European Politics

MSc European Politics (with Diplomacy Specialism)

Year of entry

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

2017 has been the year of Europe. European politics, and its relations with neighbours near and far, have never been more challenging. Or indeed, more fascinating! But how best to understand Europe, and master its current makeup and future directions?

Our innovative MSc in European Politics introduces you to the fundamental principles of European interaction, and refines your knowledge with specialist classes covering European public and foreign policy.

You will learn in a systematic and engaging way about the origins, evolution and multifaceted character of the European political system, before turning to the Diplomacy specialism, which provides dedicated insights on European power, influence and governance within key national, regional and international structures.

This is a fascinating and relevant degree, supported in 2018 by competitively awarded Jean Monnet Scholarships as well as the possibility of in­house internships. CCCU graduates in European Politics are well­placed to pursue wide­ranging careers in European international relations, enhanced with an expertise in diplomacy.

Like it or not, the world's gone global. UK relations will remain closely involved in the EU, and the rest of Europe. That's the substance. And the method is diplomacy, whether you in are in central or local government, business, law, an NGO, or the media. That's why this Master’s degree in European Politics and Diplomacy is relevant to you. I strongly recommend this degree course for students keen to follow a challenging career with a European and international dimension.

John Macgregor, former British Ambassador in Poland and Austria, Visiting Professor of International Relations, Politics and International Relations, Canterbury Christ Church

The new MSc in European Politics offered at Canterbury Christ Church University is established upon a firm foundation of research­led teaching, using innovative and blended learning methods, expertise driven insights, and a clear commitment to guiding and supporting all facets of graduate student development.

Our European Politics programme will provide you with the opportunity to gain comprehensive conceptual knowledge of the prime structures and interconnections that make up European international relations, and an indispensable practical understanding of national, institutional, legal, political, economic and socio­cultural actors of the European community.

The 2019 MSc in European Politics is offered with a specialism in Diplomacy (an exceptionally relevant area at present!), allowing you to gain an especially strong understanding of the role of European power and influence, and the distribution of institutional governance and national authority within and across the political, economic, legal and components of Europe, as well as the narratives and practices of diplomacy.

Offered both full and part-time, Canterbury Chirst Church University’s innovative MSc in European Politics will help you tackle the ‘big issues’ in modern European politics with confidence and curiosity, equipping you for career paths in national, European and international arenas thanks to innovative modules and a ‘calling card’ thesis.  

Through a combination of core and specialist modules, the MSc in European Politics will enable you to analyse the multifaceted origins, evolution and development of the European political system.

You will explore the application of a range of foundational theories and contemporary concepts that make up the canon of European and International Relations.

With the fundaments firmly in place, you will then interrogate the relative merits and shortcomings of European political, economic and socio­cultural philosophies, structures of power, and systems of governance in order to better understand the role of European states, and the EU, in the global political system, as well as upheavals flowing from issues ranging from Brexit to Eurozone governance, from migration to security.

Modules on European Politics (including a concentration on the Diplomacy specialism) examine the development and operation of European institutions, actors, law, public and foreign policies, the role of Member States, and the relations between EU and the rest of the world.

Formal lectures and interactive seminars help to explore Europe as a local, regional and global actor, analysing its place within political, legal and economic structures, and weighing up the efficacy of its policies.

Based on nationally and internationally-recognized teaching styles, graduate classes in European Politics are guaranteed to be engaging and interactive, ranging from simulation games that reflect the actual workings of a given European institution via negotiation-based group work, to detailed analysis of key European treaties or policies. In addition, you will be encouraged to produce work in the form of briefing notes, blogs, and pieces of advocacy, both individually and within groups, in a way that helps you focus on the contemporary challenges that Europe faces within its regional and international arenas. This ensures that you complete the MSc in European Politics with an advanced knowledge of your chosen area, thanks to the most contemporary of pedagogic styles.

You will follow 4 core modules, 2 specialist modules, and undertake a dissertation, which together provide a comprehensive foundation and specialist focus for the pathway. The core modules are taught to all graduate students within the Politics/IR programme, introducing them to foundational concepts, working approaches, research methodologies and current political dilemmas that help link the scholarly subject matter of European Politics to real­world issues. The specialist modules provide focused, graduate-level insights into key issues of European diplomacy and foreign affairs.

Autumn Term:

  • Core Modules: Research Methods 1, and Advanced Politics and International Relations
  • Specialist Modules: European Power and Strategy

Spring Term:

  • Core Modules: Research Methods 2, and Critical Issues
  • Specialist Modules: European Strategic Culture.

All five of these graduate modules have been carefully and methodically laid out in a clear and comprehensive fashion, preparing you in the most thorough and engaging way possible to manage your accompanying specialism modules, and subsequently undertake the graduate dissertation that completes the totality of the degree pathway. Designed in a comprehensively interdisciplinary manner with colleagues from across the School of Politics, Psychology and Sociology, our two Research Methods modules are specially designed to introduce you to both the fundaments of graduate study, and the research requirements appropriate for European Politics.

 The working practices and methods laid out in the two Research Methods modules provide you with the historical and theoretical foundations of social and political science, and then move on to examine the full range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques, analytical, methodological and writing skills. The objectives of these foundational courses are reinforced in the two associated core modules: Advanced Politics and International Relations, which provides a robust overview of classical theories, their contemporary analysis, and their real-world application. This is followed in Semester Two by the Critical Issues module, , in which you will gain a genuinely multi­dimensional perspective on international structures, dilemmas and challenges, and the way in which these operate alongside the specific world of European Politics.

Attention is paid to developing transferrable skills in all five of these core modules, generating a variety of viable research skills and techniques, a range of written outputs, and increasing confidence in giving oral presentations. From this foundation of 80 credits, you then take another 40 credits of taught modules, deepening your Diplomacy specialism, and further preparing you for your selected dissertation topic in the area of European Politics. We believe that the dissertation is the culmination of the postgraduate learning experience in European Politics, drawing upon the wide range of intellectual and skills developed throughout the degree pathway, and providing an extended opportunity for you to undertake independent work, display individual thought, and take responsibility for the management of your own learning. We therefore take special care in working with students to identify a workable and interesting dissertation topic that enables them to produce an engaging piece of work that contributes originally to an outstanding European issue. 

MSc in European Politics (Diplomacy Specialism)

Research Methods 1 and 2 (40 Credits)
Critical Issues (20 Credits)
Advanced Politics and International Relations (20 Credits)
EU Strategic Culture
(20 Credits)
European Power and Security
(20 Credits)
Dissertation: Assessing European Diplomacy (60 Credits)

An MSc in European Politics will provide you with an exceptionally wide knowledge base of a complex area. With core and specialist modules, and a calling­card dissertation, you will graduate in command of both the organising principles and nuanced specifics of contemporary European politics, in its local, regional, and international arenas. Despite the enormous upheavals across Europe, within the EU, and between the EU and its Member States (not least, the United Kingdom), the impact of Europe remains considerable, and the decisions made within states and institutions are going to be of very real importance in the years that follow. There is, and will remain, a genuine requirement for graduate students with a clear grasp of the moving parts, key actors, incentives and interest of EU and non­EU actors. Graduates in European Politics, with an understanding of Diplomacy, will therefore emerge with the advantage of a cutting­edge, relevant and marketable degree at a time when European politics, and its moving parts, are undergoing a wholesale reconstruction.

You will be able to thoroughly and expertly use a wide range of European sources and forms of information to critically assess the challenges and opportunities facing Europe, its various distributions of power and influence, and ensuing forms of authority and governance within national, regional and international modes. You will also be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the numerous forms of European politics, from the canon of diplomacy studies to myriad practical examples of political, economic, social and even cultural practices that make up the EU, and its constituent parts.

Throughout the year, you will be provided with curriculum based expertise informed by the European and EU research activities and diplomacy specialisms of the Politics/IR staff, including Dr Hadfield, Director of the Centre of Europe Studies (CEFEUS). This ensures an added depth to both the intellectual inquiry and practical, policy­ driven debates amongst other students, both within and beyond the classroom, which you can subsequently convert into concise thinking and genuine expertise in future roles. You will also emerge with the tools to operate in a culturally and socially sensitive working environment. Further transversal graduate skills include comparative, analytical, research and writing abilities facilitated by the curriculum requirements, as well as numerous opportunities to fine­tune skills in oral presentation, group work and sustained individual research.

University Teaching Fellowship Team Award 2016 given to the Centre for European Studies for their strong commitment to student learning and experience through innovative teaching methods across all teaching areas. All members of staff annually nominated for CCCU Teaching Prizes.

The MSc itself rests with the Centre for European Study (2015-2018), which is internationally recognised for its cutting-edge teaching and learning techniques. 

