University Of Manchester Politics Dissertations

In Year 3 you will study Contemporary Political Issues and choose three additional units including:  The US and the Middle East, Latin American Politics, The EU in Turmoil and What's going on? African-American Politics, Music and Culture and Dissertation.

Core Units
Contemporary Political Issues: Theory and Practice

This unit allows you to engage with current academic debates and contemporary political developments and demonstrates a strong commitment to examining theoretical positions through the exploration of contrasting academic approaches. You will examine and apply diverse theoretical and methodological approaches and as a result develop the most advanced analytical skills needed for future employment prospects. 

With unique content for each degree route, example case studies include; examining the role of positivistic behaviouralism in British social policy; the role of ‘new media’ both in terms of empirical questions and theoretical examination of the consequences; examining the electoral ‘success’ of new political parties and movements; the rise of new global powers from BRICS to MINTS economics and ideology; new military methods and human rights statistical and normative questions; understanding evolving radicalism (linked to specific area studies).

Likely Optional Units
Britain and World Politics since 1918: Aspects of British Foreign Policy

This unit focuses upon Britain's role in world politics to the present day. Topics examined include Britain and the Spanish Civil War, Britain and Palestine, Indian independence and the unwinding of empire, Britain and Europe, Anglo-American relations, British policy towards the Bosnian War, Blair’s foreign policy (Iraq and Afghanistan), the Arab Spring and the morality of humanitarian intervention in the Twenty First Century.

Contemporary Politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Political legacies of colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa, the concept of `Unity' and `Diversity' in Islam, political Islam and its influence in current politics, relations between the Islamic World and the West, in particular in relation to recent conflicts, enabling students to consider significant issues about unity and diversity, whilst gaining knowledge of major current events, and learning how to assess their validity.

Education Policy
The unit aims to explore the political environment within which the British educational system functions. It will critically examine a number of issues which have affected the development of education policy in the UK since the early 1960s.
Independent Project

This unit enables you to complete an extended piece of work which develops your research skills and ability to analyse academic sources and empirical findings in an area of your own choosing. 

Latin American Politics

This unit offers both a historical background to, and analysis of, contemporary Latin American politics. The unit is in 2 sections -the first offers discussion of the institutions, processes and key factors which influence Latin American politics and the second offers in-depth analysis of individual Latin American countries.

Political Theory since 1918

This unit will consider the thought of leading political thinkers since the First World War, focusing on Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. The unit explores issues such as how to define the political (Arendt and Schmitt), forms of capital (Bourdieu) and the nature of social control via disciplining techniques (Foucault).

The EU in Turmoil

The unit examines both internal and external contexts of European Integration. It is aimed to answer the following questions: what is the EU? How the decisions are made? What are the consequences of these decisions for the future development of European integration? What are the main internal and external policies of the EU? Among other things the unit examines the EU's response to such issues as global terrorism, climate change, financial crisis, immigration etc.

The US and The Middle East

The unit examines US policy toward the Middle East since the end of the Cold War. After establishing the background, in the form of American relations with the region during the Cold War, the unit will focus on the following issues: US policy toward Iraq; US policy toward Iran; US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; The War on Terror and US policy toward al-Qaeda and ISIS; the US and the Arab Spring and US policy toward the Syrian conflict.

What's Going On? African-American Politics, Music and Culture

This unit focuses on the politics of the African-American community in the latter half of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  It examines these politics especially as they have been mediated by various forms of cultural production: books, films and popular music.  As well as standard teaching methods, students will be presented with film, video, and audio material.

  • Do you want the opportunity to study a wide range of political topics?
  • Are you interested in comparative and international politics and political theory?
  • Would you like to develop research skills designed to understand and explain issues including conflict, justice, freedom, power and equality?
  • Take the right course units and you can apply for a paid summer internship through Manchester's Q-Step programme .

The BSocSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations degree is our single honours course for Politics specialists.

Politics at Manchester is structured around three core themes: Comparative Politics, International Politics and Political Theory. This structure extends across everything we do, from undergraduate teaching to top-level research.

In your first two years studying Politics and International Relations you will take courses from across these three core areas as well as being able to choose options from other disciplines within the Social Sciences such as Economics or Sociology or in other areas such as History, Philosophy or languages.

By your final year you will have acquired an advanced understanding of Politics which will have prepared you to study a selection of our specialised year three options which reflect the research expertise of our staff.

Our significant size allows us to support internationally recognised research across a broad range of areas within and across these themes, including several large and distinctive specialist research clusters .

This also contributes to the quality of our teaching at undergraduate level; we offer you a wide range of course units that builds directly on our research expertise.

We will help you to develop solid intellectual foundations within the discipline, while also giving you increasing choice and diversity of subjects and approaches as you progress through your second and third years.

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