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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Programme Overview

The degree is based on three to four years of full-time research. Each student follows an individual training programme designed with their supervisor and the Postgraduate Adviser. This programme is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

In the first year, students acquire a wide range of research skills and formulate their research question and related design, under the guidance of their supervisors. At the end of their course of study students submit a thesis and are examined in an oral examination (viva voce) by two examiners (usually one internal to the university, the other external.)

The thesis is a long piece of research on a topic of particular interest to the student and makes an original contribution to the field of politics and international relations.

Research Training

All new research students follow a programme of research training, drawn from the MSc by Research courses coordinated by the Graduate School of Social and Political Science and Politics & International Relations-specific training. The programme equips students with professional training to a high standard. After graduating you can expect to be a strong candidate for careers in a wide variety of contexts, including academia, the media, the private sector and a diverse array of public services. Nearly everyone needs good researchers!

Politics & IR facilitates the acquisition of a range of transferable skills above and beyond those required by their specific projects, such as organising seminars and conferences, learning how to apply for research jobs in and out of academia, and learning how to deliver professional seminar presentations. Postgraduate researchers also have access to the University and College-wide programme of training in transferable skills and other aspects of professional development, such as specialist Careers advice.

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