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Masters Degrees (Politics And Religion)

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Religion has become a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary global geopolitical landscape and as such demands a reassessment of once predominant understandings of processes of secularisation, as well as the meanings of, and tensions inherent within, secular assumptions and secularist positions. Read more
Religion has become a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary global geopolitical landscape and as such demands a reassessment of once predominant understandings of processes of secularisation, as well as the meanings of, and tensions inherent within, secular assumptions and secularist positions. The so-called ‘resurgence’ of religion in the public sphere in recent decades is now a significant area of interdisciplinary scholarship eliciting a complex array of responses, ranging from vehement opposition to the very idea that religious concepts and commitments have a right to expression in political debates, to a reassessment of the origins and implications of divisions between the secular and the religious and their relationship to the nation state. The notion that there is no singular secularism, but rather a plurality of secularisms, and of ‘religion’ as an invention of European modernity and colonial interests are two of many emerging efforts to reconceptualise the meanings of religion and the secular and the entangled relationship between them.

About the MA

The MA Religion in Global Politics offers an opportunity to examine these questions and issues at an advanced level by studying the complex relationships between religion and politics in the histories and contemporary political contexts (both national and international) of the regions of the Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A core objective is to challenge the Eurocentrism of current debates around secularism, secularisation, the nature of the public sphere within modernity, by indicating the plurality and contested nature of conceptions of both religion and the secular when considered in a global framework.

The programme is unique: it has a regional focus and disciplinary breadth rarely addressed in similar programmes in the subject area, draws on a wealth of multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives (Law, International Relations and Politics, History, Philosophy, Development, Anthropology, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Gender Studies, amongst others) and has a rigorous theoretical basis built in, such that students will be familiarised with the current state-of-the-art debates regarding religion in the public sphere, secularisms, postsecularism, and political theology and their relevance to issues of democracy, war, violence, human rights, humanitarianism and development, multiculturalism, nationalism, sectarianism, religious extremism, and free speech amongst others. The range of course options available on the programme is unparalleled, ensuring that students will benefit from a truly interdisciplinary, intellectually rigorous, and regionally focused programme.

Course detail

Designed as a professional development qualification as well as a platform for doctoral research, this programme will give you the opportunity to examine the complex relationships between religion and politics in the histories and contemporary political contexts (both national and international), across the globe.

You will engage in current topical debates regarding religion in the public sphere, secularisms, post-secularism, and political theology and their relevance to issues including democracy, war, human rights, humanitarianism, nationalism, sectarianism, religious extremism and free speech.

You will have access to a wealth of study resources including the SOAS Library, one of the world's most important academic libraries, attracting scholars from across the globe.

A global perspective

The unparalleled range of course options available will allow you to benefit from an intellectually rigorous and globally focused programme which provides a disciplinary breadth rarely addressed in similar programmes. A wealth of multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives are drawn upon including Law, History, Philosophy, Development, Anthropology and Diaspora Studies.

Expert at where the world is changing

With our highly diversified expertise, our comprehensive resources and our interdisciplinary approach, we offer a unique learning and research environment for a truly inter-cultural approach to systems of belief and thought.

Programme Aims

The programme’s inter-disciplinary focus aims to provide students with advanced training in the area of religion and politics through the study of a wide range of theoretical and regional perspectives. It will serve primarily as a platform for professional development and further (MPhil/PhD) graduate research. The programme offers students:

• Advanced knowledge and understanding of significant approaches, methods, debates, and theories in the field of religion and politics, with particular reference to the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;

• Advanced skills in researching and writing about topics in and theorisations of religion and politics;

• Advanced skills in the presentation or communication of knowledge and understanding of topics in religion and politics as they pertain to regional, international, and transnational contexts

Format

Students are required to follow taught units to the equivalent of three full courses and to submit a dissertation of 10,000 words. Courses are assessed through a variety of methods including short and long essays, examinations, oral presentations, and response papers. An overall percentage mark is awarded for each course, based on the marks awarded for individual assessment items within the courses.

The MA may be awarded at Distinction, Merit or Pass level in accordance with the common regulations for MA/MSc at SOAS.

Postgraduate Open Evenings

You’ll be able to have one-to-one discussions with academics and current students. You can also attend specialist subject talks and take a tour of our campus.

Book now: http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/openevenings/

Webinars

Our webinars give you an opportunity to hear and ask questions about the subject you’re interested in studying. We also cover topics such as making an application, Tier 4 Visa entry, fees and funding, scholarships, accommodation options as well as career related information.

Book now: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/webinars/

How to apply

Find out how to apply here: http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Globalisation and immigration have transformed the religious and cultural landscape in 21st century multicultural societies, leading to many challenges and complexities posed by religion in modern democracies. Read more
Globalisation and immigration have transformed the religious and cultural landscape in 21st century multicultural societies, leading to many challenges and complexities posed by religion in modern democracies.

This new course, which is the first of its kind in the UK, addresses those challenges and complexities and will provide you with a framework to engage with issues relating to the place of religion in public life.

