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 most popular course, MSc International Relations, attracts students from all over the world. You focus on general theoretical perspectives of the discipline, providing the tools for you to understand historical and contemporary events. The emphasis is on explaining and understanding international events, rather than simply the intellectual history of international relations as a field.
You also take optional modules from a large selection offered by our department, including: -Global environmental issues -Democracies in Europe -Forecasting global trends -International security -Conflict resolution
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 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.
-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
All Essex politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.
Our MA International Relations will help you develop key employability skills which will make you attractive to both the public and private sector, including analytical reasoning, research design, communication and report 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.
-MA Dissertation -Advanced Research Methods -Theories of International Relations -Theory and Explanation in Political Science -Conflict Resolution (optional) -Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional) -Ideology and Political Discourse (optional) -Environmental Politics (optional) -International Security Studies (optional) -Political Economy (optional) -Political Theory (optional) -Public Opinion and Political Behaviour (optional) -Research Design (optional) -Survey Measurement and Question Design -Comparative European Politics (optional) -Political Parties in Britain and Europe (optional) -Political Explanation (optional)
“After I completed my BA within the Department of Government at Essex, I decided that I wanted to stay in higher education and work towards a PhD. From my experience of Essex as an undergraduate, I felt that I simply could not get a better education anywhere else, so there was no reason to move. I really wanted to remain part of the intellectually stimulating atmosphere at Essex. The Department has always had a uniquely friendly ethos where students are treated as real people with real opinions.
I am currently in my first year of PhD research, studying political discourse in education. After my PhD proposal had been accepted by the Department, I felt the best Masters programme to get me ready for my research was MA Ideology and Discourse Analysis. It provided me with the theoretical and methodological tools I needed for political research and has allowed me to excel in critical modes of thinking. In particular, the type of challenging poststructuralist and post-Marxist political theory I have studied has been incredibly interesting and really helped me to progress as a theorist and as a researcher.
One thing I have cherished over the last five years has been the ability to meet new people. The fact that Essex has such a high proportion of international students has meant that I now have a network of friends from over 30 countries, spanning five continents. It has been remarkable mixing with people from other cultures. I feel I have learned as much from this social aspect of the University life as I have from the academic.
After completing my PhD here at Essex I will be looking to continue my academic research into education policy and hopefully make a real impact on the way our schools are run.”
Nazli Sila Cesur
"I wanted undertake my postgraduate study at Essex as I knew the Department of Government was one of the best in the UK. I was then really pleased with my MA Political Theory, so decided I wanted to stay here for my PhD.
I am really enjoying being a research student at the University. By that, I mean I have been given the opportunity to choose my own topic for my PhD and am able to lead my own research; I’ve found the experience of taking a huge responsibility for my own self and my success very exciting. I also like attending the research seminars offered by my Department, as I find it a great way to meet others and exchange ideas.
The Colchester Campus is quite compact, which I think is advantageous for students as you have everything you need like a post office, library and banks on site, and can easily meet up with your friends. The University is also close to London, which makes day trips to the capital possible.
After completing my PhD, I would like to have a career in academia and am particularly keen to stay in the UK. Having studied at the UK’s top department for politics will certainly help my future plans."
ESRC Doctoral Training Centre scholarships
For 2011-12, our ESRC Doctoral Training Centre will offer 16-fully funded ESRC studentships, most worth £18,000 per year, across over 20 doctoral pathways. The University of Essex has become one of only 21 Doctoral Training Centres accredited by the UK Economic and Social Research Council following a highly competitive selection process. Our Doctoral Training Centre will fund 16 doctoral students each year across many different social science disciplines. It also offers excellent training opportunities and a highly stimulating research environment to hundreds of postgraduate students, researchers, professionals, practitioners and users.
Value of Scholarship(s)
Up to £18,000
We encourage applications from top students seeking to research over a range of social science areas, including: criminology and socio-legal research; economic and social research; economics and econometrics; environmental governance; finance; health and organisational research; human rights; language and linguistics; management and accounting; politics and international relations; political economy; psychoanalytic studies; sociology and social change.
A degree with an overall high 2:2. We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email [email protected] for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
Recipient: University of Essex
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