Politics MAStudy level: Postgraduate
The MA Politics course is designed to give students insight into the ideas, individuals and institutions that shape our world.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
16-24 months (with professional experience)
The information on this page is for 2022-23 entry and should be used as guidance for 2023-24 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.
The MA Politics course is designed to give students insight into the ideas, individuals and institutions that shape our world.
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 modules for more information.
- You are 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.
Global readyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
Teaching excellenceTaught by lecturers who are experts in their field
EmployabilityCareer ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Why you should study this course
- The academic staff in the School of Humanities produce world class research and publications and maintain an outstanding network of professional contacts who engage with students as part of their studies.
- Students are given the opportunity to apply learning to practice through attending practitioner workshops, field trips, student-led independent research and simulations2. Within the programme, students will enjoy flexibility to shape their own assessments and pursue their own specialist fields of interest.
- Students 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.
- Students also address principles of consultancy and the theories and practices found in leadership through embedded professional development.
- Graduates from the MA Politics will have a wide range of career paths open to them, including the Civil Service, international organisations, the media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), consultancy local government, private sector companies, the culture industry, and further and higher education teaching.
Accreditation & Professional Recognition
Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
As part of this course, you will undertake a professional development module which is currently accredited by the Chartered Management Institute for the 2022-23 intake. Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost.
Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems.
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.
It builds on the expertise of the School of Humanities’ Politics staff in the fields of comparative politics and political theory and broadens the offer by drawing on the skills and experience of the School’s History and International Relations staff.
Politics modules include advanced topics covering urgent contemporary issues through up-to-date research and analysis, such as Democracy and Democratic Breakdown, 21st Century Populism and The Changing Nature of War and Terrorism. Experts from the fields of History and International Relations support other core modules in War and Terrorism, Resilience in the International System, Threats to Global Security and Gender and Social Change in 20th Century Britain.
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.
Critical Thinking – 15 credits
The aim of the module is to enhance students' 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.
Threats to Global Security – 15 credits
This module seeks to provide students 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 the 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 twentieth and nineteenth 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, the module focuses on the theoretical and practical policy challenges that are posed to global security and ability of states and international organisations to respond to the challenges.
Dictatorship and Democratic Breakdown – 15 credits
Democracies, Karl Popper noticed, are countries, the “governments of which we can get rid without bloodshed”. He went on to observe that in these, “the social institutions provide means by which the rulers may be dismissed [peacefully], and the social traditions ensure that these institutions will not be easily destroyed by those who are in power”. The question in this module is if the currently existing democracies have ‘social traditions’ that are strong enough to withstand those who may want to destroy them; or are we witnessing a period of what the political scientist Larry Diamond has called, ‘Democratic regression”? The 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.
Resilience in the International System – 15 credits
In recent years, resilience has become a dominant policy paradigm in International Relations (IR). Leading Western governments and international organizations have proposed resilience as a solution to the complex problems of an interconnected and globalised world, from counter-terrorism and economic development to public security and climate change. In academia, too, resilience has been referred to as a "pervasive idiom of global governance" (Walker&Cooper). But, 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 IR? 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.
21st Century Populism – 15 credits
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 students the opportunity 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 students with an insight into the complex relationship between democracy and populism, including the question of why populists have been successful in established democracies.
International Security Praxis – 15 credits
This module invites students to interact with international security practitioners, 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?
Changing Character of War and Terrorism – 15 credits
This module is designed to provide the foundations of the theory and the praxis of war. Students attending this module will be introduced to the key concepts of, and will be encouraged to critically assess, past, present and future issues of violent conflicts, 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 students 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.
Gender and Social Change in 20th Century Britain – 15 credits
This module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the issues surrounding the history of gender in twentieth century Britain, through both the prisms of theory and advanced historical skills. This module examines how the twentieth 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. The century was dominated by profound periods of instability and upheaval, including two world wars, the financial calamity of the Great Depression, and the Cold War. Women gained the right to vote, equal pay was established as a legal requirement and by the end of the century questions of race and sexuality had become profound political questions.
Dissertation - 50 credits
This module is designed to enable students 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.
Leading Diverse Workforces - 10 credits
This module aims to provide students with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategically diverse and inclusive way whatever the Master’s degree of specialisation they elect to follow. Students will explore for example, the influence and impact of leadership theories, culture, wellbeing, and approaches to developing better equality, diversity and inclusion strategies and practices that can be used creatively within a leadership role in different types of organisational scenarios.
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 fee, 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 emphasis on working collaboratively in small 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.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. 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 upon the module.
Assessment methods include:
- Group work
- 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.
International Experience Opportunities
Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.
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.
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.
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.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|UK||£11,200 per year||Request fee information|
|International||£18,600 per year||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.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
Students will benefit from studying on our well-equipped, modern campus.
The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is joining two of our school’s completely refurbished Art and Design buildings and adding a range of new facilities, which is planned to fully open in 2023. This will include a hyper studio for students across all disciplines to collaborate on projects together4.
Arts and Humanities Building
We are currently in the process of a major redevelopment of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities buildings. The building will be open to the public, as well as students, and will feature an expansive gallery space.
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 Students’ Union.
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
On successful completion of the course a student will 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 course includes embedded professional development with a Chartered Institute of Management accredited1 qualification to boost your employability and give you a competitive edge in the job market. This module aims to provide practical leadership skills to critically evaluate and develop solutions for complex, inter-related, multi-faceted issues that you will experience in the workplace.
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
To apply to study for a postgraduate course at Coventry University, you can apply online.
For further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Chat with our admissions team
Complete our contact form.
Full-time international students applying to start in September should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for postgraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
Chat with our admissions team.
Complete our contact form.
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, 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 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 COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
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 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.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. 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.