Essex Challenge Project

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
26 April 2024


Requisites for this module
GV831, GV832, GV836, GV837, GV840, SC340



Key module for


Module description

Essex Challenge Project provides students with the opportunity to work with staff at Essex County Council (ECC) on one or more research projects of interest and use to the council. Some of these research project might involve social science analysis of health-outcomes or transportation needs, for example.

The precise nature and range of research projects that students work on vary year on year. Students receive support from staff in the Department of Government in producing these reports. Some of these reports may involve group work.

Module aims

1. Student will learn how to work with practitioners on policy-relevant research.
2. Students will learn how to communicate findings – in person and in writing – to a range of non-academic audiences or to professional academics
3. Students will learn how to work in teams in order to analyse social science data for the purposes of developing policy recommendations that are relevant to practitioners.

Module learning outcomes

1. An ability to plan research design in practice in order to meet the needs of practioners.
2. Familiarity, and an ability to meet, practitioners’ expectations of written research.
3. Skills in searching for, recording and handling social science data.

Module information

Because the Essex Challenge Project is WBL module developed year on year in collaboration with, and in order to respond to the needs of, Essex County Council, it does not have the same kind of syllabus that "standard" undergraduate modules have.

This module is part of the Q-Step pathway. Q-Step is an award which you can gain simply by enrolling on specific modules and will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Learn more about the Q-Step pathway and enhance your degree now.

Learning and teaching methods

Since this is a WBL module that entails coordination with Essex County Council, the way activities are distributed across the weeks will vary from year to year, as will the content of the topics. Students work in teams and in regular supervisions by staff in the Department of Government and in coordination with staff at Essex County Council.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Literature Review    30% 
Coursework   Think Tank Style Report    25% 
Coursework   Academic Assignment    45% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tom Quinn, email: tquinn@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Tom Quinn
Please contact govquery@essex.ac.uk


Travel costs for UK - based unpaid, approved work placements and live projects which are an integral part of a module may be covered by your department. (NB this will usually exclude field trips and site visits). Please check with your module supervisor to ensure that the activity is eligible.

External examiner

Dr Stefano Pagliari
City, University of London
Senior Lecturer in International Politics
Available via Moodle
Of 1 hours, 1 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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