• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: MA (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Our modules cover the entire range of politics and international relations as a field of study, and the degrees we offer can be tailored to suit your interests.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

We believe strongly in integrating our ground breaking research with our teaching, and in areas such as Russian politics, politics of the Middle East or international security you will benefit from being taught by a leading expert and author in that field.

We regularly host speakers from the world of Scottish, British and international politics, including MPs and MSPs, American Foreign Service Officers and Government Ambassadors. Additionally, where possible, we encourage and assist students who wish to take up internships with the Scottish Parliament and Government and other bodies.

While politics at Dundee is big enough to have a real international presence, it is still small and intimate enough to offer a friendly and responsive home for students from all backgrounds. This is more than a mere claim - independent surveys consistently rate politics at Dundee as among the best-received programmes in the country.

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The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
AB at Advanced Higher, plus BB at Higher in different subjects.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
GCE A-Level BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical) at A-Level.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
ABB at A-Level.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
BTEC A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDD
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H2H3H3 at Higher Level.
For Joint Honours degrees, please also check essential subject requirements for the Joint Honours subject.
Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with grade B in the Graded Unit A relevant HND with grade BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher Distinction with AB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Communication 4 plus Literature 1 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B Grade A with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB Pass with A Levels at AA
European Baccalaureate 70% overall 75% overall
Other Qualifications
Notes

 EU and International qualifications



English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers

 

English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

Modules - Level 1

A total of 6 modules. Four modules from across the MA programme and typically including:

Module details

This module consists of three interconnected elements. 

The first part covers the political and civil institutions in the UK, an underlying theme being their influence over the processes and outcomes of UK politics.  A closely related theme concerns the questions: who actually governs the UK and how?  This is an area which is increasingly contentious following constitutional changes (Scottish devolution, new assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland etc.). 

The second part of the module focuses on social divisions, on how we choose and influence our leaders and on how we maintain civil society (for example, law and order). 

The final part covers public policy and includes economic and environmental issues.

Module Aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide an introduction to the study of politics.
  • To assess the power of governmental and non governmental institutions in the UK and their impact on public policy making.
  • To offer an introduction to public policy making in the UK.

Assessment

The assessed components for this module are:

  • One Micro Essay [referencing exercise] (20%)
  • One Main Essay (40%)
  • One 2-hour seen examination (40%)

The resit components for this module are:

  • Two essays, each of 1,500 words.  Hard copy and SafeAssign submission will be required. 

The assessed components for this module are:

  • One Micro Essay [referencing exercise] (20%)
  • Two Essays (40% each)

The resit components for this module are:

  • Two essays, each of 1,500 words.  Hard copy and SafeAssign submission will be required.

Teaching

There will be one-hour lectures (two per week), and 10 one-hour tutorials (one per week).

Indicative Reading:

  • Jones, B. and Norton, P., Politics UK. (Harlow: Pearson, 2010)
  • Garnett M. and Lynch P., Exploring British Politics. (Harlow: Pearson, 2009)

The following has been updated for 2015/16:

  • Jones, M. and Norton, P. (eds) (2014) Politics UK, Eighth Edition (Abingdon: Routledge).
  • Moran, M. (2011) Politics and Governance in the UK, Second Edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

 

Credit rating: 20

This module highlights the connections between political, economic, social and cultural aspects of life in an increasingly "globalised" international environment and explores and evaluates the arguments surrounding the nature and extent of the process of globalization in the contemporary international system. 

The following key areas will be explored:

  • The cold war world
  • Decolonization
  • Theories of post-colonialism and post-colonial culture
  • Power in the post-cold war world order
  • The processes of Globalization
  • The United Nations system
  • European integration
  • New security challenges
  • The emerging world economic order

Modules - Level 2

A total of 6 modules, and four other modules from across the MA programme typically including:

Module Details

The module is divided into two sections. The first of these is concerned with theoretical and conceptual aspects of international relations. The second is designed to illustrate these by reference to the major processes of the international system.

The first section explores International Relations as a field of study, tracing its history as an intellectual discipline from the end of the First World War. The global political environment is then examined and its characteristics as a 'system' explored. Attention then focuses on the competing perspectives - or 'paradigms' - of international relations, the general 'models' of interaction which set out to illustrate the 'driving forces' of international relations. These are:

  • Realism/Neo-Realism (or Power Politics)
  • Pluralism (or Interdependency)
  • Structural Dependency (or Dependency Theory)

The second section then explores the 'processes' of international relations - both co-operative and conflictual (diplomacy; international law; international organization; economic conflict; terrorism; war etc).

Module Aims

This module is designed to introduce students to the structures and processes which characterise relationships in the contemporary international system, and to place these structures and processes in their historical context. It aims to encourage the development of a truly 'global' perspective on politics by demonstrating the range and extent of 'non-domestic' influences on national political and economic systems.

