This course allows you to study United States politics at an advanced level in a department ranked top in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) and with an extraordinary number of staff trained in the US. One of the few United States-focused courses in the UK, the course allows you gain in-depth knowledge of the workings of the US political system—what makes it unique, how it has evolved, and how it is changing. You receive a thorough training in the theories and methods needed to conduct your own research into United States politics – culminating in your dissertation on a topic that fascinates you and enhances your career. Your research skills will be in demand by a wide range of employers, including government, international organisations, policy analysis and market research. The course also prepares students for doctoral study.
The core module covers topics relating to the political institutions and policy-making in the United States including:
· The US Constitutional Design
· American Political Parties
· The American Electorate
· Congress and the Presidency
· Economic and Political Inequality
· Interest Groups
· Representation, Race and Gender
· Federalism and the Judiciary
In addition, the course includes modules covering theory and explanation in political science and advanced research methods. Optional modules include such topics as international relations, foreign policy and the politics of Western democracies.
Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious research and graduate training departments in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics and our academic staff work on topics ranging from political institutions, elections and international conflict and violence, to British and European elections. Our staff routinely advise governments, assist in training politicians and civil servants, and provide commentary on political events in national and international media.
Key academic staff for this course include:
Over half of our academic staff completed doctoral training in the United States and many of these staff have published, taught and/or provided expert commentary on topics relating to US politics, including Natasha Ezrow (PhD University of California Santa Barbara) and Gina YannitellReinhardt (PhD Washington University in St. Louis).
As a leading global power, the United States and its foreign affairs have a significant impact upon international relations, both in terms of policy and academic scholarship.
This significance has grown in the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent “war on terror” in ways that have been reflected in the development of the academic literature and in the increased level of interest in the subject area. With a high concentration of US Foreign Policy experts among PAIS academics, the department is in a unique position to bring cutting-edge, in-depth knowledge and discussion to postgraduate study in this field.
This programme focuses on US foreign policy in the context of national security as well as wider aspects of the country’s foreign policy and its impact in the areas of the economy, international relations, and particularly security. Some of the questions you will tackle include:
This programme is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, both chronologically and thematically. It draws on the wide range of American historical expertise available in the School. You will enrich your skills in independent research, critical analysis and presentations, and gain an in-depth understanding of the key topics and historiographical debates of this young nation’s dynamic past, spanning the American Revolution, the Cold War and the War on Terror.
You will attain a level of expertise and knowledge that will enable you to embark upon independent research at an advanced level in American history. The University of Edinburgh is home to one of the largest teams of American historians outside the United States, allowing us to provide courses and research supervision in a wide array of topics and time periods with world class expertise. The impressive combined resources of the University’s Main Library and the National Library of Scotland, home to one of the UK’s largest collections of Americana, will be on hand.
The compulsory courses are Historical Methodology; Historical Research: Skills and Sources; Themes in American Historiography.
Option courses previously available include: The Intellectual History of the American Revolution; Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1834; The American Civil War and Reconstruction; The Civil Rights Movement; Conservatism in the United States, c1930–c1990; The United States and the Vietnam War; The United States and the Cold War.
Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers.Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the programme as preparation for a PhD.
The combination of specialised skills training courses and seminars, and the opportunity for independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.
Has the end of the Cold War created a new world order? Has the fall of the Berlin Wall inaugurated a new Europe? Has 9/11 changed our world and the character of our democracies forever? Are we facing a ‘clash of cultures’ in the Middle East? Is American power declining and being replaced by new players on the world stage?
This MSc allows you to explore such questions critically and analytically whilst discovering how the recent past shaped the modern world. A specialised methodological and historiographical course will help you appreciate the distinctiveness of contemporary history, its use of radio, television, film, and internet-based sources such as Wikileaks and its methodology. This rigorous skills training will be supplemented by a variety of topical, spacialised options, covering virtually every distinctive approach to history (e.g. political, social, and economic) and every region on the globe, underlining the increasing globalisation of our recent past. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the increasingly global experience of humankind in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The MSc makes use of Edinburgh’s unique archival and bibliographical resources – The National Archives of Scotland, The National Library of Scotland, the University’s library and archives – and is enriched by the city’s key role in current British politics.
The compulsory courses are Historical Methodology; Historical Research: Skills and Sources; Introduction to Contemporary History.
Option courses previously available include: Contemporary Scotland; Gender, Crime and Deviancy: Britain, c1860–1960; History as Romance, Profession, Critique: Theory and Scholarship in the West, 1835–1985; The British at War, 1939–1945; The Politics of Historiography in Post-Colonial South Asia; Cinema and Society in South Asia, 1947 to the Present; Thinking the Twentieth Century: Hannah Arendt and the Breakdown of European Civilisation; Revolutions in Twentieth Century Europe; Civil Wars in Twentieth Century Europe; Genocide in the Contemporary World; The Closest of Enemies: Cuban-US Relations, 1895-2014; The United States and the Vietnam War; The United States and the Cold War.
Our students view the MSc and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by employers. Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the programme as preparation for a PhD.
The combination of skills training, specialised seminars, and independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts. Others enter business, media, public administration or marketing.