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Masters Degrees (Political Analysis)

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This MA provides an opportunity to study political and social developments in post-communist Europe in breadth and depth, acquiring a mix of in-depth knowledge, analytical and research skills, and theoretical understanding. Read more

This MA provides an opportunity to study political and social developments in post-communist Europe in breadth and depth, acquiring a mix of in-depth knowledge, analytical and research skills, and theoretical understanding. Regions covered include central and Eastern Europe, the western Balkans and most parts of the former Soviet Union.

About this degree

The programme tackles issues such as democracy and authoritarianism, corruption, ethno-political conflict, foreign policy and security in both thematic and area/country-oriented modules. Students are able to either focus on one region or to study regions across the post-communist world. All students take a core module in political analysis and have the option of learning Russian or another east European language.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

Students take two core modules of 15 credits each, one of which much be 'Political Analysis'

  • Political Analysis
  • And at least one chosen from:
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Understanding and Analysing Data
  • Comparative Analysis in Social and Political Research
  • Introduction to Discourse Analysis
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods

Optional modules

Choose from a list including the following:

  • Causes, Consequences and Control: Corruption and Governance
  • Ethnopolitical Conflict in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Informal Practices in Post-Communist Societies
  • Making of Modern Ukraine
  • Nation, Identity and Power in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Russian Politics
  • Security, Identity, Polarity
  • Governance and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Russian Foreign Policy
  • Baltic Politics and Society

Dissertation/report

All MA students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions, workshops and classes. Students will be assessed by a variety of methods: unseen examinations, long essays, coursework and the research dissertation.

Detailed module information

See full details of modules for this programme.

Funding

AHRC Scholarships may be available.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

With their specialist knowledge and language skills, SSEES Master's graduates can be found in business, finance, the media, international agencies, charities, diplomacy, international security organisations, the law, and academia.

Some graduates advise the Russian, Polish, American, and other governments, and the European Commission.

Employability

The range of modules offered allows students either to focus on one region or to study regions across the post-communist world. The MA opens up a range of opportunities and previous graduates from this programme have gone on to work in think tanks; political parties; national, European and international private and public sector organisations; and in the media and in NGOs as political analysts. Other graduates have gone on to further academic study. Networking is facilitated by two major collaborations led by SSEES: CEELBAS and the International Master's (IMESS). Scholarships, internship opportunities and excellent links with other universities in the region provide further benefits.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) is a world-leading specialist institution, and the largest national centre in the UK, for the study of central, Eastern and south-east Europe and Russia.

Our MA allows you to study the political development of the region in unparalleled breadth and depth and to develop analytical and research capabilities, language skills and practical insights.

Our nationally unequalled specialist library and central London location provide an ideal environment for research, while our close contacts with employers, policy-makers and alumni afford excellent opportunities for networking and career development.



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This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines. Read more

This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines.

You will explore the variety, dynamism and relevance of political theory in the modern world, gaining an insight into political thought and practical application of political ideas.

You will consider the various ways in which theory is vital to understanding a range of urgent and pressing problems (such as terrorism, global poverty, social cohesion, immigration, censorship, war and the environment) in contemporary politics and address the practical implications of these ideas.

Throughout the course you will build a portfolio of in-depth study of many of the defining events and dynamics of modern society, across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, providing an understanding of the world that will prove invaluable in further academic study or a range of postgraduate careers.

The Political Theory and Cultural Values Research Group is an active team of enthusiastic academics, pursuing cutting-edge research into a wide variety of strands of political thought.

The Political Theory Centre is part of the White Rose Association for Political Philosophy, linking you into the complementary political theory teams at York and Sheffield Universities.

Links with the Leeds Centre for Democratisation afford excellent opportunities for discussing the application of many of the ideas studied on the programme. Political theorists form part of a large department of political studies, including International Relations and Development, which additionally provide an auspicious context for the study of applied theory.

Course content

Through compulsory and optional modules, this programme will offer you:

  • the chance to engage in in-depth critical analysis of political thought
  • the opportunity to examine the nature of freedom, justice and equality
  • a firm grounding in political analysis
  • a critical insight into the defining events and dynamics of modern society
  • a rigorous grounding in the dominant paradigms of political science
  • the chance to personalise your programme.