Assessment

The assessed components on this module are:

  • One 2,000 word essay (50% of total mark)
  • One unseen 2-hour examination (50% of total mark)

Teaching

There will be 21 one-hour lectures (two per week weeks 1-6 and 8-11), and eleven one-hour tutorials (one per week).

Intentended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • At the end of this module students will have acquired a detailed knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts of contemporary international relations.
  • They will also have acquired an understanding of the inter-play of conflict and co-operation in contemporary international politics.
  • Students will be aware of the international 'systemic' constraints operating on national political systems.

Skills

  • Students will develop analytical and research skills with reference to contemporary international relations.
  • Students will develop discussion skills.
  • They will also work on the development of team-working skills towards problem-solving.

Module Details

This module is designed to introduce students to the methodology and practice of comparative politics.  It does so by first engaging in a systematic examination of some of the main issues, both thematic and methodological, involved in the study of comparative political systems today, and then by applying the insights gained to leading political systems.

The course covers a range of topics in Comparative Politics drawing on different ideas, concepts, theories, and countries.

Assessment

The assessed components on this module are:

  • Two 3,000-3,500 word essays (50% each)

Teaching

There will be 22 one-hour lectures (two per week), and 10 one-hour tutorials (one per week).

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • At the end of this module students will have acquired a detailed knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts of comparative politics.
  • They will also have acquired an understanding of the inter-play of theory and practice.
  • Students will be aware of the problems and advantages inherent in the comparative method.
  • Students will have gained knowledge of the workings of at least two contemporary political systems.

Skills

  • Students will develop analytical and research skills with reference to comparative politics.
  • Students will develop discussion skills.
  • They will also work on the development of team-working skills towards problem solving.

Indicative Reading

  • Daniele Caramani., Comparative Politics. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Rod Hague and Martin Harrop., Comparative Government and Politics, eighth edition. (Palgrave, 2010)
  • Catherine Danks., Politics Russia. (Pearson/Longman, 2009)
  • Stephen White, Henry Hale and Richard Sakwa., Developments in Russian Politics. (Macmillan, 2009)
  • J. M. Magone., Contemporary Spanish Politics. (London: Routledge, 2009)
  • O.G. Encarnacion., Spanish Politics. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008)
  • R. Gunther, et al., The Politics of Modern Spain.  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Modules - Level 3

A total of 4 modules (2 modules for joint Honours), including modules chosen from a list such as the one below: 

Module Details

This module introduces students to politics in Ireland, focusing on questions of power and policy-making. 

A critical analysis of the political culture is attempted through an examination of questions and debates surrounding modernization, secularization, economic change and gender change.  The party system and electoral system are examined, as are the mechanics of governance.  The changing role of the Irish State in the context of globalization and European integration is examined. 

Although the primary focus is on the Republic of Ireland, students are also introduced to recent academic discussions of the conflict in Northern Ireland, both in order to understand the internal dynamics of that conflict and to understand how Northern Ireland has featured as a key issue in the politics of the Republic.

The module covers the following areas:

  • Irish political culture
  • Irish electoral behaviour: origins and development of the party system
  • The Constitution: background and development
  • The parties and the party system
  • The electoral system and its political consequences
  • The Dáil and the government
  • TDs and their constituency work
  • Policy-making: the role of government, civil service, interest groups
  • Power within the government: the position of the Taoiseach
  • Ireland and the EU: the impact of EU policy-making on Ireland
  • Northern Ireland: historical background to the problem
  • How republicans, loyalists, nationalists and unionists see the NI problem

Teaching

There will be 14 one-hour lectures, and 8 one-hour seminars. There will be two lectures per week during weeks 1-3, thereafter one lecture and one seminar per week.

In addition, personal assistance is available to students with the preparation of their seminar presentations. And all essays will be returned to students on a personal basis, with a one-to-one short tutorial.

Assessment

This module is assessed as follows:

  • Essay (40%)
  • Seminar paper (20%)
  • Two hour unseen exam (40%)

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • To assess the role of different political actors and institutions in the process of policy-making
  • To apply relevant theories of politics to the behaviour of these actors and institutions
  • To assess the consequences of modernisation, secularisation, and rapid economic and cultural change in the Republic of Ireland
  • To consider whether the Irish state retains its relevance to its citizens in the face of internal and external pressures
  • To introduce students to an understanding of the complexities of the Northern Ireland conflict

Indicative Readings

  • John Coakley & Michael Gallagher., (eds.), Politics in the Republic of Ireland, 5th edition (Routledge 2010).
  • Maura Adshead & Jonathan Tonge., Politics in Ireland: Convergence and Divergence in a Two-Polity Island, (Palgrave Macmillan 2009).
  • Roy F. Foster., Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change 1970-2000, (Penguin 2007).
  • Henry Patterson., Ireland Since 1939: The Persistence of Conflict, (Penguin 2007).

An extensive reading list is available on My Dundee.

