What is the nature of the changing global system and how does it have an impact on individual well-being? What have been the major achievements, setbacks, and challenges to the global human rights movement? How do domestic and international politics interact in ways that are important for the promotion and protection of human rights?
If you are interested in politics with a specific interest in human rights, then this course focus on democracy, human rights and political theory should appeal to you.
You address the impact of politics and political events on domestic and international affairs, and look at how these events relate to the worldwide promotion and protection of human rights. We encourage you to explore different aspects of political science while developing an in-depth knowledge of human rights and different research methods.
You choose a wide range of topics including:
- Forms of democracy
- Principles and practices of human rights
- Comparative politics
- Ethics and public policy
- Social 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.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
Alternatively, by choosing a placement year you can gain relevant work experience within an external business, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Placements Team
A Placement-Linked Project module is also available as an alternative to the dissertation module in your third year. You attend shorter placements (a minimum of 150 hours in total), and use your learning on placement to inform a research project; fantastic work experience for your CV.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
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.
Members of our Human Rights Centre work closely with our alumni and extensive practitioner network to ensure that our research is focused on priority issues that are of direct relevance to beneficiaries such as victims of human rights violations, governments, NGOs, and international organisations such as the UN.
Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- 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
- A dedicated study skills advisor in your first year for one-to-one advice
- A personal tutor and peer mentor for every student
- We organise the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis
You also benefit from our human rights facilities
- Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
- Network at our student-run Law Society, Human Rights Society, Bar Society and Amnesty International Society, which provides legal advice to the Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA)
- Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can work alongside practicing solicitors to offer legal advice to clients
- Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
All Essex, politics graduates have the distinction of a qualification from one of the world’s leading politics departments.
Our students are in demand from a host of employers, in politics, the civil service fast stream, management, journalism, police, armed forces, commerce, business, finance, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), teaching and graduate research.
Our notable alumni include the former President of Costa Rica and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr Oscar Arias, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
- The World Bank
- Houses of Parliament Research Unit
- United Nations Development Program
- ICM research
- IMG Media
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities. Take a look at our dedicated „=””>Human Rights career page.
Why we’re great
- Ranked 7th in the UK for Politics and International Studies in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021
- You have access to some of the best minds in politics and the biggest names in the field.
- We have the only Regius Professor in Political Science in the UK, an honour conferred by the Queen.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching is arranged to allow a lot of freedom in how you organise your learning experience
- Lab sessions allow you to improve your technical research skills
- Opportunities to gain work experience on placements and internships
- Assessed through a combination of written coursework, presentations, class participation, and end-of-year examinations
- If you undertake a placement, you will prepare an assessed report on this experience