MA Postcolonial Politics (Specialist)

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Why study this Masters degree?

Postcolonial
 Politics is
 one
 of
 the
 most
 exciting
 areas
 in
 the
 study
 of
 global
 relationships.
 It
 challenges 
conventional 
thinking 
about
 international 
politics
 by 
questioning 
the
 fundamental
 assumptions
 about
 the
 world
 that
 underpin
 the
 contemporary
 global
 order.
 Indeed,
 it invites
 us
 to
 imagine
 the
 world
 from
 another
 perspective
 entirely.
 Drawing
 on
 the 
disciplines 
of 
history,
 cultural
 studies, 
sociology,
 area
 studies
 and
 anthropology,
 postcolonial
 politics
 brings
 an
 interdisciplinary
 approach
 to
 understanding
 power
 and
 inequality
 in
 the
 social
 world
 and
 on
 a
 global
 scale.
 It
 also
 stretches
 beyond
 the
 intellectual
 compartments
 of
 ‘the
 west’
 and
 ‘the
 rest’,
 to
 look
 for
 continuities
 and
 global
 interactions
 especially
 those
 steeped
 in
 the
 experience 
of 
colonialism
–
in
 the
 past
 and in 
the
 present.
 It starts from the assumption that although formal colonialism may be a thing of the past, its legacies continue, both in the form of practices such as aid, development, state-building, immigration policies and intervention and in more subtle ways.

Aberystwyth is
 at 
the 
forefront 
of 
research
 and
 teaching
 in
 the
 field, with a number of internationally renowned faculty in this area.
 Our degree scheme, the
 first
 Masters
 programme
 in
 Postcolonial
 Politics established
 here
 in
 1999 and developed continuously since,
 remains
 unique.
 Indeed, it is now increasingly relevant in the context of current moves in international relations to examine the potential of non-Western and decolonial approaches and the possibilities of provincialising Europe.  These perspectives are no longer marginal to the study of world politics, but situated at the heart of cutting-edge critical approaches.  They provide key tools for those who wish to go on to make their contribution in both academic study and practical engagement in international politics in a postcolonial world.

Key Facts

Duration:

One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

During the first two semesters you will normally take one two-hour seminar per module per week. You will also have contact with academic staff through participation in research groups, attendance in departmental research seminars and masters workshops and through staff office hours (two one hour sessions per week). There will also be additional sessions working towards developing your master’s dissertation. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment:

Assessment will be through a combination of essays and dissertation.  It may, depending on the modules chosen, include seminar presentations, review essays and literature searches.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunities may be available please check our funding calculator for details.

Overview

 

The Department is renowned for its pioneering research and is recognised as number one in the UK for the study of international politics. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), the Department of International Politics was placed best in Wales with 76% of publications submitted rated as world leading and internationally excellent.

The MA Postcolonial Politics explores the assumptions, theories and practices that have defined traditional studies of relations between developed and underdeveloped states, and the alternative conceptualisation provided by a postcolonial perspective on international politics. It traces the continuing impact of colonialism on the contemporary world, examines in depth how colonial practices work, and critically assesses possibilities for change.

For 2016-17, the degree scheme will comprise a core module in Postcolonial Politics, worth 20 credits and two further key modules chosen from a basket of options (40 credits).  The Specialist degree involves three further modules, chosen either from the degree scheme basket, or from other modules offered by the department (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). These may include a maximum of one module from across the university.  This provides a strong grounding in postcolonial politics with a degree of choice.

CURRENT DEGREE SCHEME COORDINATOR: Professor Jenny Edkins
Please contact me if you have further enquiries about the degree scheme: jfe@aber.ac.uk

Core degree scheme team:

Professor Jenny Edkins, Professor of International Politics: works on personhood and political community in a postcolonial context. She engages with these practices through detailed, grounded studies in particular areas, for example: famine and aid in Eritrea and Ethiopia; tracing the displaced, missing and disappeared in Europe, the US and Argentina; the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo; struggles over memory in the aftermath of war or genocide.

Dr Ayla Göl , Senior Lecturer in International Politics: focuses on Islam, nationalism, identity politics, foreign policy analysis and Third World politics with particular reference to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Eurasia and the Caucasus, and Turkey. Her most recent paper is ‘Ethnic Radicalisation: Kurdishness as Extremism in Hegemonic Discourses of Turkey’. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, November 2009 - March 2010.

