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Masters Degrees (Social And Political Theory)

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Social and political theory is an exciting interdisciplinary combination of classical and contemporary theoretical developments in the social sciences and philosophy which raise important questions about the way we analyse society and about the scope of critical thought. Read more
Social and political theory is an exciting interdisciplinary combination of classical and contemporary theoretical developments in the social sciences and philosophy which raise important questions about the way we analyse society and about the scope of critical thought.

This is a distinctive MA programme taught by specialists from the Social and Political Theory Research Group in the School of Government and Society. This research group is in the unique position of being able to offer a social and political theory MA programme from a genuinely interdisciplinary team drawn from the Sociology Group and the wider politics staff in POLSIS. It offers an exciting range of modules dealing with topics of perennial interest together with topics of contemporary relevance.

Topics studied can include debates about religious and cultural diversity and conflict, third wave feminism and post-feminism, critical theory and criticism after Marx, the relationship of philosophy to social and political enquiry and criticism, and the study of democracy.

With this programme you are able to explore critically the development of social and political theory and the key current debates. The sociological component of this degree is run by the Social Theory research cluster, which has strengths in:

Critical theory
Postmodernism
Critical realism
The philosophy of the social sciences
Theories of modernity, social movements, and reflexivity

One of the real strengths of our masters programmes is the wide range of available modules, giving students the ability to tailor their course of study to their own academic interests.

About the School of Government and Society

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and International centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.
Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

POLSIS: The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), one of the largest and most academically vibrant departments of Political Science and International Studies in the UK. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) Politics and International Studies at Birmingham was ranked the 6th best in the power rankings highlighting the large number of staff in POLSIS producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

IDD: Be part of global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribute to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Help build capacity of nations and communities to adapt to climate change. Study with us to gain the skills and knowledge essential for working in international development in the 21st Century.

INLOGOV: The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. We enrich the world of local public service with research evidence and innovative ideas, making a positive difference.

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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This Master's degree in politics explores pressing contemporary issues using political theory and sociology. Our focus is on the nature and workings of political power and authority and we will consider the relationships between states and societies and the place of politics and power in everyday life. Read more
This Master's degree in politics explores pressing contemporary issues using political theory and sociology. Our focus is on the nature and workings of political power and authority and we will consider the relationships between states and societies and the place of politics and power in everyday life. As well as reading key classical texts of political theory and sociological analysis, we also analyse real-world contemporary problems and address fundamental questions of political power and social order. Topics studied include sovereignty, territory and state building, property and law, the legitimacy of political authority, democracy, violence and pluralism. As well as choosing option modules from the Department of Politics, you can select options from the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, thus offering you access to historical and psychosocial approaches to theory, politics and the social sciences.

The core modules will give you the theoretical framework and confidence to explore and deepen your knowledge in the subjects you are most interested in. You will examine political power, how it originates and operates at an individual, social and political level, its relationship to sovereignty and the state, and how it intersects with issues such as justice and human rights, civil identity, democracy and economics. 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, nationalism and religion, war and conflict, 'race', racism and postcolonial studies, psychoanalysis, and gender and sexuality. You can take options from the Department of Politics or from the Department of Psychosocial Studies and the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation or a research portfolio 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 will enable you to develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the main ideas and current trends and directions in social and political theory.
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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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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Experience a rigorous interdisciplinary graduate program in Social and Political Thought, in a supportive and personalized environment – the only one of its kind in Atlantic Canada. Read more
Experience a rigorous interdisciplinary graduate program in Social and Political Thought, in a supportive and personalized environment – the only one of its kind in Atlantic Canada.

In Acadia's graduate program in Social and Political Thought you will dive into the study of political and social life through theoretical questions and engagements. The program is interdisciplinary in nature since social and political thought is a nexus connecting political thought, social theory, philosophy, postcolonial thought, literary criticism, media studies, cultural studies, environment studies, and gender studies. Working in close collaboration with its nationally and internationally celebrated faculty, you will take courses spanning several disciplines, increase your exposure to other areas of inquiry and approaches to theory through the core colloquium, and undertake a final interdisciplinary thesis (in year two).

Be Inspired

As a graduate student of Social and Political Thought at Acadia, you will benefit from the small school environment with small class sizes and high faculty-to-student interaction. Only MA programs without PHD programs above them can promise this kind of support, attention and engagement. While having access to professors with a diverse set of research interests, you can also expect a personalized research agenda. To ensure attention to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, you will be guided in your research by your supervisor and a second reader (selected from another discipline).

This program is designed around student engagement. The Social and Political Thought program hosts: a bi-weekly colloquium attended by students, faculty and guest lectures; a newly-founded graduate journal in social and political thought titled: To Be Decided; a community speakers forum; a film series; and a robust graduate student culture. The program also hosts a bi-annual graduate conference on social and political thought in the spring, attracting students and scholars nationally and internationally.

