About one third of all Laurier students complete at least one course in Political Science, and each year about 80-100 new undergraduate students select our Honours Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science, or Honours BA in Political Science with Research Specialization, as their major field of study.
Our BA in Political Science with Research Specialization program will allow more academically oriented students and those who plan to go on to graduate work in the social sciences to hone their research and theory skills in PO478, with PO479 deepening their ability to do so.
We will also welcome our first cohort in the combined Sussex LLB and BA in Political Science in the fall of 2016. In this program, students spend their first two years at Laurier, the next three years at Sussex University in the UK (where they attain their LLB credentials), and a final year back at Laurier to complete the requirements of the Honours BA.
Minors, Options, Certificates
In addition, more than 100 students from across the university participate in our Legal Studies Option, and we also offer minors in both Political Science and Public Policy for students in other programs.
Students can also pursue a Certificate in Practical Politics, which bundles together a series of skills-building workshops in areas such as media relations, advocacy and policy-making.
At the graduate level, the department offers a one-year Master of Applied Politics, which pairs academic study in the field of political science with applied skills such as social advocacy, public opinion survey design and analysis, policy analysis, media relations, and problem-solving in global governance.
Depth and Breadth of Knowledge
- Situate the study of politics within its own historical evolution (including disciplinary sub-fields) and vis-à-vis other areas of inquiry within the social sciences and humanities.
- Demonstrate detailed knowledge of core political institutions and processes, as well as core political ideas, methods, theories, and concepts.
Knowledge of Methodologies
- Comprehend and evaluate different conceptual/theoretical and methodological approaches (qualitative and quantitative) to the study of politics, and apply them to new research problems.
- Appreciate the roles that different levels of analyses have on research and practice.
Application of Knowledge
In written and oral work:
- Frame questions, pose solutions, and solve problems by applying core concepts, theories, and methods to assess various political phenomena.
- Synthesize information from the scholarly literature and primary resources to address complex research questions.
- Communicate ideas and arguments in a variety of written and oral mediums and to a range of audiences, both academic and non-academic.
- Accurately summarize, evaluate, and analyze arguments and debates from a variety of sources and mediums through written and oral work.
Awareness of Limits of Knowledge
- Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of the variety of approaches used by political scientists to make sense of political phenomena.
- Describe how political science can and cannot help address a variety of real world political problems.
Autonomy and Professional Capacity
- Appreciate the importance of political engagement, using a variety of means at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
- Develop organizational, time management, and research and analytical skills through both independent and group work.
- Develop critical thinking skills involving the evaluation and development of arguments, debates, concepts, methods, and theories both within and outside the discipline.
- Act in a manner consistent with academic integrity and social responsibility.