The MSc Political Research can serve as the first stage of an ESRC funded ‘1+3’ research training programme or for those wanting to acquire specialist research skills in preparation for a doctoral programme. The degree aims to equip students with a combination of the philosophical grasp and the specific techniques required for research in politics. It addresses central issues in the philosophy of social science, political research methods and data analysis in its core modules, and allows students to specialise in a particular area of politics in option modules. These research skills are then applied in an extended dissertation on a topic of the student’s choice. The course involves a variety of teaching and learning strategies, which guide the student gradually towards the implementation of their own, supervised, research-based dissertation. Students are encouraged to think about the implications of different methodological and theoretical approaches, whilst pursuing their own research in their chosen area of interest.