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School of Government & International Affairs

MA in Research Methods (Politics and International Relations)

This degree is designed for high calibre graduates who intend to undertake research for a doctoral degree in Politics or International Relations and need to acquire all-round training in research methods and methodologies in the political and social sciences. The object is to equip students with comprehension of basic principles of research design and strategy.

This MA programme is specifically focused to provide research training. It is assumed that students taking this MA do so with the intention of proceeding to a PhD. It has received official recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and eligible candidates can apply for (ESRC) (1+3) studentships. Anyone proposing to do this should apply as early as possible in order to meet the ESRC deadlines.

This programme is also suitable for students who do not have a Undergraduate degree in a Social Science subject.

Note: all modules are 15 credits apart from the dissertation, 45 credits

Core Modules

Perspectives in Social Research
Statistical Exploration and Reasoning
Qualitative Methods in Social Sciences
Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences

These will be developed further according to individual need by taking either:-
Philosophy of Social Research
Computer-Based Applications in Social Research
Methodology in the Social Sciences


Research Methods and Dissertation Production
Dissertation (45 credits)

PLUS two or three modules from the following list:-

Optional Modules

The International System
International Theory
Political Ideologies
Just War in Political Theory and Practice
Collective Identities and Political Thought in Britain Since 1850

The East Asian Strategic Quadrangle
Nationalism, Revolution and Reform in Contemporary China
Political Economy and Development of Chinese Business

International Relations and Security in the Middle East
Politics, Government and Civil Society in the Middle East
The Political Economy of the Development in the Middle East
Islamic Political Economy
Islam and Politics: Issues in Contemporary Muslim Thought

European Institutions and the Policy Process
European Security
German Foreign Policy

On a topic within the field of you choice in consultation with an individual supervisor, and research and write (not more than 12,000 words) by the early September at the end of the course.


This MA is assessed by a combination of the dissertation, assessed essays, some modules have an examination component, and a practical exercise.

Please note: that course options are correct at time of advertising but are subject to availability.