Politics MA

Study level: Postgraduate
Houses of Parliament

The Politics MA course is designed to give you insight into the ideas, individuals and institutions that shape our world.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time
16-24 months (with professional experience)

Course code


Start date

September 2024
January 2025
May 2025

Course overview

The study of Politics is the study of power - who has it, how they got it, how they use it and how it can be controlled and held accountable.

  • The course examines the most pressing issues facing us today including democracy and populism, gender and social change, terrorism and international security.
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘professional experience’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See the 'What you'll study' section for more information.
  • You will be given insights into the perspectives and motivations of policy and decision-makers, as well as the impact of policy on individuals, communities, social movements and states.
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Why you should study this course

  • The academic staff in the School of Humanities work towards producing world-class research and publications and aim to maintain an outstanding network of professional contacts who’ll engage with you as part of your studies2.
  • You can expect opportunities to apply learning to practice through attending practitioner workshops, field trips, student-led independent research and simulations2.
  • Within the programme, you will enjoy elements of flexibility to shape your own assessments and pursue your own specialist fields of interest.
  • You’ll receive extensive academic and pastoral support, including a module dedicated to imparting the critical thinking skills and academic competencies needed to succeed at postgraduate level, notably the capacities to analyse, evaluate and construct coherent and convincing scholarly arguments.

What you'll study

The course offers an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme that goes well beyond the range of topics typically associated with a pure Politics syllabus.

The course includes advanced topics covering urgent contemporary issues through up-to-date research and analysis, such as ‘Dictatorship and Democratic Breakdown', '21st Century Populism' and the 'Changing Character of War and Terrorism'.

During each of the first two semesters, you will study four modules built around the two principal themes of the course: national politics and the international political order. During the third semester, you will complete an independent research project on a subject of your choice and a professional development module designed to enhance your employability post-graduation.


  • The aim of the module is to enhance your critical thinking and to highlight academic good practice. Issues considered are evidence collection; methods of analysis; research ethics; academic writing; the nature of academic argument; and presentation strategies. The central aim is to encourage a critical approach towards research and to the selection of evidence and modes of presenting results.


  • This module seeks to provide you with an informed understanding of the key threats that are posed to Global Security. Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a widening in the number of threats affecting individual, group, state and international security. To this end, the threat of major armed conflict between states that was a dominant feature of much of the 20th and 19th centuries has been replaced by a range of new threats that include crime, economic inequality, poverty, environmental pollution, diseases, natural disasters, state collapse, non-state actors, terrorism and the re-emergence of racial and religious tension. In examining these issues, you'll focus on the theoretical and practical policy challenges that are posed to global security and the ability of states and international organisations to respond to the challenges.


  • This module looks at histories of earlier democratic breakdowns to answer the question: when is democracy in danger of withering away? It also covers theories of democratic breakdowns in history, philosophy and above all comparative government. In addition, it compares and contrasts democracies and asks, if dictatorships are more efficient than democracies. Lastly, it looks at when dictatorships fall – and why they rarely do so.


  • What exactly distinguishes a resilience approach to governance, development and security from earlier frameworks? What are the ethical and political implications of resilience thinking both at the individual and the government level? Do resilience-based approaches offer more effective and legitimate policy answers than traditional politics and international relations? This module tries to answer these questions by looking at both the theory and practice of resilience in international relations. It engages critically with the scholarly debate on resilience and investigates the rise of resilience thinking in several policy fields, including international development, armed conflict and disaster risk reduction.


  • This module focuses on the phenomenon of populism and its diverse manifestations in the 21st century. The world has witnessed a rise of populist parties and leaders across the globe, primarily on the right but also on the left. Populism has now become an intensely researched topic and widely debated theme. This module examines the rise of populism in Western and Central Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Middle East. It offers you the chance to learn the theory and history of Populism and compare and contrast populist political movements, parties and leaders from around the world. In addition, it provides you with an insight into the complex relationship between democracy and populism, including the question of why populists have been successful in established democracies.


  • This module invites you to interact with international security practitioners2, seeking reflection upon how academic knowledge and ideas translate into ‘real world’ security practice. Is what is learnt in the classroom, and from the academic literature, reflected in the views, experiences and policies of individuals and organisations working in the field of international security?


  • This module is designed to provide the foundations of the theory and the praxis of war. You will be introduced to the key concepts of, and will be encouraged to critically assess, past, present and future issues of violent conflicts and defence policies of great powers and relate them to the global political context of the 21st century. Particular emphasis will be devoted to the study of political, criminal and terrorist violence and how these relate to key debates about the changing character of war. The module is structured around workshops where you will be exposed to a wide variety of political, diplomatic, economic, social and legal problems connected to war in order to understand how war affects, directly or indirectly, every aspect of global affairs.


