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Course content

About the course

The MPhil in International Politics is a research-based Masters, which provides an opportunity to research and write a 60,000-word thesis on a topic of your choosing and fits with the research interests of the Department. This will provide you with an opportunity to undertake in-depth and extended research, developing detailed conceptual and/or empirical knowledge and a range of critical research skills.

The Department is renowned for its pioneering research in the field of International Politics. The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirm that the Department of International Politics continues to be one of the UK’s leading academic departments for research in International Relations. With 76% of the publications submitted by the Department judged to be in the top two categories (world leading and internationally excellent), International Politics at Aberystwyth University was ranked 7th in all departments of Politics and International Relations, and was placed best in Wales with 69% of publications submitted rated as world leading. This positions the department as an exceptionally strong place to undertake the type of in-depth postgraduate research required of an MPhil.

Duration

Students are registered and pay fees for one year full time (September to September), two years part time, and have an additional writing up year after their registration period has finished.

Contact time

During your MPhil you will be assigned a primary and secondary supervisor. During term-time you will normally meet with your primary supervisor every two weeks for approximately an hour. The frequency and duration of the meetings may vary depending on the stage of the research and/or writing. MPhil students also are normally advised to take advantage of the excellent research training modules available. These would entail approximately eight hours of seminars per week in Semester One and a two hour seminar per week in Semester Two.

Assessment

The completed thesis will be assessed via an oral examination.

Employability

Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your MPhil will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained international politics specialist with an in depth knowledge of your chosen subject. You will also graduate with a wealth of postgraduate-level skills which are transferable into any workplace. If you opt to take the research training modules, you will also develop advanced skills in quantitative and qualitative research skills and data analysis In addition, the prestige of the Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) from the Department of International Politics will open doors for you into workplaces in every industry.

Study skills

Alongside the wealth of world-class critical expertise, you will master highly desirable skills in academic research, analysis, argument-formation, presentation and debate. The research training options provide you with a specific set of study skills focused on interrogating and analysing a range of different types of data from multiple sources. You will also prove your abilities in reflection and self-improvement; you will be able to identify your academic weaknesses and remove them whilst building on your strengths.

Self-Motivation and discipline

Studying for an MPhil requires a great deal of discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, but you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research and writing in pursuit of your MPhil degree. This process of independent study at an extremely high level will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

Transferable skills

The MPhil programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines. If you take the research training options you will also have advanced skills in data analysis that can be applied in a wide variety of work environments from business to the public sector and non-governmental organisations.

Visit the International Politics - MPhil page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

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