University of Essex

University of Essex

Political Economy

This course covers all aspects of modern political economy, including: market failure; the political logic of policy choices; and the trade-off between different political goals. Those who are interested in how institutions shape the behaviour of political actors and how political decisions influence markets and vice versa, will profit from the course. We also offer preparation for PhD study by combining modules covering all aspects related to political economy with additional training in research design and research methods. Students learn how to develop theories, conduct research, and explore the empirical implications of theoretical models using the most appropriate empirical methods. From the very beginning, students are invited to work on their own research, which prepares them for further study at PhD level.

Entry requirements

Our applicants should have a 1st, 2.1 or high 2.2 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant social science like politics, international relations, economics, political economy or sociology. Degrees from other subjects may be considered where there is evidence of some mathematical training, statistical background and relevant work experience, although you will be required to submit a personal statement with your application form. If English is not your 1st language, then we require IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Course modules

Year 1: Political economy; advanced research methods; mathematical methods; microeconomics; theory and explanation in political science. Year 2 core modules: Applied research design; macroeconomics; research design; dissertation. Year 2 optional modules include: Advanced research methods; applications of data analysis; banking; behavioural economics 1 (individual decision making); behavioural economics 2 (games and markets); comparative European politics; computational agent-based macro-economics, financial markets and policy design; conflict resolution; contemporary theories of justice; econometric methods; economic development theory; economics of financial markets; economics of incentives, contracts and the firm; economics of the European Union; economics of transition; environmental economics; estimation and inference in econometrics; game theory and applications; ideology and political discourse; international environmental politics; international finance; international security studies; international trade; macroeconomics; market structure and strategic behaviour; mathematical methods; microeconomics; monetary economics; panel data methods; political economy; political explanation; political parties in Britain and Europe; political theory; public opinion and political behaviour; research design; research seminar in political theory and methods; theories of international relations; theory and explanation in political science; theory of industrial organisation; time series econometrics; topics in financial economics; topics in labour economics.

Assessment methods

Written coursework, assignments, end of term tests and an exam at the end of the year.

Sponsorship information

Research councils and some University of Essex studentships available.


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MRes Full-time £ 7,725 per Academic year (home fees) 24 months
MRes Full-time £ 14,950 per Academic year (overseas fees) 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Colchester Campus Colchester CO4 3SQ South East

Key information

Graduate Administrator, Department of Government
Telephone number: 
01206 872719