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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. At Essex, we are primarily interested in the scientific study of political institutions and how they might determine economic variables.

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.

You will have a great deal of choice for your optional modules as they will be selected from both our Department of Government and Department of Economics. Our MSc Political Economy covers all aspects of modern political economy, including:
-Market failure
-Environmental policies
-The quality of governance
-Monetary policy choices

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 Department of Economics is also consistently rated highly for student satisfaction, and is Top 5 in the UK for research with over 90% rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

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.

Our key academic staff for this course are Dr Alejandro Quiroz Flores, who works on why authoritarian leaders welcome natural disasters, and Simone Dietrich, who works on who gives, receives, and benefits from aid.

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

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

This course is a good choice if you wish to maintain the flexibility of pursuing a career at an international organisation, a government organisation, a private enterprise or as a political consultant. You will develop key employability skills including analytical reasoning, research, problem solving, and essay-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
-Political Economy
-Applications of Data Analysis (optional)
-Banking
-Behavioural Economics I: Individual Decision Making (optional)
-Behavioural Economics II: Games and Markets (optional)
-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)
-Macroeconomics (optional)
-Market Structure and Strategic Behaviour (optional)
-Mathematical Methods (optional)
-Microeconometrics (optional)
-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 Design (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Survey Measurement and Question Design
-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 - MSc page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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