Research Interests

-Paul Abela: Kant; Moral theory
-Andrew Biro: Critical theory; Environmental political theory; Political ecology/economy
-Rachel Brickner: Comparative political theory; Latin American politics
-James Brittain: Critical Development Studies; Latin American Society and Politics; Political Economy; Social Change and Revolution
-Michael Dennis: The political economy of the New Deal era; social movements and political reform in the United States; globalization and the American South; American economic history of the postwar period; and the civil rights movement.
-Marc Ramsay: Ethics and philosophy of law
-Jon Saklofske: Literary studies; Media forms and functions; Narrative ideologies; Digital cultures; Virtual environments; Video game studies
-Donna Seamone: Ritual studies; Ethnographic study of religion
-Tony Thomson: Marxism; Organized labour in Canada; Critical criminology; Social theory
-Brenda Trofanenko: Public history and pedagogy; Museum anthropology; Postcolonial theory; Memory studies
-Geoffrey Whitehall: International political theory; Contemporary Political Thought; Discourses of Culture and Technology; Philosophy of Space and Time
-Ian Wilks: Medieval philosophy; Philosophy of religion; Ethics and bioethics

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How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should… Read more
How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should we think about democracy – as the participation of citizens, the contest of representatives or the search for a common good through deliberation? What is justice – equality for all human beings, solidarity among some human beings or the free play of personal choice?

These questions have exercised minds since ancient Athens and, in recent years, they have received new interpretations in political theory, one of the most intellectually fertile sub-disciplines of politics.

Our MA Political Theory will help you secure a solid grasp of key debates in social and political thought, give you a strong foundation in theoretical principles. You explore topics including:
-Research methods in critical political theory and analysis
-Classical and contemporary texts of political theory
-Democratic theory and social justice
-Philosophy of social science
-Ethics and public policy

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.

The key member of our academic staff for this course is Professor David Howarth, who works on faith, politics and public space in democracies.

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.

This course will 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

-MA Dissertation
-Political Theory
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-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)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. If you are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, then you will profit from our course. Read more
Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. If you are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, then you will profit from our course.

Our MRes Political Economy is a two-year course, designed to give you additional training in research design and research methods compared to an MSc or MA. You study modules on political economics and research methods across your two years, while developing a 35,000-word dissertation.

At Essex, we are primarily interested in the study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables. Our MSc Political Economy covers all aspects of modern political economy, including:
-Micro and macroeconomics
-The quality of governance
-Monetary policy choices
-Mathematical Methods
-Environmental policies
-Market failure

Run jointly between our Department of Economics and our Department of Government, our MRes Political Economy offers excellent preparation for PhD study, combining substantive political economy modules with additional training in research design and research methods. You learn how to develop theories, conduct research, and explore the empirical implications of theoretical models using the most appropriate empirical methods.

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 Department of Economics is top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of our research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists and political scientists of our time.

Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs; they 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.

Many of our economic researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.

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 and quantitative analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, economics, 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

An MRes puts you in a particularly strong position to succeed in a research degree. We 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.

Other 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 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

Year 1
-Political Economy
-Advanced Research Methods
-Essex Summer School Module 30 Credits
-Essex Summer School Module 30 Credits
-Mathematical Methods
-Microeconomics
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science

Year 2
-MRES Dissertation
-Applied Research Design
-Macroeconomics
-Research Design
-Applications of Data Analysis (optional)
-Banking
-Behavioural Economics I: Individual Decision Making
-Behavioural Economics II: Games and Markets
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Computational Agent-Based Macro-Economics, Financial Markets and Policy Design
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Econometric Methods (optional)
-Economic Development Theory (optional)
-Economics of Financial Markets (optional)
-Economics of Incentives, Contracts and the Firm (optional)
-Economics of the European Union (optional)
-Economics of Transition (optional)
-Environmental Economics (optional)
-Estimation and Inference in Econometrics (optional)
-Game Theory and Applications (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Finance (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-International Trade (optional)
-Market Structure and Strategic Behaviour (optional)
-Mathematical Methods (optional)
-Microeconometrics
-Microeconomics (optional)
-Monetary Economics
-Panel Data Methods (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Theory of Industrial Organisation (optional)
-Time Series Econometrics (optional)
-Topics in Financial Economics (optional)

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Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life. The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. Read more
Learn to think in different ways about the deepest questions and problems of political life.

Overview

The MA in Political Theory addresses some of the most pressing questions in political life. What is politics for - to bring real freedom and equality for all human beings, to realise justice, or to prevent human beings from killing one another in large numbers? What do we owe the global poor? Can we close our borders? Where does power lie in democracies?