The course is hosted by Westminster Law School and shares modules with the rest of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities as well as Westminster School of Media Art and Design. The course is not affiliated to any particular faith but takes a broad approach to religion including non-religious beliefs. It will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the place of religion in society and the role of law.

You can choose whether you want to study for the MA or LLM. For the MA you will need to have obtained a minimum of 180 credits at Level 7. You will have to take the three compulsory core modules which are: Law and Religion: Theory and Practice; Law and Religion in Context and Sociology of Law and Religion. In addition, you will have to write a dissertation and take an additional three optional modules of your choice.

Students who wish to obtain the award of LLM will need to write a dissertation with a substantial law element and are expected to take at least one law option in addition to the core modules.

MA
-Law and Religion Theory and Practice (20 credits)
-Law and Religion in Context (20 credits)
-Sociology of Religion (20 credits)
-MA Dissertation (60 credits)

3 options of your choice (from the proposed list)

LLM
-Law and Religion Theory and Practice (20 credits)
-Law and Religion in Context (20 credits)
-Sociology of Religion (20 credits)
-LLM Dissertation in Law (60 credits)

3 options one of which must be from Law

The course will equip you with key skills such as the ability to carry out independent research and to deal with sensitive topics. You will develop an awareness of world challenges posed by religion, a thorough knowledge of equality and non-discrimination legislation, debating and mooting skills, the ability to be non-judgmental, and to work in a multicultural environment.

Students will also benefit significantly from the Law and Religion Research Cluster which launched in February 2017. The research cluster will hold regular events on topical issues and provide an opportunity for students to network with academics and professionals associated with the field of religion, law and society.

Course content

The Religion, Law and Society MA/LLM provides a platform for critical debates around the relevance of religion in modern pluralist societies and the challenges that democratic states face in dealing with religion in the public sphere. Current debates in law and religion include the pursuit of freedom of and from religion; non-discrimination, manifestation of religion and beliefs, church-state relations, religion and democracy as well as the threat of extremism, terrorism and fundamentalism in liberal and pluralist societies.

The programme aims to explore those issues and contribute to a culture of tolerance by encouraging dialogue and critical self-awareness of individuals’ personal trajectories. You will be encouraged to challenge your own perception of religion in order to enter into a constructive dialogue. This will be done through respectful debates, peer review, critical thinking and reflection. The programme draws on interdisciplinary perspectives and offers students a wide range of options from the social sciences such as law, politics, sociology and media. This interdisciplinary perspective will allow you to develop your own theoretical framework for evaluating the interaction between law and religion in modern contemporary societies.

Employability

Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

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Study International Politics and Human Rights at City, and discover why you will never read international news in the same way again. Read more
Study International Politics and Human Rights at City, and discover why you will never read international news in the same way again.

Who is it for?

The International Politics and Human Rights programme is for students who want to explore international politics and human rights more widely and then drill down to specialise their knowledge. The MA is designed to give you the chance to create your own questions about the way the world works – and to shape arguments where you feel it doesn’t. These are some of the questions the course poses:
-Do human rights offer universal protections, or do they provide ideological cover for neo-imperialist powers?
-Can human rights provide protection to individuals in a way that supersedes the nation-state, or do they serve the interests of powerful states?
-Should human rights be concerned with the minimalist needs of security and subsistence, or should they aspire to grander visions of global justice?

Objectives

This is a course where you will challenge your own point of view. We unpick the ideas that structure the way we understand the world, so we can identify how those understandings shape global events. We then focus on how the way we view things may, in itself, be ethically problematic.

International Politics and Human Rights is an evolving subject so you explore unique specialisms backed by real-world research. The department’s academics are actively shaping policy, sitting on the advisory board for the Corbyn shadow cabinet, hosting talks on the human right to housing in London, and engaging in study groups around the Obama presidency. This keeps the content of the course effective and current, giving students a contemporary lens from which to view rapid political change.

Placements

You have the opportunity to undertake a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage students to create their own, by fostering connections offered by the Careers Service. There is also the International Politics Careers Day, which explores career opportunities with international politics degrees and includes:
-Talks by speakers within the field (including alumni now working within the UK Department for International Development, the UK Ministry of Justice), UNESCO and the EU Commission.
-Talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators.
-Drop-in sessions with careers professionals focusing on CV writing, applications and volunteering.

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by academics within the department with industry professionals offering insight in the form of talks for the Practitioner Series. This is a programme of talks from visiting speakers and alumni working within organisations such as The Refugee Council and Amnesty International.

Academic staff

The staff within our Department of International Politics are research active, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Often this research and influence leads to policy change and many media appearances. Find out more about International Politics staff.
You can follow our staff’s activity through their Twitter feed: @cityintpolitics

Assessment

Each taught module is assessed by an essay, either a 5,000-word essay for 30 credit modules or a 3,000-word essay for 15 credit modules. Your final MA marks are derived from a combination of your essay and dissertation grades.

You are required to submit a dissertation of 15,000 words in an area linked to the MA degree. Your dissertation topic will be agreed with your personal tutor/supervisor.

