MA European Politics

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Politics and International Relations
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The MA in European Politics examines the political process of European integration, its origins, dynamics, and prospects. It addresses key issues in European governance including EU policy-making, federalism, democratisation/constitutionalism, and European identity.

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.

Students have the option to study abroad in Paris, spending one term at the Centre d’études européennes de SciencesPo or Brussels, at the Free University Brussels (VUB).

The Programme Director is Professor Alison Harcourt.

Programme structure

The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is University-based throughout the period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits in total, a dissertation skills module worth 15 credits and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits. Each taught module is normally taught through lectures and seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments. The taught element consists of core modules, directed options and free options. Teaching takes place over two terms (October to April), followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (May to September). 

Students also have the option to study abroad in Paris, spending one term at the Centre d’études européennes de SciencesPo as part of the programme.

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.

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).

The teaching and assessment on this programme should enable you to 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, building on your normative understandings of European policy formation in the 1990s and since.
  • 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.

You will therefore have a valuable portfolio of skills to draw upon in various situations during your future career or further academic study.

As a student on this programme you may apply to spend one term at the Centre d’études européennes de SciencesPo 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 SciencesPo English Track.

If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, and 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 the Centre d’études européennes, 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.

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.

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.

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.


Library services

Our main library offers self-service machines, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, and an extended wifi network. The library has extensive holdings of works on political science, international relations and the various sub-disciplines. 

Each subject area has subject support specialists who offer a comprehensive programme of training on information search techniques, information resources in your subject area, journal and database searches, as well as drop-in sessions and surgeries.  For dissertation work in particular students are encouraged to also use libraries and archives outside of Exeter, for which letters of introduction are written as necessary.

You will also make use of the University's specialist Lasok Law library. This library contains an official European Documentation Centre, which was designated as such by the Commission of the European Communities in 1974. It forms part of the Europe Direct network which provides information centres to all European member states.

Entry requirements

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.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £9,000 full-time; £4,500 part-time
  • International: £19,000 full-time

University funding

The funding section has information on all available Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

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.

Contact us

Please contact us if you would like more information about this programme, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.

Postal address

University of Exeter
Amory Building
Rennes Drive
United Kingdom

Current students

Phone: 01392 723301 

Postgraduate Taught admissions

For all enquiries relating to this programme, please contact:

SSIS Student Recruitment Office
Tel. +44 (0)1392 723192
WebEnquire online

Where to find us

Politics is located on the University's Streatham Campus. For information on how to find us, please see our directions to Streatham Campus and the Streatham Campus map.

Visit the Politics and International Relations website

Apply online

Fast Track
Current Exeter students
Ask a question Visit subject website Get a prospectus

Study our MA European Politics

Professor Alison Harcourt talks about our MA European Politics, which is taught at the University’s Centre for European Governance (CEG).

//unibuddy popcard script