Course Content

You’ll be encouraged to explore these topics, and others, in greater depth and from different perspectives across a variety of optional modules which draw on our internationally recognized teaching and research strengths in analytical political philosophy, intellectual history and critical theory.

The MA also features a regular research seminar, where the best current work in political theory is presented by staff and eminent guest speakers from all over the world.

Modules
You'll study one core module:
-Approaches to Political Theory

Plus, five optional modules from a range of subjects:
-Analytical Political Philosophy
-Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy
-Critical Theory
-Critical Theories of International Political Economy
-Ethics and World Politics
-New Security Challenges
-State, Space and Globalisation
-Topics in the History of Political Thought
-PhD Proposal in Political Theory module

Our range of modules allow you to study issues connected with toleration, continental political theory, legal theory and political integrity.

A 10-12,000 word dissertation allows you to apply the relevant method to a problem of your choosing.

Careers

From political research to journalism, marketing and HR, a masters degree in Political Theory leads to a broad range of career opportunities. You might find yourself working for:
-Central or local government
-Non-governmental organisations
-Community and voluntary organisations
-A Social enterprise
-A university
-Accountancy and banking orgs
-Law firms
-Media companies
-International and global development bodies / organisations

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The Cultural, Social, and Political Thought major in the Master of Arts (M.A.) program is interdisciplinary in nature and is based on a cohort learning model that fosters an environment of interdisciplinary engagement and exchange, research, peer mentoring, collaboration among a small group of students, within a team-based learning experience. Read more
The Cultural, Social, and Political Thought major in the Master of Arts (M.A.) program is interdisciplinary in nature and is based on a cohort learning model that fosters an environment of interdisciplinary engagement and exchange, research, peer mentoring, collaboration among a small group of students, within a team-based learning experience. The overall academic aims of the program are to emphasize social, cultural, and political thought and to instill the intellectual and practical tools to work successfully with community partners and agencies to facilitate social change. Students graduating from the Cultural, Social, and Political Thought major will demonstrate a range of professional skills (e.g., peer review, public presentations, critical thinking) and research competencies. Graduates are capable of producing novel, relevant, and rigorous research that make significant contributions to interdisciplinary knowledge.

Visit the website: http://www.uleth.ca/graduate-studies/master-arts/majors/cultural-social-and-political-thought

Course detail

The Cultural, Social, and Political Thought major is thesis-based and requires students to complete 9.0 to 18.0 credit hours of graduate semester courses and a thesis. This program is highly theoretical and interdisciplinary in nature and intended to ground students in a body of cognate critical theories and methodologies. Across disciplinary boundaries, the Cultural, Social, and Political Thought major emphasizes the critical engagement of ideas and their manifestation in shifting cultural, social, and political contexts.

Aims of the programme

The program’s key learning outcomes are:

- Mastery of theoretical frameworks related to cultural, social and political thought such as Feminism, Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, Postcolonialism, and Critical Theory.

- Mastery of substantive knowledge in interdisciplinary area of cultural, social and political thought. Research topics are not constrained, but are likely to include such problems, issues, and concepts as gender, race, class, disability, sexuality, equality, citizenship, justice, power and resistance.

- Mastery of relevant methodological approaches pertinent to cultural, social and political thought, such as Historical Materialism, and mastery of relevant methods, such as Discourse Analysis, Ethnography, and Interviewing.

- Mastery of ability to propose, design, present, and disseminate novel and applicable research in the interdisciplinary area of cultural, social and political thought.

Why study at the University of Lethbridge?

As a graduate student at the University of Lethbridge, you’ll find yourself at the centre of a student-focused environment that nurtures innovation, critical thinking and creativity.

The University of Lethbridge is one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and leading research institutions.

At the foundation of our graduate programs is a multidisciplinary and personalized experience. A collaborative environment is encouraged between faculty and students. This means you have flexibility in decisions regarding the research and learning path you take.

At the U of L, we are committed to helping every one of our students thrive. From aiding with financial support to one-on-one mentorship to individualized career advice, you’ll find support every step of the way.

When you graduate, you will have the confidence you need to succeed in whatever you do, whether that means pursuing further education, teaching in an academic setting or establishing a professional career.

We’re here to help as you find the answers to your questions. As Alberta’s Destination University, the U of L gives you room to think, create and explore, providing a university experience unlike any other.

How to apply

In order to apply, you will need to provide the following documentation:

• Academic Transcripts
• Curriculum Vitae
• Three Letters of Reference
• Letter of Intent
• English Language Proficiency (ELP)

All applications and supporting documents must be provided through the online portal: http://www.uleth.ca/graduate-studies/master-arts/apply

The Co-operative Education/Internship Option

The Co-operative Education/Internship Option is available to students for the Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc) programs. Co-operative education is an educational model that formally integrates academic study at the master’s level with relevant, paid work experience in appropriate employment fields such as government, institutions, and industry. The University, the employer, and the student are in partnership to ensure an enriching experience toward the student's professional development.

