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BAPolitics and International Relations (Including Placement Year)

University of Essex
United Kingdom, Colchester
Tuition fee £13,350 per year
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc. 


Why don’t democratic countries go to war with each other? Why don’t young people vote? Who should pay for climate change? Why do oil-rich states have worse human rights records? These are the kinds of questions addressed in our BA Politics & International Relations.

Based in one of the most prestigious government departments in Europe, this course enables you to learn how politics works within countries and between countries. We provide a thorough grounding in all major areas of political science and international relations and widen your awareness of the world system, while training you in the research and critical thinking skills that are prized by employers.

With this course you can explore a very wide range of topic areas, including:

Human rights and global justice
Elections, referendums and the psychology of voters
Civil war and international peacekeeping
The politics of natural disasters
Protest, revolution and democracy
Aid, trade and development

Programme structure


Introduction to Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Co-Operation and Conflict
Politics and Power
Truth, Justice, and the Nature of Politics
Career Portfolio
Comparative Political Analysis (optional)
Politics and Economic Policies (optional)


International Relations: Theories and Approaches
Conflict Analysis
Career Portfolio
Political Behaviour (optional)
Parties and Elections (optional)
The New British Politics (optional)
Measuring Public Opinion (optional)
Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS (optional)
Games, Strategy and Politics (optional)


Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. 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.


Career Portfolio
Ethics and Public Policy (optional)
Quantitative Political Analysis (optional)
Electoral Behaviour (optional)
Mass Media and Democracy (optional)
The Analysis of Conflict and Peace (optional)
International Negotiation (optional)

Career opportunities

All Essex Politics & International Relations graduates will 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 political parties, NGOs, international development, the civil service fast stream, management, journalism, police, armed forced, commerce, business, finance, 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
IMG Media

Apply now! Fall semester 2020/21
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Studies commence
Oct 1, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States