You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you are a part-time student, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Political Theory in Action 30 credits
  • Advanced Political Analysis 30 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • The Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Political Economy of Resources and Development 30 credits
  • European Defence and Security Analysis 30 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits
  • American Foreign Policy 30 credits
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • International Political Economy 30 credits
  • International Relations and the Environment 30 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits
  • Research Methods 30 credits
  • Political Theory in Action 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Politics (Political Theory) MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Politics (Political Theory) MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching is tailored for interactive small-group work, and uses a combination of lecture and seminar-discussion modes.

Teaching on political theory modules is predominantly seminar discussion-based, while other modules include more lecture-oriented material.

You will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussion to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exam and coursework, depending on the module.

Career opportunities

The emphasis on applied use of political thought, particularly from a transformative perspective, means the critical analytical skills learnt here are of use in a wide range of employment sectors, including the civil service, public sector organisations and the third sector.

Many graduates go on to complete PhDs in Political Theory, having had the opportunity to strengthen their command of a certain area of political thought during their Masters studies.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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How do ideologies form and sustain political identities and interests? What are the main ideologies and political discourses that frame and organise our lives today? How do theories of ideology and discourse inform contemporary political analysis? How can these theories help us to explain and evaluate key political processes?. Read more
How do ideologies form and sustain political identities and interests? What are the main ideologies and political discourses that frame and organise our lives today? How do theories of ideology and discourse inform contemporary political analysis? How can these theories help us to explain and evaluate key political processes?

Questions concerning the impact of ideological and symbolic processes on the formation of political discourses, identities and communities are of crucial importance. All of these are covered within our MA Ideology and Discourse Analysis.

You explore topics including:
-Poststructuralist, post-Marxist and psychoanalytic theories of ideology and discourse
-Research methods in critical political theory and analysis
-Key concepts for political analysis
-Mass media and democracy
-Philosophy of social science

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)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our MA Ideology and Discourse Analysis will help you secure a solid grasp of key debates in social and political thought, give you a strong foundation in theoretical principles whose relevance and application goes well beyond politics, and instil a wide range of analytical, critical, and communication skills that will enable you to pursue the career of your choice, whether in the public, private, or third sector, whether with a domestic or international focus.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Ideology and Political Discourse
-MA Dissertation
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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The MSc in Political Science is a broad,. research oriented. degree programme, providing students with highest. quality teaching. Read more

The MSc in Political Science is a broad, research oriented degree programme, providing students with highest quality teaching in and informal learning environment. The programme is the flagship degree of our top European Political Science Department, whose high ratings and research attract academics from around the globe to its vibrant community of scholars.

The possibility of specialising in:

  • Comparative politics
  • Political theory
  • Political Sociology
  • International relations
  • Public policy
  • Public administration

Want to know more about the programme? >>

Variety and Opportunities

The programme is very flexible, giving students the opportunity to design their own course programme. Students at the top of the class, may be offered an opportunity to work as research assistants on on-going projects. Students are allowed to go abroad and spent a semester at one of our partner universities, or work as an intern in a company or organisation.

Programme structure

The programme has a duration of two years, and it is targeted at students seeking a comprehensive political science education focusing on research design and methodology. These concepts will be covered in 4 semesters.

1st semester: Courses

The first semester consists of three courses. Students will be introduced to the art and craft of conducting empirical research in the area of political science in: Advanced Political Analysis I: Designing Political Research. Three major research frameworks will be focused on: the variable-oriented framework, the case-oriented framework and interpretive framework.

The students will gian knowledge about conditions and consequences of the selection and use of key concepts and approaches in a course holding the name: The Contested Concepts and the Approaches of Political Science.

Further, the first semester will be designed with Political Science Seminars.

2nd semester: Courses

The second semester focuses on two areas: political analysis and political seminars.

The course in Advanced Political Analysis II: Quantitative and Qualitative Techniques for Causual analysis introduces the students to two different approaches to the study of causality: the counterfactual/potential outcomes framework and the mechanistic approach.

Additionaly, political science seminar can be chosen by the student, depending on the area of interest.

3rd semester: Social Science Seminars

Students are offered a variety of social science seminars in the third semester. They are chosen based on the interest of the student.