Funding

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.uleth.ca/graduate-studies/award-opportunities

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This MA provides students with key analytical skills to study the ethical dimensions of public policy. The programme, drawing on three areas of excellence at UCL, is a unique mix of politics, law and philosophy, centred on the normative evaluation of public policy at both the domestic and international levels. Read more
This MA provides students with key analytical skills to study the ethical dimensions of public policy. The programme, drawing on three areas of excellence at UCL, is a unique mix of politics, law and philosophy, centred on the normative evaluation of public policy at both the domestic and international levels.

Degree information

The programme explores the moral quality of the decisions citizens and professionals take, and the justice of the legal and political structures within which they operate. Students develop the ability to analyse important modern political theories, and justify their position on issues concerning the relationship between politics, law and society.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Meanings of Liberty: Applied Methods in Political Theory (30)
-Seminars in Political Theory, Colloquium in Legal Philosophy and Peer Assisted Learning Sessions (30)

Optional modules - students choose modules worth a total of 45 credits from the list below (the others remain available as options).
-Contemporary Political Philosophy I: Authority, Obligation & Democracy (15)
-Contemporary Political Philosophy II: Social Justice and Equality (15)
-Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
-Global Ethics (15)
-Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition I and II (30)
-Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition I (15)
-Jurisprudence and Legal Theory I & II (30)
-Jurispudence and Legal Theory I (15)
-The Ethics of Poverty (15)
-Public Ethics (15)
-Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights (15)
-The Ethics of Counterterrorism (15)

Dissertation/report
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
Teaching for all modules takes the form of seminars where time is dedicated both to introducing knowledge and materials, and allowing students to test their understanding, knowledge and evaluative skills, through discussion, criticism and debate. Assessment is primarily through long essays, coursework and the dissertation.

Careers

This MA provides an excellent foundation for further research in political theory, or a wide variety of careers in this field.

First destinations of recent graduates include:
-UK Parliament: Researcher for MP
-Nacro: Resettlement Plus Helpline Information Officer
-Medway Council: Political Assistant
-English Speaking Union: Publicity Officer
-London Sustainable Business Forum: Research
-Vault Europe: Business Journalist
-Centre Forum: Research Intern
-Stephen Rimmer and Co Solicitors: Trainee Solicitor
-Legal & Constituency Ltd: Underwriter
-City University: Graduate Diploma in Law

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Journalist, BBC
-Political Analyst, DeHavilland
-Policy Adviser, HM Treasury
-Politician, The Labour Party
-DPhil Politics, University of Oxford

Employability
Students of the Legal and Political Theory MA acquire advanced analytical transferable skills and exposure to cutting-edge legal and philosophical work - problem-solving, logical skills - combined with deep understanding of challenges of the contemporary world. As a result our students have an excellent record of employability in leading professions - law, consultancy, politics, journalism and academic careers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of legal and political theory.

Weekly interactive seminars offer students an unrivalled opportunity to meet and engage with some of the leading figures in the field.

The Legal and Political Theory MA benefits from the interdisciplinary research culture of the School of Public Policy, as well as from the participation of UCL Philosophy and UCL Laws.

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Focusing on applying social marketing principles to the key health, environmental and civic issues in contemporary society, the Social Marketing Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) will give you the skills and confidence to plan and manage social marketing campaigns. Read more

Course overview:

Focusing on applying social marketing principles to the key health, environmental and civic issues in contemporary society, the Social Marketing Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) will give you the skills and confidence to plan and manage social marketing campaigns.

This course will be of particular interest to professionals wishing to deepen their understanding of social marketing theory and practice, and apply their learning to work-based projects.

The Social Marketing Postgraduate Certificate will develop your ability to:
- plan behavioural change programmes based on an understanding of what moves and motivates people
- apply social marketing theory and concepts to practical behavioural problems
- demonstrate a critical analysis of social marketing strategy, both in practice and policy making settings
- show competence in social marketing planning techniques and the application of behaviour theory to live projects
- apply commercial marketing and other management tools to behaviour change programmes.

After completing a compulsory Social Marketing module, you have the opportunity to undertake a work-based project or pick other modules that reflect your particular interests.

Modules are taught in weekly blocks. This a method of delivery attracts students working full-time, as well as students living significant distances from Brighton.

Career Opportunities:

On completion of this course you will have an advanced understanding of social marketing strategy. You will equiped with the with skills and knowledge sought after by employers such as national, regional and local government, social marketing consultancies, the NHS and not-for-profit organisations in the UK and internationally.

