Department of Government

Masters study

Clara Mayerl speech at UN

Supporting arguments with evidence

You develop your own ideas and interests, and engage with thinking at the leading edge of your subject as part of our research, academic and professional community. This gives you the most advanced theoretical and methodological tools to answer the most challenging questions about politics.

We're committed to supporting arguments with evidence. So, we teach you to always use data to rigorously test your arguments. We're renowned for our expertise in conflict studies, international relations, political economics and elections and we have the largest number of leading researchers in the UK, with three members of the British Academy.

Our academics are some of the biggest names in the field, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. 100% of our research environment is world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021).


Explore our Masters courses 
Why choose us?
  • 2nd in UK for research outputs in politics and international studies (Grade Point Average, REF 2021)
  • 5th in the UK for Political Science in Shanghai Rankings Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (2022)
  • Ranked 9th in the UK for Politics and International Studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2023)
"Choosing Essex was easy - the reputation of the Department is excellent and the range of available modules is impressive. Staff are great teachers as well as leaders in their fields, and administrative staff are friendly and helpful."
Joe Greenwood MA Public opinion and Political behaviour
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Save 33% on future tuition fees

If you're currently studying at Essex or have completed a degree with us before, you could save 33% on the first year of both a postgraduate taught course and a research degree.

Discover our Loyalty Discount

MA, MSc or MRes?

Our MSc courses are ideal if you have a solid background in statistical methods, whereas our MA courses don't require any training in statistics. Both courses train you to understand current political science reach and to undertake independent theoretical and empirical research projects.

The MRes is a two-year course offering additional training in research design and methods, with special emphasis on developing theories and conducting research using appropriate methods. We recommended it if you already know that you will pursue a PhD.

One Masters not enough?

We offer a number of postgraduate taught dual awards with our international partners. 

These awards are 1+1 progression arrangements where you work for two Masters degrees, one at Essex and another at a prestigious university across the globe. Normally, a single Masters degree in Europe would take you two years to complete. Our dual awards allow you to gain two Masters in two years, a year less than studying them separately.

This unique opportunity gives you experience of different cultures, preparing you for an international career, or for a PhD. You also gain a competitive edge when applying for jobs once you leave Essex.

Our dual awards in the Department of Government are jointly offered with a number of universities, including Kobe University in Japan and the University of Konstanz in Germany. To find out more please visit the dual awards page or contact

Study your Government Masters with a scholarship

Ismet explains why he chose Essex for his studies in MA Environmental Futures with Climate Change with the GREAT for a Sustainable Future Scholarship and why he recommends international students apply for on-campus accommodation.

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Extra support for first generation University students

First generation students are the first members in their families to go to university. First generation students may feel that they lack the experience or knowledge to rely on in their own family, or may want to meet other students in a similar position.

Therefore, the Postgraduate FirstGen Programme has two goals:

  • To provide information about resources, advice, and support to first-generation PGT and PGR students in the Department of Government at the University of Essex.
  • To create a space for first-generation students to discuss the challenges they face, and create a support community within the Department of Government