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Politics & Government×

University of Reading, Full Time Masters Degrees in Politics & Government

We have 19 University of Reading, Full Time Masters Degrees in Politics & Government

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Designed to enhance research skills in politics and/or international relations. Preparation for a PhD, or for a research career in think tanks, government departments or elsewhere. Read more
  • Designed to enhance research skills in politics and/or international relations
  • Preparation for a PhD, or for a research career in think tanks, government departments or elsewhere
  • Freedom to tailor the programme to suit your particular research interests
  • Specialist research dissertation
  • Suitable for graduates from any discipline

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Philosophical issues in the social sciences
  • Introduction to both qualitative and quantitative research methods in politics and international relations
  • War and peace
  • Politics of public policy
  • Dissertation

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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Our taught MPhil programme in International Relations is a step beyond the usual one-year MA. This is a two-year, Bologna-compatible master's programme combining both taught modules and a substantial research component. Read more

Our taught MPhil programme in International Relations is a step beyond the usual one-year MA.

This is a two-year, Bologna-compatible master's programme combining both taught modules and a substantial research component. The first year mirrors the format of our MA programmes, and the second year allows you to complete a substantial research dissertation.

What will you study?

Year 1

The course is designed to develop your research skills while allowing flexibility to suit your own particular interests. Teaching in the first year consists of either two or three 20-credit modules that give you the philosophical and methodological tools that you need to be an effective researcher in the social sciences.

  • Philosophical Issues in the Social Sciences
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Politics and International Relations
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Politics and International Relations

In addition, you take 120-140 further credits, which may be modules from the list below, or from any of the other MA modules available in the Department of Politics and International Relations. You can also opt to take a language module and you can take up to 60 credits in modules from other departments, in consultation with the Programme Director.

  • International Relations
  • International Security Studies
  • Contemporary Diplomacy
  • Politics of Public Policy
  • Strategic Theorists
  • Strategic Practice
  • Conflict in the Middle East
  • Terrorism in a Globalising World
  • Public Ethics
  • Parliamentary Studies

Year 2

During the second year, you take 60 further credits in taught modules. These may include any of the Department's MA modules that you have not taken in the first year, and up to 40 credits from another MA programme, subject to the approval of the programme director.

The bulk of the second year is occupied by researching and writing a substantial research dissertation of 26-30,000 words. This gives you the opportunity to explore in great depth a topic of interest to you.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers. Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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Provides a thorough introduction to the principal ideas employed in the study of world politics. Develops an understanding of contemporary global challenges and equips you to analyse them critically. Read more
  • Provides a thorough introduction to the principal ideas employed in the study of world politics
  • Develops an understanding of contemporary global challenges and equips you to analyse them critically
  • Freedom to tailor the programme to suit your research interests
  • Specialist research dissertation in consultation with an expert supervisor
  • Suitable for graduates from any discipline

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • International relations theory
  • Themes and issues in contemporary international relations
  • Origins and causes of war
  • Introduction to qualitative research methods in politics and international relations
  • Dissertation

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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For those with an interest in international relations and contemporary issues of international security. Designed to enhance research skills in the area of security studies. Read more
  • For those with an interest in international relations and contemporary issues of international security
  • Designed to enhance research skills in the area of security studies
  • Preparation for a PhD, or for a research career in think tanks, government departments or non-governmental organisations
  • Flexible programme to suit your particular research interests
  • Specialist research dissertation

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • International relations theory (core module)
  • Contemporary diplomacy
  • Terrorism in a globalising world
  • Introduction to qualitative research methods in politics and international relations
  • Dissertation

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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Gain the tools to understand and assess a range of public policy issues . Focus on a specialist pathway, such as welfare policy, sustainable environments, international development and global governance . Read more
  • Gain the tools to understand and assess a range of public policy issues 
  • Focus on a specialist pathway, such as welfare policy, sustainable environments, international development and global governance 
  • Many classes led by UK government analysts and seminars with politicians and government officials 
  • Accredited as a Climate-KIC Master Programme

