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MA in Politics and Contemporary History (MAPACH)

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  • Objectives
    The broad aim of the degree is to promote an understanding of contemporary history and political studies as well as an appreciation of the advantages to be gained from studying the two disciplines together under one programme of study. At the same time, students will learn and appreciate the differences in approach and methodology followed by contemporary historians and political scientists. All modules are taught by specialists in their fields, who are also aware of the importance of the interface between the different disciplines, and sensitive to the students' needs in studying them together.Students take four modules, one of which is compulsory: The Transformation of Post-War Europe. This module examines the historical transformation of post-war Europe. In particular it analyses a number of important themes in the shaping of contemporary Europe including the historical and political divisions and conflicts in Europe; the attempts to create European unity and democracy; the evolution of traditional movements and parties within Europe; the emergence of new problems and issues; and the importance of Europe in a global context.Students then choose a further three modules from a wide choice designed to enable students to plan a broad programme of study or to specialise. The broad focus of the modules is the history and politics of the post-Second World War era, with a particular concern for Europe. Modules offered in 2006-2007 include: -The Transformation of Post-War Europe -Philosphy of the Social Sciences -Contemporary Social and Political Thought -New Labour -European Democratisation -Party System Change in Italy -Contemporary Intelligence Studies -Strategic Studies -British Defense Policy since 1945 -Force, Diplomacy and International Security -Security Studies -Terrorism: Threat and Response. Students also write a compulsory, double-weighted, dissertation.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Applications are invited from graduates holding a good honours degree in the humanities or social sciences, preferably in history, politics or international relations. A minimum of a 2:1 is expected of a candidate for the MA; a minimum of a 2:2 is required of a candidate for the Postgraduate Diploma. Applicants with other academic backgrounds, professional qualifications or with suitable work experience will be considered. The programme has a record of attracting students from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Academic Title
    MA in Politics and Contemporary History (MAPACH)
  • Course description
    Length of programme

    Entrance to the programme is in September. Full-time students must complete four modules in two semesters and complete a dissertation by the end of the following September (12 months in total). Part-time students have four semesters to complete four modules and must complete their dissertation by the end of the September of their third and final year (36 months in total). Postgraduate diploma students follow corresponding patterns for full-time and part-time completion of their modules but are not required to submit a dissertation. Postgraduate diploma students who reach MA standard in their modules may be upgraded to the MA and invited to proceed with a dissertation.

    Other activities

    Students are invited to attend regularly scheduled research seminars provided by a range of outside speakers addressing topics on intelligence and security issues and military history topics. Students can also participate in optional field trips to Bletchley Park, NATO Headquarters and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium. Each year students have the additional option of participating in a simulation exercise which serves to complement their coursework.

    Teaching methods

    Modules are taught in the evenings between 6 and 9 pm. Teaching is generally conducted by lectures and seminars. Personal supervision is provided in support of the writing of a dissertation. Module performance is assessed by a combination of coursework and formal examination. Standards are very high.

    Research and teaching quality

    All staff of the Politics and Contemporary History Subject Group are members of the European Studies Research Institute at the University of Salford. The European Studies Research Institute was awarded a top-flight 5A in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise and was the largest unit returned to the European Studies assessment panel. The Politics and Contemporary History Subject Group is highly ranked nationally. In the 2003 Guardian Politics league table the Politics and Contemporary History Subject Group was ranked 5 th out of 74 departments and in The Times it was the 13 th best in Britain. In 2001 a Quality Assurance Agency assessment of politics teaching achieved the highest possible score of 24. History teaching was also awarded full marks in a 2003 Quality Assurance Agency audit.

    Principal teaching staff

    Dr Peter Bratsis (PhD, City University of New York) Political Theory

    Dr Jonathan Colman (PhD, University of Liverpool) Anglo-American defence relations and intelligence co-operation during the Cold War

    Dr Douglas Ford (PhD, London School of Economics) International history 1900-1945, the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, intelligence and warfare

    Professor Steven Fielding British Labour Party Mr James Garrard British political and social history

    Dr Eric Grove (PhD, University of Hull) Maritime strategy and forces, British defence and security policy, international security

    Dr Gaynor Johnson (PhD, University of Wales, Bangor) International History; British foreign policy

    Dr Sarah Leonard (PhD, University of Wales, Aberystwyth) European security issues

    Professor James Newell Post-war Italian politics; political corruption

    Dr Alaric Searle (PhD, Free University of Berlin) Western European, Russian and American military history, international relations, the history of intelligence services

    Dr Thomas Wilkins (PhD, University of Birmingham) – on sabbatical, 2006-2007 Strategic and security studies, international relations theory, alliances and coalition warfare

    In addition, the following members of staff will be available for the supervision of MA dissertations:

    Dr Christine Agius (PhD, University of Manchester) International relations theory, the ‘war on terror’, EU defence and security

    Dr Cristina Chiva (PhD, University of Manchester) The Politics of European integratio

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