This programme explores the relationships between political and psychological processes. There is now a growing interest among researchers and policy makers in the psychological underpinnings of individual and group behaviour in the political arena. This programme is one of the very few in political psychology in the UK, and is designed to provide you with an advanced understanding and training in the psychological roots of political behaviour.
Befitting a field that is growing in importance and relevance, the programme will provide a unique interdisciplinary focus on key current issues such as the nature of political ideologies, support for socio-political systems, perceptions of government, justice and inequality, beliefs in political conspiracies and political conflict and violence.
Students entering this programme will gain a rigorous training embracing cutting-edge theories and models, alongside research and analytical skills with a strong focus on quantitative methods. The programme thus provides an excellent grounding for students interested in a variety of careers, including survey and consumer research, marketing, public relations, political communications and government.
The programme combines modules from the School of Psychology and the School of Politics and International Relations, whose staff members work in the fields of social psychology, public opinion and international relations. As well as offering a range of modules, the programme involves a research project conducted under the supervision of expert staff from the two Schools.
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Knowledge and understanding
- a sound knowledge of a range of conceptual, historical, theoretical, and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of political psychology;
- specialist knowledge and systematic understanding of the key issues in political psychology;
- a sound understanding of the major research and analytic techniques and methodologies employed by political psychologists, including statistical analysis;
- an understanding of the utility of psychology and political science to the application of political psychology within political organisations;
- knowledge and understanding of the use of relevant communication methods for the research and application of political psychology.
You develop intellectual abilities in the following:
- Critical reflection on key themes with oral discussion and written analysis.
- Critical thinking and creativity, in order to evaluate and generalise appropriately.
- Ability to select and synthesise complex material through organising, developing, and evaluating relevance.
- Systematic approaches to problem solving, individually and in groups.
- Planning work and study independently and using resources in a way suited to further study or practice.
- Communicating efficiently, persuasively and leading and cooperating within a team.
- Managing a supervised dissertation
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- The use of major analytic techniques employed by political psychologists.
- Evaluating and selecting appropriate methods for researching questions in political psychology.
- Applying ethical values to research and practice related to political psychology.
- Conducting political psychology research to address social and political issues.
- Finding, recording, organising and contributing to knowledge on political psychology.
- Understanding how psychological and political scientific theories and methods can be applied to political issues.
- Communicating scientific research, theory, and practice across disciplinary, national, and ideological boundaries.
- Applying theoretical approaches and specialised methodologies to a supervised dissertation
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Numeracy: Data analysis skills to integrate numerical and other forms of information; understanding statistical analyses conducted by others in published works; understanding the limits of arguments based on quantitative analyses.
- Communication: writing coherently, concisely, and in an organised way; oral discussion and presentations;
- Working with others: reviewing the work of others; working cooperatively in groups and teams to recognise and maximise the contribution of self and others; understanding ethical issues and methods of obtaining ethical approval for research.
- Personal development: exploring personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; autonomy; self-drive and self-management; respect for diversity in people.
- Information technology: computer use for data analysis, research, word processing, reports, presentations, email, and bibliographic research.
- Problem solving: identifying and defining problems; exploring and discriminating between alternatives; test solutions; scanning and organising data for abstract meaning and potential solutions.
Our aims are to:
- Foster your intellectual development by providing you with specialised interdisciplinary knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches to political psychology and related disciplines, in order to take an effective role within the discipline.
- Provide relevant statistical and methodological expertise, in order that you should be well equipped to make your own original contribution to knowledge.
- Provide an excellent quality of higher education, with teaching that is informed by current research and scholarship and that requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
- Provide a multidisciplinary approach, with input from the School of Psychology, School of Politics and International Relations, and elsewhere.