A British MA
The importance of quality control
One of the less well-known features of British higher education is the institution of the external examiner. Each university department appoints one or more external examiners- a senior figure from a different university whose job it is to read the work of students in the department (essays, dissertations, examination scripts of undergraduates and graduates) and to confirm that the standard of work and the marks awarded conform to standards elsewhere in other British universities known to the examiner. ‘The decision of the external examiner is final’ is a sentence familiar to students checking university regulations before they begin their final examinations.
We are visited by an external examiner appointed by Lancaster University from a UK university other than Lancaster. The external examiner is usually appointed for three years only and a new examiner cannot be from the same university as the previous one. This examiner reads the work of all students ( essays and dissertations) after they have completed the programme in IFiS in order to decide whether they can be awarded the MA in Lancaster.
The programme’s students, with their particularly varied religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, can gain confidence from the knowledge that their final marks are subject to confirmation by someone they will very probably never meet but who has read their work thoroughly and has compared the standards of marking to those elsewhere in the UK.
The degrees awarded are those of Lancaster University and the programmes are therefore subject to review by the UK’s Quality Assurance Association for higher education (more details at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/)
External examiners’ reports are not normally public documents, and while it would be unusual to give quotations from them, it is permissible to note that since the programme opened here in 1995 they have consistently confirmed that standards are fully comparable with those at the best UK universities.
Students who successfully complete one of three ‘tracks’ of our programme have the possibility of being awarded one of three diplomas by Lancaster University: Master of Arts in Society and Politics; Master of Arts in Economy and Society; or Master of Arts in Culture, Media and Society.
All three tracks offer the thorough grounding in research methods and social theory essential for anyone considering further study in a PhD programme in GSSR or elsewhere, and also relevant for many non-academic careers.
All lectures of the programme take place after 17:00 on weekdays, or at weekends. Current timetables are available here
MA in Society and Politics
The MA in Society and Politics is the oldest and most established track in our MA programme. It offers a variety of courses that will provide both the “standard canons” of theoretical and empirical discourse and relate to the research frontier as well. Courses on political sociology, especially civil society both East and West of the Elbe and social movements, contemporary welfare states, classic and contemporary social and political theory, institution building, corruption, political culture, political gender issues, the interpretation of the Holocaust, and the rule of law are examples of our orientation as reflected in our courses.
MA in Economy and Society
The MA in Economy and Society track was designed to help students develop an understanding of how social preconditions may both limit and stimulate change from non-market to various types of market economy. The seminars focus on the interdependence between the economic and social systems at the time of a deep transformation. Thanks to courses like Political Economy of Policy Reform, Economy and Society (I and II), , Seminar on Corruption, Organized Crime and Human Trafficking, and Sociology of Institutional Change, students are able to observe theories “in action”, as instruments for achieving a better understanding of the socio-economic world.
MA in Culture, Media and Society
The MA in Culture, Media and Society track offers students a unique chance to gain a broad perspective on the contemporary developments in the field of cultural studies together with a practical focus on those aspects of culture which are of importance in today’s societies. In particular, the problem of cultural identity in the contemporary world is addressed in various courses that make up this track, including Theories of Culture, the Holocaust and Its Cultural Meaning, Culture and Nationalism, Women’s Political Identity, and the Roma in Central/Eastern Europe.
The media-component provides students with an understanding of the growing importance of the interplay of influence between mass media and society, examining the media’s role in shaping socio-cultural, political, economic, and technological developments. The track looks at a broad range of subjects related to the production and reception of news and advertising, including mass communication history and theory, media effects, media ownership structure.
MA programme handbook
Courses in 2018-19
For details of course available in individual tracks see handbook p 9
- Sławomir Kapralski (UP Krakow)– Social and PoliticalTheory
- Henryk Banaszak (U. Warsaw)– Elementary Statistics(Research methods)Report Requirements2018
- Radosław Markowski (SWPS) – Political sociology
- Michał Federowicz (IFiS PAN), Andrzej Rychard (IFiS PAN)Economy and Society I
- Magdalena Grabowska (IFiS PAN))/Joanna Regulska (UC Davis)– Womens Political Identity in Making
- Annamaria Orla-Bukowska (Jagellonian U.)– The Holocaust and its cultural meaning
- Zdzisław Mach (Jagellonian U.)Culture and Nationalism 2019
- Andrzej Rychard (IFiS PAN) – Sociology of Institutional Change
- Marta Olcoń Kubicka (IFiS PAN)– Qualitative Methods
- Henryk Banaszak (U. Warsaw)– Quantitative Methods 2019
- Sławomir Kapralski (UP Krakow)– Contemporary Social Theory
- Michał Federowicz/Michał Sitek (IFiS PAN)– Economy and Society II 2019
- Sławomir Kapralski (UP Krakow)–Theories of Culture
- Sławomir Kapralski (UP Krakow)– The Roma in Central/Eastern Europe
- Edwin Bendyk (Collegium Civitas) Mirek Filiciak (SWPS)– e Media
- Paweł Załęski (U. Warsaw)– Civil Society inTheory and Practice
- Michał Federowicz/Michał Sitek (IFiS PAN) – Political economy of policy reform
- Peter Przytuła (U. Minnesota)– Mass Communication and Society
- Peter Przytuła (U. Minnesota)– Media Ethics
- Jan Kubik (Rutgers)– Beyond political Culture
- Leslie Holmes (U.Melbourne)– Organised Crime and Human Trafficking
- Leslie Holmes (U.Melbourne)– Corruption
- Jan Pakulski (University of Tasmania) Elites and Leaders in Contemporary Politics
- Radosław Markowski (SWPS) Backsliding into Authoritarianism