Political Science MSc

Year of entry

Masters Study and Funding online event

Watch on demand to receive expert advice on how to fund your Masters and invest in your future. Book your place

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each component skill
UK fees
£11,500 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

Students working on a laptop in a cafe

The MSc in Political Science is designed to equip you with the knowledge and practical skills needed to become a confident researcher, capable of taking leadership over societal responses to political and social challenges – whether that be working in governments, global institutions, NGOs, or in the media.

The programme will provide you with the intellectual resources needed to understand and respond to the phenomena that give rise to the current local, national and global political challenges that we face, and will develop your ability to investigate and uncover the underlying social and political dynamics that have led to the formation of these political challenges and potentially, the key to their resolution.

The programme will also prepare you for future doctoral study, should you be interested in taking your research interests to the next level.

Tailor your programme

Reflecting the dynamic field of political science, this programme has just one compulsory module, the rest of your credits are selected from a list of options. This allows you to benefit from our specialisms in political analytics, media, and international diplomacy – either focusing on a particular subject you are passionate about or choosing modules from across the areas for a breadth of knowledge.

Our teaching in all of these areas is enriched by the practical experience and innovative research of staff in the Centres for Democratic Engagement and Global Development.

Research expertise

As a student of MSc Political Science, you’ll be part of our wider research community and will be strongly encouraged to engage with our research centres to facilitate the development of your skills within a supportive and nurturing research environment. Our research centres – the Centre for Democratic Engagement, the Centre for Global Development, the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the Centre for Global Security Challenges, the Centre for Contemporary Political Theory, and the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Scholarship – offer you the opportunity to become involved with the research process and political engagement that serves as the foundation for the teaching across all of our modules.

School of Politics and International Studies

Watching in China? View this video on YouKu

Course details

The modules offered on this programme offer skills that fall into three broad and overlapping categories: qualitative skills, quantitative skills, and practice-orientated skills. Qualitative skills involve utilizing methods such as interviews and ethnographic inquiry; quantitative skills involve statistical and network analysis; and practice-orientated skills, which can often draw on both qualitative and quantitative skills, will teach you how to conduct policy analyses or draft diplomatic briefs, amongst a variety of other skills.

Our module leaders intersect their particular expertise on substantive issues with their analytical skills to ensure that all skills are taught in the context of politically relevant topics that directly engage with the local, national and global challenges that are prominently covered in local and national media on a daily basis.

You’ll have the opportunity to devise your own unique pathway through this programme by pursuing a combination of research skills training and subject-specific content that best meets your needs and curiosity. This programme provides you with the opportunity to directly engage with the third sector and put your newly acquired skills into practice. For example, the MSc dissertation will see you personally conduct your own research on a topic of choice.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Political Science MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will study 120 credits from the modules below:

Module Name Credits
Engaging the Modern City: The Civic Researcher 30
Geographic Data Visualisation & Analysis 15
Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis 15
Risk Perception and Communication 15
Effective Decision Making 15
Education in Development 30
The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30
Theories and Concepts in Global Political Economy 30
Capitalism in Practice 30
Popular Culture: World politics, Society and Culture 30
Diplomatic Practice 30
Global Governance 30
Ethics and Politics of Migration and Citizenship 30
Analysing Data in Political Science 30
Politics, Media and Democratic Engagement 30
Technology, Media and Politics: Research and Real World Cases 30
Research & Project Skills- Experiential Learning 30
Policy and Programme Evaluation 15

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, seminars and online learning. You will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussions to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exams and coursework, depending on the module.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or a non-UK equivalent in a social science, humanities, or other related discipline. Relevant experience will also be taken into account.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each component skill. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Thursday 29 June 2023

UK – Friday 18 August 2023

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

Documents and information you will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts

  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate

  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language).

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact us

School of Politics and International Studies

Email: pgpolis@leeds.ac.uk


UK: £11,500 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more about our scholarship opportunities.

Career opportunities

As a graduate of the MSc Political Science programme, you’ll be well placed to pursue a wide array of careers including in the third sector; in local, national, and international governance; in economic, social, and political think tanks; and in private enterprise. This programme is also ideally structured to provide you with the skills needed to pursue a PhD in any social and political research area.

Careers support

The School of Politics and International Studies has a dedicated Careers Consultant who is on-hand throughout the year to support and advise you in regards to your career. The School also arranges a number of guest speaker events where you are able to engage with prospective employers, and hear from leading figures in the field.

Find out more about how we support your career development

In addition to the School-specific careers support, you will also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Centre. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.

Find out more about the Careers Centre