Discovering the politics of public policymaking.
Immigration, environmental degradation, population ageing and global poverty are just a few of the political challenges that contemporary policymakers face. In an increasingly globalised world, it is more important than ever that governments respond quickly and effectively to these challenges. National governments, however, increasingly share responsibility for designing and implementing effective policy with several layers of government (local, regional, national, international) and different types of actors (governments, non-profit organisations, businesses).
Designing effective policies in different political systems
The COMPASS specialisation provides the skills needed for a career in government or other policymaking organisations (NGOs, international organisations, advocacy groups). Courses focus on the barriers to and facilitators of reform, Europeanisation and compliance with EU directives, welfare state reform, and the problems governments face in the 21st century.
The degree awarded for completing COMPASS is either a Master's degree in Public Administration or in Political Science. By joining both disciplines, the specialisation incorporates the strengths of both.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cpas
- The programme offers a unique combination of the theoretical foundations of Comparative Politics and the practical side of Public Administration
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting, with small groups, giving ample opportunity for debate
- The staff has a wide range of expertise, integrating their latest research into their seminars
- Staff members are actively involved in advising government, societal and political organisations
The Master’s specialisation in Comparative Politics, Administration, and Society (COMPASS) addresses themes of current significance to governance in Europe and elsewhere, drawing on experiences from different countries and teaching the analytical skills necessary for devising effective solutions for the challenges facing society. Because of COMPASS’s emphasis on understanding and analysing policymaking and administration at different levels of government, graduates will be able to identify the barriers to and facilitators of reform.
If you want to become a professional in government, COMPASS provides you with the tools needed for working in an ever changing environment and gives you an edge in an increasingly competitive job market. By choosing topics in their course works, students have the opportunity to specialise within the programme. Thus, developing a personal profile that strengthens their distinctiveness. Once graduated, you will leave the programme with a firm knowledge of complex issues and current changes in governance and international politics, and the skills to provide clever solutions. The programme thus
prepares you for senior positions in different organisations, for example the UN, the OECD and EU; public employers, such as local, regional and central government departments; thinktanks, advisory bodies and consultancy firms.
Political decisions are increasingly made in complex multi-governance systems. Transnational institutions such as the UN, the EU, the World Bank and the IMF have grown in importance. Policy problems are seldom the remit of a single government, but often involve several layers of government (local, regional, national, transnational) and several types of actors (governments, non-profit organisations, businesses). Moreover, recent reforms in many countries have led to the fragmentation of the public sector.
This fragmentation of the public sector comes at a time when governments face a particularly difficult set of problems. Economic and financial crises threaten the sustainability of what we used to take for granted. Social and demographic changes, such as population ageing, have made existing social policies and public programmes controversial. New technologies have radically changed the risks that we face and how we perceive them. These developments have implications for the training and skills of those who wish to work in the public sector and NGO sector.
The Master’s specialisation in Comparative Politics, Administration and Society is designed to address these issues and impart the skills necessary for a young professional in contemporary public administration. The one-year programme consists of two components:
An advanced general course that refines the analytical skills necessary for an international and comparative orientation.
Courses that specifically address the issue of the interaction between different levels of administration: international, national, and regional. The courses focus on, for instance, the barriers to and facilitators of reform, Europeanisation and compliance with EU directives, how various countries deal with problems concerning the social welfare state, and the challenges governments face in the 21st century. Courses emphasise questions such as: what are the implications when policy risks and issues are spread over different levels of administration? What happens when national administrations lose competencies to international bodies?
All courses in this Master’s specialisation include some training in the ethical dimensions of public administration. We believe that professions in the public and semi-public sector should be able to identify the ethical aspects of politics and public administration, because political processes are never neutral. Courses emphasise questions such as: which criteria need to be met for which players before an agreement can be reached? What hidden agendas could influence a policy? What interests are involved during an official inquiry?
- Change perspective
This Master’s specialisation provides students with a broad foundation concerning the way in which governments deal with contemporary problems. Students will learn that standardised solutions can be counter-productive because each country has its own unique context (such as culture and history) which needs to be taken into account when designing policy solutions.
Find information on Scholarships here http://www.ru.nl/scholarships
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cpas
The Latin American Politics MSc provides students with an opportunity to develop their general and specialist knowledge of major issues in the politics of Latin America. The programme's graduates have established careers in research, journalism, teaching, and policy formulation and implementation in both government agencies and NGOs.
Students will develop a detailed understanding of the political histories of major Latin American countries, key public policy issues, the challenges of democratisation and democratic consolidation, and the domestic and international influences on political developments in the region. They will gain the key research and analysis skills necessary for professional development in the field of Latin American politics.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (15 credits each), four optional modules (60 credits in total), and the research dissertation (90 credits).
