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.

We have always been the highest-rated politics department in the UK (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014). Our academics are some of the biggest names in the field, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics.


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Why choose us?
  • Top in the UK for research (REF 2014)
  • Top 25 in the UK for politics (Guardian University Guide 2021)
  • Ranked 7th in the UK for Politics and International Studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021)
"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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Stay with us

We'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex, if you're one of our graduates, studied abroad with us, or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees.

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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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