MA Political Science - Governance and Public Policy Pathway (Standard Route) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Study the MA Political Science Governance and Public Policy course and explore some of the key political science and public policy issues of the 21st century.

These include:

  • an examination of the nature and problems of policy making in the contemporary world;
  • how in a globalised world public decision-making can be constructed in a way that delivers legitimacy and effective capacity to act;
  • the impact of governance arrangements on policy outcomes and the relationship between the state and citizens.

It also involves in the course units on offer, an opportunity to apply insights gleaned in a variety of contemporary settings.

The course will appeal to those interested in governance and policy making at any level: neighbourhood, local, national, European and global. It provides a base for employment in a range of sectors from public service employment at the cutting edge, through corporate responsibility units in the private sector to a variety of non-profit organisations.

You will also benefit from a close connection to the Institute of Political and Economic Governance. The University established the institute in 2002, and its aim is to provide a major focus for research as well as practitioner and academic exchange over governance issues.

You'll take two core course units:

  • Understanding Governance;
  • Governance and the Welfare State.

Alongside two compulsory course units:

  • Advanced Research in Politics;
  • Dissertation Research Design.

In addition, you will be able to choose a minimum of two course units from the pathway specific unit choices and a maximum of two units from the politics-wide optional units.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time route.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory units and then select your optional units to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your course director.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Comparative Political Analysis POLI60301 15 Mandatory
Research Design and Skills POLI60312 15 Mandatory
Public Policy (in)to Practice POLI70272 15 Mandatory
Governance and the State POLI70891 15 Mandatory
Dissertation POLI72000 60 Mandatory
Comparing Capitalisms in the Global Political Economy POLI60032 15 Optional
Political Parties in Contemporary Britain POLI60122 15 Optional
Tools and techniques of applied quantitative analysis POLI60341 15 Optional
The European Union: Politics and Policy Making POLI70381 15 Optional
Global Governance POLI70422 15 Optional
European Union Foreign Policy POLI70851 15 Optional
Democracy: Theory & Practice POLI70872 15 Optional
Comparative Democratisation in Eastern Europe and Latin America POLI70952 15 Optional
Understanding Political Change POLI71042 15 Optional
Gender in Comparative Politics POLI71151 15 Optional
Lies, damned lies and statistics: politics and data science POLI71212 15 Optional
Democracy in Action: The Practice and Politics of Community Organising POLI71222 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units


You will be supported by first-class resources, in addition to the networked study areas.

You will also have access to the one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country, The University of Manchester Library .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: