Key Information

Full-time

1 year

Part-time

2 years

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

POLPOLMA

MA Politics

This Master’s programme is designed to explore the big issues facing Britain and the wider world today.

Key Information

Full-time

1 year

Part-time

2 years

Campus

Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Validated

Fees

View

Course Code

POLPOLMA

Teaching and Learning During COVID-19

The current COVID-19 pandemic has meant that at Lincoln we are making changes to our teaching and learning approach and to our campus, to ensure that students and staff can enjoy a safe and positive learning experience here at Lincoln.

From autumn 2020 our aim is to provide an on-campus learning experience. Our intention is that teaching will be delivered through a mixture of face-to-face and online sessions. There will be social activities in place for students - all in line with appropriate social distancing and fully adhering to any changes in government guidance as our students' safety is our primary concern.

We want to ensure that your Lincoln experience is as positive, exciting and enjoyable as possible as you embark on the next phase of your life. COVID-19 has encouraged us to review our practices and, as a result, to take the opportunity to find new ways to enhance the Lincoln experience. It has challenged us to find innovative new approaches to supporting students' learning and social interactions. These learning experiences, which blend digital and face-to-face, will be vital in helping to prepare our students for a 21st Century workplace.

Of course at Lincoln, personal tutoring is key to our delivery, providing every student with a dedicated tutor to support them throughout their time here at the University. Smaller class sizes mean our academic staff can engage with each student as an individual, and work with them to enhance their strengths. In this environment we hope that students have more opportunities for discussion and engagement and get to know each other better.

Course learning outcomes are vital to prepare you for your future and we aim to utilise this mix of face-to-face and online teaching to deliver these. Students benefit from and enjoy fieldtrips and placements and, whilst it is currently hard to predict the availability of these, we are working hard and with partners and will aspire to offer these wherever possible - obviously in compliance with whatever government guidance is in place at the time.

We are utilising a range of different digital tools for teaching including our dedicated online managed learning environment. All lectures for larger groups will be delivered online using interactive software and a range of different formats. We aim to make every contact count and seminars and small group sessions will maximise face-to-face interaction. Practicals, workshops, studio sessions and performance-based sessions are planned to be delivered face-to-face, in a socially distanced way with appropriate PPE.

The University of Lincoln is a top 20 TEF Gold University and we have won awards for our approach to teaching and learning, our partnerships and industry links, and the opportunities these provide for our students. Our aim is that our online and socially distanced delivery during this COVID-19 pandemic is engaging and that students can interact with their tutors and each other and contribute to our academic community.

As and when restrictions start to lift, we aim to deliver an increasing amount of face-to-face teaching and external engagements, depending on each course. Safety will continue to be our primary focus and we will respond to any changing circumstances as they arise to ensure our community is supported. More information about the specific approaches for each course will be shared when teaching starts.

Of course as you start a new academic year it will be challenging but we will be working with you every step of the way. For all our students new and established, we look forward to welcoming you to our vibrant community this Autumn. If you have any questions please visit our FAQs or contact us on 01522 886644.

Dr Ben Kisby - Programme Leader

Dr Ben Kisby - Programme Leader

Dr Ben Kisby is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and Programme Leader for the MA Politics. Ben has particular research interests in British politics, public policy and citizenship education and teaches on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

School Staff List Make an Enquiry

Welcome to MA Politics

The MA Politics enables students to develop an advanced understanding of politics and policymaking across national and international settings. The course explores critical issues that drive the political process and examines the role of the state in the governance of society. It considers contemporary challenges, such as policy formulation and implementation in areas such as counter-terrorism, gender equality, and health. Together with tutors and peers, students are able to engage in important discussions about the future of representative democracy in Britain and globally.

The Master’s places considerable emphasis on advanced research methods, enabling students to hone qualitative and quantitative research skills, and supporting them in becoming confident researchers in their own right. Students are also invited to attend the School’s research seminar series.

The programme draws on a range of subject specialisms within the School of Social and Political Sciences and connects students with tutors who have research expertise in that area and can support students on their personal research and career paths.

How You Study

The learning and teaching strategy adopted within the MA Politics reflects a commitment to self-directed, student-centred learning, with an emphasis on applied analytical skills.

This degree offers a distinctive range of modules, drawing upon the existing research and teaching expertise in the School of Social and Political Sciences to deliver an academically rigorous and contemporary programme. Please note that the availability of optional modules may vary depending on student numbers and staff availability.

