication, including work on:

  • comparative media systems
  • theories of communication and democratisation
  • global media, international governance and transnational communication
  • economic, financial and industrial policy
  • digital media and online politics
  • media sociology and news production
  • political parties, party ideologies and party-member dynamics
  • public relations, political marketing and spin
  • government communication systems and media management
  • media audiences, effects and agenda-setting
  • public opinion and public sphere debates
  • interest groups, social movements and alternative media
  • advocacy, civil society and public affairs
  • new technologies and the information society
  • citizenship and public engagement
  • the policy process and government decision-making
  • politics and culture
  • social theories of power, culture and communications

Theory is usually applied to a number of case study areas on, for example: conflict and war; elections; social and environmental debates; foreign affairs; the economy, finance and business; crime and disorder. Theory and discussion is always related to current events and debates.

Structure

The MA in Political Communications is built up of modules that must count up to 180 credits. The programme comprises:

  • Two core modules taught in the Department of Media and Communications (60 credits in total)
  • A research skills module
  • 60 credits' worth of modules chosen from the Department of Politics or Department of Media and Communications. These can be a combination of 30 and 15 credit modules
  • Up to 30 of the 60 credits of options may be chosen from the departments of Sociology, Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, and the Centre for Cultural Studies

Core modules

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Please view the website for more information.

Assessment

The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Skills & careers

We know that political organisations relish thinking graduates. It’s why we focus on delivering a programme that’s rooted in a critical perspective. By the time you leave we want you to feel transformed so that you can go forward and transform the world. 

Our graduates go on to work within government organisations, political parties, NGOs and news media and across the public and private sectors - from the Houses of Parliament and BBC World Service to Google, Greenpeace and the UN. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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About the MSc programme. The MSc Political Science and Political Economy provides a sound professional training in formal political science and in quantitative-oriented approaches to political economy. Read more

About the MSc programme

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.

Graduate destinations

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.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme



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