Module Aims

  • To provide students with a good grounding in the political science literature on Soviet politics and the academic debates over the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • To place the study of Soviet politics within a comparative politics framework and the wider study of communist systems.
  • To introduce students to a wide range of theoretical models and hypotheses drawn from the field of political science.
  • To encourage and facilitate student participation in seminar discussions and debates and advance the students essay writing and oral skills.

Module Details

In this module we examine the history of the Soviet Union from the politically stagnant Brezhnev era (1964-82) to the turbulent last years of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev 1985-91.

The central question which the module will seek to answer is why the Communist Party fell from power and why the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. To this end we shall outline the major economic and political problems which the Soviet system faced in the Brezhnev period and the solutions which Gorbachev put forward to reform the system: namely, perestroika, glasnost, democratisation, and new thinking in foreign policy.

Teaching

The module will be delivered through one weekly lecture over eleven weeks and one weekly seminar.

Assessment

This module is assessed as follows:

  • Two 3,000 word essays (30% each)
  • Two hour unseen exam (40%)

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you should have:

  • an in depth knowledge of the key literature on Soviet Politics and Gorbachev’s reforms: perestroika, glasnost and democratization,
  • a knowledge of the key debates concerning the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union,
  • a knowledge of the relevant comparative politics literature,
  • improved oral skills and essay writing skills.

Skills

You will be able to present and critically analyse, in both oral and written form, the standard works on Russian politics and the theoretical studies on the collapse of the USSR.

Key Texts:

  • Archie Brown., The Gorbachev Factor. (Oxford University Press 1997).
  • A. Dallin and G. Lapidus., The Soviet System from Crisis to Collapse. (Oxford University Press 1994).
  • G. W. Lapidus, V. Zaslavsky and P. Goldman eds., From Union to Commonwealth: Nationalism and Separation in the Soviet Republics. (Cambridge University Press 1992).
  • David Marples., The Collapse of the Soviet Union 1985-1991.  (Pearson Longman 2004).
  • John Miller., Mikhail Gorbachev and the End of Soviet Power. (St Martin’s Press 1993).
  • Richard Sakwa., Soviet Politics in Perspective. (Routledge, 2nd edition, 1998).
  • Richard Sakwa.,Gorbachev and His Reforms 1985-90. (1990).
  • Rachel Walker., Six Years That Shook the World. (MUP, 1993).

Module Details

This module will place the United Nations in the broader perspective of international organisation/institutions and will guide students towards an understanding of both the impact and the limitations of the United Nations in relation to the post-1945 international system. The aims will be to illustrate the role of the United Nations in key events in the post-1945 world and to place the United Nations in the context of alternative theories of international behaviour and to elucidate the interplay between national interest and multilateral cooperation in the context of global organisation.  To illustrate the spectrum of United Nations activities across the range of global security, legal developmental and environmental concerns.

Teaching

The module will be delivered through weekly lectures and weekly seminars over 11 weeks giving a total of 33 hours.

Assessment

This module is assessed as follows:

  • Presentation (15%)
  • Essay (35%)
  • Final Unseen Examination (50%)

Presentation:  Should relate to one of the weekly themes - the title should be agreed with the module convenor Dr Abdullah Yusuf.

Evaluation: Is a written exercise which will access the work and effectiveness of one of the UN's specialized (or "functional" agencies).  It should be a maximum of 1,000 words.

Indicative Content

This module will explore the following key areas:

  • Origins: the precursors to the UN and early planning,
  • The UN and international theory,
  • Structure and leadership,
  • The UN and peace: collective security, peacekeeping and arms control,
  • Law: the ICJ and global justice,
  • The UN and North-South relations,
  • The UN and the global environment,
  • UN reform and the future.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module, students should have:

  • A fundamentally more profound understanding of the nature of contemporary international system.
  • The capacity to place the United Nations amidst contending theories of international behaviour,
  • Gained confidence in their capacity to make pronounce and pass judgements on the successes and failures of the United Nations system since its inception.
  • Acquired a detailed knowledge of the evolution of the United Nations system and the range of its activities.
  • Acquired skills in the identification, retrieval and evaluation of a range of sources materials relevant to the study of the United Nations.
  • An enhanced capacity for both individual and group pursuit of set tasks.

Module Aims

The aims of this module are: 

  • to introduce you to how human rights have been studied in political science
  • to encourage you to grapple with the concepts, theories, and methods that have been used to study human rights
  • to challenge you to analyze complex human rights problems and make informed arguments on these issues
  • to give you the opportunity to evaluate human rights reports and lead an informed discussion on these reports
  • To give you the option to obtain real world experience in human rights monitoring
  • to facilitate the development of oral presentation and essay writing skills

Module Details

This module will introduce you to the political science of human rights. You will be encouraged to engage with the concepts, theories, and methods that have been used to study human rights.

The first section of the module will address the main debates related to the study of human rights, and introduce students to key human rights concepts and institutions.

The next section examines the approaches, methods and measures that have been adopted in political science to conduct research in this area.

The last week will apply these concepts and measures to explain “the gap” between standards and practice.

The module is designed to provide you with the basic research skills you will need to work for human rights organizations. 

