Key Information
Award MA Government, Oppostion and Parliamentary Studies
How to apply For further information, an informal discussion and to register your interest please contact Professor Abdel-Haq or Dr Chris Grant (details below).
Mode of attendance Distance Learning Synchronous
Duration 2 years part-time
Start dates October 2022; February 2023
Entry requirements (typical offer) You are normally expected to have successfully completed an honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject such as politics/government, history, liberal arts, humanities (minimum classification 2.2 or equivalent). You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

For applicants who have not studied their previous qualifications in English a TOEFL score of at least 575 (written)/230 (computer-based) or an academic IELTS score of at least 6.5 will be required. 

Normally, candidates are required to attend an interview. In the case of international applicants the interviews are conducted over the internet or by telephone.
Awarding body University of Bolton
Location University of Bolton:
Deane Campus, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB


Course overview

The MA Government, Opposition and Parliamentary Studies programme allows you to develop your understanding of key functions of government and opposition activities and reflect on their role in the system, alongside enhancing your knowledge and understanding of Government, opposition and the making of policy more broadly.

This programme aims to provide a critical understanding of the problems and challenges facing those closely connected to the Government sector and equip candidates with the analytical and critical faculties to identify potential innovative solutions. These qualities are highly sought after by prestigious international employers, the civil service, government and other organisation with a policy focus.

Our highly-qualified and experienced team will support you as you learn how to evaluate and develop good practice in key areas of government, lobbying, and NGOs. You’ll have the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to work effectively, independently and as part of a team.

Careers and professional development

The programme provides a unique insight into the workings of politics through the lens of opposition and government. You will develop transferable skills of independent thought and critical analysis, analysing and evaluating complex issues and solving unfamiliar problems, presenting ideas clearly and with confidence, and working independently and collaboratively.

Graduates will be equipped with skills and knowledge applicable to a range of employment sectors, including the public sector, lobbying and public affairs, and charity advocacy.

Programme overview

The programme will be delivered online. A range of learning and teaching methods will be employed, including asynchronous lectures, synchronous seminars, tutorials, discussion groups, guest speakers and master classes. assessment work and preparation for sessions. Modules include Political Institutions of the United Kingdom, International Government and Opposition, Parliamentary Studies and Political Communication.

The course is taught online by a core team of specialist lecturers, with guest lectures by political practitioners including MPs, public affairs professionals, political advisers and consultants. Assessment will be by a combination of coursework and practical exercises, such as the preparation of campaign plans, briefings and press releases. A final dissertation will form part of the assessment. A significant amount of personal study time is expected to be undertaken by the student comprising, for example, background reading, online activities. This programme adopts a blended style of learning and teaching including online delivery and engagement where appropriate.

Students will also have the opportunity to attend the unique “Westminster Experience” during the MA. This bespoke week-long event will take place in Central London, and involve an intensive series of visits, talks and seminars to give a practical insight into how politics really works. This will give participants the chance to meet politicians, advisers and public affairs professionals, see where they work, and experience politics in action. An additional charge will be payable for those taking part, along with necessary travel costs.

Fees, funding and finance information

The cost to part time students is £6,000 a year with an expected completion within 2 years. (The University of Bolton charges the same study fees for both home and international CfOS students).

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For further information please contact;

Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq
Director of the Centre for Islamic Finance

Dr Chris Grant
Head of Centre for Independant Academic Units