Spotlight On: Postgrad Studies in Politics

Politics can be a rewarding and diverse field to explore as a postgraduate student. In fact, you may be thinking about specialising in this area yourself. There may indeed be no better way to change the world around you in the future while allowing your voice to be heard. Another massive benefit is that politics is an extremely broad subject. So, you will have numerous categories to choose from. To better appreciate which direction you hope to take, let's examine some courses that are available throughout the country before moving on.

A Kaleidoscope of Options Politics can either be approached as a "soft" or a "hard" subject. In other words, this area straddles science, economics, international relations and other unique areas such as public speaking. So, it should now become obvious that you can take advantage of a wide number of opportunities to choose from. Some of the most popular include (but are absolutely not limited to):

  • International relations.
     
  • Political science.
     
  • Strategic communications.
     
  • Diplomacy and foreign policy.
     
  • Cultural and critical theory.
     

As we can see, some of these programmes primarily revolve around theory while others are more concerned with physical applications. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for students like yourself who wish to enter into the field of politics to need a degree to succeed.

More Universities The Even Before There are well over 100 universities within the United Kingdom which offer politics as a postgraduate study programme. So, you have a number of different options to choose from. You should first use a regional university guide to determine which locations are most appealing. Everyone has different tastes and remember that your postgraduate experience will revolve just as much around your outside life as it will equate to inside of a classroom.

The second concern will be rather obvious. Which are the best schools for the field that you are interested in? This can be tricky, for completely objective opinions are hard to find. It should be obvious that locations such as Cambridge, Exeter and Leeds are likely to be seen at or near the top of the list. These rankings should be balanced against the specific courses which are offered. So, how can you determine which is the best choice to make?

Not Just About Politics...

Although the courses offered are important, consider the cost of the university in question. No one expects you to foot the bill yourself, so make sure to stay constantly updated in reference to any new student loans that may be announced throughout the year. When combined with grants, a sizable portion of the cost can be drastically reduced. In other words, you should never let money alone stop you from attending the university of your dreams.

Another area that you need to focus on is the quality of the politics courses which are taught. What have others said about professors? Are there any university forums you can join to speak with others who have taken politics as a postgraduate programme? Besides the courses themselves, how does the campus rank in terms of safety and luxury? If you plan to live off campus, what are the demographics and housing conditions like? These are all extremely important concerns, for the field of politics (as you know) is highly competitive. Planning ahead and having a very clear picture of where you wish to attend will make any postgraduate transition easy and fun.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, there are more opportunities than ever before to come across a massive amount of information in regards to the topics that we have just covered. Politics can be an interesting and rewarding journey. Why not start off on the right foot?

Useful Links Our ‘Spotlight On’ series
Calculating your return on a masters degree
Succeed as a postgrad student
Choosing your postgrad program

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