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MSc in Political Research

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Comments about MSc in Political Research - At the institution - Glasgow - Scotland

  • Entry requirements
    The course is designed to be suitable for two categories of student: Full-time students who wish to specialise in political research in order to: * proceed to a PhD by research using the skills acquired from the course * help them obtain employment in a wide range of political, public sector, voluntary sector and private sector organisations. * obtain an academic research job. Part-time students who wish to proceed to part-time PhD study, or those already employed in political organisations, or public or voluntary sector organisations who wish to obtain knowledge and skills to enable them to fulfil such roles more effectively.
  • Academic Title
    MSc in Political Research
  • Course description
    The MSc in Political Research is fully recognised and meets the research training requirements for the award of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 research studentships. It also constitutes a stand-alone programme for those wishing to extend their understanding of political research.

    An important feature of the course is the exploration of different theoretical and methodological approaches and their connections to the real world of politics.

    The course provides an understanding of:

        * Basic principles of research design and strategy
        * A range of research methods and their application
        * The management of different types of data and the practical conduct of research
        * Subject-specific knowledge appropriate to targeted PhD research.

    ourse Structure

    The MSc is organised into Core and Optional classes. Students also complete a dissertation.

    The core courses are:

        * Philosophy of Social Science - introduces questions of the intellectual status of social science, and debates about whether social science is a positivist, interpretative or critical discipline.

        * Qualitative Methods - introduces the issues of qualitative research design and the range of qualitative techniques available for research. Both computer-based and other approaches are analysed.

           Quantitative Methods: Survey Methods - introduces the principles and practice of using survey methodology.

        * Quantitative Methods: Statistics and Analysis - introduces some of the statistical tools which are available for the analysis of quantitative data and enables students to develop the ability to interpret social scientific data sensitively and sensibly.

    Optional units are taught in both Semester 1 and 2 to provide students with a balanced and more specialised curriculum in parallel with the development of knowledge and skills accumulated in the core units.

    Students choose two from a range of optional classes.  Options may vary from year to year but normally include:

          Political Behaviour
          The European Policy Process
          Perspectives on British Governance
          Territorial Politics in Comparative Perspective
          Feminism and Politics
          Policy Analysis
          European Governance
          Political Parties
          Green Politics
          International Relations Theory In A Global Age
          Difference and Democracy
          The Welfare State In Comparative Public Policy
          European Political Economy
          Comparative Public Policy.

    Classes average 20 contact hours, with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes. The course is designed not only to give students research skills, but also to enhance their ability to choose appropriate research methods and confront the issues of research design. Personal transferable skills are developed in the context of Principles and Practice of Research Design.


    Core and optional classes are assessed by a variety of methods including essays, options papers, and group projects and account for half the total assessment. The dissertation of 15,000 words also accounts for half the total assessment.

    Duration of Course

    12 months full-time; 24 months part-time.

    Entry Requirements

    Applicants should normally possess a first or upper second-class Honours degree in social science from a UK university, or equivalent qualification.

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