  • This module aims to provide you with a critical understanding of the issues surrounding the history of gender in 20th century Britain, through both the prisms of theory and advanced historical skills. This module examines how the 20th century was a period of profound change for both men and women in Britain. The gendered norms established in the Victorian era gradually gave way to more permissive and progressive understandings of gender and sexuality, and Britain became an increasingly diverse society in terms of ethnicity and race.


  • This module is designed to enable you to complete a project entailing independent study, using appropriate research techniques and source materials. It may consist of one or several of the following criteria: a critical evaluation of literature, a reassessment of evidence, an evaluation of particular approaches or techniques, a reflection on a practical experience, or a limited piece of original or applied research.


  • This module explores the changing world of work which Arts and Humanities students enter after study. New technology and the changing global economy mean that jobs and skills are changing and evolving quickly and will continue to do so. This is an exciting and new world, and this module is designed to empower you to realise your potential in it.

    This module provides tools for you to develop into changemakers, thrive in a changing world of work and participate in creating a better future for society. You’ll be guided through a process of reflection that explores four possible futures for the world of work and how to situate your own professional identity as the future of work changes through your careers. This module is designed in collaboration with The RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), and upon successful completion students will receive RSA digital badging.


With professional experience option

The professional experience opportunity2 enables you the opportunity to apply for optional professional experience in semester 1, which, upon successfully securing an opportunity, will extend the duration of your master’s to either 16, 20 or 24 months. The professional experience provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability.

Please note that the optional professional experience modules incur an additional tuition fee3, for which 1 semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for 2 semesters of professional experience is £2666.67, and for 3 semesters of professional experience is £4,000.

Professional experience may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Professional experience opportunities are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the professional experience option.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

The course is designed as a one-year programme when studied full-time. You will be taught through lectures, seminars, and workshops with an emphasis on working collaboratively in close groups.

The course also includes the opportunity to undertake an independent research project supported by an academic supervisor. Your personal tutor and module leaders will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for regular one-to-one advice.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants.

Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12-15 contact hours per week.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 35 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending on the module.

Assessment methods could include:

  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual Assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

The admissions team seek to recruit individuals who have the ability to complete and benefit from the course.

Applicants should normally hold a good undergraduate degree, in a social science or humanities related subject, or equivalent international grade/qualification, from a recognised university.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

The admissions team seek to recruit individuals who have the ability to complete and benefit from the course. Applicants should normally hold a good undergraduate degree, in a social science or humanities-related subject, or equivalent international grade/qualification, from a recognised university.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £15,200 (with prof. experience)   Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £15,200 (with prof. experience) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 | £22,600 (with prof. experience) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 | £22,600 (with prof. experience)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


You will benefit from studying on our well-equipped, modern campus.

Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities in a dedicated environment4.

Delia Derbyshire building

Delia Derbyshire Building

The Delia Derbyshire complex offers more space to learn, design and make, including a hyper-studio for students across all disciplines to collaborate on projects together, a gallery space and an events atrium.

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The Library

You will benefit from our support designed to help you succeed and our industry-relevant teaching and resources. These include our modern library and computing facilities, dedicated careers advice and Your Students’ Union.

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Academic support

No matter which degree you’re studying, you’ll find a lot of support on campus, including the Centre of Academic Writing and sigma, which offers mathematics and statistics support.


Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of the course you should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights related to politics, much of which is at, or informed by research at, the forefront of its field of study
  • critically evaluate current research, advanced scholarship and methodology in the field of Politics
  • apply awareness of diverse and interconnected historical, social and cultural contexts to the analysis of political behaviour, discourses and institutions
  • communicate advanced concepts and analysis to a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences through a range of communication methods (oral, visual and written)
  • manage conflicting or incomplete information and understand competing interests, making sound judgements under conditions of uncertainty
  • demonstrate independent learning ability and organisational skills that can be transferred and applied to a range of employment environments and learning contexts including the ability to manage time, set objectives and evaluate performance.

Graduates in Politics develop advanced critical and analytical skills, the ability to make judgements under conditions of uncertainty and inter-cultural awareness. These skills are transferable to a wide range of career paths including government and civil service, diplomacy and foreign service, campaigning and advocacy, social research, journalism and media, public services, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations, the culture industry and education.

The university's Talent Team provides a programme of workshops, embedded learning, lectures, professional experience and one-to-one guidance to help you develop the transferable skills and enterprising habits required for a successful career.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.