The course demonstrates your professional credibility to employers, clients and peers.

Why study with Brighton Business School?

We have a close working relationship with The Campaign Company (TCC), a communications consultancy that specialises in political, social and cause related marketing and campaigning. TCC helps organisations build relationships with hard-to-reach groups. Its clients include local authorities and NHS bodies. As visiting speakers, our partners from TCC bring classroom theory to life by sharing real-world case studies, results and pitfalls.

The Business School has a dedicated Social Marketing Unit that provides social marketing teaching, consultancy and research services. It aims to integrate marketing, health, environment and social science disciplines to support the development of social marketing in the UK and overseas.

Course content:

The course is designed to fit around your personal and professional commitments, with start dates throughout the year. You may determine the length of the course, which can vary between six months and four years, depending on your individual circumstances.

A compulsory Social Marketing module is taught over four consecutive days, with additional supervision and assessment time. On completion of this module you can choose to follow one of two routes:the work-based routeor the modules route.

You will have the opportunity to discuss the best combination of modules and projects with your tutor.

WORK-BASED PROJECT ROUTE

The work-based project can be completed at a pace that suits you and your employer (between six months and four years). It is based around your own professional interests and carried out under the supervision of the course team.

Should you decide to take this route, you will be required to produce a coherent account of an applied social marketing initiative.

The project provides an opportunity to create strategies to overcome the barriers that social marketing professionals face when creating complex behaviour change programmes.You will be expected to:
- identify a social marketing problem of your choice (in consultation with tutors)
- explore relevant social marketing/behaviour change models to provide insight into an audience in relation to the particular issue
- analyse the primary and secondary data, with reference to social marketing theory and literature
- draw sound conclusions from your investigation
- identify realistic and feasible social marketing recommendations, such as the development of a behavioural intervention or a review of the way a public service is provided.

While working on the project you will be offered individual learning support and consultation with the module tutor (face-to-face or by phone).

MODULES ROUTE

This route allows you to customise the course by choosing two other modules (in addition to the compulsory Social Marketing module) that reflect your particular interests. You have between six months and four years to complete the two modules.

Each module is taught in weekly blocks, with additional supervision and assessment time. Subjects include:

- Meeting the Challenges: Public Health
- Research Methods for Critical Appraisal
- Behavioural Economics
- The Dynamic Public Service Environment
- Service Planning and Commissioning
- Sustainable Joint Working
- Marketing for the Not-for-Profit Sector

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Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Read more
Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Together with active researchers you will be led through the key contemporary debates in social policy as well as learning how to develop and carry out your own social policy-focused research projects.

Our Master’s has a strong focus on critical and radical approaches to the study of social policy both here in the UK and from a global perspective. In particular the course is concerned with how social policies can reinforce and reproduce marginalisation and oppression in society for groups such as women, deprived communities, ethnic minorities, migrants, disabled people and older people. Concurrently, nevertheless, the program will also analyse how various social policies have been the result of resistance to dominant economic structures and should therefore also be conceptualised as key institutions formalising the rights of the same groups which social policies often oppress. Social policy is also a deeply political subject and as consequence our program explores the theoretical links between the economy and transformations in welfare systems.

With our strong focus on research methods, however, our course also enables students to develop the central skills required to analyse, understand and critically evaluate any social policy issue. Not only do we encourage students to understand policies comparatively, we also provide a significant amount of research training which covers the key philosophical issues and traditions in social science complimented by significant instruction on the uses and strengths of the range of methods and methodological approaches (i.e. quantitative and qualitative data analysis, focus groups, ethnography and so on).

Drawing on our vibrant and developing research culture we offer contemporary and relevant degree programme, drawing expertise from our interest in current social policy trends in Britain, Europe and globally. Studying for a Master’s in Social Policy is guaranteed to be an intellectually engaging experience which will allow students to develop the skills required for many relevant career pathways.

Curriculum

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation (final research project) totalling 180 credits. Assessment methods will vary and may include academic essays, reports, presentations and examinations, research proposals and a research dissertation.

Advanced Social Theory (30 credits) – You will engage with, evaluate and critically analyse a range of social theory ranging in scope from classical social theory to post-modern approaches.

Advanced Studies in Social Research (30 credits)-You will understand the methodological principles and practices that underpin independent research at Master’s level. You will examine the research process, including design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation.

Transformations in the UK welfare state (30 credits) – This part of the course explores the key issues in social policy in the UK in a contemporary perspective. Notably we will explore the relationship between social policies and the wider political economy, unpicking and critically analysing recent changes in social policy such as privatisation, marketization and austerity. The course will analyse these changes in the welfare state in relation to poverty, class, ‘race’, gender, ageing, sexuality and disability.

