The MA Politics is a broad-based programme, offering students a good grounding in the discipline of political science. This MA gives students the opportunity to engage with core theories, concepts, issues and debates in politics. Students may tailor their programme to their own interests by their choice of optional modules and dissertation, from Irish politics and European politics to political theory and comparative politics, which build on the strengths of the school's research. The master's offers a unique perspective on multi-level politics in Europe, at the regional, national, and European levels and on the policy issues of the time, including energy transitions and climate change, ethnic conflict, gender, and democratic legitimacy.
The aim of the MA in Politics is to deepen students' understanding of important contemporary issues in political studies through the enhancement of students' analytical skills, research and writing talent, and capacity for utilising theoretical approaches. These are all important transferrable skills, highly valued in the job market. The programme is of particular interest to those wishing to know more about Irish politics (North and South), European politics, territorial politics, political conflict, and political theory.
Belfast is a globally significant location and Politics is about conflict, debate and the contest of ideas, making Belfast, where such things are part of everyday reality, an ideal place to study the subject. Northern Ireland is viewed as a model of conflict resolution and peace building across the world.
Students can directly benefit from the School and University’s wider expertise in political theory, comparative politics, Irish and Northern Irish politics, gender and environmental politics, security studies, border studies, terrorism and political violence.
Students have the opportunity to visit Brussels (part-funded by the School) including the European Parliament, European Commission, Human Rights NGOs, NATO etc.
Queen’s was ranked 3rd out of 199 universities worldwide and 2nd out of 44 UK universities for our Graduate School.
Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellent (Times Higher Education, 2019)
Queen’s is ranked 22nd in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020).
Politics was ranked joint 1st in the UK for Research Intensity (Complete University Guide 2021).
Queen’s currently has over 3,000 international students from 85 different countries.
Queen’s was ranked 2nd out of 199 universities worldwide for satisfaction with social facilities.
11% of the Queen’s student population are international students.
Queen’s is ranked 1st in the UK for entrepreneurial impact (Octopus Ventures, 2019).
Internationally Renowned Experts
Students benefit from intensive teaching by a wide and varied range of political scientists and theorists with strong publishing profiles and international reputations in their areas of expertise. Many academics on the programme are engaged in QPOL (Queen’s Policy Engagement) – this is the ‘front door’ for public policy engagement at Queen’s University, supporting academics and policymakers in sharing evidence-based research and ideas on the major social, cultural and economic challenges facing society regionally, nationally and beyond. This includes a Brexit Clinic, with involves Queen’s experts providing insight and analysis into the various facets of Brexit. Many of our experts in this area act as advisors to the UK and NI governments, particularly in relation to the Irish border and the backstop, as the only land border between the UK and EU.
There are many practical elements embedded in the programme. Examples include the practical modules such as Engaging Citizens in Democratic Institutions – throughout this module, there are visits to the City Council, NI Assembly etc. There is also a trip to Brussels (part-funded by the School) in which students visit for example the European Parliament, European Commission, Human Rights NGOs, NATO etc. We also use a range of assessment techniques, such as writing essays, blogs and policy briefs, where students are presented with a problem and are tasked to come up with practical solutions.