Please note: All optional modules are subject to availability
Students choose four optional modules from a selection that includes the following:
Students may choose a maximum of 30 credits from other departments or from other University of London colleges, subject to the Programme Director's approval.
All students write a dissertation of 15,000 words on a research topic of their choice (linked to the subject area of one of their taught modules), provided that it contains a substantial politics focus.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, presentations, research skills training, and independent reading and research. There is a range of assessments including essays and a short oral presentation, and the dissertation.
Many of our Master’s students undertake fieldwork in order to carry out research for their dissertation projects.
There may be travel costs associated with fieldwork. The institute has limited funds available to students to help towards the costs of fieldwork. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis on the criteria of academic performance to date, the quality of the research proposal and the importance of fieldwork for completing the research.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Latin American Politics MSc
Graduates of this programme will be well placed to use their skills and knowledge to find employment in government, business, journalism, finance, international NGOs, teaching, or for further research in this field.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Students on this degree will have excellent opportunities to expand their professional networks and establish personal contacts that enhance their future employability. Through institute staff members' extensive professional and personal contacts in the region, and through participating in the institute's extremely active events programme, students will meet potential colleagues in government and the foreign service, development agencies and the international NGO community, business and finance, and print and electronic media. On the basis of such contacts, recent programme graduates have found employment in government (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), NGOs (Amnesty International, Caritas) and political risk-analysis firms, while others have undertaken PhD research.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
In the UK the Institute of the Americas occupies a unique position in the academic study of the region in promoting, co-ordinating and providing a focus for research and postgraduate teaching on the Americas, including Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.
The institute actively maintains and builds ties with cultural, diplomatic and business organisations with interests in the Americas, and it provides resources to the wider academic community, serving and strengthening national networks of North Americanist, Latin Americanist and Caribbeanist scholars.
Students benefit from tuition by world-leading scholars in an academic environment at the cutting-edge of research in the social sciences and the humanities.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Designed for students who would like to advance their understanding of the changing nature of international politics, and involving discussion of the impact of globalisation, the rise of global governance, the politics of human rights, and other significant topics in international politics. The increasingly global nature of political relations is typically underscored by equally global economic relations in trade, finance, migration, concern over which is reflected in questions about shifting loci of global authority from 'west' (e.g. Europe and the USA) to 'east' (e.g. China and India) and on-going relationships between the global rich and the global poor.
A Research Masters in International Politics research allows students to start a fulfilling and high flying career working in international security, government departments, as a political consultant, and MPs Researcher, a Public Affairs Consultant or a Global affairs journalist.
Enhance your understanding of global and international politics while also developing highly valued skills across a range of research methods. The MSc International politics (research) degree at the University of Southampton enables you to develop your international politics interests as well as cultivating your abilities in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, research design, and independent thinking skills.
This rigorous programme of study, and the specific research skills it seeks to develop, means that graduates are well placed for careers not just across a broad range of national and international political organizations, but also in areas where independent research skills are at a premium. It is also ideal for those aiming for PhD research in this field.
The programme is designed both to equip students to undertake independent research in global politics and to develop skills that are of relevance to a broad range of careers in the public or private sector. Particular stress is placed on the development of key social science research skills and, as such, the programme is accredited by the ESRC.
The aims of the programme are to provide you with:
All of our MSc programmes endeavour to develop your subject-specific knowledge and understanding, and provide opportunities for you to shape your own degree trajectory through optional module selection. In addition, all our MSc programmes aim to help you gain:
In addition to the credit-bearing modules you will take as part of your chosen programme, all MSc students participate in our bespoke training workshops, led by the MSc Coordinator, and specifically designed to help you get the best grades you can on during your masters study with us:
MSc Coursework Workshop (Semester 1)
This workshop explains the expectations and demands of coursework in our masters programmes, delineates the critical thinking, research and writing skills required, outlines the processes associated with literature reviews and coursework planning, and the rules about academic integrity. The workshop is designed to give practical support to students as they approach their coursework tasks, help UK/EU students understand the specific expectations we have at masters level, and help overseas students unfamiliar with higher education in this country get a better sense of what is expected.
MSc Dissertation Workshop (Semester 2)
This workshop helps students begin the process of thinking about and planning for their MSc dissertation. It provides guidance on topic selection, generation of research questions, aims of the literature review, the role of primary research, dissertation structure, writing advice, and the role of the supervisor. The workshop also offers practical advice from academics about how to produce an original piece of work, the role of depth over breadth, and how to craft convincing arguments.