Your work will be assessed by coursework alone, there are no exams.Many students develop their key interest first when they choose their elective modules, then when they write their essays, and finally when they write their dissertation over the summer term.

Modules

The structure of this MA means you can design your own degree. The first core module Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics l is taught in the first term and Global Ethics: Principles, Power and Politics, is taught in the second term. Throughout the year you can choose elective modules that suit your interests. You can also opt to study across departments with optional modules from the Department of Sociology and The City Law School.

You take two 30-credit core modules, one in each term, totalling 60 credits. You will then take elective modules totalling 60 credits, which include 15 and 30 credit options, and complete your 60 credit dissertation in the third term as a student on the full-time programme (with submission in September of that year). You must also attend the dissertation workshops that are offered by the department, as it is a compulsory and important part of the MA programme.

Core modules
-Human Rights and the Transformation of World Politics IPM118 (30 credits)
-Global Ethics: Principles, Power and Politics IPM117 (30 credits)
-International Politics dissertation IPM111 (60 credits)

Elective modules - choose 60 credits
Typical modules offered by the Department of International Politics:
-Understanding Security in the 21st Century (15 credits)
-International Organisations in Global Politics (15 credits)
-Theories of International Politics (30 credits)
-Development and International Politics (15 credits)
-Religion in Global Politics (15 credits)
-Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future (30 credits)
-Political Economy of Global Finance (15 credits)
-The Politics of Forced Migration (15 credits)
-Global Governance (15 credits)
-International Politics of the Middle East (15 credits)
-Global Financial Governance (15 credits)
-Strategy, Diplomacy and Decision-making (30 credits)
-US Foreign Policy (15 credits)
-Foreign Policy Analysis (15 credits)
-Economic Diplomacy (15 credits)
-Global Political Economy: Contemporary Approaches (30 credits)

Typical modules offered by the Department of Sociology:
-Developments in Communication Policy (30 credits)
-Transnational Media and Communication (30 credits)
-Criminal Minds (15 credits)
-Crime News (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by The City Law School:
-International Human Rights in Law and Practice (30 credits)
-Human Rights in the EU (30 credits)
-International Criminal Law: Crimes & Institutions (30 credits)
-Law and War (30 credits)
-Minorities and Indigenous People in International Law (30 credits)
-International Law & The Use of Force (30 credits)

*MA International Politics and Human Rights students have access to additional LLM options with The City Law School.

Career prospects

The skills you will take away from this programme – those of research, analysis and presentation – are highly valued by employers. In 2016 70% of City's International Politics graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation. Current graduates now work within the following organisations:
-UNESCO
-Amnesty International
-The Open Rights Group
-The Grass Roots Group
-The United Nations
-US Embassy
-International Crisis Groupp
-Ministry of Economy and Finance
-European External Action Service

From human rights organisations to NGOs and government agencies, the course gives you the perfect foundation to prepare for a career in a wide range of fields. You will graduate with the ability to undertake in-depth research, challenge received explanations of topics in social and political life and to examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between governments, transnational actors, transnational networks and intergovernmental or governmental organisations.

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This two-year, part-time Master’s programme is designed for those who wish to study at postgraduate level and are keen to develop high-level skills in historical research. Read more
This two-year, part-time Master’s programme is designed for those who wish to study at postgraduate level and are keen to develop high-level skills in historical research.

The course offers two thematic strands in which students specialise. The first, British local and regional history, is constant throughout all intakes. The second, which changes for each intake, is Politics and religion in Tudor and Stuart England for the 2016-2018 course. You will specialise in one of these two themes, studying taught modules and undertaking original research, culminating in a dissertation of 16,000 to 20,000 words.

Visit the website: http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-history

Course detail

The MSt is taught over two years in short, intensive study blocks, and begins in October 2016 (Michaelmas Term). It has been designed to be accessible to those in full- or part-time employment and to international students.

Successful applicants will become members of a Cambridge college and will join the wider graduate community, with full access to the facilities of the University.

By the end of the course students should have:

- developed an understanding of, and ability to apply critically, the main academic theories and concepts underpinning the study of history;
- extended and developed their analytical, evaluative and critical capacities;
- developed the ability to form independent judgements based on their reading, research and writing;
- demonstrable specific subject knowledge and analysis relevant to their dissertation;
- developed research skills required for further postgraduate research.

Format

The MSt is structured around four residential modules that students must attend. All students take modules 1 and 3 together; modules 2 and 4 are subject pathway modules. In the first year, each of the four residential blocks is preceded by guided preparatory reading and other activities.

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers learning support to students while they are on the programme, including learning resources, peer-to-peer and student-to-tutor discussion between modules, to build a virtual community of practice. Students are expected to have sufficient IT skills to engage with the VLE and all assignments are uploaded to the VLE for assessment.

Lectures, seminars and classes: c.75 hours in Year 1 (including some reading/prep time), c.18 hours in Year 2.

Supervision: 5 x 1-hour sessions in Year 2.

Year 1

The taught elements of the syllabus are offered during Year 1 in four intensive study blocks, usually scheduled inside Full Term, each of which is examined by an assessed essay. Sessions are offered in research training, and essay and dissertation writing.