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Economics of public policy
  • Politics of public policy
  • Research methods
  • Dissertation or work placement and project
  • Range of optional modules on climate change, social policy, international relations, development

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes give both a deep understanding of the specific subject matter and a range of transferable skills that can be utilised in a wide variety of future careers. They provide specialist expertise in economic analysis, preparing you for challenging roles. We have a strong commitment to employability and our graduates are successful in obtaining jobs after university, in the public as well as corporate and third sectors. We want to make sure this continues to be the case in the future.

Our award-winning Careers Centre provides excellent careers advice specifically for postgraduate students. Placement opportunities may also be available, and we have a dedicated School Development Officer to help you progress with your career.



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Gain the tools to understand and assess a range of public policy issues . Focus on a specialist pathway, such as welfare policy, sustainable environments, international development and global governance . Read more
  • Gain the tools to understand and assess a range of public policy issues 
  • Focus on a specialist pathway, such as welfare policy, sustainable environments, international development and global governance 
  • Many classes led by UK government analysts and seminars with politicians and government officials 
  • Accredited as a Climate-KIC Master Programme

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Economics of public policy
  • Politics of public policy
  • Research methods
  • Dissertation or work placement and project
  • Range of optional modules on climate change, social policy, international relations, development

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes give both a deep understanding of the specific subject matter and a range of transferable skills that can be utilised in a wide variety of future careers. They provide specialist expertise in economic analysis, preparing you for challenging roles. We have a strong commitment to employability and our graduates are successful in obtaining jobs after university, in the public as well as corporate and third sectors. We want to make sure this continues to be the case in the future.

Our award-winning Careers Centre provides excellent careers advice specifically for postgraduate students. Placement opportunities may also be available, and we have a dedicated School Development Officer to help you progress with your career.



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This Bologna-style two-year Master’s degree is taught entirely in English. You can elect to take a Russian course when in Moscow, which can be a beginner's course. Read more

This Bologna-style two-year Master’s degree is taught entirely in English.

You can elect to take a Russian course when in Moscow, which can be a beginner's course. The course consists of the larger British-style modules taught over 20 weeks and smaller modules as taught at MGIMO. The subject area covers general topics in the area of international relations and contemporary international affairs, but allows you to specialise in subjects relating to Russia in an international context or else in more general sub-areas such as diplomacy, media or business economics. No knowledge of Russian necessary!

What will you study?

Modules include:

  • International relations
  • International security studies
  • (Year 2 at MGIMO) Political process in contemporary Russia
  • Foundations of Russia’s foreign policy
  • Russian language module (beginner’s or advanced).

What career can you have?

Our graduates have gone into many walks of life, from UK Ambassador, military officer, members of the SAS or intelligence analyst, to banker, political analyst, university lecturer, staff college lecturer, journalist, official in an international organisation, or policeman. Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, work for charitable foundations or parliament. Our courses give both a deep understanding of the specific subject matter and a range of transferable skills that can be utilised in a wide variety of future careers.



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Discover the origins and evolution of key strategic concepts. Familiarise yourself with examples of their application, and the problems and possibilities these pose. Read more
  • Discover the origins and evolution of key strategic concepts
  • Familiarise yourself with examples of their application, and the problems and possibilities these pose
  • Apply the conceptual frameworks acquired to the analysis of particular security issues
  • Suitable for graduates with a background in any humanities subject, most social sciences subjects, or law

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Strategic practice
  • Key concepts of strategy
  • Origins and causes of war
  • The political economy of civil war
  • Dissertation

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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Academic training for prospective and practising diplomats, civil servants, or academics. Combines the theory and practice of contemporary diplomacy. Read more
  • Academic training for prospective and practising diplomats, civil servants, or academics
  • Combines the theory and practice of contemporary diplomacy
  • Benefit from British diplomats and officials who contribute valuable insight into current challenges and processes
  • Develop transferable skills, including research, policymaking, and interpersonal skills
  • Select from a range of optional modules to suit your individual interests