4th semester: Final thesis

The fourth semester is devoted to the master's thesis. You may choose the topic of the thesis freely and get a chance to concentrate on and specialise in a specific field of interest. The thesis may be written in collaboration with another student or it may be the result of your individual effort.

Read more about the programme and the courses here >>



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Why should we obey the law? Why don’t democratic countries go to war with each other? Why don’t young people vote? Why do oil-rich countries have poor human rights records? These are the kinds of questions addressed in our Graduate Diploma in Politics, which provides a thorough training in all major areas of political science, and is based in the top politics department in the country. Read more
Why should we obey the law? Why don’t democratic countries go to war with each other? Why don’t young people vote? Why do oil-rich countries have poor human rights records? These are the kinds of questions addressed in our Graduate Diploma in Politics, which provides a thorough training in all major areas of political science, and is based in the top politics department in the country.

Our Graduate Diploma in Politics is a nine-month full-time course which provides a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study. Our course is for you if you already have an undergraduate degree, but not in politics, and therefore need further study before taking politics at Masters level.

You develop your knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical and conceptual foundations of political science, and master the necessary quantitative methods for your study of politics.

You also choose from a range of optional modules on topics including:
-Mass media and democracy
-Forecasting global trends
-Ethics and public policy
-International security
-Public opinion

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).

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

As well as enabling you to go on to a Masters course of your choice in politics, this course will also develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, research design, quantitative methods, data analysis and essay-writing.

Our graduates go on to enjoy influential careers in British, European and international politics. This includes working as an MP, being the Speaker of the House of Commons and employment as political lobbyists or staff assistants to MPs and MEPs.

Our graduates have also gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Conflict Analysis
-Measuring Public Opinion (optional)
-Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS (optional)
-Ethics and Public Policy
-Principles of Social Justice
-American Political Institutions (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Development, State Building and Conflict (optional)
-Domestic Politics and International Relations
-Electoral Behaviour
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Future Global Trends: Forecasting Scenarios
-Human Rights and Global Justice (optional)
-International Negotiation (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Mass Media and Democracy (optional)
-Placement-Linked Project
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Economy of International Development
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Project: Collaborative Faculty - Student Research Experience (optional)
-Project: Politics (optional)
-Quantitative Political Analysis (optional)
-Authoritarianism (optional)
-The Analysis of Conflict and Peace (optional)
-Seminar in Legislative Politics (optional)
-Representation and Policy-Making (optional)

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The beginning of the twenty-first century has witnessed a dramatic transformation of the global political landscape, with rapidly shifting regime change and new types of political actor transcending national borders. Read more

The beginning of the twenty-first century has witnessed a dramatic transformation of the global political landscape, with rapidly shifting regime change and new types of political actor transcending national borders.

This programme will provide you with a firm grounding in political analysis and a critical insight into the real politics behind the headlines. You will build a portfolio of in-depth study of many of the defining events and dynamics of modern society, across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, providing an understanding of the world that will prove invaluable in either further academic study or a range of professional careers.

Drawing on the unique range of country and conceptual expertise in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), you will be able to tailor your module selection to suit your interests, needs and career plans.

As one of the largest departments of Politics and International Studies in the United Kingdom, we aim to provide you with an intellectually rigorous and exciting environment in which to study, and an array of academic topics in which we possess expertise.

All of the School’s research groups, including Leadership, Parties and Institutions and Political Theory and Cultural Values, are accessible through the optional modules, and, in addition, have thriving research seminar series where staff and postgraduate researchers present papers from their own work. The Leadership, Parties and Institutions group, together with a growing expertise in electoral and representative politics, forms the largest of the research groups linked to this MA.

With one of the most renowned teams of researchers on Westminster politics, if you’re wishing to specialise in British Politics or legislative studies you will find yourself in a uniquely productive environment.

Course content

This programme through compulsory and optional modules will offer you:

  • a firm grounding in political analysis
  • a critical insight in the defining events and dynamics of modern society
  • a rigorous grounding in the dominant paradigms of political science
  • an ability to personalise your programme.

You will also be able to hone your research and writing skills in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on your chosen topic.

The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you.

