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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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£9,835 (FT) £4,890 (PT)
Overseas:
£17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 2015

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.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits, of which 120 credits are composed of taught courses and 60 credits is the dissertation.

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 or Advanced Qualitative Methods (15)
  • Introduction to Quantitative Methods or Advanced Quantitative Methods (15)

Options

  • Choose one of the following:
  • The European Union, Globalisation and the State (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 European Union: Globalisation and the State (15)
  • Republicanism and Liberalism (15)
  • Equality, Justice and Difference (15)
  • Public Ethics (15)
  • Agenda Setting and Public Policy (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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Democracy and Comparative Politics MSc

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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 degree

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Political Science is recognised as a centre of excellence in the field and 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.

Student / staff ratios › 29 staff › 378 taught students › 37 research students

Department: Political Science

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-07-31

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

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