This course gives you a thorough training in the complementary disciplines of law and politics. You develop critical, reflective and analytical skills that are common to both disciplines. In addition to emphasising aspects common to both subjects, you explore the differences between them and the approaches taken within legal and political thought. You also develop a critical awareness of the nature of law within its social and political contexts.
Your optional topics may include:
- Copyright and trademark law
- International environmental law
- Law and literature
- Human rights
- Concepts in political science: state, laws, wars and political parties
- Obligations, freedom, rights and equality
At Essex we specialise in commercial law, public law, and human rights law. We are ranked 51st for Law in the THE World University Rankings 2021, which is 13th in UK, and we are top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014)
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. We are also ranked ranked 7th in the UK for Politics in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021
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
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Our School of Law’s internationally diverse community of staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law and justice around the world. This community, combined with opportunities to study abroad during your time with us, ensures you graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts.
We also have some of the biggest names in politics working at Essex, giving you unparalleled access to some of the best minds. Our academic 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.
We are working 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.
Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can use your knowledge and skills to serve the community and help those most in need of legal services
- Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
- Participate in mooting competitions to develop your skills
- Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
- The ESSEXLab provides opportunities for experimental lab research
- Student societies for politics, debating, and Model UN
At Essex we don’t just prepare you for the legal profession. We stimulate your desire to pursue justice and equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an agent for change, whatever career path you choose.
From the start of your course, we challenge you to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. Over the first two years, alongside law subjects, you will take a career management module designed to help you identify personal strengths and goals, understand what employers (both within and outside law) are looking for and enhance your employability profile.
We also hold an annual law fair, attended by law firms and vocational qualification providers. Our graduates pursue careers in the law and in a wide range of other sectors including business and commerce, accountancy, insurance, banking, central and local government, academia, teaching, social work and the police force.
Our mantra is: be realistically ambitious. This involves understanding yourself and the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive graduate jobs market. Throughout your time at Essex, advisors in our Student Development Team, working closely with colleagues in our School, are available to help you formulate your career plan.
Why we’re great
- Our lecturers work with the UN, the UK government, and with EU and foreign governments.
- You gain work experience advising real clients through opportunities such as the Essex Law Clinic
- You have access to some of the best minds in politics and the biggest names in the field
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.