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Course content

We live in an increasingly interconnected and globalised world where events that unfold on other continents can affect our lives very quickly. Sometimes politicians are able to work together in a search for solutions but disagreement, and even the possibility of conflict, never seems far away.

Our MRes International Relations is a two-year course, designed to give you additional training in research design and research methods compared to an MSc or MA. You study modules on international relations and research methods across your two years, while developing a 35,000-word dissertation.

You are familiarised with the theories and conceptual tools used to analyse world politics, and explore how different theories and conceptual tools speak to contemporary debates and events. You also take modules on topics including:
-Forecasting global trends
-International security
-Research methods
-Research design
-Political theory

Our MRes International Relations offers excellent preparation for PhD research in this field, covering all aspects of international relations with additional training in research design and research methods. You learn how to develop theories, conduct research, and explore the empirical implications of theoretical models using the most appropriate empirical methods.

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 Kristian Gleditsch, who works on inequality, conflict and violence, and Anna Getmansky, who works on the electoral impact of terrorism.

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

An MRes puts you in a particularly strong position to succeed in a research degree. We 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.

Other 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 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

-Theories of International Relations
-Essex Summer School Module 30 Credits
-Essex Summer School Module 30 Credits
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science
-Advanced Research Methods (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Research Design (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design
-Comparative European Politics (optional)

Visit the International Relations - MRes page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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