You will also have the option of doing human rights monitoring to obtain additional experience of collaborating with an NGO and doing real world research.

Indicative Content:

  • Foundations of human rights
  • Universalism versus relativism, categories and generations of human rights
  • International human rights law and institutions
  • The political science of human rights
  • Concepts and methods in measuring human rights
  • Focus on evaluating specific human rights measures
  • The option to undertake human rights monitoring of a real world case and write a report on the measures used in the monitoring activity

Teaching

This module will be delivered through one weekly lecture over 11 weeks and one weekly seminar.

Additional group training sessions will be held for students who take on the option of collaborating with an NGO and doing real world research.

Assessment

Assessment consists of three components: essay 45%, presentation 10% and report 45%.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module, you should have:

  • knowledge of the basic literature and normative debates in human rights
  • knowledge of the analytical skills necessary for research in human rights
  • basic skills necessary to evaluate the methods and evidence used in academic, policy, and advocacy research
  • improved oral skills and essay writing skills

You will be able to analyse and present on the key normative debates in human rights and the methodological issues concerning human rights measurement.

Reading

Indicative Reading

  • J. Donnelly., Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. (Cornell University Press, 2003).
  • M. Freeman., Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach. (Polity Press, 2005).
  • M. Goodhart., (ed.) Human Rights: Politics and Practice. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009).
  • T. Landman and E. Carvalho., Measuring Human Rights. (Routledge, Abingdon, 2010).

Further Reading

  • Haas, Michael (2008) International Human Rights: A Comprehensive Introduction, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Landman, Todd (2005) Protecting Human Rights: A Comparative Study, Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
  • Landman, Todd (2006) Studying Human Rights, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Landman, Todd (2008) Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics: An Introduction, 3rd edition, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Jabine, T. and R. Claude (1992) Human Rights and Statistics: Getting the Record Straight, University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Carey, Sabine, C., Mark Gibney and Steven C. Poe (2010) The Politics of Human Rights: The Quest for Dignity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Nickel, James (2007) Making Sense of Human Rights: Philosophical Reflections on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, University of California Press.
  • Fagan, Andrew (2009) Human Rights: Confronting Myths and Misunderstandings, Edward Elgar.
  • Fagan, Andrew (2010) The Atlas of Human Rights: Mapping Violations of Freedom Around the Globe, University of California Press.
  • Simmons, Beth (2010) Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Aims of Module:
This module will provide theoretical and practical approaches to explaining nationalism. It will examine debates on nations and nationalism, the persistence of nationalism and its implications for politics and international relations. Students will gain a sound knowledge of the key theories of nationalism and related themes such as war, conflict, minorities, secession, race, religion, ethnicity, gender and globalisation.


The content of the course covers the following:

  • Introduction to nationalism studies.
  • Main theoretical approaches to nationalism and contemporary debates (modernism, constructivism, primordialism, ethnosymbolism).
  • Analysis of related themes such as war, conflict, minorities, secession, race, ethnicity, religion, gender and globalisation.
  • Case studies (primarily covered by seminars and student presentations).


Teaching and learning
The course will consist of two to three weekly contact hours per student on average. These include one weekly block lecture and seminar of two hours (1+1) and personal tutorials. Personal tutorials (up to 1 h) will assist students with seminar presentations and other coursework.

The module will also include, when applicable, guest presentations/lectures.


There will be three main methods of assessment. They will include:

  • Student presentation (including a short written submission) – 20%
  • Essay (2500 words) – 40%
  • Exam (2 hours) – 40%


Intended learning outcomes

Having successfully completed this module, students will be better able to:

  • Understand theoretical explanations of nationalism and apply them to relevant cases;
  • Identify and describe major debates within the study of nationalism in various spatiotemporal contexts.
  • Analyse the ways nationalism interacts with other political and social processes and apply appropriate approaches to issues such as conflict regulation, self-determination, territorial and ethnic/minority claims.
  • Effective communication, public speaking, clarity of oral argument and presentation. Dealing with diversity, self-reflexivity. Research skills (e.g. media, international legal documents).

Module Details

This module examines the issue of surveillance and the extent to which everyday life is now subject to an extensive array of surveillance methods. The module focuses on the post-9/11 era and focuses on how and why state surveillance practices have changed since 2001, and the extent to which civil liberties and personal freedoms have been affected by these developments. Recent revelations from US whistle-blower Edward Snowden provide a backdrop to this analysis, and help reveal the extent to which private sector organisations (e.g. Google, Apple) have become a key source of surveillance as well as a target for state data collection.

Teaching sessions will cover:

  • Surveillance and privacy
  • Foucault and Panoptic surveillance
  • Surveillance and the free market
  • Workplace surveillance
  • ID and Biometrics
  • CCTV
  • Post 9/11 government surveillance (1): towards a control society?
  • Post 9/11 government surveillance (2): tools of surveillance
  • Resisting surveillance
  • Surveillance society?
  • Future trends / discussion of course

Teaching

This module consists of 11 lectures and 11 seminars.

