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Postgraduate taught courses

We offer a stimulating and distinctive range of Masters programmes. All our postgraduate taught degrees are also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level and can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis.

Our MSc programme offers advanced learning in political science, political communication, political theory and international relations. Drawing on recent scholarship and current research by members of the Department, we encourage students to engage critically with a wide range of debates about the past, present and future of social and political life.

Our MSc programme attracts those with backgrounds in a wide range of social science disciplines, and both recent graduates and mature students with work experience. Typically, around half of our MSc students come from overseas. In the past few years students from Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States, as well as students from across the UK have successfully completed our programmes.

The presence of such diversity serves to enhance the content of the courses on offer. It also provides all members of the course with excellent opportunities to obtain genuinely global perspectives through regular interaction with other course members. The programme is ideal for any student wishing to obtain a substantial grounding in political analysis. Many of our graduates go on to register for research degrees, both at Royal Holloway and other prestigious institutions in the UK and abroad. 

Each MSc consists of a mixture of core courses, options, and a 10–12,000 word supervised dissertation written over the summer. Teaching is conducted in small group seminars that meet weekly, supplemented by one-on-one individual tuition for the dissertation.

 

"The MSc Media, Power and Public Affairs is a well-planned course that allows students with different perspectives and backgrounds to develop and improve their debating and critical-thinking skills, focusing on the emergence and establishment of ‘new media’ and how it affects the sphere of world politics. The Department always promotes challenging discussions, provides up-to-date seminars and lectures about different aspects of the world’s politics, and engages students in research and academic activities that surely will make a difference in our academic and professional careers. It’s a fantastic learning environment, well-equipped with high quality professionals who are really invested in sharing and acquiring knowledge from the interaction with their students."—Rebecca Di Polito, MSc Media, Power and Public Affairs

"The MSc in International Relations program at Royal Holloway is stellar. The confluence of highly skilled staff, readily engaged students, and a meticulously crafted curriculum create an experience that is unmatched. Students are not only taught but supported. With each lecture and seminar one inevitably realizes how nuanced the world of International Relations truly is. Not only are students left with a deeper understanding of the discourse but are encouraged to shape their own opinions and re-evaluate existing paradigms. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to effect lasting change in whatever arena they see fit."—Ariel Eckblad, MSc International Relations, from the USA, Marshall Scholarship recipient.

"Royal Holloway is the perfect place to study Political Theory, not only for the opportunity to combine challenging courses on continental political theory with current discussions on Anglo-American political philosophy, but also for the rare chance to engage with recognized and influential political thinkers without all the formal distance between academic staff and students that one finds elsewhere. In short, it was a truly gratifying intellectual experience." German Eduardo Primera, MSc in Political Theory, from Colombia, Santander Abbey Studentship Award winner.

 

Contemporary Political Theory (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

 

Course overview

The MSc in Contemporary Political Theory offers advanced training in key issues and thinkers in contemporary political theory, from both Anglo-American and Continental perspectives. The department’s theory group has research and teaching interests in applied analytical political theory (with issues including multiculturalism, theories of recognition, religious accommodation and special duties), post-Nietzschean theories of identity and post-identity politics, democratic theory and pragmatist philosophy.

You will study a mixture of core and elective units, including a generous choice of free options, and write a supervised dissertation over the summer. Teaching is conducted primarily in small group seminars that meet weekly for two hours, supplemented by individual tuition for the dissertation.

There is a lively postgraduate and research community in the Department involving staff and students from both political theory and philosophy, and that organizes numerous events and activities such as workshops and conferences, a visiting speaker series, and a political theory and philosophy reading group based in central London. We welcome participation by MSc students in all of these.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Please follow link for more details.

 

Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

 

Course overview

The dynamic interactions between political parties and voters underpin the foundations of modern democratic politics. Our new MSc in Elections, Public Opinion and Parties provides students with a thorough grounding in the empirical theories and methods used for exploring and explaining models of party competition, public opinion and voting behaviour.

The degree’s substantive component gives you insights into the reality of political representation and accountability, as well as how political leaders and the media shape and respond to public preferences. The methodological component provides you with valuable analytical and research skills that will prepare you for careers in government, political consultancy, NGOs and research organisations.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Please follow link for more details.

 

International Public Policy (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) 

 

Course overview

The 21st century is witnessing novel global challenges related to terrorism, food supply, climate change, migratory pressures and emerging resource geo-politics. These challenges are complex and multi-level in nature, rendering policy solutions problematic. Political authority is also more scattered than ever, resting with actors as different as international agencies, global policy networks, public-private partnerships or transnational NGOs, in addition to the traditional nation state.

