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Course content

The aim of the MA in Politics is to deepen students' understanding of important contemporary issues in political studies through the enhancement of students' analytical skills, research and writing talent, and capacity for utilising theoretical approaches. These are all important transferrable skills, highly valued in the job market. The programme is of particular interest to those wishing to know more about Irish politics (North and South), European politics, political conflict, and political theory.

Course Details

Students take six taught modules (MA) and the Dissertation module (MA) over the course of the academic year. Each taught module is worth 20 credits. The Dissertation is worth 60 credits.

Semester 1

  • Approaches to Research Design (compulsory)
  • Government and Institutions of Northern Ireland 

OR

  • Politics of Northern Ireland 

Plus one from:

  • Ethics of Recognition
  • Government & Institutions of Northern Ireland*
  • Politics of Northern Ireland*
  • Theories & Issues of International Relations
  • Violence, Terrorism & Security:

*If not chosen from above Dissertation research begins

Semester 2

  • Institutions and Politics of the EU (compulsory) 

Plus two from:

  • Carbon Literacy for a Low Carbon Society and Economy
  • Conflict Intervention
  • Ethnic Conflict and Consensus: The power of institutions
  • Gender, Politics and Democracy
  • International Political Economy
  • Philosophy of Conflict and War
  • The Politics of the Republic of Ireland

Dissertation research continues

Semester 3

Dissertation (15,000 words maximum)

Assessment and Feedback

A mix of essays, learning journals, presentations, examination and portfolio projects.

Learning and Teaching

Afternoon and evening.

Career Prospects

All of the MA programmes offered in the School provide our graduates with the skills to pursue a wide range of careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. In addition they provide an appropriate basis for those who wish to proceed to Doctoral-level study. Our graduates are now working in careers with local and national government, policy analysis and advocacy for NGOs and charities. Many are also in the private sector working as lawyers, in the media and in management consultancy.

More generally, Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.


Visit the MA Politics page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

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