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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.  1.0 credit in core courses:1.0
POLM 5007 [0.25]
Writing in a Political Context
POLM 5008 [0.25]
Ethics in Political Management
POLM 5009 [0.25]
Media Relations
POLM 5018 [0.25]
Strategic Communications
2.  0.5 credit from:0.5
POLM 5001 [0.5]
Parliament and Parties in Canada
POLM 5002 [0.5]
The Core Executive in Canada
POLM 5017 [0.5]
Political Institutions in a Comparative Context
3.  1.0 credit in practicum placement arranged through the program, combined with an integrative analytical work:1.0
POLM 5099 [1.0]
Practicum Placement
4.  2.5 credits in POLM at the 5000 level or other courses as approved by the Graduate Supervisor.2.5
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]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5002 [0.5 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5004 [0.5 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity
Prerequisite(s): POLM 5018.

POLM 5005 [0.5 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5007 [0.25 credit]
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 credit]
Ethics in Political Management

An examination of the ethical codes that should guide activities and professional relationships of individuals working in the political system.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5009 [0.25 credit]
Media Relations

The theory and practice of media relations in a political environment.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5010 [0.5 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity
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

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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5012 [0.5 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5015 [0.5 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5016 [0.5 credit]
Applied Policy Analysis

A critical examination of one or more current policy debates from a political management perspective.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity
Prerequisite(s): POLM 5015 or permission of the instructor.

POLM 5017 [0.5 credit]
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.

POLM 5018 [0.25 credit]
Strategic Communications

An introduction to the range of issues involved in formulating and implementing a political strategic communications strategy.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

POLM 5099 [1.0 credit]
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.
Includes: Experiential Learning Activity

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.