This Master's degree in politics considers the increasingly pressing political issues of population and demography. World population is growing fast: having trebled in approximately a century, the UN projects an increase from today's 7 billion to around 11 billion by the end of the twenty-first century. This unique programme explores where this growth is occurring and considers the environmental, economic, political and global implications for both developing and developed countries. We will consider policy debates and responses to population growth and stabilisation, as well as the effects of ageing populations on economies, welfare systems and defence and security. Under the guidance of expert academics, you will examine how ethnic, religious and national identities intersect with questions of resources and population around the world.
You will be introduced to a spectrum of methodological approaches, including quantitative techniques for analysing and projecting demographic change, discourse analysis of policy documents, and historical case studies of political debates and movements. There will be an opportunity to read some of the classic works on population, such as Adam Smith, Malthus, J. S. Mill and Marx, as well as to study more recent ideas, including demographic transition theory and the environmental concept of the Anthropocene. You will be invited to examine unique case studies using methodologies that include data analysis, critical theory (Marxism, genealogy and critical discourse analysis) and policy analysis.
How to apply
Application deadlines and interviews
There is no deadline for applications. However, our courses tend to fill up quickly, so we advise you submit your application by March.
Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology (MSc) (Part-time)
Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology (MSc) (Full-time)
You must successfully complete the following 5 components:
- 2 core modules
- 2 option modules
- A self-directed dissertation under the guidance of a member of the department's faculty on an approved topic in the area of the politics of population, migration and ecology.
Option modules are usually available in:
- British, Russian, European and US government and politics
- International relations and foreign policy
- The politics of the Middle East
- Global governance and international political economy
- Nationalism and ethno-religious conflict
- Political sociology and political theory
- Public policy ideas, practices and processes
- Politics and religion
- War, politics and society.
Please see timetable below where there are links to current module descriptions.
MSc Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology Dissertation
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A good degree in social science or another relevant subject. Other qualifications may also be considered.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Part-time home/EU students: £
paFull-time home/EU students: £
paPart-time overseas students: £
paFull-time overseas students: £
Payment and Fees Discounts
Funding and Financial Support
Careers and employability
Graduates go on to careers in policy-making, campaigning, and journalism, in the areas of environmentalism, political demography, political ecology and political economy. Possible professions include government social research officer, social researcher, or newspaper journalist. This degree is also useful in becoming a local government officer or Civil Service fast streamer.
Find out more about these professions.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Teaching and assessment
A combination of lectures and small group seminars.
Each taught module requires you to submit an essay (approximately 3000 words) and sit a 3-hour examination in May-June.