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How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How can political science be used to analyse the real world? Our MRes gives you additional rigorous training in research design and methods compared to an MSc or MA, preparing you for PhD research in any sub-field of political science.

You learn how to ask questions across political science, developing theories, conducting research, analysing data and exploring the empirical implications of theoretical models empirical methods. You learn to draw your own conclusions as to which approaches are appropriate for the questions they want to ask and answer, and gain a thorough and rigorous understanding of such research tools.

You study modules on theories of political explanation, research design, and empirical and mixed research methods across your two years, whilst developing a 35,000-word dissertation.

Our Department of Government is one of the most prestigious in Europe, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We’re 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 political science work at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds in the field. 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.

Our key academic staff for this course are Professor Jonathan Slapin, who specializes on political organizations and political parties and whose research has received multiple awards. Dr Simone Dietrich, who uses laboratory, field, and survey experiments to study foreign aid provision and its effect on economic and political development around the world. Dr Daina Chiba, who has interests in the areas of militarised conflict, international institutions, and political methodology. Dr Anna Getmansky, who works on the electoral impact of terrorism. Laura Montanaro, who works on democratic theory in the area of non-electoral representation and Dr Alejandro Quiroz Flores, who studies the political economy of natural disasters as well as research methods.

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

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 and politics
-Ideology and discourse analysis
-International relations
-Political behaviour
-Political economy

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.

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

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