This is a degree offered in collaboration with other departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences. It is designed to provide a strong all round training in research methods allied to further specialisation within the fields of politics, international relations and security for students intending to go on to register for a PhD. As such it implements the ESRC research training guidelines for '1+3' PhD students, and includes compulsory elements in a wide variety of techniques including statistics and quantitative methods, but contains less subject-specific content than the other MA courses.
Two core modules worth 15 credits each, plus a Dissertation worth 60 credits, plus optional modules to the value of 90 credits
30 credits of Quantitative Research Methods module, which in previous years have included:
One Qualitative Research Methods module, which in previous years have included:
30 credits of specialisation modules, which in previous years have included:
One further optional module to the value of 15 credits from a list provided according to the specialisation module selected.
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.
This 180 credit one-year MA degree programme is divided into two core module, with a selection of optional modules. Furthermore, students have to submit a dissertation of 60 credits of not more than 12,000 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 latter 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 PCs, printing facilities including scanner and photocopier, and Wi-Fi.
SGIA conducts weekly seminars and organises lectures and conferences which all postgraduate students can attend. These events provide students with the opportunity to engage with, and debate, the most important issues in current political and international studies.
Students can contact the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre of the University to get advice on available job prospects and get assistance in applying for these.
Our students go on to a wide range of successful careers including civil service and other government agencies, UN/INGOs/CSOs, journalism, media, teaching, law, banking and finance, diplomatic services and risk analysis.
Visit the Research Methods (Politics, International Relations, Security) - MA page on the Durham University website for more details!