You will study a number of core modules, which provide a comprehensive foundation for the pathway as a whole. The modules are taught to all graduate students within the Politics/International Relations programmes, introducing you to basic concepts, working approaches, research methodologies and current political dilemmas that help link the scholarly subject matter of International Relations, Politics and European Politics to real-world issues.
- Research Methods 1, and Critical Issues: Shifting Perspectives (Autumn term)
- Research Methods 2, and Advanced Research in Politics and International Relations (Spring term)
- The MSc Dissertation (Spring and Summer terms)
All of these graduate modules have been carefully and methodically laid out in a clear and comprehensive fashion, to prepare you in the most thorough and engaging way possible both to manage your accompanying specialism modules, and to then undertake the graduate dissertation that completes the totality of the degree pathway.
Designed in a thoroughly interdisciplinary manner with colleagues from across the School of Psychology, Politics, and Sociology, the two Research Methods modules are specially designed to introduce graduate students to the fundaments of graduate study, and the subject-specific background and research requirements appropriate for International Relations, Politics, Radical Political Thought, and European Politics.
The working practices and methods laid out in the two Research Methods modules provide students with the historical and theoretical foundations of the study of politics and society, and then move on to examine the full range of qualitative and quantitative research techniques, including analytical, methodological and writing skills. The objectives of these two core courses are reinforced in the two associated core modules: Critical Issues: Shifting Perspectives, and Advanced Research in Politics and International Relations, in which students gain a truly interdisciplinary understanding of both International Relations, and the security specialism of their degree. Both these core modules are multidisciplinary in their construction, allowing students to gain a genuinely multi-dimensional perspective of the classic theories, and contemporary thought that comprise the world of politics, and the particular challenges of their specialism.
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 political theory specialism, and further preparing you for your selected dissertation topic.
You will also study two pathway specific modules:
Radical Political Thought addresses historical and contemporary developments in radical political thought. There will be a focus on specific ideologies and developments – including anarchism, post-anarchism, Marxism, post-Marxism, de-colonisation, and radical feminist thought. The focus will be on repurposing radical political thought for the twenty-first century.
Marxism: Advanced Debates will explore key historical and contemporary debates in Marxism scholarship – including the theory of ideology, of global political economy and of historical development. This module be taught by a range of world leading Marxism scholars. It is led by Professor David Bates, the co-ordinator of the UK Political Studies Association Marxism Specialist Group, who has published extensively on this topic. It will also engage expertise from academic scholars of Marxism across the globe, including scholars in China. Indeed, the module content is designed in such a way as to engage UK and Chinese Marxism students and scholars alike.
The dissertation is the culmination of the postgraduate learning experience in Radical Political Theory, drawing upon the wide range of intellectual skills developed throughout the degree pathway, and providing an opportunity for you to undertake extended independent work, display individual thought, and take responsibility for the management of your own learning.