This programme aims to develop specialist subject knowledge and equip students with a set of transferable skills relevant to further academic study and employment. The incorporation of a strong research methods element within the MA is designed to enhance employability and development of transferable skills.

Students are taught using a range of methods including lectures, seminars, workshops, and tutorials. Lectures are designed to introduce students to key themes and perspectives, generate enthusiasm for further enquiry, provide illustrative examples, and to signpost substantive issues.

Seminars and workshops provide students with an environment for more interactive learning and reflection, aimed at deepening critical understanding of the subject matter. These sessions are organised in a variety of ways, including tutor or student-led discussions, presentations, and problem-solving exercises, normally centred on a particular theme.

Tutorials are available to students on an individual or small-group basis as a means of supporting the preparation of individual or group assignments, offering feedback on progress, dealing with any particular learning difficulties, and offering advice on specific choices within the module programme. E-learning will be supported through use of the University’s virtual learning environment.

Full-time students on this programme can expect to receive approximately eight hours of contact time per week. However, this may vary depending on which optional modules are selected by students.

The research methods modules on this programme are taught in weekly two-hour sessions and the remaining modules are mostly taught through two-hour weekly lecture and seminar sessions. In addition, students are expected to attend personal tutor groups, dissertation workshops, and meetings with their tutors and dissertation supervisor.

We expect that a full-time student on this course would engage in at least four hours of self-study for every one hour of lecture and seminar time. This equates to 32 hours of self-study per week These figures are halved for part-time study.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. To help you choose the course that’s right for you, we aim to bring to your attention all the important information you may need. Our What You Need to Know page offers detailed information on key areas including contact hours, assessment, optional modules, and additional costs. For research programmes this includes research fees and research support fees.

Find out More

An Introduction to Your Modules

Module Overview

This social science module explores the ways in which knowledge is created, communicated, consumed and debated in the social and political sciences. It aims to expose students to key issues of methodological choice, issue framing, research ethics and author subject-position through interrogation of contemporary and classical texts of relevance to the social and political sciences and the disciplinary concerns of the MA programmes on which it appears. The module seeks to develop students’ skills in critical reading and in both oral and written academic debate.

Module Overview

The dissertation module allows students to explore their own interests relevant to the study of politics. It provides students with an opportunity to undertake and produce an independent piece of in-depth research. Students will develop their research ideas in collaboration with teaching staff and will be supported to design and implement a coherent, robust research project and to write up their findings/analysis in the form of a dissertation. The format of the study will vary from primarily library-based or theoretical research to the production of empirical research through qualitative or quantitative fieldwork. Students will need to: examine an issue related to their discipline; demonstrate the ability to critically review the relevant academic literature; address a clear research question or hypothesis; address ethical issues in conducting social research; and give a clear explanation and defence of the methods they have chosen as most appropriate to their study.

Module Overview

This module aims to provide an advanced level of understanding of issues related to the theoretical basis of contemporary political analysis. Politics, like other social sciences, is an essentially contested field, in which there is significant disagreement amongst researchers about how to analyse political institutions, ideas and behaviour. The module deals with the use of theory and meta-theory in politics and international relations. It begins with an examination of the nature of explanation and understanding in the social sciences before examining a series of key theoretical and meta-theoretical debates within the discipline. Amongst the topics to be covered are the relationship between ontology and epistemology, structure, agency and power and the role of ideas in political analysis.

Module Overview

As the first subject-specific core module on the MA Politics, Politics and Public Policy provides an overview of public policy-making across different institutional arenas and geographical contexts. It aims to familiarise students with the stages of the policy-making process, ranging from the ‘discovery’ of policy problems, to the setting of political agendas and the implementation of policy solutions. It considers cases and examples that illustrate real-world dilemmas of public policy-making and draws attention to different understanding of what public policy can achieve. New ideas about how to obtain governing outcomes—through nudges or ‘meta-governing’, for example—will be explored with an interest in their potentials and limitations.

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce students to researching in social and political sciences. The aim of the module is to provide a crucial foundation for all students (regardless of disciplinary background) to understand debates around research methods/methodologies in social science; to enable familiarity with a variety of research methods and to equip students to be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of applying specific methodologies/methods to different research projects in social and political sciences. Overall, the module will aim to prepare students for independent studies later in their degree and equip them with transferable research skills.

Module Overview

This module provide an in-depth understanding of the role of legislatures in political systems, and how the form, structure, activities and impacts of legislatures varies across a range of states. It will focus on the broad differences in the role and impact of legislatures in parliamentary and presidential systems, and through a series of case studies examine the operation of legislatures in a number of states such as the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, France, China and Russia, as well as the European Parliament and the devolved assemblies within the UK.

