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 (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
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 and Society: 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.
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 our psychologies help to shape different forms and levels of participation in democratic life, from simple thinking about the news through to street activism.
The Psychology of Fundamentalism & 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.
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.
Political Marketing & Campaigning: You will explore the historical development of political marketing, its impact on how politics is positioned, ‘sold’ and understood by the electorate; its theoretical foundations and the major critiques of it. The unit will also explain and explore contemporary political campaign strategies, the techniques and tools of implementation and, the desired impacts (and evaluation methods) of such activities.
Diplomacy & International Relations: The unit will enable you to develop critical awareness and knowledge of the contemporary global politics and to be able to analyse world politics as settings for international political communication.
Political Journalism: Explore the reporting of contemporary politics in an international context, including traditional and alternative news media. Topics include journalism and war and peace, journalism and diplomacy, the role of citizen journalism, journalism ethics and law, and media ownership.
Media & Global Challenges: This unit explores the function and role of the media in the context of shared global challenges, and specifically those defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda. It will also examine the role of media and journalism to empower communities to respond to and reduce the risks posed by the challenges defined in the SDGs.
Youth Culture & Media: Investigate the kinds of media platforms and practices that make youth culture move, examining how cultural forms travel, catch on, and spread from city to city, from nation to nation. The unit draws from a range of media practices from blogging to music videos to street art, focusing in particular on how youth culture travels transnationally via media and mediated exchange.
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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