Institution / Queens University Belfast

Political Psychology

Political Psychology is a growing inter-disciplinary sub-field drawing on insights from a number of disciplines including Psychology, Political Science and History.

It is concerned with understanding political issues and phenomena by exploring how socio-political contexts and institutions are affected and how they affect individual and collective cognitions and behaviours.

This programme adopts a predominantly critical social psychological approach and places a strong emphasis on understanding how political psychological concepts may operate in practice.

Its aims are to:
• Provide a critical understanding of the historical development of political psychology from different epistemological, ideological and disciplinary. perspectives and provide an advanced understanding of current theoretical debates within political psychology.
• Enable students to engage in multidisciplinary dialogue and research.
• Train students to use political psychological theories to formulate research questions relevant to current political phenomena and provide skills to apply political psychological theories and empirical findings in a number of different employment settings.
• Provide skills to use appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to address research questions as well as with the skills to interpret quantitative and qualitative data.

Why Queen's?
We have a longstanding international reputation for our social psychological research on political issues. Being based in Belfast has helped us to study at first hand conflict and now the peace process which is fostering cohesion between communities. This context provides students with opportunities to apply their learning to real life political phenomena.

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally possess or expect to possess by admission to the course, a 2.1 Honours degree or above in Psychology or Political Sciences or in another relevant discipline, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. We also take relevant work experience into account as part of the selection process.

If the programme is oversubscribed, applications will be ranked based on quality of academic performance, references and relevant experience. Applicants may be required to undertake an interview.

International Qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students
International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.
*taken within the last 2 years

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

For additional information, please visit our website.
• English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level.
• Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English
• See Also The Into Graduate Diploma In Finance Which Combines Academic Study, Intensive English Language Teaching And Study Skills To Prepare You For Entry Into A University Masters Degree.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Learning and Teaching
Classes usually take place on two consecutive full days a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) in the mornings and afternoons.

Our teaching is a mix. Methods courses cover both the principles of different approaches as well as the skills. Content is delivered in 3 hour classes which are supplemented private study and required readings.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
This MSc will help those seeking a career in public policy or in local/national Government, international and European organisations, political parties, the media and lobby groups. It will also provide the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD in Political or Social Psychology or other cognate discipline to pursue an academic career.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Dr Lesley Storey
School of Psychology
Tel: 028 9097 4587

Subjects taught

The programme consists of eight compulsory modules and a dissertation.
• Theoretical Perspectives and Focal Issues in Political Psychology
• Principles of Qualitative Research - Methods and Data Analyses I
• Principles of Qualitative Research - Methods and Data Analyses II
• Quantitative Data Analyses I
• Quantitative Data Analyses II
• Research Design and Professional Skills
• Research Design and ethical issues in Political Psychology
• Understanding Political Behaviours: Civic Engagement, Political Participation and Disempowerment
• Applying Political Psychology to Current Social Issues

In the first semester students concentrate on research methods skills and take one 30 hour Political Psychology module. In the second semester, students take advanced methods courses and two political psychology modules.

Assessment method

A variety of formats including essays, critical reviews of the literature, proposals, reports of empirical projects, seminar presentations, plus the dissertation.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply. See application weblink below.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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