Module Overview

This module explores feminist theories of gender, applying feminist perspectives to contemporary issues. As there is no single ‘feminist’ perspective, the module will introduce students to different strands of feminist thought including liberal, radical, black, postcolonial and postmodern feminisms. Feminist debates around the nature of gender/sex, the causes of gender inequality, the intersection of gender with other important social and political identities (such as race, class and sexuality) and disagreements over strategies for how best to address continuing gender inequalities will all be addressed. In addition, we will examine the extent to which a postfeminist perspective which takes feminism for granted but at the same time dismisses its continuing relevance is currently dominant in society. We will also engage with questions around the relevance of feminism to men and masculinity. Finally, we will consider what light feminist theoretical perspectives can shed on a range of gendered issues. Sample topics might include: the family, pornography, popular culture, the workplace, the family, everyday sexism and objectification. Students will be encouraged to develop their own critical and informed answers to key questions such as how far gender is a performance (as opposed to biologically determined), which feminist perspectives offer the most promising tools for challenging the contemporary gender order and how we can apply feminist thought to re-imagining gender relations. In accordance with a feminist pedagogical ethos, students will also be required to demonstrate a reflexive approach to the theory, analysing the links and disjunctures between their own experiences and feminist theoretical debates. Overall, the module will aim to ‘make the familiar strange’ and enable students to question their own assumptions, as well as popular and common sense notions of gender.

Module Overview

This module aims to provide the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of some central concepts and theoretical debates on gender and sexuality including feminist theory and masculinities. These can be examined in greater depth in the context of key issues relating to power and economy in contemporary global politics. These theories can then be applied to a range of case studies/issues. These case studies may change to reflect contemporary issues and academic developments but sample topics include decision-making processes in national and international political systems, the construction of gender and sexual identities in a globalised world and militarised masculinities.

Module Overview

This module aims to examine the background to globalisation and its relationship to the emerging trends towards regional governance and integration. The module seeks to draw out the implications of these trends for the nation state and its various corporate and policy actors. The current globalisation trend has far-reaching consequences. Its origins are economic and lie in the gradual movement towards economic interdependence and integration of markets which has been taking place during the second half of the twentieth century. Globalisation also reflects the decline of US hegemony and the collapse of Soviet power. Globalisation poses a major legitimisation challenge to the nation-state and nation-state based political economies. This has been evident in a tendency in recent years for national governments to seek to ‘depoliticise’ social and economic policy decisions by reference to ‘global forces’. More pro-actively the challenge to the nation-state has given a new impetus to the development of regional political economies notably the EU.

Module Overview

This module explores masculinities and the operation of power through masculinities in society. It aims to engage with key theoretical perspectives on gender and masculinity, taking an in-depth look at these concepts, along with related ideas such as ‘hegemonic masculinity,’ ‘heteronormativity’ and ‘intersectionality.’ Important contemporary debates in masculinities scholarship will be addressed, such as around hegemonic masculinity, whether this is a useful concept and how far it can explain (global) gendered power relations. Masculinities and masculinity will also be explored in different empirical settings.

Module Overview

The label ‘terrorism’ is applied erratically with little clear precision or exclusivity to its use and failing to clearly differentiate those labelled 'terrorists'. The long and contested histories of diverse political and ideological struggles in respect of securing the legitimacy of this label, and/or the resistance to it, are often made unclear by the cultural significance the label itself. The aim of this module is to provide a critical understanding of these heated debates focusing on past and current management strategies, their relative strengths and weaknesses, the problems with conceptualisation and their various proponents from the worlds of academia/counter insurgency studies, political and criminal justice/military ‘experts’.

Module Overview

This module aims to provide students with a graduate-level overview of both mainstream and critical approaches to theorising international relations. The emphasis is on evaluating and applying theories, understanding the historical development of international relations as a field, and engaging with contemporary debates and concerns. The module explores how the discipline of international relations is characterised by competing interpretations and applications of key concepts (eg power, the role of the state state, agency/structure, and conceptualisations of world order) and differing methodological approaches and views about the practical purpose underpinning theories of world politics. Students will be encouraged to critically explore the ways in which international relations theory influences policy-making and practice. On a broader level, students can gain insights into the contested nature of contemporary global politics. Case studies and contemporary materials will be used extensively throughout the module to illustrate the varying theoretical models and their applicability in the contemporary world.

