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School of Social Sciences

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MA Political Science - Governance and Public Policy Pathway (Research Route)
Develop critical research skills in modern public policy.

MA Political Science - Governance and Public Policy Pathway (Research Route) / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

  • You would like to study at a centre for public policy research with an international reputation
  • You are interested in unique opportunities to engage with academics, politicians and policy makers through Policy@Manchester
  • You want the chance to undertake policy placements with policy makers and organisations in and around Manchester

The governance programme offers an opportunity to explore some of the key political science and public policy issues of the 21st century. These include examination of the nature and problems of policy making in the contemporary world; how in a globalised world public decision making can be constructed in a way that delivers legitimacy and effective capacity to act; and the impact of governance arrangements on policy outcomes and the relationship between the state and citizens. This programme unpacks core concepts to do with citizenship, participation, and the formation and implementation of public and social policies. It draws on a variety of contemporary materials and will appeal to those interested in governance and policy making at any level: neighbourhood, local, national, European and global. It will provide a base either for students intending to go on to undertake a PhD in the area, or seeking employment requiring advanced research skills in the public, private or voluntary sector.

You take five Compulsory Training Courses and two Compulsory Core courses (1. Understanding Governance and 2. Governance and the Welfare State)

Further options - you choose at least one module from course units in public policy with further related options available from all of our other MA programmes. 

Programme Director: Professor Colin Talbot


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Teaching and learning


Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation Research Design POLI60312 15 Mandatory
Understanding Governance: Policymaking in the 21st Century POLI70271 15 Mandatory
Philosophy of Politics Research POLI70771 15 Mandatory
Governance and the State POLI70892 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Quantitative Methods SOST70511 15 Mandatory
Comparing Capitalisms in the Global Political Economy POLI60031 15 Optional
Political Parties in Contemporary Britain POLI60121 15 Optional
Archival Research POLI60251 5 Optional
European Political Economy POLI60292 15 Optional
Biography & Life History in the Social Sciences POLI60331 5 Optional
Interviewing Activists POLI70021 5 Optional
The European Union: Politics and Policy Making POLI70381 15 Optional
Global Governance POLI70422 15 Optional
EU as an International Actor POLI70851 15 Optional
Democracy: Theory & Practice POLI70871 15 Optional
Critical Environmental Politics POLI70922 15 Optional
Comparative Democratisation in Eastern Europe and Latin America POLI70951 15 Optional
The Arab Uprisings and Revolutionary State Formation POLI70981 15 Optional
Understanding Political Change POLI71042 15 Optional
Governance Placement Scheme POLI71090 15 Optional
Doing Interviews SOAN60201 5 Optional
Practising Participant Observation SOAN60892 5 Optional
Foundational and advanced perspectives on qualitative research SOCY60231 10 Optional
Narrative Analysis SOCY70722 5 Optional
Understanding Big Data For Social Research SOST60512 5 Optional
Displaying 10 of 25 course units


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Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: