- Issues & Debates in Political Psychology: combines the study of classical texts and topics in political psychology with presentations of current research by members of the course team and other faculty. It places the psychology of politics in the context of major political issues, and links it to other disciplinary approaches.
- The Psychodynamics of Political Culture: explores the cultural and emotional processes that shape our relationship to politics in the late modern, digital era. Focussing on the interface between politics and popular culture, and drawing on theories and methods in psychoanalysis, it presents case studies of the dynamics of gender, class, ethnicity and nation.
- The Psychology of Democracy: offers an in-depth examination of the origins and factors that shape feelings and attitudes towards the institutions and processes within a democratic state. Covering the influence that political campaigns and media play, the unit analyses how the way people feel about and understand their place within the democracy system shapes the different forms and levels of participation they contribute to democratic life, from simple thinking about the news through to street activism.
- The Psychology of Fundamentalism & Political Violence: uses a psychosocial understanding of fundamentalism in the analysis of a wide range of terrorist movements and other extremisms. It examines the social and political contexts that define different extremist ideologies, and outlines their common ground in the fundamentalist state of mind.
- Research Imagination: prepares you for the Final Project, through an overview of the methods and processes of social science research and workshops in which you will consider the application of methods to your topics of interest.
- Final Project: you will choose your topic in consultation with academic staff, and will be guided in the application to a study of that topic of research findings and theoretical concepts from all the taught units. The Project can be either a 15,000-word dissertation or a 10,000-word journal paper plus presentation.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for MA Political Psychology.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
Full entry requirements
The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:
- A good Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as Politics, Psychology, or other social science/humanities subject if you are able to demonstrate appropriate engagement with politics.
If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the AskBU Enquiry Service for more information.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
- IELTS (academic) 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.
You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.
This course offers a highly relevant, challenging and rich encounter with leading-edge theory and research at the complex intersections of psychology and politics. It provides an interdisciplinary basis for doctoral research in many areas, and will be an attractive basis for the development of careers in academia and research.
It also provides a suitable basis for entry to, or professional development within, careers in political and policy research, strategic work for campaigning groups, and political journalism, as well as offering insights and support for those engaged in democratic participation as professional or local politicians.
If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.
Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the political psychology sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.
Barry Richards joined Bournemouth University as Professor of Public Communication in 2001, having previously been Professor of Human Relations at the University of East London.
After a first degree in psychology he trained and worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS before becoming a lecturer and taking a PhD in sociology. At the University of East London he led the establishment of psychosocial studies as an interdisciplinary teaching programme and research paradigm, while researching and writing in a number of areas including popular culture, advertising, consumer behaviour, political leadership, and the rise of 'therapeutic' culture. At Bournemouth he has been developing psychosocial approaches in the field of media and communication, and has been involved in research on emotion in political communication, on journalism and emotional literacy, and on terrorism. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Deputy Dean of the Media School.
He is a founding editor of the journal 'Media, War and Conflict' (Sage), and on the editorial boards of `Psychoanalysis and Culture', the `European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling', and `Free Associations'. His current work focuses on psychological factors and on the role of media in the development of political extremism.