Good honours degree in a social science or other relevant subject, though other qualifications may be considered.
Months of entry
This Master's degree in politics considers how ethnic, national and religious identities intersect and how they cause conflict and violence within and between states. In Western countries, many majority ethnic groups are bemoaning a loss of national identity and sovereignty, while smaller nations and ethnic-national groups press for devolution or independence at the expense of larger nation-state formations. Religiously inspired conflict, especially, but by no means only, in the Muslim world, is a further major source of global insecurity. This programme draws on research in comparative politics, history, sociology, cultural and genetic anthropology, political theory and international relations to offer comprehensive, balanced analyses of contemporary political controversies. Alongside theoretical approaches, we will examine ethnic and national conflict via a wealth of real-world case studies that cover every corner of the globe. The programme provides the analytical tools you will need to examine problems of national, ethnic and religious conflict in their broader political context.
The first core module will give you a deep understanding of the concepts of ethnic group and nation and the range of approaches and analytical models available to explore case studies from different time periods and places. You will then consider the pressing issue of population change, including its economic, military, political and international implications. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level.
You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including international security, American foreign policy, globalisation, political theory and sociology, war and conflict, nationalism and religion, and international political economy. The culmination of the programme is applying the concepts and methods you have learnt to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.
Information for international students
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Fees and funding
The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.
Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.
Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Department of Politics
- 020 7631 6780
- + 44 (0)20 7631 6787