Assessment

The assessed components on this module are:

  • One essay (50%)
  • Unseen two-hour examination (50%)

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Develop knowledge and awareness of the ways in which everyday life is now subject to an extensive array of surveillance methods.
  • Develop understanding of the socio-historical and socio-political development of surveillance internationally.
  • An awareness of contemporary tensions arising from surveillance in relation to civil liberties and personal freedoms.

Skills

  • Critical engagement with an issue that is central to the relationship between contemporary governance and civil society.
  • Students will develop their discussion skills in group work and research and writing skills in an extended essay.

Indicative Reading

  • Coleman, Roy and McCahill, Michael (2011) Surveillance and Crime (London: Sage, 2011)
  • Hier, Joshua P. and Greenberg, Paul (eds) (2007) The Surveillance Studies Reader (Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2007)
  • Lyon, D. (2007) Surveillance Studies: An Overview.  (Cambridge: Polity)

Aims of Module:

  • To introduce the issue of surveillance as an increasingly significant feature of contemporary societies and examine its evolution in both public and private domains
  • To investigate the international significance of 9/11 in relation to the use and legitimisation of certain surveillance methods and technologies thereafter as part of the so called war on terror
  • To analyse the relationship between technological aspects of surveillance and the social and political context in which they operate, raising questions concerned with civil liberties, legitimacy and accountability
  • To  examine  the  current  and  likely  future  public  policy  implications  and  challenges raised by surveillance

Teaching

The  module  will  be  taught  in  semester  1  via  eleven  one-hour  lectures, eleven  one-hour seminars, and four one -hour workshops. There will also be two film screenings.

Assessment format

  • Essay – 40%
  • Surveillance Journal – 20%
  • Exam (2 hours) – 40%

Module Aims

  • To provide a practical and grounded experience of politics, decision making and negotiation in the European Union.
  • To offer a deeper knowledge of the dynamics of EU politics and decision making.
  • To provide knowledge and understanding of the development and functioning of the European Union, its politics, institutions, decision-making, and negotiations.
  • To develop an appreciation of the range of political and institutional influences that have shaped the EU's development.
  • To provide the students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the European Union, its cultural, historical, sociological and political understanding, and its representation and life in Britain;
  • To provide an interdisciplinary understanding of Europe to students who would not normally gain deeper knowledge on these matters;
  • To introduce the students to the key concepts and debates informing the development of European Studies.
  • To develop the students' skills of interdisciplinary textual analysis. 
  • To provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as the negotiation of different interests and the ability to defend a point of view in the workshops.

Module Details

This module aims to provide students with a practical and grounded experience of politics, decision-making and negotiation in the European Union. It provides an overview of the key historical junctures in the integration process, including the polemical path to the Lisbon treaty, and the basic institutional structure of the EU. It then examines key policy areas including the single market, economic and monetary union, agriculture, justice and home affairs and foreign and security policies. A number of key issues are also examined, including Europeanization and enlargement, EU relations with Turkey and Cyprus, the EU’s so-called ‘democratic deficit’ and Euroscepticism.

This is a special module on the European Union – a simulation module. This teaching strategy is pursued within the unique structure of a workshop. Teaching will take place through lectures and workshops (seminars) delivered in a block, and ongoing negotiations using Blackboard distance learning technology, (i.e. My Dundee). Lectures will introduce the basic information necessary for comprehending each segment of the module and identify key issues for further reflection.

Teaching

Seminars/workshops are organised by assigning students within national, EU institutional and other teams.

These teams will then be provided with supporting briefing material, reading lists and an overall scenario. Their task will then be, over the course of the module, to act within their roles in simulated EU negotiations and decision making.

Throughout the course of the module the scenario will evolve both as a result of the students’ own progress in negotiation but also as a result of ’external’ events inserted by the module convenor.

In a final one-day ‘summit’ setting the scenario will be concluded at a negotiating session modelled upon a European Council summit. Students will be supported by audio-visual aids and interactive handouts.

The assessment of the learning outcomes will give students from the various programmes choices that are particularly tailored to the inter-disciplinary needs of their respective programmes.

Assessment

This module is assessed as follows: essay (50%) and report (50%)

Intended Learning Outcomes 

Having successfully completed this module, you should:

  • have acquired a detailed knowledge of the EU and its representation through extensive reading
  • have acquired a practical understanding of decision-making in the European Union
  • have acquired a practical understanding of the issues of Crime, Policing and Terrorism in the EU
  • be able to identify and explain the main issues of 'European studies'
  • have critically appraised the dynamics behind EU politics and decision making
  • have critically appraised the conceptualisations, the political, historical, cultural and sociological understandings of Europe
  • be able to locate and assemble information on the EU by their own research
  • be able to organise your material and articulate their arguments effectively in writing
  • have critically appraised your acquired negotiating skills and transferred them into different contexts

Through the negotiation process, you will learn to manage time pressure, and make concise explanation of their arguments.