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Contemporary diplomacy (core)
  • Terrorism in a globalising world
  • Building peace after civil war
  • Governance, security, development
  • Dissertation

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

We provide lots of opportunities for you to develop transferable skills for your future career. Our graduates move on to a wide range of roles, including UK ambassadors, military officers, members of the SAS or intelligence analysts, bankers, political analysts, university lecturers, staff college lecturers, journalists, officials in international organisations or police officers.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, charitable foundations or Parliament.



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Agriculture at Reading is rated best in the UK (QS World Ranking 2016). Develop skills for working along the research-extension-development continuum. Read more
  • Agriculture at Reading is rated best in the UK (QS World Ranking 2016)
  • Develop skills for working along the research-extension-development continuum
  • Examine agriculture’s contribution towards the UN’s sustainable development goals
  • Analyse the biophysical, economic and social contexts for sustainable intensification of farming systems in developing countries
  • Programme includes optional horticulture pathway

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Rethinking agricultural development (including horticulture): implementing solutions
  • Agriculture in the tropics
  • Experimental agriculture/horticulture

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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Multidisciplinary learning about the theory and practice of communication in development . Work with practitioners and academics to gain practical skills in designing communication strategies and media interventions . Read more
  • Multidisciplinary learning about the theory and practice of communication in development 
  • Work with practitioners and academics to gain practical skills in designing communication strategies and media interventions 
  • Develop research skills for communication activities in development 
  • Supportive learning in a diverse, international environment 
  • In-class support in career building, networking and taking the next steps after graduation

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Concepts and practices of communication
  • Participatory interventions in development
  • Theories and practices of development
  • Addressing poverty and inequality
  • Gender and development

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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Taught by internationally renowned academics working at the forefront of research and policy development. Examine development finance against the background of development and macroeconomic policy. Read more
  • Taught by internationally renowned academics working at the forefront of research and policy development
  • Examine development finance against the background of development and macroeconomic policy
  • Analyse the role of development finance in economic development from micro and macro perspectives
  • Focus on financial inclusion, microfinance, institutional design and policy reform in domestic and international financial system

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Development finance
  • Microfinance
  • Theories and practices of development
  • Macroeconomics for developing countries
  • Appraisal of agricultural and rural development projects

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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Home to the Walker Institute – a world-leading authority on climate change. Juxtaposes and critically examines the interdisciplinary environment-development nexus at a range of levels. Read more
  • Home to the Walker Institute – a world-leading authority on climate change
  • Juxtaposes and critically examines the interdisciplinary environment-development nexus at a range of levels
  • Takes a “one-world, one-future” approach to economic growth, equity and global environmental change
  • Explores the drivers and consequences of environmental crises
  • Aimed at graduates and mid-range professionals from a range of disciplines

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Global environmental change and development
  • Theories and practices of development
  • Ecosystem services
  • Addressing poverty and inequality
  • Plants, green space and sustainability

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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Provides a multidisciplinary understanding of food production, access and use. Analysis of the complex challenges faced by developing countries. Read more
  • Provides a multidisciplinary understanding of food production, access and use
  • Analysis of the complex challenges faced by developing countries
  • Option to enrol in free, complementary Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme
  • Prepares you for a range of career options in international food and development sectors
  • Suitable for graduates from most disciplines

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Theories and practices of development
  • Food security and development
  • Agriculture in the tropics
  • Policy analysis
  • Global issues in nutrition and health

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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The number, intensity, and impact of crises, emergencies, conflicts and disasters are increasing. During the past ten years alone, an estimated 1.5 billion people have been affected by some form of disaster or conflict-related event. Read more

The number, intensity, and impact of crises, emergencies, conflicts and disasters are increasing. During the past ten years alone, an estimated 1.5 billion people have been affected by some form of disaster or conflict-related event.