Comparative Social Policy and Globalisation (30 credits) – This part of the course will concentrate on developing an international perspective on social policy. The module has two main aims. Firstly, to comparatively analyse different welfare states across the world and, secondly, to explore social policy in relation to globalisation and global capitalism.

Dissertation/Research Project (60 credits) – The focus of the research project will be on an issue of relevance to the study of social policy. The study can involve the collection of primary data or a literature-based dissertation.

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Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. At Essex, we are primarily interested in the scientific study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables. Read more
Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. At Essex, we are primarily interested in the scientific study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables.

If you are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, then you will profit from our course.

You will have a great deal of choice for your optional modules as they will be selected from both our Department of Government and Department of Economics. Our MA Political Economy covers all aspects of modern political economy, including:
-Market failure
-Environmental policies
-The quality of governance
-Monetary policy choices

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 Department of Economics is also consistently rated highly for student satisfaction, and is Top 5 in the UK for research with over 90% rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017)

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists and political scientists of our time.

Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs; they 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.

Many of our economic researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.

Our key academic staff for this course are Dr Alejandro Quiroz Flores, who works on why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters, and Simone Dietrich, who works on who gives, receives, and benefits from aid.

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 and quantitative analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, economics, 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.

This course is a good choice if you wish to maintain the flexibility of pursuing a career at an international organisation, a government organisation, a private enterprise or as a political consultant. You will develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, research, problem solving, 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
-Political Economy
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Applications of Data Analysis (optional)
-Banking
-Behavioural Economics I: Individual Decision Making (optional)
-Behavioural Economics II: Games and Markets (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Computational Agent-Based Macro-Economics, Financial Markets and Policy Design
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Econometric Methods (optional)
-Economic Development Theory (optional)
-Economics of Financial Markets (optional)
-Economics of Incentives, Contracts and the Firm (optional)
-Economics of the European Union (optional)
-Economics of Transition (optional)
-Environmental Economics (optional)
-Estimation and Inference in Econometrics (optional)
-Game Theory and Applications (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Finance (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-International Trade (optional)
-Macroeconomics (optional)
-Market Structure and Strategic Behaviour (optional)
-Mathematical Methods (optional)
-Microeconometrics (optional)
-Microeconomics (optional)
-Monetary Economics
-Panel Data Methods (optional)
-Political Economy (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)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Theory of Industrial Organisation (optional)
-Time Series Econometrics (optional)
-Topics in Financial Economics (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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The School of Government and International Affairs has a vibrant research environment. All SGIA Masters students are welcome to the numerous events organised by the School's research centres. Read more
The School of Government and International Affairs has a vibrant research environment. All SGIA Masters students are welcome to the numerous events organised by the School's research centres. MA Politics & International Relations (Political Theory) students will particularly benefit from the activities of the Centre for Political Thought. The centre runs seminar series, workshops and reading group and actively involves Masters and PhD students in its work.

Student Profiles

Not only has the MA Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) programme allowed me to further pursue what I find to be the most interesting aspect of politics, but working so closely with such knowledgeable tutors on a weekly basis has truly opened my eyes and allowed me to delve into and examine the most fundamental concepts behind political theory. That along with the fascinating debates that I had with my classmates and the thought-provoking essays have contributed to what has been the most important step in my career in politics.” Tarek Abou-Jaoude, 2014/15

“Participating in the Politics and International Relations program at Durham University is the best academic decision I have ever made for two reasons. First, is the engaging learning environment created in the classroom by the professors who lead students in civic discussion and debate. The second reason is what makes Durham University so special, being an international student from the U.S going to school at Durham allowed me to learn international relations in the classroom, and its convenient location allowed me to travel to most places in Europe to gain practical application that cannot be taught by reading a book. You make lifelong friends from all over the world who share your core interests, and that is tailor made attribute of Durham University.” Nicholas Lennox, 2014/15

“Durham has been one of the best experiences of my life. This University teaches the meaning of community and friendship, in an environment that combines historic heritage with the latest trends. The MA in Politics and International Relations (Political Theory) was all I expected. A flexible programme that allowed me to interact both with our lecturers and fellow students of the School of Government and International Affairs. This open environment promoted what it felt a very complete learning experience.” Maria Lleras, 2014/15

Course Content

This programme provides students with systematic knowledge and the tools to critically review the complex relationships between government and society at a variety of levels and in different contexts. It also enables students to evaluate in a sophisticated and critical fashion, theories and paradigms within the broad field of politics and international relations, and to draw lessons from empirical studies involving both quantitative and qualitative investigations. It also aims to develop students' ability to deploy research strategies and methods in an appropriately advanced fashion to critically evaluate research at the current limits of theoretical understanding, and to equip students so that they have the ability to master complex political concepts and evaluate the significance of major developments in political thought in general as well as international relations theory.

