The United States of America is the world’s leading economic and military power, and an influential cultural force globally. Few nations are unaffected by American political and economic decisions, and the ‘American Dream’ continues to exert a powerful pull on many outside America. But the uniquely complex American political system is frequently misunderstood, both within and outside the USA, while the sources, influence and nature of American foreign policy are the subject of deep disagreements. The MSc/MRes American Politics combines an advanced analysis of the government and politics of the USA with a critical examination of American foreign policy. These degrees are especially suitable if you are interested in, or affected by, American public policies, and are looking for a specialised programme in US politics. They offer a good foundation for a career in policy research, journalism or work in international organisations, or for undertaking study for an MPhil/PhD on a US-related theme. You will develop the capacity to analyse political debates and issues in a critical manner, and improved teamwork, written and oral communication skills.
You will take core courses and option modules, and write a dissertation.
Core course 1, The Government and Politics of the United States, examines the institutions of American government, the policy process and a series of issues and controversies in contemporary American politics, such as gun control, capital punishment and abortion.
Core course 2, American Foreign Policy, investigates the content of American foreign policy since 1945, the processes by which it is formulated and implemented, and case studies of its varying effectiveness during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, September 11 and Iraq.
A range of thematic or regional option modules allow you to tailor the degree to your own specific personal or career interests. Modules are normally available in:
-British, US and European government and politics
-international relations, international security, and US foreign policy
-politics of globalisation and international political economy
-politics, policy and administration of the EU
-political theory and political sociology
-war, conflict, nationalism, politics and religion
-policy analysis, policy-making processes and comparative public policy
-public management and public sector reform
For MRes students, research methods training forms part of the programme's core elements.
You will also be able to pursue independent research on an agreed topic of your choice through a dissertation.