In addition, you will:

  • have practiced your oral and written communication skills
  • have developed research skills
  • have demonstrated research techniques
  • be able to apply a range of methodologies to complex problems

The essays will develop your critical capacities to assess both political and documentary evidence, and to make written arguments in a coherent, structured and persuasive way.

By participating in workshops, you will increase your confidence in making oral arguments and giving short presentations before an audience.

The workshop format will further encourage you to discuss and debate of differing viewpoints.

Indicative Reading

  • F. Cameron., An Introduction to European Foreign Policy.  (London: Routledge, 2006)
  • M. Cini (ed.)., European Union Politics. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • D. Dinan., Ever Closer Union. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1999)
  • J. Friedrichs., Fighting Terrorism and Drugs. (London: Routledge, 2005)
  • C. Hill and M. Smith., (eds.) International Relations and the European Union. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • S. Hix., The Political System of the European Union. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2nd edition, 2005)
  • P. Ludlow., The Laeken Council.  (EuroComment: Brussels, 2002)
  • D. Mahncke, Wyn Rees, and W.C. Thompson., Redefining Transatlantic Security Relations – The Challenge of Change.  (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004)
  • V. Mitsilegas, J. Monar, and W. Rees., The European Union and Internal Security – Guardian of the People? (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
  • S. Peers., EU Justice and Home Affairs Law. (London: Longman, 2nd ed., 2006)
  • J. Peterson and E. Bomberg., Decision-Making in the European Union. (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999)
  • J. Peterson and M. Shackleton., (eds), The Institutions of the European Union. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • J. Richardson., (ed.), European Union: Power and Policy Making. 3rd ed. (London, Routledge, 2006)
  • B. Tonra and T. Christiansen., (eds.), ‘Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy’. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004)
  • H. Wallace and W. Wallace., (eds), Policy-Making in the European Union. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 5th edition, 2005)
  • Wyn Rees., Transatlantic Counter-Terrorism Cooperation. (London: Routledge, 2006)
  • Warleigh (ed)., `Understanding European Union Institutions´. (London: Routledge, 2002)

Modules - Level 4

A total of 4 modules (2 modules for joint Honours), including modules chosen from a list such as the one below:

Module Details

The Politics Dissertation consists of an extended piece of work (around 10,000 words) written on a specialist topic within subject areas close to the research specialisms of members of staff who provide one-to-one supervision throughout the year.

The aim of the dissertation is to give students, in the last phase of their honours degree, the opportunity to exercise and develop a range of skills they have acquired in the earlier levels of their programme in an extended piece of written work.

Dissertation topics are selected by students from a range of 'special subject' areas indicated by individual members of staff, reflecting their research interests (see below).  The undertaking is phased - from initial idea to plan to draft to final submission.

It is an essential requirement that you identify and contact a potential supervisor before you choose your Level 4 modules and include the Politics dissertation as one of your modules. Without an agreed choice of supervisor, we will not be able to confirm that you will be able to do a Politics dissertation. 

7 Politics members of staff can supervise you in 2019/20 :

  • Dr Scott Brown
    Research areas: EU foreign policy, US foreign policy, China's foreign policy, transatlantic relations, EU-China relations, US-China relations, IR theory, great power competition.
  • Dr Richard Dunphy
    Research areas: Radical Left parties in Europe, Irish politics, politics of gender and sexuality.
  • Dr Martin Elvins
    Research areas: Illegal drug policy, transnational crime / drug trafficking, organised crime, policing, surveillance.
  • Professor Kurt Mills
    Research areas: Human rights, humanitarian intervention, international criminal justice, humanitarianism, African international relations, international organisations.
  • Professor Cameron Ross
    Research areas: Russian politics, Soviet politics.
  • Dr Dejan Stjepanović
    Research areas: Territorial politics, nationalism, migration, citizenship, European politics.
  • Dr Abdullah Yusuf
    Research areas: Peacekeeping, Middle-East Politics, Political Islam, Countering Islamic Extremist Terrorism, Politics of the UN's Transitional Administrations/State-building.

You can also find additional information on our research on the University's Research Portal.

Once you are accepted by a supervisor and register for the dissertation module, you will not be able to substitute PO40006 for a taught module in Semester 2 (under University Regulations you can, however, make such a module change within the first two weeks of Semester 1, 2017).

If you have any other queries related to a Politics dissertation, please get in touch with Dr. Edzia Carvalho, e.carvalho@dundee.ac.uk

It is an essential requirement that you identify and contact a potential supervisor at the earliest opportunity as soon as you have registered for this module: Failure to act may mean your chosen supervisor is unavailable. Potential supervisors will be able to discuss and develop your ideas and interests with you to establish a viable topic. Once mutually agreed a plan can be developed and you will be given direction on suitable literature by your supervisor.

Assessment

Your dissertation (around 10,000 words) counts for 100% of the final mark.