Course Structure
Two core modules worth 30 credits, plus a Dissertation worth 75 credits, plus 5 optional modules to the value of 75 credits - 60 of which must be from the list A.

Core Modules:
-Methodology in the Social Sciences
-Research Methods and Dissertation Production

List A - In previous years these have included:
-Contemporary Socio-Political Issues in Muslim Religious Thought
-Issues in the Politics of Military Occupations
-International Relations Theory
-Political Ideology
-Human Rights
-Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain since 1850
-Just War in Political Theory and Practice

List B
-European Institutions and the Policy Process
-European Security
-German Foreign Policy
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East
-Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
-Political Economy and Development in Chinese Business
-The Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis
-The European Union as a Global Actor
-The Political Economy of Development in the Middle East
-Model United Nations
-Region, Nation and Citizen in South East Asia
-A module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Learning and Teaching

At the beginning of the academic year, students go through five-day induction events in which they are informed about University, the School, the MA/MSc programmes and the facilities available for their learning.

The 180 credits one-year MA degree programme is divided into two core and five optional modules of 15 credits each. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 75 credits of not more than 15,000 words. Most of the modules are delivered during the first two terms and students spend the remaining time to write the dissertation.

Usually a module has 18 contact hours spread over 9 weeks and 132 hours of self-directed learning. The modules are mainly delivered through weekly 2 hours sessions which can either take the form of seminars or one hour of lecture and one hour of tutorial. The form in which seminars are conducted can differ from one module to another. Typically modules would have elements of lectures, discussions, and presentations from students—the extent of each of these components would differ from one module to another.

All modules have written exercise for formative assessments. Upon getting feedback on these assignments, students can meet their lecturers to discuss their marks before then eventually completing a summative assessment. Typically summative assessments are 3000 word essays but some modules may be assessed by examination. Students can also meet their module coordinators during their weekly contact hours or by making an appointment. When students are working on their dissertations during the later half of the year, they meet their assigned supervisors for a minimum of 6 hours. Students also have access to the academic advisors whenever there is a need.

SGIA has a wide variety of resources available to students such as: computer room/work room with networked PC’s, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, audio system, Wi-Fi and a relaxation area with satellite television system.

SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.

Towards the end of the programme students can contact the Careers Office of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance on applying for these.

Read less
Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. At Essex, we are primarily interested in the scientific study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables. Read more
Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. At Essex, we are primarily interested in the scientific study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables.

If you are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, then you will profit from our course.

You will have a great deal of choice for your optional modules as they will be selected from both our Department of Government and Department of Economics. Our MSc Political Economy covers all aspects of modern political economy, including:
-Market failure
-Environmental policies
-The quality of governance
-Monetary policy choices

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 Department of Economics is also consistently rated highly for student satisfaction, and is Top 5 in the UK for research with over 90% rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists and political scientists of our time.

Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs; they 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.

Many of our economic researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.

Our key academic staff for this course are Dr Alejandro Quiroz Flores, who works on why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters, and Simone Dietrich, who works on who gives, receives, and benefits from aid.

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 and quantitative analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, economics, 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.

This course is a good choice if you wish to maintain the flexibility of pursuing a career at an international organisation, a government organisation, a private enterprise or as a political consultant. You will develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, research, problem solving, 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
-Advanced Research Methods
-Political Economy
-Applications of Data Analysis (optional)
-Banking
-Behavioural Economics I: Individual Decision Making (optional)
-Behavioural Economics II: Games and Markets (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Computational Agent-Based Macro-Economics, Financial Markets and Policy Design
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Econometric Methods (optional)
-Economic Development Theory (optional)
-Economics of Financial Markets (optional)
-Economics of Incentives, Contracts and the Firm (optional)
-Economics of the European Union (optional)
-Economics of Transition (optional)
-Environmental Economics (optional)
-Estimation and Inference in Econometrics (optional)
-Game Theory and Applications (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Finance (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-International Trade (optional)
-Macroeconomics (optional)
-Market Structure and Strategic Behaviour (optional)
-Mathematical Methods (optional)
-Microeconometrics (optional)
-Microeconomics (optional)
-Monetary Economics
-Panel Data Methods (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)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Theory of Industrial Organisation (optional)
-Time Series Econometrics (optional)
-Topics in Financial Economics (optional)

Read less
Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Read more
Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Our radical approach cuts across traditional boundaries, fostering dialogue between different schools and disciplines, and we are one of the few universities in the world that bridges the divide between the two great traditions of Analytic and Continental philosophy.

