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Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management
Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs

This section presents the requirements for programs in:

Program Requirements

Master of Political Management (5.0 credits)

1.  3.0 credits in core courses:3.0
POLM 5001 [0.5]
Institutions and Governance I
POLM 5002 [0.5]
Institutions and Governance II
POLM 5003 [0.5]
Strategic Communications I
POLM 5004 [0.5]
Strategic Communications II
POLM 5005 [0.5]
Foundations of Political Management I
POLM 5006 [0.5]
Foundations of Political Management II
2.  1.0 credit in practicum placement arranged through the program, combined with an integrative analytical research essay:1.0
POLM 5098 [1.0]
Practicum Placement
3.  1.0 credit in electives from:1.0
POLM 5010 [0.5]
Polling and Opinion Research
POLM 5011 [0.5]
Political Campaigns
POLM 5012 [0.5]
Political Advocacy
POLM 5013 [0.5]
Political Management and the Media
POLM 5014 [0.5]
Political Marketing
POLM 5015 [0.5]
Political Policy Landscape
Other courses as approved by the Graduate Supervisor
Total Credits5.0

The accelerated pathway to the Master of Political Management (MPM) degree is a flexible and individualized plan of graduate study. Students may qualify if they have demonstrated academic excellence and are in their final year of a relevant Carleton undergraduate degree, such as the BPAPM degree or a BA degree in political science, communication and media studies, or other discipline related to political management.

Students in their third-year of study in the undergraduate program should consult with both their academic supervisor and the political management program supervisor to determine if the accelerated pathway is appropriate for them and to confirm their selection of courses for their final year of undergraduate study.

To be eligible to participate in the accelerated pathway, students must have a minimum overall CGPA of A- in undergraduate courses and must complete POLM 3000, PSCI 3410 or COMS 3100.

Students may receive advanced standing with transfer of credit of up to 1.0 credit in POLM courses at the 5000-level, with grade of B+ or higher, which can reduce their time to completion.

Please note that:

  1. POLM courses eligible for advanced standing cannot include the core requirements of the program.
  2. Participation in the accelerated pathway does not guarantee entry into the MPM program. To be considered for admission to the MPM program, students must submit a formal application for consideration by the program's admissions committee.

Political Management (POLM) Courses

POLM 5001 [0.5 credit]
Institutions and Governance I

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 credit]
Institutions and Governance II

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.
Prerequisite(s): POLM 5001.

POLM 5003 [0.5 credit]
Strategic Communications I

An introduction to the range of issues involved in formulating and implementing a political strategic communications strategy, with an emphasis on using public opinion research, developing messages, and drafting speeches and policy papers.

POLM 5004 [0.5 credit]
Strategic Communications II

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 5003.

POLM 5005 [0.5 credit]
Foundations of Political Management I

A critical introduction to the theory and practice of political management in Canada, ranging from the legislative framework in which political staff operate to relations with public servants, legislators and stakeholders, as well as the practical challenges of administering a political office.

POLM 5006 [0.5 credit]
Foundations of Political Management II

This course further examines theory and practice in the governance of political staff through historical and international comparisons and analysis. The course also explores critical issues in Cabinet relationships, political-bureaucratic interactions, ethics and decision-making.
Prerequisite(s): POLM 5005.

POLM 5010 [0.5 credit]
Polling and Opinion Research

The different elements of opinion research such as opinion measurement, questionnaire design, interviewing, data analysis and interpretation, and how this helps understand the process by which citizens make decisions about political issues.
Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as POLM 4010, for which additional credit is precluded.

POLM 5011 [0.5 credit]
Political Campaigns

The latest trends and innovations in political campaigns: use of new technology and social media, campaign organization, fundraising, development of messages, GOTV efforts and how they are used in leadership, local, issue and national campaigns.

POLM 5012 [0.5 credit]
Political Advocacy

An exploration of the knowledge and skills necessary in political advocacy and public affairs: public policy knowledge, in-depth knowledge of the political system, strategic communications skills and particularly the ability to explain complex problems and solutions clearly and concisely.
Also offered at the undergraduate level, with different requirements, as POLM 4012, for which additional credit is precluded.

POLM 5013 [0.5 credit]
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 credit]
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 credit]
Political Policy Landscape

The course will introduce students to the basic frameworks and concepts used in applied policy analysis and build capacity to monitor and analyze future policy trends and options. The seminar will include briefings on selected current issues in Canadian policy from key experts.

POLM 5098 [1.0 credit]
Practicum Placement

Supervised work experience over 10 weeks in an appropriate placement approved by the graduate supervisor. It culminates in a 30-page (or equivalent) analytical work graded by the academic supervisor and one other member of the Carleton University faculty.

POLM 5900 [0.5 credit]
Directed Study

A program of supervised reading and preparation of written work in an area not covered by an existing graduate seminar may be arranged with permission of the Department.

POLM 5905 [0.5 credit]
Special Topics in Political Management

Topics vary from year to year. Students should check with the Department regarding the topic offered.

Summer session: some of the courses listed in this Calendar are offered during the summer. Hours and scheduling for summer session courses will differ significantly from those reported in the fall/winter Calendar. To determine the scheduling and hours for summer session classes, consult the class schedule at

Not all courses listed are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings for the current session and to determine the term of offering, consult the class schedule at


See the General Regulations section of this Calendar.

A standing of B- or higher must be obtained in each course or component counted towards the degree.


Applicants must:

  • hold an honours baccalaureate or equivalent with at least high honours standing; and
  • demonstrate a commitment to and aptitude for political management through prior involvement in party or campus politics, grassroots organization, political advocacy, or similar experience.

Although there is no formal second language requirement for the degree, individuals preparing for political professions in Canada should have or develop a facility in French.

Applicants whose first language is not English, or who have not completed a previous degree at an English-language university must demonstrate fluency in English via any one of the criteria outlined in the general regulations of the Graduate calendar.