Professor Mustapha Kamal Pasha, Chair in International Politics: works broadly within Post-Western IR and draws from varied genealogies, notably decolonial thought, post colonialism, post structuralism, critical theory, and classical political economy (influenced by Hegel, Marx, Gramsci, and Subaltern Studies). His work interrogates the immanent structure of modernity as it confronts particular constellations of transcendental commitment in the Islamic Cultural Zones. He is also concerned with the linkage between deterritorialization and inequality.

Dr Lucy Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies: works on Latin American – especially Argentinian – politics and is currently researching the relationship dynamics of political representation in a barrio of Buenos Aires. Her theoretical work explores how Latin American postcolonial ideas and experiences might enrich mainstream postcolonial thinking, as well as the significant challenge which they pose for IR theory. Lucy speaks Spanish and Welsh.

Dr Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Senior Lecturer in Peacebuilding, Post-War Reconstruction and Transitional Justice

Dr Charalampos Efstathopoulos, Lecturer in International Politics of the Newly Emergent Powers and the Global Order

Dr Innana Hamati-Ataya, Reader in International Politics

Dr Brieg Powel, Lecturer in International Politics

Our Staff

Lecturers in the Department of International Politics are all research active and qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Options Students must take the following Degree Scheme Core Module.

Semester 1

Postcolonial Politics IPM1320

Year 1 Options In addition to the Degree Scheme core module and 40 credits from the 'basket' list, students on the Specialist pathway must take an additional 60 credits (3 modules) of modules which may include 1 x 20 credit modules outside the department if desired.

Semester 1

Polisi A Chyunllunio Iaith Yng Nghymru Heddiw GWM9520

Intelligence, Security And International Politics 1900-45 IPM0320

International Politics 1: Theories And Concepts (s) IPM0520

Thoughts Of War: Strategic Theory & Thinkers (s) IPM0920

Critical Security Studies: Emerging Issues IPM1220

The International Politics Of Food And Water Security IPM5220

Violence And Civilization In World Politics IPM5820

Language Policy And Planning In Wales Today IPM9520

Semester 2

Datganoli A Chynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru GWM1620

Intelligence, Security And International Politics Since 1945 IPM0420

Devolution And National Assembly For Wales (s) IPM1620

Power And Postwar Reconstruction: A Critical Approach IPM3820

British Counterinsurgency Warfare In The Twentieth Century IPM8820

Cyber Security IPM9820

Year 1 Electives Specialist pathway students must choose 40 credits (2 modules) from the 'basket' list below (semester 1 and/or 2).

Semester 1

The International Politics Of Conflict Knowledge IPM3720

Post-western International Relations IPM4120

Islam And Modernity IPM8420

Semester 2

Critical Security Studies: Contemporary Theories IPM1120

International Communications In Asia-pacific: Power, Peoples And Propaganda IPM4020

Dissident Perspectives On World Politics IPM4820

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) Students must submit a dissertation on a topic relevant to their degree scheme. Students may submit their dissertation in either Welsh or English. Students wishing to submit their Dissertation in Welsh should register for GWM0060.

Semester 3

Dissertation IPM0060

Employability

Qualification: Masters in Postcolonial Politics

This degree will suit you:

  • If you want to study Postcolonial Politics at Masters level
  • If you wish to develop a critical appreciation postcolonial politics
  • If you wish to nurture a career in politics
  • If you desire formal recognition of skills highly sought-after by any postgraduate employer

Employability

Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. Your Masters will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained political specialist with a strength in depth of knowledge on vital subjects such as the assumptions, theories and practices that have defined traditional studies of relations between developed and underdeveloped states, and the alternative conceptualisation provided by a postcolonial perspective on international relations. You will also graduate with a wealth of postgraduate-level skills which are transferable into any workplace. In addition, the prestige of a  masters from the Department of International Politics will open doors for you into workplaces in every industry.

Graduates from the programme regularly go on to hold key posts in institutions throughout the world for example, working for NGOs in development and other areas, or careers as diplomats in foreign offices. Many others have gone on to doctoral study and academic work. Many alumni are now well established figures in their own right, as their own web sites testify. See for example: Megan Daigle, recently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Carl Death, Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, The University of Manchester; Madeleine Fagan, Institute of Advanced Studies Global Research Fellow at Warwick University, UK; Owain Llyr ap Gareth, Campaigns and Research Officer with the Electoral Reform Society; Sara Ababneh, Assistant Professor, Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan; Aoileann Ni Mhurchu, Lecturer in International Politics, The University of Manchester; Elizabeth Wheatley, Lecturer in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University.

