- You will examine the political process of European integration and the key issues in European governance, including EU policy-making, federalism and European identity
- Options to study abroad in Paris, spending one term at the Sciences Po Centre for European Studies or Brussels at the Free University Brussels (VUB)
- You will be taught by renowned academics who have strong links with European political institutions
- Enhance your learning with our regular seminars and workshops held by high profile speakers
- Our wide range of optional modules allows you to tailor your degree to your interests and career ambitions
5th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research
11th for Politics in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
Top 100 worldwide for the subject in the QS World University Rankings 2019
Opportunities to study in Paris or Brussels
For admission to the programme we would normally expect that you hold a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.
However, the programme has been designed for students from a wide range of first degree backgrounds, enabling them to broaden their knowledge in this field. Non-standard applications will be considered on their merits and mature students are encouraged to apply.
Entry requirements for international students
Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and information on English language requirements.
Taught at the University’s Centre for European Governance (CEG), by renowned academics who have strong links with European political institutions, this programme will provide you with detailed knowledge and advanced critical understanding of the political process of European Union integration, its origins, dynamics and prospects within a rigorous theoretical and empirical framework.
The European Union is the world’s most advanced experiment in governance beyond the level of the traditional nation-state. The core module will introduce you to the political institutions, policy dynamics and its impact on neighbouring countries as well as how the integration process has been challenged by various crises and notably Brexit.
Optional modules give you the flexibility to shape your programme to your interests. You can choose from an array of subjects such as public sector finance, global security, digital politics, forced migration and sustainable development.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
UK/EU fees per year:
£9,000 full-time; £4,500 part-time
International fees per year:
Global Excellence Scholarship
We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes
Teaching and research
Learning and teaching
With the exception of the dissertation, each module on this programme is normally taught through academic lectures expanded through seminar discussion, presentations, group work, reading and essay assignments.
You will have an individual supervisor for your dissertation, which is a 15,000 word extended essay on a topic of your choice (following discussion and approval from your supervisor).
You should develop advanced knowledge of the nature of political and constitutional properties of the European Union, and of developments in European Union governance.
To compliment the programme, you are invited to attend regular seminars and workshops held with high profile external speakers.
As a graduate of the MA in European Politics you should be able to:
- Apply the concepts and approaches of policy analysis to specific EU policy areas and issues
- Understand and apply integration theory in conceptualising developing European policy, enabling you to critically analyse emerging patterns of interaction in the EU
- Synthesise and comment critically on a body of academic writing relating to EU public policy, and evaluate government and other relevant publications in light of this reading
- Construct and defend a rigorous argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials
This will be a valuable portfolio of skills to draw upon in various situations during your future career or further academic study.
Our main library is open 24/7 throughout the academic year. With a book stock in excess of 1.2 million, we have one of the highest UK academic library ratios of books to students. The main library offers self-service machines, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, and an extended wifi network. The library provides world-class study facilities to all students. It has extensive holdings of works on political science, international relations and the various sub-disciplines.
Professor Alison Harcourt
Professor Duncan Russel
Head of Department of Politics
Dr Eva Thomann
Professor Alison Harcourt
Alison is Director of the Centre for European Governance. She specialises regulatory change in digital markets and interested in solutions to regulatory problems based around the citizen/consumer and/or civil society voice. Alison has written on the regulation of traditional and new media markets and internet governance at EU and international levels contributing to the literature on agenda setting, regulatory competition, soft governance, Europeanisation and policy convergence.
Professor Duncan Russel
Head of Department of Politics
Duncan Russel is a Professor in Environmental Policy. His research and teaching interests include UK and European climate, climate and public policy, policy appraisal and coordination, evidence and policy interactions and budgetary politics.
Dr Eva Thomann
Eva teaches on the core module European Union Politics and Policy. She is a politics scholar specialising in Public Policy and Public Administration. Her research focuses on the implementation of public policies both in multi-level systems and at the frontline. Research interests include but are not limited to Europeanization, street-level bureaucracy, multilevel governance, private and hybrid governance, behavioral aspects of policy/regulatory design and its effects. She is an active user and teacher of case-oriented and set-theoretic methods, including Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).
As a student on this programme you may apply to spend one term at the Centre d’études européennes de Sciences Po in Paris, France. We have three places per year to offer on our Sciences Po programme, and these places are allocated on a competitive basis. You do not need French in order to participate, as you will have the option of taking modules in French or English, or a combination of both. The modules on offer at the Centre d’études européennes change year to year, but as a guide you can see the current modules on offer on the Sciences Po English Track.
Teaching and assessment
If you are successful in your application, your first term will be spent at Exeter where you would normally take 60 credits of modules. Your second term will be spent at Sciences Po, where you will take an appropriate range of taught modules worth 60 credits in total from those on offer. You will be assessed at Sciences Po at the end of the second term, and the marks obtained will count towards the overall assessment for your MA. You will then return to Exeter and spend the summer months writing your dissertation under the supervision of the academic staff at Exeter.
Free University Brussels
Students may also have the opportunity to spend one term at the Free University Brussels (VUB), Belgium.
If you study this programme as a 24 month part-time student, then the term abroad may be either in the second term of your first year, or the first or second term of the second year.
Introducing Sciences Po
with Hervé Crès, Vice President of Sciences Po
Sciences Po exchange programmes
with Francis Verillaud, Director of International Affairs at Sciences Po
A little about the Welcome Programme
for international exchange students coming to Sciences Po
Students on exchange programmes from universities in America, Canada,
China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil talk about their experience at Sciences Po
Et le sens de l'humour...
You can read more information at the Sciences Po website for international students
Graduates of Politics at the University of Exeter have been highly successful in securing interesting career opportunities and in progressing to higher research degrees, notably at the European University Institute. Our alumni have moved into public sector and private sector employment dealing with or working directly for EU institutions. This programme offers an excellent preparation for careers with a European dimension in the public, private or non-profit sectors, both in Europe and elsewhere.
In addition to the academic and knowledge-based skills provided by this programme’s subject material, your studies will also develop personal skills which are highly valued by employers such as:
Advanced independent thinking, with the ability to undertake self-directed learning and time management to achieve consistent, proficient and sustained attainment.
- Experience of working as an individual on challenging material
- The ability to reflect on your learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses
- Competence with standard IT applications
- Experience of working as a participant or leader of a group and of contributing effectively to the planning and achievement of that group’s objectives
Our careers advisory service provides expert guidance to all students to enable them to plan their futures through psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.