Key Facts

Course Title: US Politics
Course type: MA, MRes
Mode of Study:Full Time or Part Time
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Politics and International Relations


The USA is wrestling with its changed status in a multi-polar world, but it remains a vital force in international politics and a source of fascination to outside observers. Domestically, its politics are riven by competition between its parties and contentious debates across a whole range of policy areas. As the players in Washington DC and the statehouses struggle for power and the media reflect an increasingly coarse and strident form of politics, the American public have become more frustrated.

Yet, change happens. The budget stalemates and shutdowns, the frenzied media coverage, partisan warfare, social media and more all contribute to a process of change. With Keele’s US pathway, you’ll take on the challenge of trying to understand how such a complex network of interests, parties, media, elected representatives, state and local governments, courts and voters combine to choose their policies, or fail to do so. Keele has multiple experts on US domestic politics among its permanent staff, allowing us to offer a course way beyond a standard undergraduate curriculum focused on US political institutions. If you want to truly understand the complex political currents that can create world-leading social change, such as same sex marriage and the legalisation of cannabis alongside phenomena such as the Tea Party and Donald Trump, then this is the course for you.

The course is intended for UK, EU, and overseas students. It is taught over a 12 month period (September-September; January-January). It is available as a full-time and/or part-time mode of study. Students completing our M.A. course have gone on to a variety of careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Aims of the Course

The course is designed to equip students with the analytical and conceptual skills required to examine US politics. These skills are fundamental to postgraduate study, but are also transferable to many other areas, academic and professional, as well as being invaluable for vocational and personal development. The course’s particular emphasis is on the battles over policymaking. Internationally-recognised experts will provide you with a depth of study and choice of specialisms that you will not find elsewhere.  You’ll be introduced to cutting-edge research and encouraged to develop your own research skills. Our interdisciplinary approach, together with a large and active research community on American issues within Keele, contributes to a thriving intellectual culture of which you can expect to be a part as a student of US Politics.

Entry Requirements

Students should have a good degree of a 2:2 from an awarding UK institution, or its equivalent.  It is not necessary to hold the degree in politics or international relations.  For students who fall short of this requirement, relevant work experience, or evidence of experience in the field, can be considered as an alternative.

Course Content

You will study the following core modules:
• Advanced Approaches to Politics and International Relations*
• Perspectives in Politics and International Relations*
• Research in Action*
• Dissertation Module
The following is a list of elective modules:
  • Race and Justice: Civil Rights in the US
  • The Politics of Sin: Culture Wars in the US
  • The US Presidency and Public PolicyApproaches to Dialogue
  • Climate Change: Governance, Power and Society
  • Comparative European Politics
  • Crisis, Continuity and Change: Trends and Issues in Contemporary Global History
  • Dimensions of Environmental Politics
  • Diplomatic Law
  • Diplomatic Practice
  • Environmental Decision Making: The Case of Complex Technologies
  • Environmental Diplomacy
  • Equality, Discrimination and Minorities
  • Foundations of Human Rights
  • Green Political Theory
  • Human Rights and Global Politics
  • International Environmental Law
  • Learning and Research Skills
  • Maritime Security
  • Parties and Democracy
  • Party Politics and the European Union
  • Rethinking Fault-Lines: Beyond the East/West Divide in Global Politics
  • The Changing International Agenda
  • The EU and the Global Commons
  • The Theory of Global Security
  • War, Memory and Popular Culture
*Please note: this is a pathway of the MA in Politics and International Relations. For further details on the course, please visit our website

Teaching and Assessment

Additional Costs

Apart from purchasing textbooks and other sundry materials, no significant additional costs are compulsory for this course.