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.


Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £9,550
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,750
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.


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.


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:
  • Voters, Public Opinion and Participation (15)
  • Parliaments, Political Parties and Policy Making (15)
  • Governing Divided Societies (15)

  • CHOOSE FURTHER MODULES UP TO A VALUE OF 30 CREDITS IN TOTAL FROM A LIST AVAILABLE AT:
  • www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/teaching/masters
  • The following are suggestions:
  • Making Policy Work (15)
  • The Europan Union: Globalisation and the State (15)
  • Republicanism and Liberalism (15)
  • Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
  • Public Ethics (15)
  • Agenda Setting (15)
  • British Government and Politics (15)
  • International Political Economy (15)
  • Gendering the Study of Politics: Theory and Practice (15)
  • Conflict Resolution and Post-War Development (15)
  • Global Public Policy (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:


Scholarships available for this department

Childcare Support Grant

Selection based solely on financial need.

Graduate Support Bursary

For a prospective UK Master's student from under-represented background enrolling on a participating programme . Selection based solely on financial need.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.


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.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Advanced

How to apply

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.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

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

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Secretaria de Desarrollo Socail SEDESOL Mexico, General Director of Legal Affairs SEDESOL Mexico, 2010
  • Home Office, Policy Officer, 2010
  • NHS, Researcher, 2010
  • New Schools Network, Policy and Administrative Intern, 2011
  • Amnesty International, Research Assistant, 2011

Employability

Alumni of the Democracy programme work in a variety of fields. Many take on roles within their home governments, and a substantial number find jobs with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), working in their home countries or abroad. Some work for research institutes or provide research for businesses, and a small number have also gone on to PhD study.


Next steps

Contact

SPP Administrator

T: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

W: Political Science

Apply

APPLY HERE

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Student View

"I chose to apply for graduate study at UCL because the programme was extremely attractive, the supervisors that I was going to work with were great, and because the environment at my department fosters healthy competition and self-development."

Javier Sajuria

Degree: PhD

Alumni View

"I was able to develop my research interests into a more focussed package, which then helped me enormously when drafting my PhD research proposals."

John-Paul Salter

PhD Candidate, UCL School of Public Policy, 2011