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Course content

Over the last three decades, political economy has been one of the fastest growing approaches in the social sciences. If you are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, then you will profit from our course.

Our MRes Political Economy 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 political economics and research methods across your two years, while developing a 35,000-word dissertation.

At Essex, we are primarily interested in the study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables. Our MSc Political Economy covers all aspects of modern political economy, including:
-Micro and macroeconomics
-The quality of governance
-Monetary policy choices
-Mathematical Methods
-Environmental policies
-Market failure

Run jointly between our Department of Economics and our Department of Government, our MRes Political Economy offers excellent preparation for PhD study, combining substantive political economy modules 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 Department of Economics is top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of our research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists and political scientists of our time.

Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs; they 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.

Many of our economic researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.

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 and quantitative analysis
-ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
-Student societies for politics, economics, 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

Year 1
-Political Economy
-Advanced Research Methods
-Essex Summer School Module 30 Credits
-Essex Summer School Module 30 Credits
-Mathematical Methods
-Microeconomics
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science

Year 2
-MRES Dissertation
-Applied Research Design
-Macroeconomics
-Research Design
-Applications of Data Analysis (optional)
-Banking
-Behavioural Economics I: Individual Decision Making
-Behavioural Economics II: Games and Markets
-Comparative European Politics (optional)
-Computational Agent-Based Macro-Economics, Financial Markets and Policy Design
-Conflict Resolution (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Econometric Methods (optional)
-Economic Development Theory (optional)
-Economics of Financial Markets (optional)
-Economics of Incentives, Contracts and the Firm (optional)
-Economics of the European Union (optional)
-Economics of Transition (optional)
-Environmental Economics (optional)
-Estimation and Inference in Econometrics (optional)
-Game Theory and Applications (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-International Finance (optional)
-International Security Studies (optional)
-International Trade (optional)
-Market Structure and Strategic Behaviour (optional)
-Mathematical Methods (optional)
-Microeconometrics
-Microeconomics (optional)
-Monetary Economics
-Panel Data Methods (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Explanation (optional)
-Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theories of International Relations (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Theory of Industrial Organisation (optional)
-Time Series Econometrics (optional)
-Topics in Financial Economics (optional)

Visit the Political Economy - MRes page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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