- Start date: September
- Application deadline: August
- Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
Study with us
- develop skills in empirical political science
- explore different methodological approaches and their application to real-life political problems
- gain transferable employability skills in research design
- provides you with focused training in research methods
- helps develop your professional skills in empirical political science
Why this course?
The course explores different methodological approaches and their application to real-life political problems. It will equip you with key transferable skills in:
- research design
- a range of research methods and their application
- the management of different types of data
My knowledge has been vastly improved thanks to the wide variety of classes offered by the fantastic teaching staff. Assignments are well explained; marks are returned in good time and we are continually asked to provide feedback to improve the running of classes. It has been a challenging but highly enjoyable year, and I am continuing my studies to PhD level.
Kenny Stevenson, MSc Political Research graduate
Interested in postgraduate study?
At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, our friendly and knowledgeable team will be available to provide you with all the information you need to kick-start your postgraduate journey at the University of Strathclyde. Register for upcoming events below:
What you'll study
You'll undertake compulsory classes covering research design and evaluation methods and choose two optional classes. You’ll also complete a dissertation.
You may apply to do a client-based project as part of your dissertation research. Following a career workshop session, and on the advice of the School, you can contact host organisations including local, city, and national governmental organisations to arrange a work-based MSc dissertation.
These projects will normally be unpaid and may need to be developed further to meet the requirements of an MSc dissertation.
The School of Government & Public Policy has a number of research centres that relate to the topics covered and the content of the course. For example, the European Policies Research Centre is a leading hub for the study of regional development policy and collection of such data in Europe, a centre that is of increasing importance in the wake of Brexit.
Specialised policy centres focused on health and energy – such as the Centre for Energy Policy – also add to the applied policy environment at Strathclyde. The Institute for Future Cities' City Observatory, located in Strathclyde’s award-winning Technology & Innovation Centre, uses data to understand and address urban problems. The University also has many centres and institutes with projects that incorporate European governance and political issues, such as the Fraser of Allander Institute.
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.
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.
Quantitative Methods 2
This class trains participants in the design, application, presentation, and critical evaluation of quantitative political research using relevant software packages for statistical analysis.
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'll examine how these methods can be applied in students’ own research projects.
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.
Students will be introduced to concepts, research design, and methods.
International Institutions & 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.
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.
This class seeks to examine the EU system of governance through the lenses of democracy, legitimacy and efficiency. Examining key processes, policy areas and proposals for reform, participants will be encouraged to consider the role of the EU and the nature of its relationship with its public.
Can Democracy Deliver?
Semester 1 and 2
This course is part of the university’s new initiative in Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development (VIP4SD). VIPs are designed to provide students from second-year through to postgraduate with an opportunity to work with teams of other students on projects related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Undergraduate students may participate in a project for up to three years. In this VIP we will examine the linkages between the quality of democratic governance, citizenship, service delivery, and quality of life in developing countries, with a focus on Africa. Students will have the opportunity to investigate important policy-relevant questions using various forms of survey, administrative, national accounts, and spatial data to track progress toward the sustainable development goals and investigate factors that facilitate or retard sustainable development.
The complexity of the research project will differ according to the level of the student. At Masters level, students might investigate connections between various factors, such as the nature of the political regime, the quality of the public service, geography, ethnicity, the quality of citizenship, or violent conflict, and their impact on service delivery and quality of life. The course will also provide post-graduate students with an opportunity to identify data and develop analyses for their theses and dissertations.
Learning & teaching
All classes are taught in seminars, which combine theoretical discussion and a strong empirical or policy focus, as appropriate. Seminars consist of a variety of teaching techniques; including small-group work, structured debates, presentations and background lectures.
Classes average 20 contact hours with additional computer laboratory sessions for some methods classes.
Methods of assessment include written assignments, blogs, podcasts, practical team projects, presentations, individual projects, and exams. Most modules involve more than one method of assessment to help you realise your potential.
These account for two-thirds of the total assessment. Your dissertation, produced over the summer, accounts for the remaining third.Meet our experts
Speakers at our weekly seminars 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 networking with visiting speakers afterwards.
University of Strathclyde prides itself in being the place of useful learning and to that end we offer a range of MSc programmes combining methods training with subject-specific knowledge so that our students can equip themselves with skills to make a real-world difference.
First or upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in social science.
|English language requirements|
Please check our English requirements before making your application.
Pre-Masters preparation course
The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.
Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
Chat to a student ambassador
If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!
Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.Chat to a student ambassador
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
I've met incredible people and been given amazing opportunities here at Strathclyde so it's difficult for me to narrow it down to one specific highlight. Graduating top of my year and winning the John Mather Rising Star award was pretty cool though and are achievements that I can be proud of forever.
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.Life in Glasgow
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships
- EU Transition Scholarships are available to EU applicants who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status
- Full-time international (non-EU) students applying to postgraduate study may be eligible for a scholarship worth between £3,000 and £5,000
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are full-time per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.
All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.
Annual revision of fees
Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
Visa & immigration:
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
Poster presentation: £10
Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my course?
Scottish postgraduate students
Scottish 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.
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.
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.
We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.
Start date: Sep 2023
Start date: Sep 2023
Have you considered?
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