How do political scientists explain political outcomes? How does normative theory inform the way researchers approach their work? How do political science approaches differ from historical accounts of political phenomenon? How can political science be used to analyse the real world?
Our MSc Political Science gives a general overview of such topics, and as our most flexible postgraduate course offers you a very wide choice of optional modules. You explore the main theoretical approaches to the study of politics and look at what the basic theoretical framework required to conduct research in political science is.
Your optional modules may cover topics including:
Survey measurement and research methods
The economy and the state
Democracies in Europe
Theories of justice
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 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.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
Advanced Research Methods
Theory and Explanation in Political Science
Comparative European Politics (optional)
Conflict Resolution (optional)
Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
Environmental Politics (optional)
International Security Studies (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 (optional)
Theories of International Relations (optional)
Courses are designed to provide you with an advanced understanding of either the politics of a geographical area or an aspect of the discipline
Courses include both compulsory and optional modules, so the course can be tailored to fit your interests and aspirations
Learn through discussion and problem-solving
Lab sessions allow you to improve your technical research skills
We encourage students to attend national conferences to meet researchers and discuss their work
Your coursework comes in the form of essays, simulations, presentations and in-class tests
You are given guidance on how to prepare a Masters dissertation by our Graduate Director in the spring term
We link you with an appropriate supervisor at the earliest opportunity
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
You need the following IELTS score:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Take IELTS test
StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more
A degree with an overall high 2:2.
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Testimonial Registration Module
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.