Royal Holloway’s MSc in International Public Policy provides students with a detailed and systematic understanding of how political institutions, processes and public policies operate in world affairs. The course brings together the academic study of International Relations with a practice-based analysis of public policy formulation and governance beyond the nation-state.

Drawing from International Relations, public policy and comparative politics, the MSc in International Public Policy equips students with the theoretical tools and practical skills necessary for an in-depth understanding of policy-making in to address contemporary transnational phenomena.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Please follow link for more details.

International Relations (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) 

 

Course overview

The MSc in International Relations allows you the opportunity to engage critically with broad issues in various regions around the globe. The core of the programme introduces key themes and approaches to the study of international politics, and then allows you to bring these to bear on social, economic, and political interactions of key actors in world politics.  

You will study a mixture of core units and elective options, including a generous choice of free options, and write a supervised dissertation over the summer. Option courses for the programme do vary from year to year, but normally include courses on US foreign policy, south Asian politics, EU foreign and security policy, media and war, and international law. Teaching is conducted primarily in small group seminars that meet weekly for two hours, supplemented by individual tuition for the dissertation.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Please follow link for more details.

 

Media, Power and Public Affairs (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

 

Course overview

We are living through an era of tumultuous change in how politics is conducted and communicated. The great digital disruption of the early 21st century continues to work its way through media systems around the world, forcing change, adaptation, and renewal across a whole range of areas: political parties and campaigns, interest groups, social movements, activist organisations, news and journalism, the communication industries, governments, and international relations.

In the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London, we believe the key to making sense of these chaotic developments is the idea of power—how it is generated, how it is used, and how it shapes the diverse information and communication flows that affect all our lives.

This unique new Masters degree is for critically-minded, free-thinking individuals who want to engage with the exciting intellectual ferment that is being generated by these unprecedented times. The curriculum integrates rigorous study of the very best academic research with an emphasis on making sense of political communication as it is practiced in the real world, in both "old" and "new" media settings.

While not a practice-based course, the MSc Media, Power, and Public Affairs is perfect for those who wish to build a career in the growing range of professions that require deep and critical insight into the relationship between media and politics and public communication more generally. These include advocacy, campaign management, political communication consultancy, journalism, government communication, policy analysis, public opinion and semantic polling, and public diplomacy, to name but a few. Plus, due to its strong emphasis on scholarly rigour, the MSc in Media, Power, and Public Affairs is also the perfect foundation for a PhD in political communication.

You will study a mixture of core and elective units, including a generous choice of free options, and write a supervised dissertation over the summer. Teaching is conducted primarily in small group seminars that meet weekly for two hours, supplemented by individual tuition for the dissertation.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval. 

Please follow this link for more details. See also the New Political Communication Unit website.

 

Politics (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

 

Course overview

Our MSc in Politics provides an advanced grounding in contemporary political science, focusing on empirical and normative democratic theory, political institutions, public policy and citizenship across different political systems and diverse social contexts.The MSc brings together many of the existing strengths of the department in different parts of the world.

The programme can be tailored to specific regional interests through option courses in West Europe and North America, East Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East. The degree will provide you with a firm academic foundation in the study of comparative politics and a base of knowledge for careers in fields such as policymaking, development, and NGOs.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Please follow link for more details. 

 

Transnational Security Studies (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

 

Course overview


Note: from 2017 this course will be renamed MSc International Security Studies.

Questions about security – what drives it and what undermines it – shape global politics. Terrorism, conflict, environmental catastrophe, weapons of mass destruction and weak states are all security issues that are reflected in our media, dominate policy-making in international politics, and increasingly impinge on our daily lives. 

This stream in Transnational Security Studies is an exciting new course that brings together many of the existing strengths of the Department of Politics and International Relations, including expertise in the areas of security studies, comparative politics, international law and conflict, political theory, and global politics. 

The core of the course traces the security studies discipline from its traditional approaches through its evolution to include ever more transnational dynamics. You can tailor the course to your specific interests through optional units in subjects such as political violence, biopolitics, media, communication and conflict, international law of targeting, and regional international politics. You will be provided with both a firm academic foundation in the security studies discipline and a base of knowledge for careers in fields of policymaking, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and more.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

Please follow link for more details.

 

  
 
 
 

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