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Masters by Research

Course Description

Our Masters by Research is a flexible programme that allows you to undertake in-depth study (both full- and part-time) on key areas of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy. We offer a tailor-made research-focused taught module, which will equip you with an array of theoretical and historical approaches to the study of literature, art and culture. This will enable you to articulate, refine and persistently test your own approach to your chosen topic within this broader theoretical and methodological framework.

What it involves:
The core of the MA by Research is a 25,000 word dissertation, giving you the scope to explore your area of interest in real depth, to develop sophisticated critical and analytical research and writing skills. It often gives you the chance to test or try out an area of study in preparation for doctoral study.

As well as specialist one-to-one tuition for the duration of the MA by Research you’ll have access to skills training and enjoy the additional support of a dedicated Research Advisor. You’ll also have access to all of our facilities and postgraduate support.

What’s more, Royal Holloway is ideally situated for the libraries, talks and facilities that London has to offer, including the British Library and Senate House.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mastersbyresearch.aspx

Why choose this course?

- To complete an advanced research project in Politics, International Relations or Philosophy.

- Preparation for PhD research

- To develop advanced methods in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy.

Department research and industry highlights

- The Centre for European Politics was officially launched by Lord Mandelson in September 2007, with the mission of producing research in two principal areas: the study of democracy in Europe, and Europe as an actor in world politics. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Dr Alister Miskimmon and Dr James Sloam, it has recently hosted a number of high-profile speakers, including Lord Mandelson, Professor Simon Hix (LSE), Roger Liddle (Policy Network), John Peet (The Economist), Sir Stephen Wall (former European policy advisor to Tony Blair), and David Willetts MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills).
Recent funded research projects include: a European Union Committee of the Regions consultancy on EU External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy; an EU-funded Workshop on the Review of the European Union Budget; and Teaching Democracy.

- The Centre for Global and Transnational Politics is devoted to the multi-disciplinary exploration of global and transnational processes. Led by its Co-Directors Dr Chris Rumford and Professor Sandra Halperin, its central concern is to theorise and conceptualise the substance of, and connections between and among, political processes that operate at all levels or scales: the local, national, international, transnational, and global.

- The Centre recently won £54,000 from NORFACE, a partnership of European Research Councils including the ESRC, for a pan-European research network on globalisation and the transformation of Europe's borders, and £20,000 from the joint AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society programme for a research network on the normative foundations of public policy in a multi-faith society.
Dr Yasmin Khan’s recent book The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (Yale University Press) won the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Book Prize of 2007.

- The New Political Communication Unit’s research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Dr Ben O'Loughlin and Akil N. Awan, together with colleague Andrew Hoskins at the University of Warwick, were awarded £300,000 from the ESRC for a study of terrorist networks on the internet.
Unit Co-Director Professor Andrew Chadwick is one of the founding members of the US National Science Foundation's International Working Group on Online Consultation and Public Policymaking, a three year project focusing on how political interaction on the internet can contribute to better government policy. It is funded through part of an overall grant of $1m to the State University of New York at Albany, from the NSF Digital Government Programme. Andrew Chadwick’s recent book Internet Politics (Oxford University Press) was awarded one of the American Sociological Association Best Book Prizes in 2007.

- The Contemporary Political Theory Research Group was founded in October 2009, as a result of the development of political theory at postgraduate level and growth in academic staff numbers having created the critical mass it required. The group organizes its activities collectively, and its work focuses on issues around contemporary pluralism, liberalism, democratic theory and radical politics. It brings together staff working in contemporary Continental philosophy, normative political theory, and American pragmatism, and its postgraduate members include two students on the College’s most prestigious studentship, the Reid Award. The group also has ties to the College’s Philosophy Team and the interdepartmental Humanities and Arts Research Centre.

- Members of the Philosophy teaching staff have published major books, among others, on Aesthetics and Subjectivity; Altruism; Genealogies of Difference; German Philosophy; Greek and Roman Aesthetics; The Holocaust and the Postmodern; Music, Philosophy, and Modernity; Richard Rorty; Romanticism to Critical Theory; Scepticism; Schelling; Time and Politics. Forthcoming publications include books on Adorno and the Ends of Contemporary Philosophy; Background Knowledge; Deleuze and Political Theory; Introduction to Pragmatism; The Poetics of Phantasia. Teaching staff have lectured on philosophy all over the world, including the USA, Australia, Japan, Germany, Scandinavia.

Course content and structure

The main focus of the Masters by Research is the completion of a 25,000 word dissertation.

As well as specialist one-to-one tuition for the duration of the MA by Research you’ll have access to skills training and enjoy the additional support of a dedicated Research Advisor. You’ll also have access to all of our facilities and postgraduate support.


Assessment is solely on the basis of a 25,000 word dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different politics and international relations-related areas, including roles as officials in local government, personnel officers and higher education lecturers. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

Visit the Masters by Research page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree or overseas equivalent. Relevant professional qualifications and relevant experience in an associated area. IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores

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