The MA in Political Research is a one-year degree that has been recognized by the Economic and Social Research Council for the first year of its 1 + 3 Research Studentships. It is designed specifically to provide the necessary research training for students to go on to pursue a PhD in Politics. Students who are awarded an ESRC 1 + 3 Research Studentship are funded for four years – one year doing an MA that has been recognised for these purposes (in this case the MA in Political Research) and three years doing a PhD.

The main aim of the MA in Political Research is to provide students with training in the distinctive concepts, methods, and techniques of the social sciences in general, of Politics in particular, and of the specific branch of the discipline in which their research will be located. This will allow them to pursue doctoral research in Politics. At the same time, the MA seeks to impart skills that will be of use to graduates in their future employment, whether or not they enter the Politics profession.

Study Details:

MA 1 year Full-time, 2 years Part-time

Module Details:


Four Core Modules

  • Political Research and Analysis
  • Quantitative Methods of Data Analysis
  • Qualitative Research in Politics
  • Personal and Professional Skills

Three Option Modules

Click here for a list of optional modules, and to view the Postgraduate Module Handbook.


During the Summer Term students start work on a dissertation on a topic of their choice. The dissertation is due for submission at the end of the summer vacation.


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Entry Requirements


Academic entry requirements

The main criterion for admission to an MA programme in the Department of Politics is a 2.1 BA degree or international equivalent. However, exceptions are sometimes made for students with different backgrounds, in which case assessment is done through review of an academic written work sample. Additional information may be requested.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English may need to satisfy language requirements.

The Department of Politics has a higher minimum level than the University more generally because of the more difficult nature of the literature that Politics students must engage with. The departmental requirements are:

IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component)

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