Module 1: Theory, concepts and historiography (3 - 6 October 2016)*
Induction Day: Introduction to the course, tours of the University and Seeley History libraries, talk on Cambridge colleges.

The Annales School, international history, gender, feudalism, race, class and social status, nations and states, religion, essay workshop.

Module 2: (30 November – 2 December 2016)*
a) British local and regional history
Approaches to local history, manors and tour of medieval Cambridge, the parish, early modern culture, religion and belief, urban history, consumption, family and household, essay workshop.

OR

b) Politics and Religion in Tudor and Stuart England 1520 - 1625
Parliamentary history, Reformation history, politics, religion and memory.

Module 3: Sources, methods and research skills (22 - 24 February 2017 )*
Using library resources and archives, the census, global and transnational history, micro-history, sources for early modern history, IT for historians, Excel for historians, practical, quantitative and economic history, oral history and its discontents, anthropology and history, essay workshop.

Module 4: (19 – 21 May 2017)*
a) British local and regional history
Disease, death and doctors, plague and venereal disease, why were towns the principal determinant of mortality change from 1600 to 1900?, the old Poor Law and charity, the new Poor Law, charity and the state, workhouse medicine and mortality, smallpox, childbirth, midwifery and the man-midwife, mutual aid and self-help, the ‘professionalisation’ of medicine, essay workshop.

OR

b) Politics and Religion in Tudor and Stuart England 1625 - 1715
Sources for Tudor and Stuart political history, sources for Tudor and Stuart religious history.

* module content subject to change

Year 2

The second year is characterised by focus on the dissertation. Students will work independently on their chosen topic under the supervision of an expert in their chosen field with whom they will have regular contact. Students will be required to attend five supervisions between May 2017 and May 2018, at least three of which must be face-to-face and two of which can be online.

There will also be three day-schools at Madingley Hall, at which students provide short presentations on their research to date and at which there is some research training:

- Saturday 21 October 2017
- Saturday 2 December 2017
- Saturday 14 April 2018

Assessment

- A dissertation of 16,000-20,000 words (including footnotes and appendices, but excluding bibliography)
- Four essay assignments, each of 4,000 words maximum.

Some assignments and the dissertation require literature reviews.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding

You may be interested to know that from 2016/17, Student Finance England (SFE) is introducing a postgraduate loans scheme for full-time and part-time Master’s courses. Information on eligibility, the amount of the loan and the level of repayment can be found in SFE’s The Student Room: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/content.php?r=5659-Student-Finance

Please note that SFE is planning to take applications via its main Student finance website, from summer 2016: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Sources of government funding and financial support - including Professional and Career Development Loans

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Study International Politics to get behind the headlines as you discover structures and ideas that shape global affairs. The International Politics MA programme is for students who want to explore international politics more widely and then drill down to follow their unique interests and specialise their knowledge. Read more
Study International Politics to get behind the headlines as you discover structures and ideas that shape global affairs.

Who is it for?

The International Politics MA programme is for students who want to explore international politics more widely and then drill down to follow their unique interests and specialise their knowledge. The MA is designed to give you the chance to pursue your own questions about the way the world works – and to shape arguments where you feel it doesn’t.

Objectives

This is a course where you will challenge your own point of view. We probe the ideas that structure the way we think about the world and examine the institutions that determine events. We then focus on how you can use this new understanding to judge global affairs for yourself.

International Politics is an expansive and ever-changing subject so you learn about the broad contours of the field while developing specialisms backed by real-world research. The department’s academics are actively shaping policy, sitting on the advisory board for the Corbyn shadow cabinet, hosting talks on the human right to housing in London, and engaging in study groups around the Obama presidency. This keeps the content of the course effective and current, giving students a contemporary lens from which to view rapid political change.

These are some of the questions the course poses:
-Is the USA a benevolent global leader or a neo-imperial power?
-How does the shift in power from the West to the Rest reshape international politics in the 21st century?
-Can states act effectively in a world increasingly shaped by international institutions and global economic actors?

Placements

You may have the opportunity to undertake a placement, but it is not a formal requirement of the course. We encourage students to create their own, by fostering connections offered by the Careers Service. There is also the International Politics Careers Day, which explores career opportunities with international politics degrees and includes:
-Talks by speakers within the field (including alumni now working within the UK Department for International Development, the UK Ministry of Justice), UNESCO and the EU Commission.
-Talks by careers consultants and volunteering coordinators.
-Drop-in sessions with careers professionals focusing on CV writing, applications and volunteering.

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by academics within the department with industry professionals offering insight in the form of talks for the Practitioner Series. This is a programme of talks from visiting speakers and alumni working within organisations such as The Refugee Council and Amnesty International.

The staff within our Department of International Politics are research active, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. Often this research and influence leads to policy change and many media appearances. Find out more about International Politics staff.
You can follow our staff’s activity through their Twitter feed: @cityintpolitics

Assessment

Each taught module is assessed by an essay, either a 5,000-word essay for 30 credit modules or a 3,000-word essay for 15 credit modules. Your final MA marks are derived from a combination of your essay and dissertation grades.

