Taught course

Political Science

University of Essex · Department of Government

Entry requirements

High 2.2 honours degree or equivalent in relevant subject area.

MA, MSc, MRes and Graduate Diploma

Months of entry


Course content

How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform empirical research? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world? This course gives a general overview of such topics but you have a wide choice of modules than our other schemes.

Graduates go on to work in market research, the media, central or local government, or use our course as a foundation for further research in political science.

Our Department of Government is one of the largest and most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are the only political science department to have achieved the highest rating in all five UK Research Assessment Exercises (RAE), with 45 per cent of our research was ranked as 'world-leading' in the most recent RAE (December 2008).

Our staff distinguish themselves in various ways; by acting as media commentators, by writing textbooks used by students across the world and with involvement in practical training. In addition, our students have access to academic staff and a constant flow of distinguished visiting scholars from abroad. Our research interests are wide ranging but we host the British Election Study, a major Economic and Social Research Council-sponsored survey of attitudes and opinions of the British electorate, with other significant research projects studying foreign policy attitudes, corruption, and civil wars and peacekeeping.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

This course has ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation, meaning it can form part of a 1+3 funding opportunity worth up to £18,000 each for talented postgraduates. The University is one of only 21 ESRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. Some University of Essex studentships also available.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


full time
12 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations37
Written coursework / continuous assessment37
Dissertation26 (10000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719