Our MA Philosophy will provide you with a rigorous grounding in modern and contemporary European philosophy. We have leading expertise in critical theory, phenomenology, German Idealism, nineteenth Century German philosophy, aesthetics, existentialism, contemporary French philosophy, philosophy and psychoanalysis, and medical humanities.

You study modules of your choice, develop your research, writing, and employability skills through an intensive Writing Workshop, and prepare an MA dissertation in your chosen area of research.

Our department is widely regarded as among the very best in the UK, having been recognised as one of the top 10 UK universities for research excellence (REF 2014), and being placed in the top 10 in The Guardian University Guide in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

As an alternative to our more flexible MA Philosophy, you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:

MA Philosophy (Continental Philosophy Pathway)
All of our academic staff work on Continental Philosophy, including classical German philosophy (Kant and German Idealism), Frankfurt School Critical Theory (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), nineteenth-century philosophy (Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche), and phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty). On this pathway you choose from a range of specified topics in these areas, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Continental Philosophy.

MA Philosophy (Critical Social Theory Pathway)
We are the leading centre for Critical Social Theory in the UK with five members of academic staff working on the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), contemporary French thought (Derrida, Foucault, Rancière) and issues in Critical Social Theory, such as activist political theory, theory of recognition, aesthetics and politics, deliberative democracy, and the moral limits of markets. On this pathway you study modules on the Frankfurt School and Contemporary Critical Theory, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Critical Social Theory.

MA Philosophy (Philosophy and Art History Pathway)
Drawing on the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach of the School, our new Philosophy and Art History pathway enables students to get a thorough grounding in philosophical aesthetics. You explore issues in aesthetics and their bearing on other areas of philosophy (such as critical theory or existentialism) and Art History (such as aesthetic practices and curating), and profit from the wide-ranging expertise of our staff in both disciplines. On this pathway you study modules on Philosophy/Aesthetics and Art History (dealing, for example, with Art & Politics, Art, Architecture and Urbanism, or Art, Science & Knowledge), in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Philosophy and Art History.

Our expert staff

Our courses are taught by world-class academics, and over three quarters of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), which puts us fifth in the UK for research outputs.

Our open-minded and enthusiastic staff have an exceptionally broad range of research interests, so whatever questions in philosophy catch hold of your imagination, there is certain to be someone you can approach to find out more.

Recent projects and publications include:
-Béatrice Han-Pile and Dan Watts’ major new research project, The Ethics of Powerlessness: the Theological Virtues Today
-The Essex Autonomy Project, a major interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), which aims to investigate the role of autonomous judgment in many aspects of human life
-Peter Dews’ The Idea of Evil, Polity, 2007
-Béatrice Han-Pile, Foucault’s Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical, Stanford University Press, 2002
-Fiona Hughes, Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: A Reader’s Guide, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
-Wayne Martin, Theories of Judgement: Psychology, Logic, Phenomenology, Cambridge University Press, 2006
-Irene McMullin’s Time and the Shared World: Heidegger on Social Relations, Northwestern University Press, 2013
-Fabian Freyenhagen’s Adorno’s Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly, Cambridge University Press, 2013

Specialist facilities

-Graduate students have access to desk space in the School and many students work there on a daily basis
-A dedicated German-language course for graduate students in philosophy
-Attend our Critical Theory Colloquium
-Attend the Werkstatt, where recent work on phenomenology is presented
-An exciting programme of research seminars, reading groups and mini-courses that help you expand your philosophical knowledge beyond what you learn on your course
-Access a variety of philosophy textbooks and journals in the Albert Sloman Library and in our departmental library

Your future

Many of our philosophy graduates embark on doctoral study after finishing their MA. We offer supervision for PhDs in a range of fields including:
-Continental philosophy
-Critical Social Theory
-History of philosophy
-Applied ethics

Our graduates have also gone into careers in law, the media, local administration, HM Revenue and Customs, and top jobs in the Civil Service.

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

Example structure

-Dissertation: Continental Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Critical Social Theory (optional)
-Dissertation: MA Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Philosophy & Art History (optional)
-Phenomenology and Existentialism (optional)
-Kant's Revolution in Philosophy (optional)
-Hegel (optional)
-Contemporary Critical Theory (optional)
-Topics in Continental Philosophy (optional)
-MA Writing Workshop (optional)
-The Frankfurt School (optional)
-Philosophy and Aesthetics (optional)
-Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)
-Art & Politics (optional)
-Current Research in Art History (optional)
-Art, Architecture and Urbanism (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-The New Nature Writing (optional)
-Foundations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (optional)
-The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law (optional)
-Human Rights and Development (optional)
-International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (optional)
-Human Rights for Women (optional)
-Transitional Justice (optional)
-Psycho Analytic Theory (optional)
-Psychoanalytic Methodology (optional)

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