Students Staff

Interdisciplinary Studies Centre

Global studies

University of Essex

Global Studies

What can you expect from a global studies degree at Essex?

Our Global Studies degrees are global in focus and takes an interdisciplinary approach to international issues and regional study. In addition to core modules concentrating on global politics and history, you can choose a range of additional options from across the social sciences and humanities, including sociology, philosophy, literature and art.

Why global studies?

The challenges facing today’s world are profoundly international. Globalisation is seen by many as the defining issue of our age, and we live in a world which is connected as never before. From the migrant crisis to global warming, contemporary challenges require graduates who bring a global perspective and broad skills to the workplace. Our Global Studies degrees are designed for just this purpose, providing you with the option to study topics in areas including:

  • Art, architecture and their geographical contexts
  • International banking
  • World technologies
  • Modern languages
  • Migration

Read the full course description on our Course finder:

Our global staff

You are taught by staff who bring knowledge and expertise from across the globe and a wide range of subject areas. these include our Centre Director, Professor Wayne Martin and director of Liberal Arts, Colin Samson:

  • Professor Wayne Martin

    “I am from the USA, but came to Essex ten years ago in part because of the remarkable global mix of students, staff, scholarship and activism that is part of the environment here. My colleagues come from all over the world, and the student body is as diverse as the United Nations.

    “Being at Essex has given me a skill set and a network of contacts that has made it possible to engage with global challenges. My current work addresses the global challenges associated with recognising the rights of persons with disabilities. Too often, this is the sort of issue that gets investigated only within one’s home jurisdiction. But at Essex, we are looking around the world in order to try to advance reform here in the UK and elsewhere.”

  • Professor Colin Samson

    “I am from the US and Britain. I was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Arizona and the LSE. Most of my career has been spent working with indigenous peoples in North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia and writing about their cultural survival.

    “Although a sociologist, I am dedicated to both interdisciplinary study and an international outlook on the world. My latest book is on colonialism and indigenous peoples. I teach in Liberal Arts and on modules in Sociology about the USA.’

Course options

Study abroad

With an Essex degree you can study abroad for up to a year, giving you the chance to immerse yourself in another culture and develop your independence, adaptability and cultural awareness. You can:

  • study abroad for a term as part of the standard three-year course
  • take our four-year course with a full year abroad in your third year

You can also switch between the three and four-year versions after you've started if you change your mind.

We strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to study abroad as it perfectly complements an interdisciplinary course. While abroad you can choose to study different subjects to those you're focusing on at Essex. Alternatively, if you study the same subjects, you'll gain new perspectives as subjects are thought about and taught differently in different countries. Either way, your experiences will influence your thinking when you return to complete your course.

Gain new language skills

If you're interested in learning a language, there are lots of options available. You could choose to study a language as part of your degree by taking language modules. Alternatively you can join our award-winning Languages for All programme, enabling you to learn a language outside your course for no extra cost. Choose from Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, or Spanish.


If you would like more information about our Global Studies degrees before making your application, please email us.