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Course content

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)

Visit the Politics - Graduate Diploma page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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