Legislative Studies and Practice

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

1 year(s)

Places available





Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

* 1 year full-time.


Missed the recent webinar?  The recording is now available to watch:

Speaker -  Dr Elodie Fabre, Programme Director

Click here to watch the recorded webinar.

The programme seeks to develop students' knowledge of the historical and political contexts - regional, national and European - in which the Northern Ireland Assembly operates. Students can develop a detailed understanding of legislative practice through work-based learning in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and develop their analytical, communication, employability and research skills.

Why Queen's?

The advantages of this course include:

  • A unique opportunity for work-based learning through a nine-month placement at the Northern Ireland Assembly, with three days a week between Monday-Thursday spent at the Assembly each week
  • Placement is combined with study at Queen’s (on Fridays) which offers the theoretical and empirical tools to inform Assembly work
  • Regular contact and input from an academic placement supervisor
  • Study trips to the Oireachtas, Westminster and Brussels may also arranged.
  • Option of a project or dissertation over the summer

Course Details

At the core of this degree is a nine-month assessed placement with the Northern Ireland Assembly where students will be placed in one of several business units (eg a Committee, the Bills Office, Research and Information Services).

In addition, students take two taught modules which set the work of the Assembly in the wider contexts of devolution in Northern Ireland and of European integration. Following the placement and production of a portfolio and themed report, students complete a 15,000-word project or dissertation on a topic concerning legislative practice and/or studies.

Assessment & Feedback

Essays, exam, learning journals, themed report, portfolio, project/dissertation.

Learning and Teaching


Additional Teaching Information

This MA involves a nine-month placement (Sept-June) at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Contact Teaching Hours per Week

Two teaching hours per week plus regular contact with your supervisor.

Entry Requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree at 65% or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Politics, European Studies, International Studies, Philosophy or a cognate subject area.

Shortlisted applicants for the programme will be interviewed by a panel comprising the Programme Convenor, one or more other members of the School's academic staff, and representatives of the Secretariat at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Closing date for applications to this course is 22nd February 2017

International Qualifications

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.

*Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Dr Elodie Fabre and Professor David Phinnemore
School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy
Tel: 028 9097 1366

The deadline for application is Wednesday 22 February 2017. Shortlisted students will then be interviewed in by a panel of staff from the Northern Ireland Assembly and Queen’s University Belfast. Interview will take place at the Northern Ireland Assembly on the 15 and 16 March 2017 (tbc); interviews can be arranged via Skype for students who cannot travel to Belfast. 

How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

This distinctive and innovative Masters provides unique opportunities to combine academic study of contemporary politics with extensive practical knowledge of the workings of a legislative assembly.

It draws on supervised work placements, expert teaching and independent research to produce uniquely qualified postgraduates. The programme also serves as a solid base for a variety of careers, notably in the Civil Service, in politics and political consultancy, as well as to further research.

More generally, Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

If there are any School bursaries for this course, which there have been in the past, they will be advertised on the School website.

For fees and funding information please see the University's Graduate School website.


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