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MA European Politics

Course Description

Why take this course?

If you are interested in contemporary European affairs such as nationalism, security, governance and policymaking, democratisation in Eastern Europe and the external relations of the EU, you will enjoy this course's attention to themes such as nationalism and citizenship, integration, transition and security. The course is very much informed by research undertaken in the highly regarded Centre for European and International Studies Research, which was rated in the top 4 universities in the UK for research power in Area Studies in REF2014.

We are the only university in the UK that offers an internship with the BBC Afrique World Service in Senegal. This opportunity is available to students with French language skills on MA International Relations or MA European Politics.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Enhance your employability by extending your area of expertise beyond that of your first degree
Deepen your existing knowledge of European Studies and specialise in particular areas such as security or policymaking
Make yourself stand out in an increasingly competitive job market by acquiring skills which show an ability to research independently and study a contemporary topic at an advanced level
Go on to more advanced research and doctoral study

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course provides an excellent basis for careers where a knowledge of European affairs is required, and provides advanced training in a range of transferable skills.

Former students have gone on to work in various areas including:

Local government
The UK civil service
Foreign government and European institutions
Teaching and further research

Module Details

The units on the course are designed to provide a wide range of approaches to the study of Europe. The interdisciplinary nature of the degree means that students can combine political and contemporary history perspectives with those from international relations and area studies. While students can choose to specialise in the study of the EU the course also encourages the study of Europe in its wider sense including the former Soviet Union and Europe’s relations with the wider world.

The structure of core units and options on the degree is designed to maximise the ability of students to fashion a course which best suits their needs and interests. For example, if you wish you can choose to specialise in the area of European politics and governance or you can concentrate on Europe’s external relations and foreign and security perspectives. However, you can also design a more mixed selection.

All students take the following core units:-

Challenges to EU Politics and Governance
Dissertation/Major Project

You will also choose 3 out of the following:-

Europe: Integration and Democratisation
Global Governance
Nation and Identity in Europe
Europe and the World
Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A simulation game
Contemporary Security in International Relations: Providers and Challenges
Independent Project
Work-based Learning

Programme Assessment

Teaching is conducted through a combination of lectures and seminars. In addition, you will have access to staff on an individual tutorial basis. You will also be assigned a dissertation supervisor to support you in the research and writing of your dissertation.

Classes are timetabled in the afternoons and evenings. Depending on their option choices part-time students are usually able to structure their course so as to concentrate their studies on one and no more than two afternoons/evenings.

Assessment is normally in the form of an extended essay on a specific topic within a unit, allowing you to specialise on a subject that particularly interests you within the broad topic area of the unit.

Student Destinations

The current processes of enlargement of the EU to the East and the further integration of the EU have meant that more than ever there is a demand for people with an advanced knowledge of European affairs and the workings of the EU. This applies to a whole range of areas such as business, local and central government and international institutions.

This course therefore provides an excellent basis for those seeking careers in such areas where a knowledge of European affairs is required. It can be used by students coming from a different background to gain the necessary expertise in European Studies or it can be used by those with an existing background to deepen their area of expertise with a particular career focus on European affairs in mind.

In addition the course provides advanced training in a range of transferable skills which can be applied in different areas of employment.

Visit the MA European Politics page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Anthony Cleland-Welch

182.jpg Anthony Cleland-Welch, completed a Masters in European Studies and is about to start a PhD.
I've spent all of my life doing things and never asking why. Doing this course has given me a completely different outlook on life; it's broadened my thinking, made me ask more questions and I now look at situations in a much more intellectual way.
I worked for many years in Eastern Europe, especially in the Balkan countries where I was based in the office of the representative of the UN Secretary-General. I've been involved in everything from resolving security situations and negotiating arms treaties to setting up refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania. After the war in Kosovo, I spent two years running a development mission and, since then, have been helping organise the administration of the territory. The course has given me a better understanding of the impact everyday decisions can have.
Apart from a handful of O Levels I didn't really have any formal qualifications and I was accepted onto the course on the basis of my experience. But I graduated with a distinction and I'm about to start my PhD. Having a Masters qualification gave me a definite advantage when I applied for my last job with the United Nations.
It was my wife who encouraged me to return to education. I was in the army for 28 years and served in the Gulf war, the Falklands conflict and did a tour in Northern Ireland, but I was more worried about starting a university degree!
The other students were much younger than me, but they were a great bunch and we did a lot of socialising together. Personally, I have found it easier studying now than when I was younger; I have a greater work ethic these days so I tend to get on with things.
Returning to education has been a fantastic experience and I'd recommend it to anyone. Too many people are scared to take the risk but ...if you want it, just do it!


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree in a Social Science, Humanities or related subject.English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Last Updated

14 November 2016

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