If you’re a part-time student, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

We also offer an optional specialism in Political Theory. See our Politics (Political Theory) MA page to find out more.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Political Analysis 30 credits
  • POLIS MA Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules

  • The Global Politics of Health: Power and Inequity 30 credits
  • Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30 credits
  • Political Economy of Resources and Development 30 credits
  • European Defence and Security Analysis 30 credits
  • The Rise of China 30 credits
  • American Foreign Policy 30 credits
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East 30 credits
  • The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30 credits
  • International Political Economy 30 credits
  • International Relations and the Environment 30 credits
  • Political Theory in Action 30 credits
  • Global Justice 30 credits
  • Research Methods 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Politics MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Politics MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Each session will combine elements of lecture and seminar discussion. As a postgraduate student, you will be expected to do a significant amount of preparatory reading before each session, and emphasis will be on student-led discussion to build critical and reflective confidence in a group environment.

Assessment

Modules are assessed by varying combinations of exam and coursework, depending on the module.

Career opportunities

As a graduate from this programme, you are well placed to move on to a range of careers where both substantive knowledge of key political domains, and the critical analytical and communication skills developed in the course of your study, are valuable.

In particular, this programme provides an excellent grounding for careers in a range of related areas such as media, civil service, non-governmental organisations, trade unions and academia. It is also ideally suited if you wish to develop the skills necessary to pursue a PhD in Politics.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a '1+3' programme, the MA in Political Science (Research Methods) is designed for those students wishing to prepare for advanced research in political science. Read more

Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a '1+3' programme, the MA in Political Science (Research Methods) is designed for those students wishing to prepare for advanced research in political science. It requires you to take Advanced Political Analysis in addition to other research-based modules.

This pathway is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of the MA content from a wide range of optional modules.

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Course details

This programme offers rigorous specialist training for students wishing to prepare for advanced research in political science, particularly at the doctoral level. It offers the introduction to methods and approaches in political science that will equip students to plan and execute their own extended research projects. It also offers the opportunity to choose from a range of modules in other areas for students to round out their training.

This programme offers you the chance to develop an advanced theoretical and research-based training, especially interesting for students wishing to pursue further postgraduate studies.

Issues and topics examined include

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Social science research design
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Training in various substantive areas of political science

Whos is the programme for?

Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a '1+3' programme, the MA / Diploma in Political Science (Research Methods) is designed for those students wishing to prepare for advanced research in political science. You take a number of compulsory modules including Advanced Political Analysis, in addition to an optional module. 

One of the real strengths of our masters programmes is the wide range of available modules, giving students the ability to tailor their course of study to their own academic interests.

More information on: Political Science MA (with specialist pathways)

Learning and teaching

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

More about teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.

Enhancing your student experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Read more of our students' experiences and profiles on the school website.

Employability

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

More information about careers and employability

Careers Network

The Careers Network provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

Find out more about support for work experience and internships, bursaries, or mentoring.



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At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including. Read more
At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including: international and global politics, governance and political organisations, and political theory.

We can offer you excellent supervision for your Politics MPhil, in a vibrant and supportive research environment.

We have a Politics Postgraduate Society, which organises:
-The 'New Voices' seminar series, with both internal and external presenters
-Round table discussions on topical issues
-Professional development workshops led by politics staff

You are encouraged to attend conferences to present papers, partial funding for this is available from the School.

Our main research themes are:

The politics of difference

We examine the issues thrown up by the social and political differences of humanity from a variety of perspectives including: analytical and continental political philosophy; comparative politics and international politics; post-colonialism. Our work includes research on:
-Multiculturalism and issues of identity
-Inequality and social justice
-Disability
-Competing discourses of national identity
-Ethnic-nationalism
-Political violence
-Socio-political exclusion and discrimination
-Global norms and cultural difference
-Free speech - toleration and recognition

Popular culture and political communication

Our research addresses various key issues including:
-Representation
-Aesthetics
-Identity
-Cultural political economy
-Memory
-Control

We also assess the processes and depiction of political struggles, such as:
-Armed conflict
-Everyday life
-Political organising and identity formation
-Elections

Political participation and elections

We examine the differing forms of political participation that link society to the political systems of the world. We look at both the formal electoral process and non-electoral politics (social movements, protest groups etc). Our research on the emergence of virtual political participation means that some of our work intersects with popular culture and political communication. We investigate:
-Citizen involvement and (dis)engagement
-Social capital
-Non-participation
-The role of civil society

Political ideologies and political thought

We focus on the history of political thought as well as how these ideas are embedded in programmes for political action. Our research incorporates both historical and contemporary political thought prominent in the Western tradition as well as Asian philosophy and post-colonial thinking. This is an interdisciplinary theme, serving as a bridge between empirical political science and political theory.