You are required to submit a dissertation of 15,000 words in an area linked to the MA degree. Your dissertation topic will be agreed with your personal tutor/supervisor.

Your work will be assessed by coursework alone, there are no exams. Many students develop their key interest first when they choose their elective modules, then when they write their essays, and finally when they write their dissertation over the summer term.

Modules

The structure of this MA means you can design your own degree. The core module 'Theories of International Politics' is taught in the first term. Throughout the year you can choose elective modules that suit your interests. You can also opt to study across departments with optional modules from the Department of Sociology and The City Law School.

Core modules
-Theories of International Politics (30 credits)
-International Politics Research Workshop
-International Politics Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules - choose 60 credits
Typical modules offered by the Department of International Politics:
-Understanding security in the 21st century (15 credits)
-International organisations in global politics (15 credits)
-Development and international politics (15 credits)
-Religion in global politics (15 credits)
-Global capitalism: past, present and future (30 credits)
-Global political economy (30 credits)
-Political economy of global finance (15 credits)
-The politics of forced displacement and resettlement (15 credits)
-Global governance (15 credits)
-International politics of the Middle East (15 credits)
-Global financial governance (15 credits)
-Strategy, diplomacy and decision-making (30 credits)
-US foreign policy (15 credits)
-Foreign policy analysis (15 credits)
-Economic diplomacy (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by the Sociology Department:
-Developments in communication policy (30 credits)
-Transnational media and communication (30 credits)
-Criminal minds (15 credits)
-Crime news (15 credits)

Typical modules offered by The City Law School:
-International human rights in law and practice (30 credits)
-Human rights in the EU (30 credits)
-International criminal law: crimes & institutions (30 credits)
-Law and war (30 credits)
-Minorities and indigenous people in international law (30 credits)
-International law & the use of force (30 credits)

Career prospects

The skills you will take away from this programme – those of research, analysis and presentation – are highly valued by employers. In 2014-15, 87.5% of City's International Politics graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation. Current graduates now work within the following organisations:
-Amnesty International
-European External Action Service
-International Crisis Group
-Ministry of Economy and Finance
-The Open Rights Group
-The Grass Roots Group
-The United Nations
-UNESCO
-US Embassy

From government agencies to NGOs and human rights organisations, the course gives you the perfect foundation to prepare for a career in a wide range of fields. You will graduate with the ability to undertake in-depth research, challenge received explanations of topics in social and political life and to examine and critically evaluate the complex structure of relationships between governments, transnational actors, transnational networks and intergovernmental or governmental organisations.

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Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Politics at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Read more
Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Politics at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

The Department of Political and Cultural Studies (PCS) boasts a dynamic research environment with a committed staff all of whom are research-active in the field of Politics. Academic members of staff within Politics have a very considerable range of research interests on which we offer supervision for research degrees.

Key Features of MA by Research in Politics

An MA by Research in Politics gives you the chance to pursue a major research project based around your own passions and interests in Politics, leading to a qualification which can open the door to an academic career or boost employment prospects outside academia. The MA by Research in Politics will give you the freedom to explore a topic of your choosing in Politics and develop a methodology under the close supervision of two experienced academics in the field of Politics but without attending regular classes as required in taught programmes.

Typically, as a student of the Politics research programme you will work closely with your supervisors, meeting them regularly, in many instances fortnightly, in the first term and at regular intervals thereafter. Meetings are logged and goals agreed each time.

Students enrolled in the MA by Research Politics are required to attend skills and training courses at College and University level. You may also be expected to give presentations to other research students and staff at departmental seminars and attend the postgraduate conference of the College of Arts and Humanities which is held in October.

The MA by Research Politics is ideal for those who want:

- an MA qualification in areas where taught programmes are not offered;
- the experience of a research degree without committing to a PhD at the outset.

Research proposals are invited on any topic in Politics for which staff in PCS can provide supervision. It is a good idea to enter into discussions about your research project in Politics with the Department's Director of Postgraduate Research, Professor Roland Axtmann (), before drawing up an initial proposal and starting the application process.

Departmental Research Expertise

At any one time, the Politics department has over forty research students who work together with their supervisors on their projects.

Staff expertise in the empirical study of Politics lies in the analysis of comparative political institutions; comparative elections; political parties; public sector reform; comparative liberal politics; UK politics; territorial politics; devolution; centre-regional/local relations; public policy; communism and post-communism; democratization; multi-level governance; European integration and European Union politics and policy; genocide; UN and international drugs policy.

In the field of history of political thought, political philosophy and political theory, there is research expertise in European political thought; democratic theory; political and moral philosophy; Ludwig Wittgenstein; neo-Kantian ethics; human rights; just war theory and international ethics; philosophy of religion; philosophical anthropology; postcolonialism and Orientalism.

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The programme allows you to research the role of religion in society and politics, and its important role in public policy dimensions and significant potential for impact and intervention in the public sphere. Read more
The programme allows you to research the role of religion in society and politics, and its important role in public policy dimensions and significant potential for impact and intervention in the public sphere.

