This new course offers a unique opportunity to study how psychological insights can throw light on politics. What are the roots of political violence? What drives shifts in public opinion? Why do some people become activists, while others never get involved? How does propaganda work? What is the appeal of the political ideologies to which some devote their lives? What makes for effective political leadership? Is the future democratic?
Psychology can make a vital contribution to developing answers to these and many other questions of importance to all those interested in the future of their societies. Political psychology is a well-established branch of psychology, yet there are very few places in the world where a Masters in the subject can be taken. Bournemouth University is now offering such a course, based on the in-depth expertise of the team who will provide it.
A good Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent. If English is not your first language you´ll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above.
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 and 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.
The 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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