Teaching

Initial discussion takes place at the end of the second semester of your third year.  Once you have been accepted by a supervisor a series of meetings will be arranged for on-going evaluation of your progress during the final year of your degree.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the dissertation you will have developed abilities to:

  • Identify a 'research question' in a given area of political studies.
  • Plan in detail the pursuit of the necessary lines of investigation towards the solving of that question.
  • Determine appropriate methodologies.
  • Locate, evaluate and assimilate relevant source materials.
  • Construct a sustained piece of concise and lucid analysis in the form of an extended paper.

Reading

Access the online reading list system.

 

Module Details

This module aims to introduce students to a rapidly expanding area of the social sciences - critical studies on gender and sexuality.  Inspired by important recent and contemporary research in feminist studies, critical theories of masculinity, gender relations, lesbian and gay studies, and sexual politics, the module treats gender and sexuality as social constructions which need to be explored, analysed and understood in a critical way.

The module draws upon a multi-disciplinary literature and spans debates within, and issues of relevance to, political science, sociology, history and cultural studies. The primary focus is on British society with some comparative reference to other societies.

The module covers the following broad areas:

  • Gender, sexuality and history - theoretical foundations: `nature' versus `nurture', the history of sexualities, Foucault and feminism.
  • Modern sexualities and their meanings - hetero-, homo-, bi-, and lesbian sexualities in historical context. Sexuality and religion, class and race. Changes in medical and legal discourses.
  • Gender ideologies and gender regulation. Gender and power relations. The gendered division of labour. Gender and emotion-work. The policing of gender boundaries.
  • Sexual politics - contemporary debates. Feminism and post-feminism. LGB politics and queer politics.
  • Selling sex - the commercialisation of sex and gender. Prostitution. Pornography. Popular culture and advertising.
  • Regulating sex and sexuality - the public policy agenda. Family policy. State responses to rape and sexual violence. Homosexual rights and the state.

Teaching

There will be eleven seminars, each of two hours duration.

In addition, personal assistance is available to students with the preparation of their seminar presentations. And all essays will be returned to students on a personal basis, with a one-to-one short tutorial.

Assessment

This module is assessed as follows:

  • One essay (40%)
  • One seminar paper (20%)
  • Unseen two-hour examination (40%)

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • To get students thinking about the concepts of gender and sexuality in a critical, self-reflective way and thereby to increase their awareness of the relevance of gender and sexuality to a fuller understanding of the issues raised within political science and related disciplines
  • To demonstrate this through a exploration of how gender and sexuality condition ways in which people experience their presence in society, focusing on questions of power and knowledge
  • To broaden students' understanding of politics by analysing the extent to which public policy in key selected areas has been underpinned by assumptions about gender and sexuality

Recommended Text for purchase - advice from Richard Dunphy

Richard Dunphy, Sexual Politics: an Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 2000).  Students are recommended to purchase their own copy.  Copies will be stocked by John Smith and Son.

Another very good book for this module is Jeffrey Weeks, Janet Holland and Matthew Waites (eds), Sexualities and Society: a Reader (Polity, 2003). This is the best 'alternative' purchase if you don’t wish to buy my book!

Also very good to purchase, but not quite making it into the category of 'module text' because of its very broad range of topics is Richard Parker & Peter Aggleton (eds), Culture, Society and Sexuality: a Reader, second edition (Routledge 2007). This is a personal favourite of mine.

Three of the best recent books I have read personally are:

  • Cordelia Fine., Delusions of Gender: the Real Science Behind Sex Differences (Icon Books, 2010)
  • Momin Rahman, & Stevi Jackson., Gender and Sexuality: Sociological Approaches (Polity Press, 2010)
  • Sylvia Walby., The Future of Feminism (Polity Press, 2011)

Further extensive reading lists are available on MyDundee.

Module Aims

The aims of this module are: 

  • to introduce students to the historical context for international drug prohibition, its evolution, and the key contemporary policy questions arising from global use of illegal drugs
  • to provide a basic introduction to theories of drug use (drawn primarily from psychology and sociology)
  • to familiarise students with the main tenets of public international law in relation to drugs
  • to provide students with an understanding of contemporary worldwide patterns of consumption, production and trafficking of illegal drugs
  • to explore the political economy of the drug trade in countries affected by drug production and transhipment, using case studies (e.g. Colombia, Afghanistan)
  • to familiarise students with the main policy options that exists alongside prohibition (such as harm reduction, alternative development)
  • to allow students to debate the main arguments for and against the legalisation of drugs
  • to evaluate the main issues facing drug prohibition today and its likely future evolution

Module Details

This module examines contemporary patterns of use, production and trafficking of illicit drugs on a worldwide basis. It aims to explain how and why particular substances are prohibited and their association with a concept of harm, as well as the characteristics of drug markets.

The module also describes and evaluates the range of policy interventions and strategies employed with the intention of preventing drug use in some form, focused either on those who use drugs or those who produce or supply them.