The MSc in European Politics programme utilises a wide range of innovative teaching and learning methods, including:

  • Interactive lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Workshops
  • Virtual learning environments
  • Seminars
  • Simulation games
  • Problem based learning group work

Tutorials with supervisors, where graduate students will study in an informative, engaging, stimulating and participative environment.

The MSc in European Politics will assist you in developing a range of communication skills, helping you to tackle the disciplinary content of your pathway, develop your confidence regarding the advanced management of a wide range of information (i.e. comprehension, analysis, description, critical thinking) and improve your overall range of understanding and knowledge.

Modules themselves, both core and specialism, comprise formal presentations by core and guest lecturers, with a wide range of interactive Q&A, individual presentations, group­work, simulation games and workshop methods designed to allow students to get the very most out of each weekly session. In­course contact hours are supplemented by a substantial degree of module­based support on the Blackboard VLE used by CCCU. This allows you to engage in blended learning beyond the classroom, whilst still receiving constant support and direction by your module convenors.

Weekly office hours are provided by all course moderators and assistants, while individuated support from module convenors, thesis supervisors and university support staff ensures that you receive support, as required, at all phases of your graduate development.

Graduate modules are generally 4 hours in duration per week, with three modules offered each semester (e.g. Research Methods 1, Advanced Politics and International Relations, and European Power and Strategy in Semester 1), which ensures a manageable balance in terms of working hours, and a reliable method of acclimatizing you to the rigors of preparing a complete thesis during the Spring and Summer Semesters.

Taught modules (both core and specialist) are offered during Autumn and Spring semesters, for a duration of 12 weeks, comprising an average of 50 teaching hours, and 200 hours of independent. student learning (e.g. 4 hours of independent preparation for each hour in the classroom). You can also expect to have assessment returned, with thorough, relevant and personalised feedback within a maximum of 3 weeks of submission, via the Blackboard VLE. Subsequent discussions are then encouraged in order to ensure a positive trajectory in terms of student performance, within and across the core and specialist modules.

Core and specialist lectures and seminars are delivered by Politics/IR staff; guest lecturers are drawn in from other departments and faculties across the university; doctoral students are occasionally invited to share their perspective on their research.

The vast majority of teaching on all three of our graduate pathways is provided by our fully­accredited and full­ time Politics/IR staff, not by graduate students.

You will be assessed through a range of methods, including essays, briefing notes, book reviews, portfolios, individual and group oral presentations, action research, political role play, simulations, standard examinations, as well as a sustained piece of academic work in the form of a thesis, all of which take account of two key inter­ dependent aspects:

The acquisition of relevant knowledge and understanding in the area of European Politics; and the development of academic style and practical skills in the area of European Politics and the Diplomacy Specialism.

Accordingly, assessment procedures are designed to test the acquisition and needs of graduate students in terms of their newly attainment and management of broad areas of knowledge and understanding in their chosen subject area, as well as the various transferrable skills by which that knowledge is acquired.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  TBC TBC
Part-time  TBC TBC




Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information


Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Our standard offer for accepting students onto the MSc in European Politics is a 2:1, preferably in directly relatable subjects within the social and political sciences, although cognate subjects including history, law, comparative studies, or the broader range of sociology and psychology, and English will also be considered, providing undergraduate marks obtained are robust enough. This is in addition to two letters of recommendation, and a brief personal statement outlining interest and areas of specialism being considered, as well as a complete CV. The University has a well­established Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) structure in operation. Students without previous qualifications may be accepted as part of this process.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications are appropriate please contact us directly:

The suite of validated postgraduate awards available within Politics/International Relations are as follows:

  • MSc in European Politics with Diplomacy Specialism.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in European Politics (120 credits).
  • MSc in International Relations with Security Studies Specialism.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations (120 credits).
  • MSc in Politics with Migration and Minorities Studies Specialism.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Politics (120 credits).
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Politics and International Relations (60 credits).

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time


  • Teaching 24th September

Entry requirements

  • Our standard offer for accepting students onto the MSc in European Politics is a 2:2 or above, preferably in directly relatable subjects within the social and political sciences, including previous study in the area of international relations, although cognate subjects including history, law, comparative studies, or the broader range of sociology and psychology will also be considered providing undergraduate marks obtained are robust enough. If you are unsure whether your qualifications are appropriate please contact us directly:



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Last edited: 31/01/2019 09:03:00