Political Economics (Including Year Abroad)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Political Economics (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Politics and International Relations
BA L151

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

GCSE: Mathematics C/4

A-levels: BBB

BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

IB: 30 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555, including Standard Level Mathematics grade 4 or Higher Level Mathematics grade 3.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.

From 2021, we will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.

Access to HE Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above

Flexible offers
Eligible applicants that choose us as their firm choice by the relevant deadline will be able to take advantage of a flexible offer. This offer will specify alternative entry requirements than those published here so, if your final grades aren’t what you had hoped for, you could still secure a place with us. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Dr Mohammed Rodwan Abouharb

University College London

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 26 October 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  GV120-4-AU  Politics and Economic Policies  Core  15 
02  GV110-4-AU  Scientific Reasoning for the Social Sciences  Core  15 
03  GV121-4-SP  Institutions of Democracy  Core  15 
04  GV112-4-SP  Comparative Political Analysis  Core  15 
05    Two Autumn Option(s) from list  Optional  30 
06    Two Spring Option(s) from list  Optional  30 
07  GV711-4-FY  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  GV211-5-SP  Violent Non State Actors: Violence, Crime and Conflict  Compulsory  15 
02  GV207-5-AU  Quantitative Political Analysis  Compulsory  15 
03  GV212-5-AU  International Organisations  Compulsory  15 
04    Two Autumn option(s) from list  Optional  30 
05    One Spring option from list  Optional  15 
06    Two Spring option(s) from list  Optional  30 
07  GV711-5-FY  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  AW600-6-FY    Compulsory  60 

Year 3 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  GV313-6-AU  Authoritarianism  Compulsory  15 
02  GV312-6-AU  Domestic Politics and International Relations  Compulsory  15 
03  GV315-6-SP  Political Economy of International Development  Compulsory  15 
04  GV591-6-SP  International Environmental Politics  Compulsory  15 
05    One Autumn and One Spring Option from list  Optional  30 
06  GV711-6-FY  Career Portfolio  Compulsory 
07  GV831-6-FY  Project: Politics  Compulsory  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

- To prepare students to work in international and national governmental and non-governmental agencies.
- To obtain strategic roles in private companies and in politics.
- To develop policy and decision-making through research and analysis.
- To develop a comprehensive understanding of how governments seek to influence economic processes, and how markets influence politics, policies, and political outcomes using the foundations of political science and economics.
- To provide skills relevant to the labour market.

The aim of the Year Abroad is:
- To enable students to broaden their understanding of political economics by studying in a partner institution abroad for one academic year.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: Knowledge of the main theoretical and empirical concepts in politics and economics.

A2: Knowledge of the main findings in modern political economy and current trends in research, particularly as related to the study of political institutions and how they are related to economic variables.

A3: Knowledge of the essential terms and concepts necessary to understand economic and political phenomena.

Learning methods

Lectures, seminars, and classes.

Assessment methods

Coursework and exams.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: To approach political economics from a scientific perspective.

B2: To develop analytical thinking and data analytic skills.

B3: To interpret and use basic statistical methods as applied to politics and economics.

B4: To understand and use basic game theory and other formal models.

B5: To develop a capacity for independent study and research in the area of political economics.

Learning methods

Lectures, classes, seminars.

Assessment methods

Coursework, exams.

C: Practical skills

C1: To communicate ideas effectively.

C2: To use information technologies to access and collect information and data.

C3: To work independently as well as collaborating with others.

C4: To use and apply political economy terminology, concepts, tools, and research findings to applied settings.

Learning methods

Lectures, seminars, classes.

Assessment methods

Coursework, exams.

D: Key skills

D1: To argue coherently and concisely

D2: To use information technologies to access and collect information and data.

D3: Understanding of the main quantitative and formal methods used in political analysis.

D4: Students will be able to solve problems using a range of knowledge and skills.

D5: To collaborate with others.

D6: Critical awareness of own learning process.

Learning methods

Lectures, seminars, classes.

Assessment methods

Coursework, exams.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.