Teaching sessions will cover:

  • The internationalisation of drug prohibition
  • The post-1945 international drug control regime
  • International dimensions of drug use
  • Harms and illicit drug use
  • Drug production, distribution and markets
  • Prevention and young people
  • Health and social services for drug users
  • Supply-side intervention strategies
  • National drug policy variation
  • Political economy of the international drugs trade
  • Criminalisation and decriminalisation of drug use and possession
  • The legalisation debate
  • Taking stock: a century of drug control

Teaching

This module consists of 11 lectures and 11 seminars (plus a number of course film screenings).

Assessment

The assessed components on this module are:

  • one 2,500 word essay (35%)
  • one 1,250 word issue brief exercise (15%)
  • one unseen 2-hour examination (50%)

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • An understanding of how and why certain substances have become prohibited on a global basis.
  • A deeper knowledge of the reasons and theories as to when and why drug use has become a global phenomenon.
  • An informed understanding of the scale and nature of problems linked to illegal drugs manifested at both national and global levels, as well as knowledge of the legal frameworks that underpin prohibition.
  • A broad knowledge of the policies employed to address drug demand and supply and some key national variations.
  • An understanding of the political economy of the drug trade in relation to key countries affected by production and trafficking, and the role of transnational organised crime.
  • Confidence to pronounce and pass judgements on the policy environment in relation to the control of illegal drugs and their impact.

Skills

  • Analytical and research skills in relation to the identification, retrieval and evaluation of a range of source materials relevant to the study of the global drug phenomenon.
  • An enhanced capacity for both individual and group pursuit of set tasks, via group work in seminars and through written and oral presentations.

Indicative Reading

  • Babor, Thomas F., Caulkins, Jonathan P., Edwards, Griffith, Fischer, Benedikt, Foxcroft, David R., Humphreys, Keith, Obot, Isidore S., Rehm, Jürgen, Reuter, Peter, Room, Robin, Rossow, Ingeborg, and Strang, John (2010) Drug Policy and the Public Good (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Bewley-Taylor, David (2012) International Drug Control. Consensus Fractured (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press)
  • Nadelmann, Ethan (1990) ‘Global prohibition regimes: the evolution of norms in international society’, International Organization, Vol. 44, Issue No. 4 (Autumn 1990), pp. 479-526.

Module aims to:

  • examine the political, legal and philosophical foundations of humanitarian intervention
  • understand the relationship between evolving notions of sovereignty and humanitarian intervention
  • explore the range of responses available to mass atrocities
  • assess how humanitarian interventions are undertaken in practice
  • analyse why humanitarian intervention is undertaken in some situations but not others


Content of the module includes:

  • Legality of humanitarian intervention
  • Ethics of humanitarian intervention
  • Related responses to mass atrocities
  • Who should intervene?
  • Case studies, potentially including Rwanda, Kosovo, Darfur, Syria


Assessment:
The course comprises a critical case study (30% of the assessment weighting for the module) and final essay (70% of the assessment weighting for the module).

How you will be taught

Teaching on politics modules at Dundee usually takes the form of lectures and seminars (sometimes called tutorials). The lectures (one or two weekly) are designed to convey the essential information, concepts and theories associated with a particular topic. While all the students on a particular module will attend the lecture, the seminar is a smaller group - normally around ten to fifteen in number. At the seminar the lecture topic will be explored in more detail, perhaps through group work or individually prepared presentations.

How you will be assessed

Your performance on modules is assessed by a wide variety of means - from formal exams where you answer essay-type questions from a previously unseen paper to 'seen' exams where you know the questions in advance but still must answer them in timed exam conditions. Prepared essays on a specific topic are also part of the assessment of almost all modules.

Additionally, seminar presentations may be marked and included in the overall assessment. As a general principle, modules will involve a mixture of assessment techniques in order to achieve an all-round picture of your abilities and to give you a chance to shine in the type of test that suits you best.

Politics graduates from Dundee score highly in surveys of graduate employment. While you may not become a politician (though many of our students over the years have: as MPs, MSPs and MEPs), your degree will open up a range of opportunities in both the private and public services. 

In other words, the skills - personal, verbal and written - that you will acquire in your politics programme can be easily transferred to many walks of life. We have produced leading journalists, civil servants, diplomats - and even the occasional secret agent!

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The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students Fees for September 2019 entry will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.
Rest of UK students Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Government and will be published when confirmed.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.


Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowPolitics MA (Hons)L200
Apply NowEuropean Politics MA (Hons)L245
Apply NowEuropean Politics with French MA (Hons)L2RC
Apply NowEuropean Politics with German MA (Hons)L2RF
Apply NowEuropean Politics with Spanish MA (Hons)L2RK
Apply NowGeopolitics MA (Hons)L246
Apply NowInternational Relations and Politics MA (Hons)L250
Apply NowPolitics and European Languages MA (Hons)L2Q9
Apply NowPolitics and Psychology MA (Hons)CL82
Apply NowPolitics with French MA (Hons)L2R1
Apply NowPolitics with German MA (Hons)L2R2
Apply NowPolitics with Spanish MA (Hons)L2R4