The Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management offers courses leading to the degree of Masters of Political Management.

The degree comprises 5.0 credits and has been designed so as to be completed in 1 year of full-time study or 2-3 years of part-time study. Descriptions of the core and other POLM courses that make up the degree are listed below.

Program Requirements

1. Students must complete 1.0 credit (CR) in core courses:

  • POLM 5007 [0.25 CR]: Writing in a Political Context
  • POLM 5008 [0.25 CR]: Ethics in Political Management
  • POLM 5009 [0.25 CR]: Media Relations
  • POLM 5018 [0.25 CR]: Strategic Communications

2. Students must complete 0.5 credit from:

  • POLM 5001 [0.5 CR]: Parliament and Parties in Canada
  • POLM 5002 [0.5 CR]: The Core Executive in Canada
  • POLM 5017 [0.5 CR]: Political Institutions in a Comparative Context (not offered in 2019-20)

3. 1.0 credit in practicum placement:

4. Students must complete an additional 2.5 credits in POLM courses.

Course Descriptions

POLM 5001 [0.5 CR]: Parliament and Parties in Canada
A critical introduction to the development of public policy and the exercise of political power in Canada, concentrating on political management in the context of Parliament and political parties.

POLM 5002 [0.5 CR]: The Core Executive in Canada
An examination of how public policy originates, and how its development is managed within the executive branch, with particular emphasis on the Cabinet process and the relationship between political actors and the public service.

POLM 5004 [0.5 CR]: Advanced Strategic Communications
An exploration of how to understand an issue environment, develop positive and productive social media and mainstream media approaches, create a crisis communications strategy, and ensure a strong reputation management capacity.
Prerequisite(s): POLM 5018

POLM 5005 [0.5 CR]: Political Offices
A critical examination of the diverse roles of political staffers working in the offices of elected officials in Canada, with a focus on federal executive and parliamentary offices but also including work in the context of election campaigns, political parties, municipal and provincial governments.

POLM 5007 [0.25 CR]: Writing in a Political Context
The craft of effective political writing, focusing on how to optimize messages in speeches, press releases, policy papers and other written products.

POLM 5008 [0.25 CR]: Ethics in Political Management
An examination of the ethical codes that should guide activities and professional relationships of individuals working in the political system.

POLM 5009 [0.25 CR]: Media Relations
The theory and practice of media relations in a political environment.

POLM 5010 [0.5 CR]: Polling and Opinion Research
Exploring theory, design, and execution of public opinion research to support campaign and advocacy strategies. Overview of ways to incorporate research in strategy development, methodologies used, and how to use opinion research to make better decisions. No statistical or mathematical background required.
Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as POLM 4010, for which additional credit is precluded

POLM 5011 [0.5 CR]: Political Campaigns
A strategic approach to developing and executing political campaigns (national, regional, local and issue-based), including: campaign ethics; campaign organization; use of new technology and social media; fundraising and budget; development and delivery of messages; GOTV efforts; policy and platform; issue management; tour; innovations and trends.

POLM 5012 [0.5 CR]: Advocacy and Government Relations in Canada
Through applied exercises, case studies and a project with an external organization, students will build knowledge and skills required for advocacy and government relations in the private and voluntary sectors.
Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as POLM 4012, for which additional credit is precluded

POLM 5013 [0.5 CR]: Political Management and the Media
An examination of the organization and practices of major media. Coverage of public officials, public policy issues and legislative battles, paying particular attention to the current and seismic changes in the media as agencies of public address, and the consequences for politics and governance.

POLM 5014 [0.5 CR]: Political Marketing
Using case studies and simulation exercises, the course will provide students with an understanding of political marketing strategy, market intelligence, consultation and participation, political product development and branding, and marketing practices in government.

POLM 5015 [0.5 CR]: Public Policy for Political Advisors
An introduction to policy analysis and policy process for political advisors. Topics include agenda setting, instrument choice, policy arguments, and communicating policy ideas and decisions.

POLM 5016 [0.5 CR]: Applied Public Policy Analysis
A critical examination of one or more current policy debates from a political management perspective.
Prerequisite(s): POLM 5015 or permission of the instructor.

POLM 5017 [0.5 CR]: Political Institutions in a Comparative Context
A comparative study of the political institutions of several nations or sub-national jurisdictions, including both formal structures and accepted practices.
Note: This course is not offered in 2019-20

POLM 5018 [0.25 CR]: Strategic Communications
An introduction to the range of issues involved in formulating and implementing a political strategic communications strategy.

POLM 5905 [0.5 CR]: Special Topics in Political Management
Topics vary from year to year. In 2019-20, the topic that will be offered in the fall term is titled Political Management and Provincial Politics which will be a critical examination of provincial governments and political parties in a constantly changing federal-provincial landscape and the topic for the winter term is titled Prime Ministerial Leadership in Canada.

POLM 5099 [1.0 CR]: Practicum Placement
375 hours of supervised full-time work experience in an appropriate ten-week placement relevant to political management and approved by the practicum graduate supervisor. Graded SAT/UNS.
More information about the practicum is available here.