Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Our MSc Government, Policy and Politics examines the day-to-day practice and reality of government by analysing post-war politics and public policy in the UK and around the world. You will develop your ability to analyse political debates and issues in a critical manner and you will be taught by academics with expertise in researching, writing about and participating in politics. The course combines theoretical approaches with empirical knowledge and real-world case studies, and you will explore topics in political theory, political science and sociology. You will be given the opportunity to debate and engage with the everyday practicalities of politics through class discussions and meetings with experienced practitioners. The core modules explore the history, politics and institutions of global governance as a response to the challenges of globalisation, and introduce you to the key issues and policy debates in international political economy. You then choose two option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, nationalism and religion, and war and conflict. You will also learn research techniques that will enable you to specialise and write a dissertation on the subject that interests you most. Highlights

  • Our Department of Politics organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Birkbeck Centre for British Political Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
  • Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
  • Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research. Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T.S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.
  • You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is five minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck. Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Core modules assessed by written examinations; option modules assessed by coursework and written examinations. You will have a choice of either writing a dissertation or preparing a research portfolio.


How to apply

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Entry requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification. We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9810 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9810 Year 1
Scotland £9810 Year 1
Wales £9810 Year 1
International £18030 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Government, Policy and Politics at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS