About the course
Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. At Essex, we are primarily interested in the scientific study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables.
If you are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, then you will profit from our course.
You will have a great deal of choice for your optional modules as they will be selected from both our Department of Government and Department of Economics. Our MSc Political Economy covers all aspects of modern political economy, including:
- Market failure
- Environmental policies
- The quality of governance
- Monetary policy choices
Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began.
Our Department of Economics is also consistently rated highly for student satisfaction, and is Top 5 in the UK for research with over 90% rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).
Our expert staff
Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists and political scientists of our time.
Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs; they are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.
Many of our economic researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.
Our key academic staff for this course are Dr Alejandro Quiroz Flores, who works on why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters, and Simone Dietrich, who works on who gives, receives, and benefits from aid.
You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.
- Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political and quantitative analysis
- ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
- Student societies for politics, economics, debating, and Model UN
- We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
- A programme of seminars and events run by the department
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.
This course is a good choice if you wish to maintain the flexibility of pursuing a career at an international organisation, a government organisation, a private enterprise or as a political consultant. You will develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, research, problem solving, and essay-writing.
Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
- The Civil Service
- Local government
- The World Bank
- The United Nations
- YouGov and YouGov America
We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.
Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
One Masters not enough for you?
We offer a number of postgraduate taught double degrees with our international partners. You work for two Masters degrees, one at Essex and another at a prestigious university across the globe, gaining them both in a shorter time than studying them separately. This unique opportunity gives you a competitive edge when applying for jobs or prepares you for PhD study.
UK entry requirements
A degree with an overall high 2:2.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.