This exciting and timely multidisciplinary postgraduate taught programme examines the role of global law, policy and practice across the spectrum of possible crises, conflicts, and disasters. You will consider the complete disaster cycle of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and explore all types of crisis and conflict (civil, international, post-conflict peace-building, and terrorism) as well as disasters, both man-made (pollution and contamination) and natural (earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, health pandemics).

The programme reflects on current and changing global priorities such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30; progressing the outputs of the UN Climate Change Conference 2015; UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015; and the World Humanitarian Summit 2016.

The aim of this programme is to equip you with many of the substantive, professional, practical, and personal transferable skills and knowledge necessary to operate effectively in inherently multidisciplinary crisis, conflict and/or disaster environments.

A number of schools will collaborate on the delivery of this programme: Law; Agriculture, Policy and Development; Politics, Economics and International Relations; Archaeology, Geography, and Environmental Science. There will also be input from other disciplinary perspectives too, together with practitioners drawn from across the conflict, humanitarian and disasters sectors.

As well as Law graduates, this programme will appeal to early to mid-career professionals working in roles dealing with different types of crises, conflicts and/or disasters, particularly governmental, intergovernmental, private/corporate, civil society/non-governmental who wish to broaden and deepen their existing areas of expertise. It will be also be suitable for recent graduates of any subject, those on career breaks, and career changers.

It is possible to take either an LLM or MSc pathway. Both are framed around the global architecture of crisis, conflict and disaster management with embedded multidisciplinarity. The key distinction is that an LLM route takes more optional law modules, whereas optional modules for the MSc are more multidisciplinary in nature.

What will you study?

Planned Law modules include:

  • Global Architecture of Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Management 
  • Human Rights Law, Policy, and Practice
  • Disaster Management
  • Hazard, Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience
  • Public International Law
  • International Refugee Law
  • International Law and the Regulation of Armed Conflict  
  • International Criminal Justice and Post-Conflict Peace-building 
  • Climate Change Disasters 
  • Technologies and Weaponry
  • Research project 
  • Professional placement 

Non-law modules are expected to span such topics as: 

  • Development (including, foundational concepts, food security, gender)
  • Political (including, contemporary diplomacy, conflict in the Middle East, terrorism)
  • Economic (including, macro/micro-economics for developing countries, economics of public/social policy, climate change and economics) (MSc pathway only)
  • Preparing for Floods 

(MSc students will have economics modules and a broader selection of politics modules to choose from.)

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

Practical training opportunities

A series of non-assessed, employability orientated, practical training events, inside and outside the classroom, will take place throughout the programme aimed at consolidating and applying substantive knowledge learnt as well as developing transferable professional and personal skills. This will include the opportunity to undertake a fantastic and unique practical ‘fragile/hostile environment training’ package delivered by external professional trainers

What career can you have?

The skills gained by undertaking a postgraduate Law programme are in great demand from both legal and non-legal employers. As with any postgraduate taught Law programme, completion of the various entry points will be an asset for students seeking employment in international courts and tribunals, United Nations agencies, legal practice and advocacy in the international law field, international NGOs, the public service (in the areas of foreign relations, international development, etc), law reform agencies, the media (journalism and broadcasting), and academia (with further postgraduate study).

Graduates of this programme will be uniquely positioned and clearly distinguishable to prospective employers. In addition to acquiring knowledge of the key principles and topics associated with a traditional Public International Law and Human Rights related LLM programmes or a master's degree in crisis, conflict and/or disaster management issues, graduates of this programme will also develop a unique understanding of cutting edge law and policy, become more multidisciplinary conversant and therefore better equipped to work in inherently multidisciplinary environments.

The flexible nature of this programme allows students to select the degree qualification which best suits their background or area of expertise.



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