Module Overview

The module aims to develop the analytical skills and provide the opportunity to broaden students' knowledge by exposing them to the wide-ranging debates on the problems of transition from Communism focusing, for example, on the Soviet and post-Soviet systems. Students have the opportunity to develop knowledge of not only of the academic literature on late Soviet and post-Soviet Russian politics but also to read several major works from the comparative literature on transitions in order to assess the relevance of generalisations in that body of scholarship to the Soviet and Russian transition. They are encouraged also to consider what contribution an understanding of the Soviet and Russian case has to make to political science more generally. The module analyses both the significant achievements and the major problems of transition from Communism to post- Communism in Russia. More generally, it aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to interpret current and future developments in Russia. Given the continuing importance of Russia in international relations, this may be of of practical benefit to careers other than academia - among them politics, the civil service, international banking, and journalism.

Module Overview

The term ‘American exceptionalism’ – or, more precisely, ‘US exceptionalism’ (since the United States does not represent all of America) – has gone viral in recent years. Previously only used by a small group of American Studies scholars and historians, the term was first propelled into public discourse by the Republican Party during the failed presidential campaigns of John McCain (2008) and Mitt Romney (2012). Since then it has become a ‘hegemonic’ concept. This module aims to provide MA students with a highly advanced knowledge and critical understanding of US exceptionalism. The aim is to encourage students to think holistically and critically about the discourse of US exceptionalism so as to understand its roots in contemporary power relations and be able to challenge it.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

How you are assessed

The programme is designed to expose students to a range of different forms of assessment and to develop a range of academic, professional, and work-relevant skills such as public speaking.
Students will have the chance to develop written communication skills through essays, report writing, and independent study, all of which are designed to expand students' skills in professional and academic writing. Oral communication skills are also assessed, for example, through a video podcast on one of the optional modules, enabling students to improve their public presentation and public speaking abilities.

The development of high-level research skills is a central feature of the programme and students will be expected to develop these through the core research methods modules and apply them in their dissertation. Further research skills are also embedded in assessments throughout other core and optional modules.

Critical, analytical, and reflexive thinking are central to all assessments. IT skills are embedded in many modules and include word processing, digital data management and presentation, statistical data handling, the use of electronic search engines, and other resources.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days of the submission date.

Fees and Scholarships

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future, and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

There are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, you can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.

Course-Specific Additional Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and your meals may be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional you will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay your own transportation, accommodation, and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Entry Requirements 2020-21

First or second class honours degree in a relevant subject.

Candidates holding other qualifications or substantial relevant work experience may be considered on an individual basis.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/


If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

Research Areas, Projects and Topics

Research within the School of Social and Political Sciences is diverse. Examples include research on violence against women and girls in the UK and India by Professor Sundari Aritha, work on citizenship education and youth political participation in Britain by Dr Ben Kisby, and work on parliamentary oversight of the intelligence and security agencies by Dr Andrew Defty.

Dr Catherine Bochel holds a research fellowship at the House of Commons considering key mechanisms for public engagement with Parliament, Dr Mark Bennister also holds a research fellowship at the House of Commons and is exploring the effectiveness of the Liaison Committee in questioning the Prime Minister. During 2017, Professor Hugh Bochel was an Academic Fellow at the Scottish Parliament, looking at the extent of diversity among witnesses that appear before the Parliament’s committees. These projects involved working with MPs, MSPs, and officials on ways to enhance the work of these Legislatures.

Students can also engage with the Eleanor Glanville Centre, the University’s centre for equality. Research themes within the centre include inclusive environments, life course, embodiment, social construction, culture and creativity, and perceptions and prejudice.

Study and Field Trips

There may be opportunities to participate in optional field trips to key international organisations, and national and international political institutions, including New York, Washington D.C, Brussels, Ypres, and The Hague. Places are limited so students are encouraged to register their interest early in the academic year. Students who wish to take part are responsible for covering their own travel, accommodation, and general living costs.

Students may have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to the UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, or Welsh Assembly. The School also runs optional field trips to key international organisations and national and international political institutions, including New York, Washington, D.C, Brussels, Ypres, and The Hague. Places are limited and students are encouraged to register their interest early in the academic year. Those who wish to take part are responsible for covering their own travel, accommodation, and general living costs.

Career and Personal Development

Lincoln’s MA Politics course is designed to equip students with a range of skills that are valued in a variety of employment sectors. Graduates from the School have gone on to careers in local and central government, parliament, the civil service, law, industry and commerce, as well as in a variety of other public and private sector organisations.

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Postgraduate Events

Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.

Find out More

Related Courses

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.
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