Taught course

Public Opinion and Political Behaviour

Institution
University of Essex · Department of Government
Qualifications
MAMSc

Entry requirements

A degree with an overall high 2:2.

Months of entry

October

Course content

When angry at a particular government policy, some people sit in their armchair and complain, others write letters and organise committees, some participate in social media campaigns, while others still protest or even riot in the street. Politicians care about public opinion, so how do we explain these choices? How are reactions shaped by people’s social background, their economic circumstances, their personality, or even their genetic inheritance? Can politicians and the media influence public opinion and if so, how?

Public Opinion and Political Behaviour explores the interaction between the mass public and political elites in advanced industrial democracies. You are introduced to the latest theoretical debates about the nature, significance and measurement of public opinion, exploring when and how these opinions translate into political participation, from voting behaviour and signing petitions to suicide bombing.

You also look at the main theoretical approaches in the study of politics, combined with a selection of optional modules including:

  • Quantitative data analysis in political explanations
  • Survey measurement and question design
  • Political parties in Britain and Europe
  • Measuring public opinion
  • Democracies in Europe

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We are rated top in the UK for research (REF 2014), and have consistently been the highest-rated politics department in the country since national assessments began. Ranked top 10 in the world for political science and international relations according to the Centre for World University Rankings (2017).

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, visit our website at: www.essex.ac.uk.

Qualification and course duration

MA

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

MSc

full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Name
Graduate Administrator
Email
pgadmit@essex.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1206 872719