Global economic and environmental challenges

We study the importance of political ideas such as sustainable development and globalisation, as well as the struggle to define the core problems that society faces. These challenges pose questions to the nature and reform of global governance, and generate tensions between the state and transnationalising forces in global politics and political economy. Our work has already led to findings on:
-The implications for global justice
-The policy challenge for governments and non-governmental actors
-The empowerment of various actors

Democracy, the modern state and political organisations

Our work examines the role of interest groups, social movements, political parties, third-sector actors and charities, community organisations and postcolonial nationalism in relation to the modern state. We draw from ancient and modern political thought to understand the interpretation of democracy (including democratic rights and the foundations of democracy). Our research interrogates the forms democracy takes, including:
-Elite theories of democracy
-Deliberative democracy
-Cosmopolitan democracy
-Democracy in divided societies

Political economy of development

Our research focuses on the interaction of economic forces and principles with political power in the development of societal economics and welfare, as well as on theories of development and post-development. We cover a range of geographic areas in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. We explore questions such as:
-The impact of the ongoing financial and economic crisis
-The role of communities and individuals in the face of global political economic forces
-The impact of the emerging economies (for example Brazil and China) on the global political economy

Critical geopolitics and security

Our research focuses on thinking critically about the political dynamics, consequences and discourses of historical and contemporary geopolitics. We cover both historical and contemporary questions of security, including:
-The territorialisation/de-territorialisation of identity and political agency
-Political cartography
-The role of fear and identity in shaping geopolitics
-Sovereignty and nationalism - the role and impact of the military
-Notions of terrorism and the war on terror
-The geographies of international boundaries
-The war on the trade in illegal substances
-The city and security
-The threat of biological weapons and infectious disease
-The vertical dimension in geopolitical and security studies
-Visual culture and world politics
-Technologies and architectures of security and insecurity
-The human body and security

Theory of international relations

We take an active role in the global debate on the units, actors and structures that shape the dynamics of international politics. Our research covers the political consequences of the constitution of the international as a distinct kind of relation. We examine political concepts including:
-The world system
-International diplomacy
-Networks
-Notions of empire
-Regional integration
-Non-governmental actors
-The (nation) state

Governance in Britain and wider Europe

Our research investigates the dynamics driving public policy-making at national, EU and international levels. We focus on the challenges multi-level governance offers for concerns about legitimacy and accountability. This includes the changing relationship between the governing and the governed over matters of politics and policy. Our geographic scope includes the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, and the Mediterranean

Global justice and human rights

Our work in political philosophy reflects the increasing need to tackle issues at a global rather than a state-only level. We cover issues such as:
-The formulation and justification of human rights
-The competing claims of relativism, particularism, and cultural diversity
-The extension of ideas of distributive justice from states to humanity as a whole
-Proposals to secure global democracy
-The application of just war theory to modern conflicts and to humanitarian intervention
-Environmental justice, especially climate change

We tackle questions of justice from an issue perspective as well as surveys of nationalism, statism, and various non-cosmopolitan theories of global justice.

Political research and methods

We conduct qualitative and quantitative research reflecting both empirical and critical political methodologies. We use quantitative methods, including rational choice theory and experiments, to make sense of topics as diverse as party systems and transitional justice. Our aim is to push innovation in research methods in ethnography, hermeneutics and discourse analysis. We use concepts that challenge traditional notions of politics to investigate methods for research into new challenges, including:
-The rise of life sciences
-The focus on the relationship between the human body and security
-Emergent forms of subjectivity and politics

Research skills development

The University's Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School provides a full range of research training in the social sciences, which meets the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This training includes:
-Bibliographical techniques
-Philosophy of social science
-Quantitative and qualitative methods

The Graduate School also hosts postgraduate events, including open days, and supports personal development.

