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MSc Comparative Politics

About the MSc programme

This programme is based in the Department of Government and is a good preparation for further research work or for a career in media, political consultancy, international organisations, public administration or the private sector.

Comparative politics is the comparative study of political systems. In the MSc Comparative Politics we look for sophisticated analytical answers to such basic political questions as: 'why are some countries democratic while others are not?'; 'why are some countries torn by ethnic conflict?'; 'do constitutions matter?'; 'what is the impact of global capitalism on state sovereignty?' Addressing these and similar questions, the programme offers courses in the fields of democracy and democratisation, nationalism and ethnicity, comparative political economy and political institutions, popular politics and politics of the developing world as well as a wide range of country and area specific options. The latter include Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India, China and South-East Asia. Our programme is methodologically eclectic yet rigorous, with an emphasis on historical approaches.  

Programme details

Students must take courses to the value of four full units as shown and will take a minimum of one full unit from within the chosen stream. All students are required to write a 10,000-word dissertation. Note that some of the courses must be taken together. Part-time students may take up to four courses in their first year.

Students will take assessed courses with a total value of four units, with most courses accounting for a half unit. All students are required to take the core comparative politics course (half unit) and write a 10,000 word dissertation (1 unit). Students can – but are not obliged to – choose a specialism allowing the acquisition of deeper expertise on a particular subject area within comparative politics. Specialisms require either:

  • An obligatory compulsory specialism course and another course from a restricted list of subjects related to the specialism, or
  • The choice of two courses from a restricted list of subjects related to the specialism.

Part-time students may take up to four courses in their first year.

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

Specialisms

Democracy and Democratisation

Compulsory course

Comparative Democratisation|* looks at the fundamental political science of democratisation; explores the explanatory strength of key paradigms, and compares distinct modes of democratisation.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two units from a range of options.

Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

Compulsory course

Nationalism| addresses the causes and role of ethnic identity and nationalist movements in the modern world, and of relations between nations and states.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of one and a half unit from a range of options.

Comparative Political Economy

Compulsory course

States and Markets|* covers basic economic theorising; discusses the nature of markets; reviews contemporary discussions regarding the role of the state in the economy; provides a comparison of the relationship of states and markets in different political settings and historical contexts.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two units from a range of options.

Popular Politics

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two and a half units from a range of options.

Comparative Political Institutions

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two and a half units from a range of options.

Politics of the Developing World

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two and a half units from a range of options.

No Specialism

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of two and a half units from a range of options.

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations|.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our MSc have gone on to successful careers in politics, media, NGOs, foreign service, finance and academia.

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Application code: M1I2

Start date: 2 October 2014

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time  

Intake/applications in 2012: 140/673

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 in any discipline with a considered interest in the area covered by the MSc (see entry requirements|)

English requirement: Higher (see English requirements|)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: £17,880

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme
(see Fees and financial support|)

Application deadline: None – rolling admissions

 

John Chalcraft|
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