Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

MA Politics

The beginning of the twenty-first century has witnessed a dramatic transformation of the global political landscape, with rapidly shifting regime change and new types of political actor transcending national borders.

This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines. You will build a portfolio of in-depth study of many of the defining events and dynamics of modern society, across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, providing an understanding of the world that will prove invaluable in either further academic study or a range of professional careers.

Drawing on the unique range of country and conceptual expertise in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), you will be able to tailor your module selection to suit your interests, needs and career plans.

As one of the largest departments of Politics and International Studies in the United Kingdom, we aim to provide you with an intellectually rigorous and exciting environment in which to study, and an array of academic topics in which we possess expertise.

All of the School’s research groups, including Leadership, Parties and Institutions and Political Theory and Cultural Values, are accessible through the optional modules, and, in addition, have thriving research seminar series where staff and postgraduate researchers present papers from their own work. The Leadership, Parties and Institutions group, together with a growing expertise in electoral and representative politics, forms the largest of the research groups linked to this MA.

With one of the most renowned teams of researchers on Westminster politics, if you’re wishing to specialise in British Politics or legislative studies you will find yourself in a uniquely productive environment.


This programme through compulsory and optional modules will offer you:

  • a firm grounding in political analysis
  • a critical insight in the defining events and dynamics of modern society
  • a rigorous grounding in the dominant paradigms of political science
  • an ability to personalise your programme.

You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you’re a part-time student, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

We also offer an optional specialism in Political Theory. See our Politics (Political Theory) MA page to find out more.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Political Analysis 30 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • The Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Political Economy of Resources and Development 30 credits
  • European Defence and Security Analysis 30 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits
  • American Foreign Policy 30 credits
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • International Political Economy 30 credits
  • International Relations and the Environment 30 credits
  • Political Theory in Action 30 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits
  • Research Methods 30 credits

Learning and teaching

Each session will combine elements of lecture and seminar discussion. As a postgraduate student, you will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussion to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exam and coursework, depending on the module.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a related discipline or an equivalent professional qualification.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Politics and International Studies Postgraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Law and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Law and Society (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines:

UK/EU students: 31 July

International students: 30 June

Documents and information you’ll need:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of your degree certificate or equivalent, as well as a copy of the transcript of your grades (or partial transcript if you’re still studying) certified by the awarding institution
  • Two references
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English isn’t your first language.


Interviews

The School of POLIS doesn’t typically interview applicants; however, in certain circumstances programme leaders may invite you to an interview as part of the selection procedure. This may allow us to further assess your aptitude and interest in the programme if your circumstances are not straightforward. If invited to an interview, you’ll receive an email invitation from the School to attend on a specific date. We’ll do our best to accommodate requests for an alternative date but this cannot be guaranteed


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
 
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Politics and International Studies Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: £7,500 (total)

International: £16,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.


Scholarships and financial support

POLIS Scholarships for UK/EU Students

POLIS offers one full-fees scholarship for UK/EU applicants wishing to study a full-time Masters.
For applicants who are nationals of China, Japan, Nigeria, India and South Korea and wishing to study a full-time Masters, POLIS offers up to five scholarships to the value of £3000.

Find out further details of the POLIS Excellence Scholarships schemes.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.


Career opportunities

As a graduate from this programme, you are well placed to move on to a range of careers where both substantive knowledge of key political domains, and the critical analytical and communication skills developed in the course of your study, are valuable.

In particular, this programme provides an excellent grounding for careers in a range of related areas such as media, civil service, non-governmental organisations, trade unions and academia. It is also ideally suited if you wish to develop the skills necessary to pursue a PhD in Politics.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


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