Read less
This course is for you if you need to improve your English language skills and subject knowledge of politics before going on to a Masters course. Read more
This course is for you if you need to improve your English language skills and subject knowledge of politics before going on to a Masters course. You improve your language fluency and academic vocabulary, develop your academic skills, and gain experience of western methods of teaching and learning so that you can progress onto a relevant Masters course in our Department of Government.

At Essex, you can progress onto our MA Politics.

Our International Academy offers some of the best routes for international students to enter higher education in the UK. Our innovative courses and programmes have proved very successful with international students and have also attracted UK students because of the distinctive learning environment we offer.

If you are an international student, you may find that the education system in the UK is slightly different from other countries and, sometimes, that the transition to the British system can be challenging. Our courses help you to settle in and adapt to life in the UK.

Alongside improving your academic English skills, you also develop your knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical and conceptual foundations of the discipline of political science, and of quantitative methods for studying politics.

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.

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

By studying within our International Academy, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer:
-We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
-Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
-Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends

You also benefit from our excellent politics facilities:
-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Example structure

-Comparative Political Analysis
-Critical Reading and Seminar Skills
-English for Academic Purposes
-Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS
-Advanced English for Academic Purposes
-Extended English for Academic Purposes Project
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe

Read less
How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?. Read more
How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?

Our MSc Political Science gives a general overview of such topics, and as our most flexible postgraduate course offers you a very wide choice of optional modules. You explore the main theoretical approaches to the study of politics and look at what the basic theoretical framework required to conduct research in political science is.

Your optional modules may cover topics including:
-Survey measurement and research methods
-The economy and the state
-Democracies in Europe
-Theories of justice
-Conflict resolution

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)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
A programme of seminars and events run by the department
Your future
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our graduates from this course can expect to find jobs in market research, the media and central or local government. It also provides a foundation for further research in political science. You will gain key employability skills such as analytical reasoning, research design, and report writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Advanced Research Methods
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design
-Theories of International Relations (optional)

Read less
How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?. Read more
How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?

Our MA Political Science gives a general overview of such topics, and as our most flexible postgraduate course offers you a very wide choice of optional modules. You explore the main theoretical approaches to the study of politics and look at what the basic theoretical framework required to conduct research in political science is.

Your optional modules may cover topics including:
-Survey measurement and research methods
-The economy and the state
-Democracies in Europe
-Theories of justice
-Conflict resolution

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)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our academic staff work on topics ranging from international conflict and violence to British elections, and from the obligations of the younger generation to why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our graduates from this course can expect to find jobs in market research, the media and central or local government. It also provides a foundation for further research in political science. You will gain key employability skills such as analytical reasoning, research design, and report writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

Read less
How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should… Read more
How are we to understand political life – as the expression of violence, tradition, domination, the search for freedom, the struggle for equality? How should we think about democracy – as the participation of citizens, the contest of representatives or the search for a common good through deliberation? What is justice – equality for all human beings, solidarity among some human beings or the free play of personal choice?

These questions have exercised minds since ancient Athens and, in recent years, they have received new interpretations in political theory, one of the most intellectually fertile sub-disciplines of politics.

Our MA Political Theory will help you secure a solid grasp of key debates in social and political thought, give you a strong foundation in theoretical principles. You explore topics including:
-Research methods in critical political theory and analysis
-Classical and contemporary texts of political theory
-Democratic theory and social justice
-Philosophy of social science
-Ethics and public policy

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)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

The key member of our academic staff for this course is Professor David Howarth, who works on faith, politics and public space in democracies.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
A programme of seminars and events run by the department
Your future
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

This course will instil a wide range of analytical, critical, and communication skills that will enable you to pursue the career of your choice, whether in the public, private, or third sector, whether with a domestic or international focus.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-MA Dissertation
-Political Theory
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

Read less
Our Masters in Political Science is a general programme providing access to all the main intellectual strands of contemporary political science. Read more

Our Masters in Political Science is a general programme providing access to all the main intellectual strands of contemporary political science. Its core module is Advanced Political Analysis, and you have the option to choose additional modules from, for example, Introduction to Social Research, and Advanced Qualitative Research Methods.

