Read our blog
Want to find out about student life at Essex and in our Department? Read our blog to hear our students talk
about their experiences, tips and views on the political issues of today.
Study for a degree in politics or international relations at the
highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments
began (REF 2014).
We're also ranked among the top 50 departments on the planet according to the
QS World University Rankings (2017).
We'll equip you with skills sought by prospective employers, including
critical thinking, problem solving, gathering and analysing evidence,
questioning established ideas, expressing ideas clearly and logically, writing
consistent and to the point.
You can select from a wide range of module topics, theoretical perspectives
and empirical approaches. Our undergraduate teaching is organised around our
Additionally, we share courses with other departments, for example
Philosophy and other related disciplines.
We also offer joint international programmes with the
University of Konstanz (Germany),
University of Mannheim (Germany),
University of Bamberg
(Germany) and the University of Kobe
(Japan). We are currently developing additional joint programmes.
BA Single Honours
Why do people vote the way they do? How and why do governments interact
with society? What determines a countries foreign policy? How do countries
interact with each other and why do international conflicts arise? Our BA
Politics can give you an insight into these questions and many more.
Soeren's Essex experience
In this video Soeren explains how the strength of the Department is
recognised at other universities abroad, which has helped him secure a place
at Harvard University to study for a PhD in Political Economy.
BA International Relations
Explore all major areas of international relations, including conflict
and security studies, international political economy, political theory and
the use of modern research techniques.
James' Essex experience
In this video, alumnus James discusses why he chose the University of
Essex and how impressed he was by the applicant day he attended. He also
talks about, not only playing for our American football team, but also
helping with the running of the club.
BA Politics and International Relations
Why don’t democratic countries go to war with each other? Why don’t young people vote? Who should pay for climate change? Why do oil-rich states have worse human
rights records? These are the kinds of questions addressed in our BA Politics and International Relations.
BA Political Economics
Our BA Political Economics focuses on political and commercial
decision-making in an interconnected world. The course prepares you to work
in international and national governmental and non-governmental agencies;
obtain strategic roles in private companies and in politics; and to develop
policy and decision-making through research and analysis.
BA Political Theory and Public Policy
What institutions and ideologies govern the organisation of public life?
What principles of justice should inform public policy? Should markets be
left alone or should we seek to control them? And how should we understand
markets and politics anyway? How should our public discourses and practices
reflect the need to tackle pressing social, economic, and political issues?
BA/LLB Joint Honours
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Why do political ideas, from Platos Republic to Rawls Law of Peoples,
matter so much? Why is the state of the economy so important for the outcome
of elections? How and why do governments try to regulate markets? This
course can not only give you an insight into these questions and many more,
but also encourages you to reflect critically on fundamental theoretical and
Aikaterina's Essex experience
In this video Aikaterina, from Greece, tells us what she enjoyed about
studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Essex. She tells us she
enjoyed the independence to carry out her own research and has decided to
stay on at Essex to do a Masters in Political Economy.
BA Economics and Politics
Economic and political events dominate domestic and international news
and impact on our day-to-day lives, as well as shaping the future. In this
course, you will explore all major areas of economics and political science,
including macro- and microeconomics, political systems and political ideas,
and the use of modern research techniques.
BA Politics with Human Rights
What is the nature of the changing global system and how does it have an
impact on individual well-being? What have been the major achievements,
setbacks, and challenges to the global human rights movement? The course
combines requisite and optional modules in the Department of Government with
core modules in the Human Rights Centre.
BA International Relations and Modern Languages
Why do international conflicts arise? Why are other parts of the world
largely peaceful? What determines a country’s foreign policy? This four-year
course allows you to combine the study of a wide range of politics and
international relations options, with the study of one or two modern
BA Sociology and Politics
These two disciplines are offered at our University by two of the UK's
leading social science departments. The course poses broad questions about
the world and offers practical research skills to help you investigate these
BA Modern History and International Relations
The BA Modern History and International Relations provides you with a
thorough grounding in the fields of modern history and international
relations. You are encouraged to explore how these disciplines influence one
BA Modern History and Politics
The BA Modern History and Politics provides you with a thorough grounding
in the fields of modern history and politics. You are also encouraged to
consider how the two disciplines can be integrated.
BA Philosophy and Politics
Some of the most fundamental questions about political life, to do with
its principles and ideals, are philosophical in character. This course
brings the disciplines of philosophy and politics together and provides a
sound academic grounding in both.
LLB Law with Politics
LLB Law with Politics provides you with a rigorous academic training in
the disciplines of law and politics. The course enables you to develop the
critical, reflective and analytical skills that are common to both
Our module directory allows you to see the full range
of our undergraduate modules.
Develop your quantitative skills
The UK has a shortage of social science graduates with the quantitative
skills needed to evaluate evidence, analyse data, and design and commission
research. Find out more about why
studying statistics is good for your career.
Essex is one of just three universities in the country to have received
Q-Step Affiliate status for our social science courses. Q-Step aims to
promote a step-change in undergraduate quantitative social science training in
the UK, and at Essex we have been awarded funding for student bursaries for work
placements to develop these skills.
If you are studying in our Department we also offer you the opportunity to
follow a specialised pathway that embeds a substantial amount of quantitative
methods in your degree. The successful completion of the specified modules will
entitle you to receive the qualifier ‘(Applied Quantitative Methods)’ at the end
of your degree title, for example BA International Relations (Applied
Quantitative Methods) and this will appear on your transcript and degree
If you don't meet our standard undergraduate entry requirements, our Essex
Pathways Department offers
undergraduate pathways that equip you with the necessary skills and
knowledge to enable you to progress to an undergraduate course in our Department
Prize for Best Undergraduate Student
In recognition of the hard work and dedication our students put into their
studies, we offer a prize for the Best Undergraduate Degree Result, Best
Undergraduate Dissertation and Best Joint Degree Student. The prizes are awarded
for excellent coursework, exam and dissertation grades.
We make it possible for you to undertake study abroad, either during your Essex
course or by attending Essex whilst you are studying elsewhere. You will
find study abroad extremely worthwhile and enjoyable, both socially
What happens next?
When your application arrives to us from UCAS, it will be considered by our academic staff. Find out what happens
to your application and how you
accept and confirm your place. You can also come and find out more about us on an Applicant Day.
UG Open Days
Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff
can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.