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MScEuropean Politics

Why this course?

If you're looking to work in the public sector, the third sector or with non-governmental organisations that interact with EU or European political entities and institutions, this is the course for you. It's also a great route to a PhD in politics or the social sciences.

What you’ll study

This course will give you an advanced understanding of the study of politics in Europe and the European Union. It'll provide you with the skills to design and put in place advanced research projects in European Politics specifically and in the social sciences more generally.


We're home to the International Public Policy Institute (IPPI). It's a pipeline for public policy research in the areas of:

  • Energy
  • Health
  • Education and Social Policy
  • Economic Development
  • Government and the Public Sector

It hosts many guest speakers and renowned Visiting Professors throughout the academic year.

We also host the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC). It's a multidisciplinary research unit with a particular interest in policies related to regional development on the continent.

Across the University, we have many centres and institutes with projects that incorporate European governance and political issues. These include the Fraser of Allender Institute, the Centre for Energy Policy, and the Institute for Future Cities.

Guest lectures

During term time, we hold seminars late on a Wednesday afternoon. Speakers include guest lecturers who come to Strathclyde as part of the Erasmus programme. They're also available for individual consultations with you as an MSc student here. Strathclyde’s organised research centres such as the European Policies Research Centre, routinely host their own 'Speaker’s Series' where talks relevant to the content of the course are common. You'll have time for socialising with visiting speakers afterwards.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Principles of Research Design

This class covers key research design issues and enables you to evaluate alternative research designs and create appropriate research proposals. The class is designed to help you decide a research topic and a design that you will use for your dissertation. Topics covered include formulating research questions, developing concepts, and how to select cases to study.

European Political Economy
Europe is currently at crossroads, economically, politically and socially. This class uses a political economy approach (ie the interaction between economics and politics) to engage core European debates, including the dilemmas of EU integration, the tension between economic efficiency and social cohesion, the future of the Euro, and the implications of Brexit. It also examines the challenges faced by European nations in an increasingly complex global environment.
European Governance
The evolution and the future of EU integration is of particular contemporary relevance. This class examines processes of decision making and policies at the European Union level. It also evaluates the quality of governance through the lenses of democratic principles such as representation, legitimacy and efficiency.

Choose one of the following:

Quantitative Methods 1
This class introduces participants to the use of quantitative methods in social research; in particular, the logic and language of empirical analysis, the principal types of quantitative data (official statistics and surveys), and the use of software packages for statistical analysis.
Qualitative Methods
This class provides an overview of the ever-expanding field of qualitative methods in Political Science, International Relations and Policy Studies. A variety of data collection/generation and analytical methods will be examined, and situated within different traditions/paradigms of social research. Throughout this class, we will examine how these methods can be applied in students’ own research projects.

Elective classes

In addition to the classes below, you may be able to take classes offered by the Law School as part of your electives.

Contemporary International Relations
This class introduces students to the literature and research agendas related to conflict and cooperation in international relations studies. We will cover a wide array of approaches that relate to interstate and intrastate (civil) conflict, cooperation and other contemporary security topics such as post-conflict peace, peacekeeping operations, terrorism, and human rights violations.
Debating International Relations Theory
This class surveys contemporary theories of international relations, showcasing both positivist, rationalist approaches and post-positivist, critical alternatives. Intended to explore the points of convergence as well as disagreement between these different views, the class will also encourage students to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the rival frameworks and on their application and purpose.
International Institutions and Regimes
The purpose of this class is to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the concepts and theoretical approaches central to understanding and analysing the role of international institutions and regimes in the contemporary world. This class will survey a variety of international institutions and regimes, exploring how they shape global interactions in a number of cross-cutting issue areas such as security, trade, human rights and the environment. The overall analysis will contribute to the understanding of the theories, practices and processes through which global politics are organised and to an assessment of the future of international institutions and regimes in global governance.
Feminism and International Relations
This class will begin by learning about context, in terms of the expansion and institutionalisation of the feminist movement on a global scale and the emergence of a feminist voice in the International Relations discipline. We'll then discuss conceptual, theoretical and methodological convergences and differences in feminist International Relations. A final seminar will reflect on the impact of feminism on both world politics and International Relations, and focus particularly on engagements and critique from the mainstream of the discipline.
Public Policy
Public policy is the study of how governments and other agencies acting in the name of the general public deliberate on and enact policy. This class examines the theoretical, empirical and practical issues involved in conducting policy analysis. Included are discussions of major concepts, processes, and types of policy issues, all studied in comparative manner. Major classics in the field will be read.
Comparative Public Policy
This class revolves around the different aims for conducting comparative policy analysis such as explaining the variation of policy output and outcome across different institutional, economic, social and cultural settings, generalising a given theory of policy process in different geographical contexts and by taking time into consideration, as well as capturing the interdependence of countries. Units of analysis include countries, states/regions, local governments, and international organisations.
Contemporary Security Challenges and Responses
The concept of national security has expanded to incorporate not only ‘traditional’ threats from hostile actors, but also a host of issues ranging from the impact of climate change, natural disasters and resource security to recession. Security has become increasingly globalised and interconnected in threat and response while also increasingly recruiting the populace to be ‘secure citizens’. This class will examine the relevant theories underpinning these developing trends, alongside the key institutions and actors.

Learning & teaching

All classes are taught in seminars, which combine theoretical discussion with a strong empirical focus and which consist of a variety of teaching techniques, from small-group work to structured debates.

Classes average 20 contact hours with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes.


You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods including:

  • essays
  • options papers
  • group projects
  • exams

These account for two-thirds of the total assessment. Your dissertation, produced over the summer, accounts for one third of the total assessment.

Entry requirements

First or upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in social science.

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • £7,600 full-time

Rest of UK

  • £7,600 full-time


  • £15,700 full-time

How can I fund my course?

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £3,000 for entry onto a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Strathclyde Alumni

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni Discount

10% tuition fee discount is offered to all Strathclyde alumni completing a full-time postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


In light of Brexit, the MSc in European Politics provides an excellent preparation for working for the UK or Scottish Government on issues related to Europe. The large number of issues raised by Britain leaving the EU has experts predicting that the private and tertiary sectors in the UK and abroad will need fresh graduates with specialised knowledge of the EU. Students from all backgrounds will be prepared well to work in Brussels or for offices related to politics and political economy in a specific European Union nation. 

For students with experience of working in EU policy or in government, this course will provide fresh and updated insights into contemporary issues facing Europe.

Contact us


European Politics

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

European Politics

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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