It will also focus on the public roles of religious communities and individuals, particularly in liberal pluralist societies, and considers theoretical issues such as:

The relationship of religion and religious bodies to public spaces, institutions and events
Theological responses to public issues
The place of religion in public policy
There will be particular attention paid to the UK and European contexts, as well as offering the opportunity for exploring these issues in other national contexts and transnationally.

All students will take two core modules:

Religion in Contemporary Global Politics I
Religion in Contemporary Global Politics II
MA and Diploma students will also study a core module in Research Methods.

If you are studying for the Certificate, you will choose one optional module, while MA and Diploma students will choose three optional modules. MA students will complete their programme with a 15,000-word dissertation, or a placement-based dissertation.

About the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion

The School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion offers a variety of forward-thinking postgraduate study opportunities and is home to a dynamic and friendly community of staff and students, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics.
The School is made up of the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology and Religion, both of which were ranked second among other departments in the country in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise.
The Departments are closely linked, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary study, but have also developed links more widely, in order to explore synergies with other disciplines.
The Department of Philosophy has links with the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, the International Development Department, the Birmingham Business School, the School of Psychology and the Birmingham Law School. In addition, the Department includes the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, which was founded in 2001 to address the practical and theoretical issues raised by globalisation. Global Ethics has natural affinities with Political Science and International Studies, as well as the Institute of Applied Social Studies.
The Department of Theology and Religion has extensive formal and informal links with a wide range of academic and religious institutions across five continents. It has also built up excellent relationships and partnerships with Birmingham’s many different faith communities; this offers an ideal context to study religion in its contemporary as well as its ancient cultural contexts. These relationships, coupled with our large international community of postgraduates, means you will be studying in a diverse, yet well-connected environment.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The Master's degree in politics, policy and the European Union offers an interdisciplinary, comparative exploration of how politics, government and public policy operate within and across European member states and the EU's governing structures and institutions. Read more
The Master's degree in politics, policy and the European Union offers an interdisciplinary, comparative exploration of how politics, government and public policy operate within and across European member states and the EU's governing structures and institutions. These are placed within an international context and considered alongside pressing issues associated with international relations, international law and globalisation and global politics. You will be taught by academics with expertise in European history and politics and the course combines theoretical approaches with empirical knowledge and real-world case studies.

The first core module explores the history, politics and institutions of European intergration and you can then choose to examine the place of the EU on the global stage or deepen your knowledge of European governing structures. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree in politics will give you an advanced understanding of politics and policy-making in the European Union, as well as the EU's place in the world, using cutting-edge concepts, models and theories from political science.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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In this course, the focus is on religion in its anthropological and sociological perspectives. Read more
In this course, the focus is on religion in its anthropological and sociological perspectives. Durham has particular strengths in the study of Mormonism; death, dying and disposal; shamanism; religion and emotion; religion/faith and globalisation; religion and politics; contemporary evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism; and religion and generational change. It also boasts the Centre for Death and Life Studies and the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health.

Course Structure

Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion core module, Three option modules, Dissertation.

Core Modules

-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
-Dissertation

Optional Modules

Optional Modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Literature and Religion
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-Patristic Exegesis
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Catholic Social Thought
-Doctrine of Creation
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission requirements

When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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This Master's degree in politics explores the history of global political and economic forces and the ideas that have shaped them. Read more
This Master's degree in politics explores the history of global political and economic forces and the ideas that have shaped them. We will consider and evaluate the genesis and transmission of neoliberal economic orthodoxy, the development of global politics and global structures of governance, including the creation and operation of institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, foreign direct investment, migration, and the idea and reality of globalisation. You will develop your ability to analyse political debates and issues in a critical manner and you will be taught by academics with expertise in global history and politics. The course combines theoretical approaches with empirical knowledge and real-world case studies.

The core modules explore the history, politics and institutions of global governance as a response to the challenges of globalisation and introduce you to the key issues and policy debates in international political economy. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree in politics provides the analytical tools you need to examine the changing nature of international politics and the emergence of a consciously global politics.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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Development and expansion in undergraduate studies in religion and belief, together with the expansion of national and international ‘faith awareness’ initiatives, has resulted in a high demand for postgraduate studies within this discipline. Read more
Development and expansion in undergraduate studies in religion and belief, together with the expansion of national and international ‘faith awareness’ initiatives, has resulted in a high demand for postgraduate studies within this discipline.

The programme explores the impact and influence religion and belief has on social structures, community, politics, economics, policy (education), citizenship, culture & identity, sexuality, pluralism, spirituality, and national & international relationships. The MA also introduces critical analysis of ethics, systems of belief, human rights and social justice issues and the application of these concepts within lived environments from diverse religious perspectives.

The programme is of interest to both graduates and practitioners who wish to specialise further in Religion, Culture & Society. Graduates may wish to extend their knowledge to prepare for academic and professional careers in the private or public sector.

INDUSTRY LINKS

The RCS team at UCLan have a wide variety of links with local, national and international faith and intercultural forums, faith schools and academic institutions, all of which provide valuable contacts for students wishing to enter professions related to Teaching, Ministry, inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and relations. RCS also work with charity organisations both home and abroad and global outreach programmes. Further details and contacts are available from members of the RCS teaching team.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Students may study the MA full time over one year or part time over two or three years. In either case students will be required to successfully complete six MA modules and one MA dissertation (the dissertation is equivalent to 3 x modules). Each module requires an estimated 2 hours class contact per week plus extensive reading and dedicated personal study.

We strive to give our students key employability and transferable skills which will serve them in the world of work. Our assessment practices illustrate a move away from exams and essays per se and incorporate a move towards a more inclusive assessment which benefits our diverse student body. Assessment strategies include coursework, individual and group presentations, individual and/or group projects, reviews and ICT interaction.

OPPORTUNITIES

Religion, Culture & Society (RCS) also includes field trips to national and international places of interest such as; Rome, Istanbul, Auschwitz, Liverpool Cathedrals, Ladywelle Pilgrimage and Shrine, the Hindu Temple etc. Although these trips are optional to MA students, they aim to draw attention to shared values, beliefs and practices, and supports students in achieving a mutual appreciation of different faiths and traditions. The international trips in particular aim to develop an experienced awareness of cultural heritage, traditions and practices of different faiths, and widen students’ appreciation of how those faiths and belief systems interact within lived environments, communities and in different social settings. Thus enhancing not only MA provision but also the learning experience and the environment where that learning experience takes place.

The programme is of interest to both graduates and practitioners who wish to specialise further in Religion, Culture and Society. Graduates may wish to extend their knowledge to prepare for academic and professional careers in the private or public sector, including local government, race relations officers, ministry, equality/diversity training officers, social services, social welfare, community development, youth work, research, education and communication support workers, lecturing in further or higher education. Practitioners may wish to update their knowledge or gain a higher qualification for personal or professional development. The programme will also appeal to working individuals who are interested in the range of topics offered and do not wish to specialise in a rigidly defined Theology based MA programme. In addition, many students are currently seeking Masters’ programmes as a way of weathering the economic recession.

RCS offers progression routes onto PGCE courses for graduates wishing to develop a career in teaching. There are also opportunities to further study for PhD or professional doctorate.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The MA in Religion, Culture & Society brings together disciplines of Theology, Philosophy, Sociology and International Relations – a very innovative, exciting and challenging post-graduate degree award.

The whole philosophy of the Religion, Culture and Society MA is to promote inclusively, encourage reflection on interfaith dialogue and highlight the important contribution religion and belief can make to community cohesion and the combating of religious prejudice and discrimination (QCA & DfES, 2004). The MA evaluates how and why the role of religion and culture has changed within society, and explores the impact and influence of religion and belief within economical, political and social constructs. Religion and faith is critically analysed within the framework of theistic and atheistic approaches to sexuality, spirituality, human rights, territory and space and cultural relationships. The application of classical and contemporary theological and philosophical concepts and theories of faith are examined in relation to lived environments.

The MA in Religion, Culture and Society embodies and supports the objectives outlined in the AHSS 2007-2012 strategy, is aligned to Theology and Religious Studies benchmarks, HEQ (2008) descriptors and is situated specifically within a social science framework. The course supports a pluralistic perspective on and within religion and belief traditions, and engages with a range of methods of study, explores a number of interesting and challenging modules and includes and a diversified range of assessment practices.

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This Master's degree in politics examines the day-to-day practice and reality of government by analysing post-War politics and public policy in the United Kingdom and around the world. Read more
This Master's degree in politics examines the day-to-day practice and reality of government by analysing post-War politics and public policy in the United Kingdom and around the world. You will develop your ability to analyse political debates and issues in a critical manner and you will be taught by academics with expertise in researching, writing about and participating in politics. The course combines theoretical approaches with empirical knowledge and real-world case studies and you will explore topics in political theory, political science and sociology. You will be given the opportunity to debate and engage with the everyday practicalities of politics through class discussions and meetings with experienced practitioners.

The core modules explore the history, politics and institutions of global governance as a response to the challenges of globalisation and introduce you to the key issues and policy debates in international political economy. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree provides an intellectually stimulating guide to politics, policy-making and the processes of government in the contemporary United Kingdom and around the world.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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

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

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

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

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

Why choose this course?

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

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

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

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

Department research and industry highlights

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

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

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

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

On completion of the course graduates will have:

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

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

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

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

Assessment

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

Employability & career opportunities

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

How to apply

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

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This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. Read more
This Master's degree in politics will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the history and politics of the Middle East and Islam, while honing your ability to make well-informed, critical analyses of the region in the context of global politics. The programme has its theoretical foundations in international relations and political science, using these as tools to explore and analyse the region's domestic and international politics and current concerns, including sectarianism and persistent authoritarianism. Particular attention is given to the intersection between Islam, conflict and development. Recognising that Islam is at the centre of urgent discussions and disputes today, the programme looks into key issues including Muslim identity, religious extremism and violence, and the impact of American foreign policy in the region, including the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ongoing conflict within Syria. The programme also uses interdisciplinary scholarship to help you make comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary Islam and the Middle East in relation to the UK and the world.

The core module explores the domestic political structures and international relations of countries in the Middle East. You can then choose to either study how ideas of ethnicity and nationalism generate identities as well as tension and conflict, or consider how theories and institutions of global governance have arisen in response to the impact of globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.

You go on to choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree is a unique course, offering insights into the history and politics of the Middle East and a balanced understanding of issues pertaining to Islam in the modern world.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

Read less
Among graduate courses in international relations and politics at British universities, the Cambridge MPhil in International Relations and Politics is distinctive in its multidisciplinary approach and breadth. Read more
Among graduate courses in international relations and politics at British universities, the Cambridge MPhil in International Relations and Politics is distinctive in its multidisciplinary approach and breadth. Teaching takes the form of lectures and seminars in theory, politics, history, economics, law, security and various regional and area studies, as well as individual thesis supervision. The taught part of the course aims to familiarize you with the range and variety of disciplines required for a thorough critical understanding of the field in all its complexity and of the means and methods that have been devised to understand it better.

The programme is suitable both for students who have just completed their first degree and for mature students from, for example, industry, teaching, the civil service or the armed forces.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hspimpirp

Course detail

The fields of study for the one-year course of study in International Relations and Politics currently consist of the following:

- Comparative Politics of Western Europe
- Politics of Africa
- Comparative Politics of Religion
- Middle East and North Africa
- International Relations Theory
- International Organization
- International Security
- International Political Economy
- International Constitutional Law
- Globalization and Development (from the Centre of Development Studies)
- Urban Governance and Development (from the Centre of Development Studies)
- Research Methods

This list is subject to change.

Candidates take three courses without restriction as to field of study, and write a 20 -25,000 word dissertation over 10 months. In addition, there is a research-methods and thesis writing training element. Candidates may seek a special subject designation if the majority of their work has fallen within one field of study (e.g. European Studies, International Politics etc.)

The department is looking to attract between 60-70 highly qualified candidates for the MPhil programme each academic year.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will have:

- Developed a critical view of the contribution made by the subject of International Relations, and its related disciplines, to social science more broadly conceived and to practice.
- An in-depth knowledge of specific subjects and themes in Politics
- Have become familiar with some of the main themes of the contemporary analysis of International Relations and Politics.
- Have tested their ability to produce a piece of advanced scholarship in conformity with the scientific methods, research techniques, standards of argument and accepted style of presentation of an academic discipline. They will thus be prepared to continue, if necessary, with research at the doctoral level.

Format

Such knowledge and understanding are developed through the lectures and seminars associated with the various course options, of which students study three; and by writing three mandatory practice essays, one for each of their chosen taught course options, in preparation for the examinations or course essays. Research skills are developed through a research methods course offered by POLIS and quantitative methods modules taught through the Social Sciences Research Methods Course (SSRMC). These research skills are assessed through an essay in which students reflect on specific methods relevant to their dissertation research .

Assessment

The dissertation is an important element of the MPhil. The examination process and criteria for assessment are accordingly more stringent than on many Master’s programmes. In particular, there is a requirement for originality, which must be met either by research using primary sources (documents, interviews, official publications, or the like) and/or by developing a fresh approach to an existing debate or literature. This supports the general aim of the dissertation, which is to develop advanced skills of research and expression.

Each student is required to submit an original thesis on an approved topic of between 20,000 and 25,000 words in length.

Examination of individual course-options will be EITHER by a three-hour invigilated examination OR a 5000 word long research paper.

Continuing

MPhil students are registered as ‘MPhil one-year only’. Those who hope to read for a PhD at Cambridge immediately after the MPhil will need to obtain support from a potential supervisor. This need not be the same person who supervises your MPhil thesis. However, in view of the early deadlines, you will need to work extra hard to let the potential PhD supervisor see substantial work that you have written, in addition to your draft thesis proposal, at an early stage in the academic year.

Once you have applied for the PhD a definite decision will only be taken once your performance in the MPhil can be fully assessed. That is to say, the Committee will set conditions for you related to the entry requirements of the PhD - one of which is a distinction in the MPhil. If you do not achieve these targets, it is unlikely that you can continue to read towards a PhD at POLIS.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

Funded by the Cambridge Trust and the Potter Foundation, there is a studentship available for one student from Africa on the MPhil in International Relations and Politics course in 2016-17.

Applicants who are interested in studying an aspect of Anglo-American Relations or US foreign policy should also be aware of the following sources of funds run out of Magdalene College; The Donner Scholarship, The Halper Bursary , The Roosevelt Scholarship.

The Gabrielle Sacconaghi Bacon Scholarship is available to applicants in 2016-17 who are either final year students at McGill who are currently enrolled in the International Relations Programme; or alumni of the Page Programme (House of Commons or Senate) in Canada. Further information, including the criteria and how to apply, is available through Hughes Hall.

Those wishing to be considered for the limited funding opportunities available should take note of the early deadlines.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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