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MA Politics and Parliamentary

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  • Entry requirements
    If you wish to apply for these programmes, you should normally hold a good honours degree (upper second class or first class) in a Social Science discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification. Relevant experience will be taken into account.

    However, if you have a good degree in, say, the natural sciences, humanities or languages, you may also apply, particularly if you have appropriate work experience.

    If you narrowly missed securing an upper second result, you should inform us of your circumstances so that your case can be considered on an individual basis.

    Language requirements

    Successful completion of a postgraduate degree demands facility in English. It is a requirement that essays and dissertations be well-written. Prospective and intending students whose first language is not English will need to ensure that their linguistic proficiency is adequate. They may need to undertake some language training in the University or elsewhere.

    The School has a minimum requirement.

    * TOEFL score on the paper-based test: at least, 580 with 4.0 on the Test of Written English (TWE).

    * TOEFL score on the internet-based test: 94, with minimum scores of 20 in listening, 23 in reading, 23 in speaking and 24 in writing.

    * TOEFL score on the computer-based test: at least, 240 with 4.0 on essay rating.


    A minimum IELTS (academic) score of 6.5 with at least 6 in all components.

    University Language Centre

    The School keeps its requirements under review and may request a higher level of proficiency.

    The University's Language Centre offers specialised pre-sessional English language programmes, which are suitable for students going on to study in the Institute. These programmes are also useful in helping students acclimatise to the UK academic environment.
  • Course description

    This course offers you ...
    • a semester-long internship in a parliamentary office.
    • an opportunity to analyse the relationship between politics and the media. 
    • the chance to evaluate the impact of ideological change under the Thatcher, Major and Blair governments.
    • the ability to study under leading scholars in the field of British parliamentary studies.

    If you ...
    • find the workings of parliament fascinating.
    • want a career in politics, or presently work in the profession.
    • would like direct experience of a MP's busy Westminster office.
    • need to develop practical skills and an understanding of the British political system 'from the inside'.

    then MA Politics and Parliamentary is the right course for you.

    MA Politics and Parliamentary critically engages with the nature of British politics. The course will furnish you with an historically informed and theoretically aware academic understanding of the dynamics of parliamentary processes and the work of parliamentarians in the British system.

    The programme will enable you to develop your academic research and analytical skills, as applied to the understanding of British government and politics. You will develop and apply theoretical arguments, make independent critical assessments of the key issues and debates raised in your academic studies, and deepen the written and communication skills you acquired at undergraduate level.

    The course includes a semester-long internship in a Member of Parliament's office. During the placement, you will engage with the full range of office-support and research work undertaken in an MP's office. In addition, you will complete a logbook and a portfolio of work to facilitate systematic political and practical reflection on, and assessment of, the placement experience.

    MA Politics and Parliamentary is available on a 12-month full-time basis only.

    The course has four compulsory modules, including a semester-long placement in a Member of Parliament's office in Westminster.

    Compulsory Modules
    Advanced Political Analysis (30 credits) concentrates on the development of analytical and research skills in the study of politics. It examines key concepts such as 'power' and 'the political'.

    Parliamentary Studies One (30 credits) looks at how Parliament works. You examine the role of MPs in the British Parliament and their relationship with the parliamentary party, national party, constituency and related interest groups. You also investigate policy issues relevant to parliamentarians.

    Parliamentary Studies Two (60 credits) involves a placement in a parliamentary-related office. Normally you take a placement in an MP's Westminster office, but you can arrange to work in other departments, such as a parliamentary consultancy or a political party headquarters.

    Dissertation: Politics (60 credits) leads you through the process of developing a deeper understanding of a particular topic in politics through independent research and the preparation of an extended piece of writing. You agree a research topic with your supervisor and write a 12,000 word dissertation that demonstrates your research skills, your ability to assess information, and appraise relevant concepts and theories.

    During your placement, you work on tasks that help you understand how parliament and parliamentary offices work, and the range of pressures and interests that face MPs. You may deal with constituency problems, attend meetings with interest groups, search for information on policies and write reports, briefing notes or press releases. You will also observe the operation of parliament in parliamentary debates and Select Committees.

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