Key Skills and Competencies

Study Skills

Alongside the wealth of world-class critical expertise, you will master highly desirable skills in academic research, analysis, argument-formation, presentation and debate. You will also prove your abilities in reflection and self-improvement; you will be able to identify your academic weaknesses and remove them whilst building on your strengths.

Self-Motivation and discipline

Studying at Masters level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, but you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Master’s degree. This process of independent study at an extremely high level will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

Transferable Skills

The International Relations Masters programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts.  Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines.

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 622708
Fax: (01970) 622709
Email: interpol@aber.ac.uk

Department of International Politics
Aberystwyth University
Penglais Campus
Aberystwyth University
SY23 3FE

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

It is important you feel at home in the Department, University and Town. Here are some links for you to explore these areas further:

Student Views

Sara Ababneh, Assistant Professor, Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan

Studying postcolonial politics at Aber – as we called it –was the most enriching academic experience of my life. The course allowed me to think in ways that I had previously not known were possible and to be critical of understandings of power which restrict it to the 'official' political sphere. I learned not only from the program’s professors, but also from my classmates, many of whom I am in touch with to this day.  The relationship we had with our professors, moreover, went far beyond a conventional student-teacher relationship: Many a time we would all go to Rummers after class or would have dinner with our professors. What was most extraordinary, however, was the encouragement we received to come to conferences, organize workshops and the insight we gained to our tutor's research. This close relationship fostered a strong sense of scholarly community and allowed us to enter the world of academia in a way that is rare for students at the masters level.

*****************

David
 Kruijff,
 Independent 
Consultant, 
Microfinance,
 Brussels.

After 
five 
years 
of 
work in 
countries
 such
 as
 Albania,
 Kosovo
 and
 the
 Philippines 
I 
decided 
to 
return
 to 
the
 university 
in 
order 
to 
place 
my
 experiences
 in
 a 
broader
 perspective.
 The
 degree 
in
 postcolonial 
politics 
allowed 
me
 to 
do 
exactly 
so.
 The 
poco 
degree 
presented 
tough
 questions
 on 
the
 role
 of 
the 
international 
in 
the 
development 
field,
 the
 use
 of 
‘expert’ 
vs 
local 
knowledge, 
the
 influence
 of 
power 
and 
knowledge 
in
 project 
design, 
and 
much
 more.
 Further, 
the 
degree
 clearly
 enhanced 
more
 basic 
abilities,
 i.e. 
learning 
how 
to 
think, 
analyse
 and
 communicate
 ideas 
or 
defend
 an 
opinion,
 verbally 
and 
in
 writing.
 All
 in 
all 
it 
made 
me 
a 
more
 mature 
and 
thoughtful
 person
 and
 has
 enable
d me
 to
 exercise 
my
 profession 
in 
a 
better
 manner.
 After
 completing 
the
 degree 
I
 returned
 to 
my 
previous 
profession 
in 
the 
field
 of 
Development
 Finance. 
Initially 
I 
worked
 for 
Oxfam 
in
 the
 Netherlands 
after
 which
 I
 moved
 to 
D.C.
 to 
work 
for
 the
 World
 Bank. 
Currently
 I
 live 
in
 Brussels
 where 
I 
work 
as 
independent 
consultant 
in 
the 
field 
of
 microfinance.

*****************

Emiliano
 Unzer
 Macedo, 
Adjunct
 Professor
 of 
the
 Department
 de
 Historia
da
 UFES, 
Brazil.



My
 experience 
studying
 at 
University 
of 
Aberystwyth 
was 
the
 best
 possible,
 fulfilled 
all
 my 
prior
 expectations.
 My 
master’s
 degree 
in 
Postcolonial 
Politics
 was
 very
 mind 
challenging, 
full 
of
 constructive
 arguments 
and
 thoughtful 
debates.
 I 
inherited
 a 
much 
more
 critical
 and
 broader
 view
on 
power,
 politics
 and 
international
 affairs.
 All
 these 
nowadays 
constitute 
fundamental
 contributions 
and 
concepts
 that
 I 
carry
 along 
in 
my 
university 
lectures 
and
 seminars
 where 
I 
hold
 office
 here 
in 
the 
Federal 
University 
of 
Espirito
 Santo 
(UFES)
 at 
the 
city 
of
 Vitoria, south east
 region 
of
 Brazil.