Graduate Studies

Faculty of Social Sciences

Graduate Studies

Program Description
Brock’s MA program in political science offers the high-quality academic pursuit available in larger institutions, but in a more intimate and collegial setting. Students are given the opportunity to work closely with the department’s nationally and internationally recognized faculty in small, seminar-style classes and in one-one interactions. Most MA students in the department are also employed as teaching or research assistants, allowing them to earn income to support their studies, while exposing them to the real worlds of academic teaching and research.

Our application deadline for full or part-time studies is February 1 for admission the following September. In exceptional circumstances students may be admitted to enter the program commencing coursework in January. But applications for January admission will only be accepted with advance permission from the Graduate Program Director.  Please contact the Graduate Admissions Coordinator for further details

There are three types of courses in the MA program and all are one term in length:
1. There are core courses, taught as seminars and restricted to graduate students. They provide an opportunity for critical examination of some of the most significant writings in the various subfields of the discipline and constitute a key component in the Brock MA program.

2. There are specialized courses, most of which are taught in conjunction with fourth year undergraduate honours courses. However, graduate students will have assignments and responsibilities that differ from the undergraduate students. These are also seminar courses with small class sizes.

3. In rare cases there are tutorial courses. These are individualized reading courses approved for students who want to pursue a topic not covered in the graduate curriculum.

A thesis or major essay is also a part of all courses of study. A thesis is an independent research project that makes an original contribution to the discipline. For more information about thesis requirements, see here. The essay (MRP) stream is the default option, and the one taken by most students.
Students are required to consult with the Graduate Program Director, who will assist students in choosing among the various program options.

The MA program in political science allows students to specialize in one of five sub-fields of political science: Canadian politics, comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, and public policy. At the same time, all MA students are required to take core seminars focusing on the great works of political science and political science research methods. In this way, the program allows students to focus on their areas of research interest while ensuring they have the general knowledge and research skills necessary to see the significance of their research in broader context. The core seminars also contribute greatly to the widely renowned collegiality of the MA program