This course offers a unique opportunity to study how psychological insights can throw light on politics. The course covers the roots of political violence, propaganda, the appeal of political ideologies, effective political leadership and much more.
A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject or equivalent.
International entry requirements:
If English is not your first language you´ll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.
Learn from academics with a wide range of expertise covering the broad spectrum of political psychology and political communication
Become well versed in some of the most pervasive issues that shape the parameters for today’s politics
Attend the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS) reading groups and lectures with speakers from a range of perspective on key political issues
Engage in research and projects alongside staff and students across the Faculty of Media & Communication
Social Theory & Political Communication: This unit highlights the wider theoretical underpinnings of analysis of political communication and provides an introduction to the broader contextual and conceptual basis in which political communication is conducted. It considers the complex theoretical environment within which politics (political actors and political structures) communications (media actors, structures and technologies) and the public (including politics from below, e.g. activists and social movements) interact.
The Psychodynamics of Emotion & Political Culture: This unit offers a new interdisciplinary perspective on the psycho-dynamics of contemporary political culture. The unit applies a psychosocial, interdisciplinary approach that draws on theories and methods in psychoanalysis, cultural and media studies and political sociology to explore the cultural and emotional processes that shape our relationship to politics in the late modern, media age.
Methods of Inquiry in the Social Sciences & Humanities: This unit prepares you for the Final Project through an overview of the methods and processes of social science and humanities research and workshops in which you will consider the application of methods to your topics of interest.
Psychosocial Perspectives on Contemporary Politics: This unit aims to review psychosocial approaches to contemporary political phenomena, (such as populism, “culture wars”, feminism, anti-racist struggle and environmental politics) while also placing them in cultural and historical contexts. Theoretical approaches to human subjectivity applied to case studies enable sophisticated contributions to debates about extremism, conflict and antagonism as well as democratic and egalitarian endeavours.
The Psychology of Democracy: This unit provides 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 our psychologies help to shape different forms and levels of participation in democratic life, from simple thinking about the news through to street activism.
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.
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.
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