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PDF version of Democracy and Comparative Politics MSc

Contact details

SPP Administrator

Email: spp.pg@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/50

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£9,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,250 (FT)

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry

Political Science

Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

65% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Democracy and Comparative Politics MSc

This MSc focuses on the design, creation, and operation of democratic institutions. When are a given set of institutions appropriate for a society, and what will make them function? Students gain an understanding of how scholars have thought about these matters, applying theory to examples of institution-building and design.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students are equipped with the theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for an in-depth understanding of democratic institutions and politics. They develop an understanding of the potential benefits and pitfalls of different institutional designs, reforms, and administrative practices, and are able to analyse problems raised by new and reforming democracies.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field. Britain's only department focused exclusively on graduate teaching and research, it offers a uniquely stimulating environment for the study of Democracy and Comparative Politics.

Students on the programme get to know each other and their lecturers well, in a setting of small class sizes.

London features a wealth of seminars, conferences, and other events on democratic topics. These provide a means for students to expand their knowledge and to extend their professional networks in advance of entering the job market.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core Compulsory Modules

  • Democracy and Constitutional Design (30)
  • Democratic Political Institutions (15)
  • Introduction to Qualitative Methods A or Advanced Qualitative Methods (15)
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods A or Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)

Options

  • CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
  • Governing Divided Societies (15)
  • Parliaments, Political Parties and Policy-Making (15)
  • Voters, Public Opinion and Participation (15)
  • CHOOSE FURTHER MODULES UP TO A VALUE OF 30 CREDITS IN TOTAL FROM AN EXTENSIVE LIST AVAILABLE AT:
  • www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/teaching/masters
  • The following are suggestions:
  • Agenda Setting (15)
  • British Government and Politics (15)
  • Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
  • Making Policy Work (15)
  • Public Ethics (15)
  • Republicanism and Liberalism (15)
  • The European Union, Globalisation and the State (15)

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars. Assessment is through unseen examinations, long essays, course work, and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, a 3.3 GPA or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant practical or work experience in a related field may also be taken into account.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at current and future policy-makers, analysts and researchers from both the public and private sector. Applicants should have a background in a relevant area, for example: economics, European issues, international relations, law, philosophy, politics, political science or sociology.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Democracy and Comparative Politics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Democracy and Comparative Politics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging and truly international academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Career

Graduates of the programme are equipped with the theoretical tools and empirical evidence necessary for an entry into the world of government policy, non-governmental organisations, or the private sector.

First destinations of recent graduates include:

  • The Labour Party: Secretary
  • Head Office Agency: Campaign Co-ordinator
  • Civil Service: Civil Servant
  • National Centre for Social Research: Research Assistant
  • National Autistic Society: Policy and Parliamentary Officer
  • Liberal Democrats: Research Assistant

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


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