M.A. with Thesis

(1-2 year program for full time students; also open to part-time students)

The thesis stream is primarily intended for students who have: (a) clearly defined plans to pursue a Ph.D. and believe they would like to do a significant research project to prepare for that program, or (b) want to write a thesis because they have compelling research interests on a particular topic.

Formal Program Requirements

  • Students choosing the M.A. with thesis must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in political science graduate program courses of which 3 credit hours must be attained from either POSC 6000 (Concepts) or POSC 6010 (Methods) and 3 credit hours must be obtained from POSC602A/B. Further courses beyond the minimum number may be required, depending on the background and needs of the student.
  • Each student choosing the thesis option will submit a thesis on a subject that has been approved by the supervisory committee of the Department.
  • Students applying for the thesis option must submit a brief statement of their research interests with their application or when they request a change in program to the thesis stream.

Thesis Requirements

A Master's thesis must show that a student can:

  • Identify a significant research question
  • Design and carry out a program of research;
  • Present the results of that research in a clear, coherent, and professionally acceptable manner.

Though the thesis must be significant research, it is not expected to be path-breaking. The Department of Political Science prefers concise theses of 20,000 words (roughly 70 pages of text). The thesis author will be expected to follow the Department's Plagiarism and Documentation policies.


  • Thesis stream students are to contact a faculty member with similar research interests to explore the possibility of that person agreeing to be the student's supervisor. This may occur as early as when the student is applying to the university and must be completed before the end of the first semester at Memorial.
  • The student and his or her supervisor will select another faculty member to serve on the student's supervisory committee, along with the supervisor. The supervisor must read and approve the student's thesis proposal. The supervisor will read and approve the final draft of the student's thesis before it is sent for examination.
  • The actual examination is done by an inside examiner (a member of this Department who has not been involved with the preparation of the thesis) and an outside examiner (a professor from outside this Department).
  • The School of Graduate Studies sets the calendar guidelines governing thesis examinations and program completions.
  • Final Theses are submitted to the library and must therefore meet University formatting requirements.
  • Graduate students may choose to avail of the Faculty of Arts Digital Research Centre's services, which can support their qualitative research by providing access to high quality digital tape recorders, cameras, video equipment and software to gather, preserve, process and analyze field data.

Examples of Past Political Science M.A. Thesis Titles

Over the years our Master of Arts candidates have written theses on a range of Political Science topics. A bound copy of each of the following titles is permanently stored in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies library on campus. Some examples appear below. Students are free to select a thesis topic from these areas or any other applicable area of Political Science.

Canadian Politics

  • The state of Canadian studies in Canada's schools
  • Political culture and community development in the Harbour Breton area
  • Political influence on the funding of municipal capital works in Newfoundland 1973 to 1988

Comparative Politics

  • Legislative development in new democracies: going the next step
  • Once more unto the breach: humanitarian interventions in failed states
  • The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement and the Direction of Canadian Foreign Policy in the 1990s
  • The resilient state: the case of the liberalization of services in the European Union

International Politics

  • Nested Games and Post Conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan
  • "Peacekeeping when there is no peace to keep": a case study of UNPROFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Provincial international activity: the case of Newfoundland
  • The rise of the extreme right in France and Germany and the problem of immigration
  • The violent secession and the velvet divorce: Croatian and Slovak secessions in perspective

Political Behaviour

  • Constituency campaigning: a review of the literature and a case study of Ottawa Centre
  • Ecology and the ballot: Green Party voting in European and national elections in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain and Luxembourg, 1979-1999
  • Leadership and ideology in conflict: an analysis of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador 1995-96
  • Political attitudes and participation among high school teachers in Newfoundland
  • Requiem for a nation: identity and the nationalist question among young Newfoundlanders
  • The dynamics of Catholic voting behavior surrounding denominational education reform in Newfoundland

Public Policy and Administration

  • A case study of public interest groups in the Newfoundland educational reform policy-making process
  • Chocolate bars and rubber boots: the Smallwood industrialization plan
  • Collaboration or Consultation? The Development and Implementation of Social Policy in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador from the Strategic Social Plan to the Rural Secretariat
  • Federal attempts at relieving regional economic disparity: Newfoundland's experience with D.R.E.E.
  • Freedom of the sea to fishery conservation: an evolving ocean management regime
  • Regional development associations in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Regional economic development by Crown Corporation: the case of Cape Breton
  • Telecommunications policy communities and policy options for rural areas

Women in Politics

  • Battles in the gender war: theories of international relations and gender and the realities of women in war
  • Elizabeth Symes v. Regina (1993): a case study of feminist judicial action in Canada
  • Low political participation among rural women in Chiloe, Chile: consequences for democratization
  • Making waves: women in Newfoundland politics

For further information, please contact our Graduate Coordinator.