MPol International Relations is an integrated Masters course giving you the opportunity to seamlessly continue your studies from undergraduate to masters level in 4 years (5 years if choosing a placement year or year abroad). It provides a thorough grounding in all major areas of international relations and widens your awareness of the world system, while training you in the research and critical thinking skills that are prized by employers.
Why don't democratic countries go to war with each other? What is the role of the United Nations and other international organisations? What is globalisation and how does it impact our daily lives? Who should pay for climate change? These are the kinds of questions addressed in our MPol in International Relations.
You can explore a very wide range of topic areas in which the Department of Government produces world-leading research, including:
The Department of Government at Essex is one of the most prestigious departments in Europe. It has been ranked top in the UK for research in Political Science & International Studies in every single government assessment exercise since they began in 1986. It also offers a better staff-student ratio than many of the other leading departments in the UK – crucial when it comes to offering support and supervision throughout your degree.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The five-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement at home or abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the four-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university.
Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism and the UN on peacekeeping, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on world events in national and international media.
Our key academic staff for this course include Professor Kristian Gleditsch, who works on inequality, conflict and violence, Dr Miranda Simon, who studies international migration, and Dr Reed Wood, who researches the role of women in war.
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; many of these projects have resulted in joint staff/student publications.
You will also be invited to a full programme of seminars and social events run by the department.
All Essex graduates in Politics & International Relations have a degree recognised by employers as earned from one of Europe’s leading politics departments.
Politics students are in demand from a host of employers, in international development, politics, the civil service fast stream, management, journalism, police, armed forces, commerce, business, finance, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), teaching and graduate research.
Our notable alumni include the former Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow, and our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
BTEC: Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on subjects studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma: 39 Level 3 credits at Merit or above and 6 at Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction* - Entry requirements for students studying T-level qualifications are dependent on subjects studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
COMPONENT 01: CORE
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 05: OPTIONALOption(s) from list or Outside Option(s)
COMPONENT 06: OPTIONALOption from list or Outside Option
COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONSGV207-5-AU or GV252-5-SP
COMPONENT 05: OPTIONALOption(s) from list
COMPONENT 06: OPTIONALOption(s) from list
COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONSCapstone Project
COMPONENT 02: OPTIONALFinal year Politics option(s) from list
COMPONENT 03: OPTIONALFinal year Politics option(s) from list
COMPONENT 04: OPTIONALPolitics option(s) or outside option(s) from list
COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY
£9,250You may have the opportunity to get an insight into the working of European Parliament during our annual trip to Brussels. This trip is optional and students who attend will need to pay a £50 contribution towards the trip cost.
£18,600You may have the opportunity to get an insight into the working of European Parliament during our annual trip to Brussels. This trip is optional and students who attend will need to pay a £50 contribution towards the trip cost.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.
You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.
If you are an undergraduate student from the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2022, you will receive an invitation to attend an Applicant Day. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from December to May on various Wednesdays and provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. For further information, please head to our Applicant Days webpage.
If you are an EU or International student, or can’t make any of our Applicant Days, we’ll be running a series of virtual events called Experience Essex Online throughout the year. To find out more, check out our Visit Us webpage.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see 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.
Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.