Study with us
Studying in the highest-rated politics department in the country since
national assessments began (REF
2014) will equip you with the knowledge and skills to go into a number of
careers. The support you receive from our staff enables you to thrive and
achieve your best.
Our Department offers a broad set of
undergraduate, Masters and
postgraduate research courses and a large number of modules, giving you the
choice to specialise in your area of interest. We focus on developing
analytical, rhetoric, and communicative skills and integrating you into the
Our consistently high results in the National Student Satisfaction survey are
testimony to the dedication our staff give to our students and their teaching
and learning. We are also ranked among the top 50 departments on the planet according to the
QS World University Rankings (2017).
In this video, Rt Hon Dr John Bercow MP reflects on his time at Essex.
Rt Hon Dr John Bercow MP, Essex graduate and Speaker of
the House of Commons
from University of Essex on
Why study political science?
Political science is an exciting subject with both deep historical roots and
enduring contemporary relevance and global importance. Understanding what, when,
and how governments decide is interesting in itself; political decisions shape
key current and future events, exert a major influence on the life and welfare
of all individuals, determine the social and political institutions and shape
the future of societies.
Governments make life-changing decisions over war and peace and ultimately
affect the survival of mankind in a changing environment. Governments have
recently faced key common challenges such as preventing a meltdown of the global
financial system, dealing with climate change and the possible proliferation of
nuclear and biological weapons to terrorist groups.
Many governments were also involved with allowing same-sex marriages,
legalising soft drugs, increasing the pension age, improving or maintaining
health care, and regulating global migration streams.
The study of politics offers opportunities for fascinating professional
careers in social science research, public administration, national
governmental, international and non-governmental organisations, lobbies and
interest-groups and social movements, private corporations and many other areas.
Why study with us?
We are top in the UK for research excellence
(REF 2014) and our Department
staff include distinguished researchers in many fields at the cutting edge
of modern political science, and who contribute to the global discussion of
relevant issues and shape the study of politics.
Our research and modules are closely
linked. We see the principle of learning-by-doing through research-led teaching
as essential to university education. We teach both our undergraduate and
graduate students using collaborative research projects. We include you in our
research whilst enabling you to conduct your own research. We are also ranked
among the top hundred departments on the planet according to the
A significant amount of teaching is lab-based and we also engage our students
in research projects funded by bodies such as the
Economic and Social Research Council, the
European Research Council and by private funders.
Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
Our research is at the forefront of developing and applying quantitative and
qualitative methods in political science. We organise the
Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis and incorporate these
modules into our teaching. The ESSEXLab provides
opportunities for experimental lab research.
Training social scientists for the future
Essex is one of just three universities in the country to have received
Q-Step Affiliate status for our social science courses.
The UK has a shortage of social scientists with advanced maths and
statistical skills. As part of Q-Step, you can opt to take a specialised degree
pathway in applied quantitative methods, take paid work placements and receive
bursaries, giving you the skills that employers are looking for.
Internships, skills training and career opportunities
You have the opportunity to develop and improve your skills through real-life
work experience, including internships with survey and market-research
companies. This training and research experience has enabled our students to
secure positions in academic and non-academic institutions, including the World
Bank, the European Central Bank, the United Nations Development Program, NATO,
the Labour Party, YouGov, ICM, Oxford University, and University College London
We have also developed a series of modules that aim to provide you with the
skills necessary for professional jobs and research. In recent years,
our graduates who have participated in research-led teaching modules have
found employment with leading market research firms or have gone on to leading
postgraduate institutions including Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard.
Visiting us from abroad
We welcome students from international universities who wish to
study abroad at Essex for a year or part of a year (i.e. without
registering for a University of Essex degree).
Pattern of studies
Study Abroad at Essex students normally come to the University
for one of the following time periods:
- the full academic year: early October to late June;
- autumn term: early October to mid December; or
- spring and summer terms: mid January to late June.
All undergraduate politics modules are open to Study Abroad
students if the pre-requisites, equivalent to those at Essex,
are judged to have been met. You are welcome to enrol for any of
the modules listed in the module directory. Please note
postgraduate modules are not open to Study Abroad students.
Teaching and assessment are exactly the same as for students
registered for University of Essex degrees. If you are not with
us for the whole of the academic year, special assessment
arrangements are made if necessary. Special assessment
arrangements are approved by the University's Study Abroad
Office in consultation with our Department.
Q-Step Affiliate status
We are one of three universities in the UK to receive Q-Step Affiliate status,
meaning you can develop your quantitative skills by taking a specialised degree pathway or receiving a student bursary to go on a quantitative work placement.
One Masters not enough?
We offer postgraduate taught double degrees with our international partners. These degrees are 1+1 progression
arrangements where you work for two Master’s degrees, one at Essex and another at a prestigious university across the globe.
Best in Britain
Results from the Research Excellence Framework 2014 have ranked our
politics research as the best in Britain, with the majority of our
research rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening
classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.