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Aims and Structure

The Aims and Structure of the Course

The course adopts a predominantly critical social psychological approach and places a strong emphasis on understanding how political psychological concepts may operate in practice.   In particular, the course aims to provide you with:

  • a critical understanding of the historical development of political psychology from different epistemological, ideological and disciplinary perspectives;
  • an advanced understanding of current theoretical debates within political psychology;
  • insights from the relevant literature in other cognate disciplines so that you can engage in multi-disciplinary dialogue and research;
  • training in using political psychological theories to formulate research questions relevant to current political phenomena;
  • research skills on how to use appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to address your research questions and to interpret data;
  • applied/practical skills on how to apply political psychological theories and empirical findings in a number of different employment settings.

The course will consist of eight modules and a dissertation. 

  • Theoretical Perspectives and Focal Issues in Political Psychology
  • Understanding Political Behaviours: Civic Engagement, Political Participation and Disempowerment
  • Applying Political Psychology to Current Social Issues
  • Research Design and Professional Skills
  • Principles of Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analyses 1
  • Principles of Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analyses 2
  • Quantitative Data Analyses 1
  • Quantitative Data Analyses 2

Students will be encouraged to conduct their dissertation research whilst placed in a relevant setting; for example, an NGO, a political institution, or a media organisation.

In addition students are strongly encouraged to participate in the CResPP series of seminars which provide them with the opportunity to discuss cutting edge research or current topical issues introduced by external speakers and members of CResPP.

Career Opportunities

The course is designed to furnish you with knowledge and skills which would be useful when seeking to have a career in public policy or employment in Local or National Government, international and European organisations, political parties, the media, and lobby groups.  It will also provide you with the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD in Political or Social Psychology or another cognate discipline and subsequently pursue an academic career.