This 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 Master’s 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.
The course leader is Professor Barry Richards, who has over 30 years’ experience of research and writing in this field, from his edited collection ‘Capitalism and Infancy’ in 1984 to his forthcoming book ‘What is Holding Us Together?’. He has been a leading figure in the application of psychoanalytic theory to the understanding of politics.
The course team also includes Professor Candida Yates, author and editor of books on popular culture, emotion and politics, and Associate Professor Darren Lilleker, a widely-published international leader in the study of political communication. These and other teaching staff bring a broad range of perspectives to the course, and enable it both to focus on the psychological dimensions of politics and also to see psychological factors in their broader societal contexts. Our psychologies need specific study, but are part of our societies and cultures.
If you are considering postgraduate research on a topic which involves looking psychologically at politics, or are intending to work in the political field itself (whether as activist, consultant, researcher or in some other role), this course offers a highly relevant, challenging and rich encounter with leading-edge theory and research at the complex intersections of psychology and politics.
For September 2021 entry: In order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses.
This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in December to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.
Next start date:
September 2020, January 2021, September 2021
Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time (September start); 15 months full-time or 27 months part-time (January start)
All subjects considered
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. For more information check out our full entry requirements.