One year full-time or two years part-time
Four evenings a week full-time or two evenings a week part-time, October to June
This Master's degree in politics will give you an advanced understanding of two increasingly interconnected phenomena in world politics: the responses of states, international institutions and non-governmental organisations to the opportunities and challenges of globalisation; and the enhanced international, economic and political influence of emerging powers such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
We explore key international institutions, such as the World Bank and the Group of Twenty (G20), as well as key non-governmental actors such as Amnesty International. The programme uses concepts, theories and evidence from the study of international relations, comparative politics and public policy to understand real-world policy problems across different sectors of the global economic and political system.
This course will appeal to students who wish to learn more about international public policy and cutting-edge issues in the study of world politics; it brings together a unique body of UK and international students with a passion for world politics and, in many cases, relevant policy experience.
The first core module examines the emerging powers of Brazil, Russia, India and China, among others, from a comparative, interdisciplinary perspective and in the context of global politics. The other core module takes an in-depth look at global governance and the responses of national and international institutions to globalisation. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.
You can then choose two option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, war and conflict, nationalism and religion, and international political economy. The culmination of the programme is applying the concepts and methods you have learnt to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.
Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.
Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.
- This Master's degree draws on comparative politics and the study of public policy to help you build an innovative and flexible intellectual framework for understanding current real-world problems.
- Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
- You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is five minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
- Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
- 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.
- Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.
- Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.
- Find out more about why you should study with us.
The core modules are supplemented by option modules and completion of a dissertation on an agreed subject.
Option modules are normally available in:
- British and US government and politics
- International relations, international security and US foreign policy
- Politics of globalisation and international political economy
- Political theory and political sociology
- War, conflict, nationalism, politics and religion
- Public management and public sector reform
- Research methods.
MSc Global Governance and Emerging Powers Dissertation
Sample timetableSample for Web Timetable.pdf — PDF document, 273 KB (279653 bytes)
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
Good degree in a social science or other 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.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
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.
Fees (2017/8)Part-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.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Core and option modules are assessed by a combination of essays and written examinations. You also complete an MSc dissertation under the supervision of a faculty member.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
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 in to careers in government, international organisations, NGOs, public affairs and research, the diplomatic service, journalism and the voluntary sector. Possible professions include Civil Service fast streamer, government social research officer, or Diplomatic Services operational officer. This degree may also be in becoming a researcher, newspaper journalist, or politician’s assistant.
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.
You will need to provide the details of two referees; in most cases, two academic references will be required. We may accept a work reference in place of one academic reference on a case-by-case basis.
We may not be able to proceed with your application if at least one academic reference is not received.
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
Applications from January.
Most applicants will be interviewed (between March and September).
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