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Politics MA

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: One year full-time / two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

This course offers you the opportunity to study Politics at an advanced and specialised level, emphasising the interplay between the national, regional and global arenas. The underpinning theme of the Politics Masters degree is participation - an issue that has, and looks likely to continue to be a key debate within political discourse.

Throughout the course you will have the unique opportunity to explore this theme through combining academic research skills with a period of work-based learning – either through existing links you might have with an organisation / institution, or through links established throughout the course.

What you’ll study

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to out students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

Throughout the MA Politics you'll gain an advanced and critical understanding of the discipline, whilst enhancing your research and employability skills.

The course consists of three core modules, one optional module and a dissertation or work-based research project.

Core modules include:

Citizens, Values and Political Participation

This module enables you to understand the relationships between citizens, the democratic process and political institutions in contemporary Britain. It is concerned with examining changing patterns of political participation and political action, changes in citizens' democratic values, and how these trends are affecting democratic politics and public support for democracy.

Party Political Development

This module enables you to understand the history, development and dynamics of political parties and political party systems in a wide variety of political contexts. It places specific emphasis on key concepts and theories, alongside the contextual factors influencing both current and future developments of party systems in the twenty-first century.

Researching Political Issues

The aim of this module is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the methods, techniques, and processes that are involved in the research of Politics and International Relations. This module is shared between both the MA Politics and MA International Relations, which in the past has helped establish a useful basis for the cross-fertilisation of knowledge and research that traverses the disciplines.

Dissertation / work-based research project

The final core component of the MA Politics course is an extended piece of written work, which entails two options. The first 'standard' option comprises the development of a coherent and viable research proposal on a topic of your choice, with its eventual assessment being a 12,000 word dissertation. The other option involves a period of work-based learning, spending time engaging with a chosen institution or community-based organisation either in the local Nottinghamshire community or further afield. Here, in contrast to the development of a research proposal geared for the completion of a standard 12,000 word dissertation, your assessment will comprise a research plan of how you intend to draw on your experiences, which ultimately will culminate in a written work-based project of a maximum of 10,000 words.

Optional modules include one of the following:

Democracy, Citizenship and Sustainability

This module considers the history and evolution of democracy, citizenship and sustainability. Drawing on interdisciplinary disciplines such as political theory/the history of political thought, citizenship studies, environmental politics and policy, the module situates itself within two, key prominent debates: the perceived crises of liberal democracy, and the increasingly severe environmental dislocations characteristic of our times.

Global Governance and International Institutions

This module provides a programme of study on the concept, theories and processes of global governance with a focus on the role of contemporary international institutions. The study of global governance is becoming increasingly important in a world facing a multitude of problems requiring multilateral action.

Please note: The number of places available on some optional modules may be limited. These will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are unable to select their first choice will be offered an alternative from the remaining optional modules.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Jane Kingswood

I’ve opened my mind to a whole set of new experience and knowledge, and those are transferable skills I can take to a job, my volunteering and future life.

Benjamin Alexander Gulliford

As a Political historian the modules such as 'Political Party Development' and 'Researching Political Issues' have delved into the history and workings of Party politics in the UK but also in other countries.

How you’re taught

Study and support

Each module on the MA Politics adopts an explicitly national, regional and / or global perspective on a range of political, economic, social and environmental issues. Most of its modules are team-taught, which allows for a responsive and varied curriculum which reflects the individual and collective research interests of the team. All modules have been designed and selected specifically to adhere to the overarching theme of participation.

Support within the Department of Politics and International Relations is supplemented by effective School-based academic and pastoral support, which is widely publicised and used well by existing students.The MA Politics has regular Course Committees where a representative of your course can share your experiences and provide on-going feedback. We value feedback very highly and will encourage you – and the course team – to reflect on continually as the course progresses.

Assessment methods

Each module employs a range of assessment methods which, through their combination of both summative and formative forms, seeks to encourage a strongly developmental approach to learning. The majority of assessments will be writing-based, ranging from essays, article reviews, reports and e-portfolios. You'll also be assessed through individual and group presentations, involving both peer and tutor-led feedback. This course has no exams.

An active research environment

Throughout the course you'll have chance to integrate yourself into NTU's research culture by attending the Politics and International Relations Departmental Research Seminars, and NTU's annual Alternative Futures conference.

Find out more about research in Politics and International Relations.

In-sessional English language support

In-sessional English language support classes are available to all international (non-EU) students studying on degree courses at NTU. There is no extra charge for these classes.

Staff Profiles

Matt Ashton

Principal Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Matthew Ashton staff profile

Matt Henn

Professor

School of Social Sciences

Matt Henn is Professor of Social Research and is based within the Department of Social and Political Sciences at Nottingham Trent University. He is the chair of the Department's Research…

Imad El-Anis

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Dr Imad El-Anis is an Associate Professor in International Relations at Nottingham Trent University’s Department of Social and Political Sciences. He is an expert in the International Relations and Political…

Careers and employability

NTU has a justified reputation among the UK's universities for the high level of employability of its graduates. While the primary aims of a university course have traditionally been intellectual in nature and specific to the subject(s) under study, NTU realises the importance of the role of higher education in training graduates to move into the labour market. The MA Politics will provide you with a range of ‘transferable skills' which will be essential to employment in a range of occupations, including:

  • The ability for independent and critical thought
  • Analysing and evaluating complex and unfamiliar problems
  • Working to tight deadlines
  • Presenting your ideas with confidence and clarity both in writing and in speech
  • Working and learning collaboratively with peers from a range of personal, academic and national backgrounds.

Alongside providing such transferable skills, we believe that the optional pathway through the Dissertation module will strongly enhance your employability skills and, more generally, the course's engagement with contemporary global issues – particularly those of participation, sustainability and citizenship – will ensure that your knowledge and ‘openness' to the wider world is up-to-date and relevant.


After graduating from the MA Politics, you might decide to continue your studies to MPhil / PhD level and there are a range of such opportunities here at NTU. Graduates will also be well placed to pursue careers and training in a wide variety of professions such as research, politics or public administration.

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.

Campus and facilities

As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings including:

  • Lecture theatres and teaching classrooms;
  • Open access PCs and secure wireless points;
  • Study areas and social spaces;
  • Chaucer cafe serving drinks and light snacks;
  • School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across our City Campus, with PCs providing access to Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services, with a free printing allowance for each student.

Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Books and library resources

Our state-of-the-art Boots library will give you access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within the built environment. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our electronic resources, journals and books.

Within the library there is a liaison librarian who has specialist subject knowledge and can offer detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources, and also with areas such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally a 2.2 or above).

If you hold a first degree but it doesn't meet the entry requirements above, please refer to the information below.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. You will be required to demonstrate how your experiences and knowledge would enable you to study this course at Masters-level in your Personal Statement.

No references are required when applying for this course.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

  • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree (normally a 2.2 or above).

If you hold a first degree but it doesn't meet the entry requirements above, please refer to the information below.

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. You will be required to demonstrate how your experiences and knowledge would enable you to study this course at Masters-level in your Personal Statement.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Study route Home (UK students)
Full-time £7,700
Part-time £3,850 (for Year One*)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

*Please note if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate fees and funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Study route International / EU students
Full-time £15,850
Part-time £7,925 (for Year One*)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

*Please note if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through our NTU Applicant Portal.

If you're applying without prior qualifications, you'll need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Good luck with your application!

Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.