This core pathway is designed for flexibility, allowing you to choose over half of the MA content from a wide range of optional modules.

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Course details

This programme offers you the chance to develop an advanced theoretical and research-based training, especially interesting for students wishing to pursue further postgraduate studies.

The MA / Diploma in Political Science is a general degree programme providing access to all the main intellectual strands of contemporary political science. Its core module is Advanced Political Analysis, and students have the option to choose from a broad range of additional modules, based on their specific interests.

Who is the programme for?

This degree will appeal to students seeking widely applicable training in pursuit of careers in government, non-governmental organisations, and many areas of the private sector.

Specialist pathways

Learning and teaching

We advocate an enquiry-based approach to learning, which means that we encourage you to become an independent and self-motivated learner. Through the programme of study we offer, we will develop the qualities that employers value in today's university graduates - qualities that will set you apart in your future career.

To help you develop the above-mentioned skills, we adopt a range of teaching methods. They may include:

  • Lectures - listening to experts sharing their knowledge and discoveries in challenging and provocative ways. Students are expected to 'read-around' the subject matter of their lectures, adding to their understanding and developing their critical faculties and analytical skills.
  • Seminars - where you present and discuss your ideas and knowledge in smaller groups and debate interpretations and opinions with other students.
  • Tutorials - are your opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor, usually in small groups.
  • Workshops - are problem solving sessions facilitated by a member of academic staff; these sessions usually involve students working in groups.

Our lecturers and tutors will ensure you have all the resources you need to make the transition from A levels to the more rigorous demands of a degree.

More about teaching and learning at the University of Birmingham.

Enhancing your Student Experience

In the School of Government and Society we offer much more than a degree. As a student here, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events, with some or all of the costs paid for by the School.

Some of these are targeted to help you build skills and experience for your CV, others are more open events designed to expose you to high-level speakers on current debates relevant to all Government and Society students.

Read our students' experiences and profiles on the school website.

Employability

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in a range of careers, with recent graduates working with organisations such as the United Nations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, local authorities in the UK and overseas and the Department for International Development.

The School takes employability very seriously and as well as linking students to the central careers services, also incorporates opportunities to enhance their employment prospects, including highlighting work experience opportunities, encouraging volunteering in extra-curricular projects (such as student seminars and events) and by inviting backgrounds for students to meet.

Careers Networks

The Careers Network provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

Find out more about support for work experience and internships, bursaries, or mentoring.



Read less
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. Read more
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?

MA 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)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our key academic staff for this course are Professor Paul Whiteley, who works on British elections, and Professor Lawrence Ezrow, who works on party ideology and strategy.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our course can lead to a career in the polling industry, market research, British and European Politics or the private sector. You will develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, survey design, polling, research design, and report writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Advanced Research Methods
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-MA Dissertation
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

Read less
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. Read more
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?

MA 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)

Our expert staff

Some of the biggest names in the field work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in politics. Our staff are advising the CIA on counter-terrorism, training politicians and civil servants in democratising countries, and commentating on political events in national and international media.

Our key academic staff for this course are Professor Paul Whiteley, who works on British elections, and Professor Lawrence Ezrow, who works on party ideology and strategy.

You join an active and prolific research team, with the opportunity to work alongside a member of staff on their research instead of completing a dissertation; some of these projects have even resulted in joint staff/student publications.

Specialist facilities

-Laboratories of networked computers featuring extensive software for political analysis
-The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
-We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
-A programme of seminars and events run by the department

Your future

All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.

Our course can lead to a career in the polling industry, market research, British and European Politics or the private sector. You will develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, survey design, polling, research design, and report writing.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for the following high-profile organisations:
-The Civil Service
-Local government
-The World Bank
-The United Nations
-NATO
-YouGov and YouGov America

We also offer supervision for PhD and MPhil in the following fields: government; ideology and discourse analysis; international relations; political behaviour; and politics.

Our academic reputation is illustrated by the fact that many of our graduates now teach or research at universities, colleges of higher education and schools. For example, recent graduates are now research fellows and academic staff at: Mannheim, Germany; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; Duke University, USA; NATO/SHAPE, Belgium; and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Political Explanation (optional)
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-MA Dissertation
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design

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