Two years part-time or one year full-time
Two evenings a week part-time or four evenings a week full-time
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 seven billion to around eleven billion by the end of the 21st 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.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.
- The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
- The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
You must successfully complete two core modules, two option modules and a self-directed dissertation.
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.
- Geopolitics, Population and Environment
- The Politics of Population Change: Immigration, Aging and Conflict
MSc Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology Dissertation
Sample timetablePostgraduate Timetable 2017.pdf — PDF document, 276 KB (282689 bytes)
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
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.
Fees and finance
We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
A combination of lectures and small group seminars.
Each taught module requires you to submit an essay (approximately 3000 words) and sit a three-hour examination in May-June.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
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 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.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
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.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Financial support and postgraduate loans
Birkbeck offers advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay loans by interest-free direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students. Find out about the support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities. Discover more about our vibrant, intellectually challenging and exciting research culture.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
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