Department of Government

Undergraduate study

Student reading in the library

Question everything

We want you to challenge us and continue the debate outside your class, whether that's in the common room, the café or the bar.

You'll learn to always ask, and answer, the "how do you know?" question, moving from opinions to evidence and explore the behaviour of all key political players - states, presidents, cabinets, parties and citizens, and the big ideas that underlie behaviour across the world.

Your lecturers are some of the biggest names in the field. They're using research to answer important questions, such as how governments and citizens can be persuaded to tackle climate change, and the consequences of the end of the world.

We've taught some of the best minds in the country and you'll be part of this Essex tradition of producing the brightest political minds in the UK.

Explore our undergraduate courses 
Why choose us?
  • We achieved 92% student satisfaction (NSS 2017).
  • You're taught by some of the biggest names in the field.
  • Choose from a range of modules, perspectives and approaches to suit your interests.
"Going to Essex was life changing. My career since leaving Essex has all been a result of the experiences and skills I had whilst at university."
Ben Wright BA Politics graduate

Your skills

You learn skills that make you highly employable:

  • critical thinking
  • problem solving
  • gathering and analysing evidence
  • questioning established ideas
  • expressing ideas clearly and logically
  • writing to the point.

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.

Essex is one of just three universities in the UK 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.

You can also 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) which appears on your transcript and degree certificate, evidencing your skills to employers.