Produced by Zeynep
MA Political Psychology
Political Psychology is a combination of two words that look quietly indifferent. I see a confused face every time I meet with someone when I talk about my course, as I also can imagine your face right now!
Although many people are not very familiar with this brand-new social science discipline, Political Psychology is getting more popular day by day. Political Psychology looks at political topics from a psychology perspective. Politics has tried to explain human behaviour with rationality for many years. With the help of psychological theories and research, now we are closer to grasping political behaviour in a broader sense.
Moreover, political topics are not only voting or perception regarding the political leaders. These are also important topics; however, there are various issues that you can study within this area like group behaviour, nationalism, racism, gender inequality, poverty, protest, activism etc.
My journey to choose Political Psychology is related to my love and admiration of social sciences. Although I studied psychology as a BA previous to my master’s degree, I took general elective courses from other courses. I believe that human behaviour and social issues are very complex, so one discipline does not provide the necessary tools and understanding to analyse them.
Psychology has a micro-perspective to examine human thinking processes and behaviour, closer to natural sciences. While other disciplines like Politics, Sociology and Anthropology have a macro-perspective, including analysing groups and the systematic effect of states and society. At this point, political psychology offers a different outlook using all these disciplines. Specifically, the MA Political Psychology course at Bournemouth University is designed to strengthen the students’ ability to grasp theoretical background and apply this theoretical understanding to contemporary issues. Thus, the lectures and seminars include many theoretical readings and discussion parts. I find beneficial and exciting case studies -analysing current problems- are also an important practical aspect of my course. When I read the group analysis article of one of the course professors about the perception of Brexit in the UK, I thought this course was the perfect match for my dream course!
What about the job options? As a political psychologist, you can work in many sectors and settings like governments, policy centres, political campaigning consultancies, international non-governmental organisations, public diplomacy. Politics and psychology consist of many sub-branches and relate to nearly all aspects of our lives. Thus, your job options after graduation are not restricted to one type of job role. According to your interest and focus areas during your studies, you have the freedom to choose your ideal job and working atmosphere.