Skip to main content

Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MRes Politics

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMRes Politics Programme codePTR1HPSHPS11
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MRes provides the generic social science and politics specific research training necessary to go on to doctoral research or to pursue a career as a professional researcher. The MRes can be pursued on its own, or as the first year of the Four-Year PhD programme, in which case the dissertation is used as a springboard to PhD level research.

On completion of the programme you will be able to demonstrate a detailed and comprehensive understanding of current issues in political science and understand the origins, history and development of political science and its philosophical underpinnings.

Our Masters of Research (MRes) programme has ‘1+3’ recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council which means it can be taken as the first step of a four-year PhD programme.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To enable students to develop a broad based and relevant knowledge of and competence in the use of research methods in the social sciences
2. To provide students with a range of transferable skills appropriate to Master's level research within the discipline
3. To equip students for careers as professional researchers in either academic or non-academic environments
4. To set the core training in social scientific philosophy and methodology within a contemporary politics and international relations context, thereby allowing students to apply the wider concepts and skills introduced in the broader social scientific setting to specific topics of social science inquiry
5. To offer students a specialized training in political science and social science research methods as a direct means of enhancing their employment skills
6. To prepare students to take more advanced courses in quantitative data analysis







4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

This research training Masters programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is university-based throughout that period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 135 credits and a supervised dissertation worth 45 credits (including a taught 'skills' component). Teaching takes place over two semesters (October to April): work on formulating a dissertation topic begins early in the academic year while the writing up takes place from June to the mid-September deadline. The taught element consists of four compulsory core modules (105 credits) that provide generic social science and discipline specific research skills training, as well as specialist research training in one of the subfields of the discipline (depending on the direction of your MRes dissertation and plans for the +3 thesis).

Please note that the modules offered are subject to change depending on staff availability, timetabling and student demand.

Stage 1


Compulsory Modules

Specialist training pathway modules (30 credits)

In addition to the core modules you will take one module of 30 credits, selected in consultation with the Postgraduate Coordinator in Politics. Your choice of module depends on your anticipated research area (developed in the MRes Dissertation with a view to progression to the +3 thesis).

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOCM020 Research Methods in the Social Sciences 30No
POLM086 Quantitative Data Analysis or POLM809 (15 credit version)30No
POLM140 Qualitative Methods in Social Research or POLM063 (15 credit version)30No
POLM886 Dissertation 60No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MRes Politics PGT option modules 2023-24
POLM014M MPA Applied Studies 60 No
POLM057 Understanding and Interpretation in Political Thought 30 No
POLM063 Qualitative Methods in Social Research 15 No
POLM082 International Relations of the Middle East 30 No
POLM084 Conflict, Security and Development in World Politics 30 No
POLM085 Work Placement in Conflict, Security and Development 30 No
POLM086 Quantitative Data Analysis 30 No
POLM088 State-building after Civil War 30 No
POLM140 Qualitative Methods in Social Research 30 No
POLM148 Brexit: Causes, Interpretation and Implications 30 No
POLM158 Digital Politics and Policy 30 No
POLM168 From Oppression to Resistance: Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class and Gender 30 No
POLM502 International Relations: Power and Institutions 30 No
POLM651 State and Society in the Middle East 30 No
POLM803 Sources in Modernity and Post-Modernity 30 No
POLM806 Problems and Texts in Social and Political Thought 15 No
POLM809 Applied Quantitative Data Analysis 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Integrate concepts and analyses in the field of political science and international relations
2. Know how to gather data and interpret it
3. Read critically and contribute to the literature relating to various subfields of the discipline that reflect the Department’s research expertise: political theory, public policy, international relations, and comparative politics
4. Demonstrate detailed and comprehensive understanding of current issues in political science research methods
5. Develop an understanding of the origins, history and development of social science and its philosophical underpinnings
6. Achieve technical competence in the application of a range of specialized quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques in political science, as well as an understanding of broader debates surrounding these in the social sciences in general.

1-6 are developed through seminar discussion and assignments on the Political Analysis and Research methods module. 3 and 4 are developed specifically in the specialist optional training module. 2, 4 and 6 are developed through the seminar discussion, practical exercises and essay assignments in the Elements of Research Design, Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Applied Quantitative Data Analysis modules, supplemented by specialist training in the Advanced Level Political Science module, and in the Philosophy of Social Science module. 5 is developed through assigned work and reading in the Philosophy of Social Sciences Module

Acquisition of these skills is assessed through written assignments and the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

7. Demonstrate comprehension of the relationships between theory and practice in political and social science
8. Apply understanding of political and social science concepts to the study of particular issues or situations, including designing individual research projects
9. Know when and how to apply particular research methods and techniques
10. Identify, formulate and evaluate research questions and research problems
11. Evaluate the appropriateness and apply a number of techniques to exploring different research issues
12. Collect, synthesize, evaluate and analyze data from various different sources
13. Identify the data requirements of particular research projects, and evaluate the different data capture techniques available for this purpose
14. Develop clear lines of argument
15. Plan and conduct a programme of original research by a deadline

7 and 8 are developed primarily through seminar discussion and assignments on the Philosophy of Social Science and Political Analysis and Research Methods modules. 9-13 are acquired through discussion, practical exercises and assignments on the Research Design and Qualitative and Quantitative data analysis modules. 14 is a requirement of all modules. 15 is developed through the written research plans produced for Dissertation Skills and Research Design modules, and in the dissertation.

Acquisition of these skills is assessed through essay assignments and the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

16. Think independently at an advanced level
17. Plan work efficiently to achieve realistic goals within constrained time frames
18. Advanced IT skills in networking and use of media sources
19. Construct and defend a sustained argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials
20. Work as an individual on challenging material
21. Confidence to write and present work verbally to colleagues at seminars
22. Critical self-awareness and evaluation of development
23. Work as part of a team in an independent, constructive and responsive way
24. Plan, execute and write up research through individual initiative, thereby gaining self-reliance in time management and decision-making

16 to 18 are requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation. 19 and 20 are core requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation. 21 to 23 are developed through seminar work on the taught modules. 24 is developed through the Dissertation Skills and Research Design modules and is applied on the dissertation.

16 to 18 are assessed in all modules by essay work, and by the dissertation. 19 and 20 are assessed on all modules through the essays that go to make up the portfolio on which the coursework is assessed, and in the dissertation. 21 to 23 are reflected in seminar work and presentations. 24 is assessed as part of the 3,000-word research plan produced for the Social Science Research Management module, and in the 15,000 word dissertation.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

As a postgraduate taught student in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies you will be allocated a Personal Tutor at the commencement of your studies.  In normal circumstances your Personal Tutor will remain your tutor throughout your study programme. You should make contact with your Personal Tutor three or four times a year and these meetings may typically commence soon after registration. These meetings will take place once or twice per-year to discuss your progress and to perhaps consider Personal Development Planning (ePDP) and once to discuss your overall performance. The ePDP is a particularly useful developmental tool which you are encouraged to utilise and which is accessible though the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). Each student will in addition receive formative feedback from various discussion forums and exercises (administered by teaching staff) throughout the delivery of modules and therefore receive essentially continuous feedback during the taught component of the programme. Your dissertation supervisor will provide academic and tutorial support once students move on to the research component of the course. Student progess will be monitored and students can receive up-to-date records of the assessment, achievements and progress at any stage.

You should feel that you are able to approach your Personal Tutor for advice, pastoral support or academic support in a wider sense.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision. For those learning in distance mode, nominations to the PGT SSLC will be undertaken democratically online. Where appropriate SSLCs will make use of telephone conferencing facilities to ensure those on the distance learning programme are included.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MRes Politics

19. UCAS Code

C790

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

06/02/2012

Date of last revision

19/04/2013