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Political Studies Masters Degree by Coursework and Research


 Applicants to Masters should normally have an Honours mark of 70%; however students with an Honours mark above 67% will be considered.


The MA programme in the Department of Political Studies lasts at least 12 months.


The programme consists of three semester-length taught units, which should normally be completed within the Department, and a research report, which students are expected to work on throughout the year. Two of the units, in the first semester, will be taken simultaneously. Students may apply for a maximum of six months extension on the research report. In each unit, students will ordinarily be expected to submit weekly written work.

Students may select any unit from the range offered in this booklet, including, subject to the approval of the Co-ordinator of the Masters programme, a unit taught in another discipline.  Ordinarily a minimum enrolment of five students is expected in a unit before teaching it.


Students will write an exam on each of the three units taken.


Unitwork submitted during the year will count 25% towards the final mark and examinations 25%.  The research report counts 50% towards the final mark.

Research Report

All MA students have to submit for examination a research report on a topic of their choice. Students are expected to work on their research report throughout the year, and especially in the July and December vacations.

There is no stipulated format or prescribed methodological framework for the research report. Students may choose to combine “empirical” and “theoretical” material; perhaps linking a survey which they have conducted to a review of available literature on the topic of their choice. Other students may choose to write purely library-based dissertations.

All dissertations must be typed, and should be between 25 000 and 30 000 words in length.

In order to facilitate a constructive working relationship between students and supervisors, the Department insists that students choose a topic early in the year. This will allow the department to assign each student a supervisor as soon as it is possible to do so.

MA students will be expected to present a fully developed proposal, which includes aims and objectives and a research question, background and rationale, chapter outline and bibliography,  to members of the Department before the mid-term vacation.