The Centre for Opposition Studies at the University of Bolton is delighted to announce a new online programme:

MA Government Opposition and Parliamentary Studies

This two-year part-time programme has been developed in collaboration with current parliamentarians and includes an optional residential Westminster Experience (at a supplementary cost). Providing in-depth knowledge of the workings of Government and Opposition and relevant theories, this programme aims to give unique prominence to the importance of political opposition and scrutiny, exploring the dynamic between those who hold power and those who scrutinise it.

What does the programme cover?

Theoretical study of political frameworks with practical application of their use in opposition. While the course is founded on the understanding of the British parliamentary system and in particular the way politicians are held to account by a variety of means, you will have the opportunity to study opposition in an international context. A key module is Political Communication which uses a practical approach to explore the nature and function of communication in the political process. The programme culminates in either a traditional research dissertation or a more vocationally based research project.

During the optional residential Westminster Experience, you will engage first-hand with the workings of the UK/English Parliament and its associated functions including the civil service, lobbyists and the media. Guest lectures will be provided by current and former politicians, journalists, advisers, analysts and public servants to provide contemporary perspectives on approaches to opposition, democracy and government in action.

Where will it take you?

This programme is for anyone who either aspires to government office, whether in the UK or internationally, or has an interest in exploring roles which are allied to any government function. The high level exploration of parliamentary themes from this unique perspective will support any career in organisations which require an understanding of how government, opposition and the mechanics of power actually work.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants should normally hold an honours degree (2.2 or above) in a relevant subject such as politics/government, history, liberal arts, humanities. Other subjects or experience will be taken into consideration if you do not have a relevant degree, for example student politics or activism, involvement in campaigning or union activity

What will it cost?

Tuition fees for the programme for entry in October 2023 are £14,450. The cost of the optional Westminster Experience for entry in October 2023 is £3,950.

How to apply

To make an online application:

More information

For more information select the link below:

In Collaboration with:

The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Centre for Opposition Studies ( and with the input of parliamentarians, lobbyists and other political advisors.

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Programme Contacts

Professor Mohammed Abdel-Haq

Dr Chris Grant
Head of Centre for Independent Academic units