Political Economics (Including Placement Year)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Political Economics (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Politics and International Relations
BA L152

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: BBB
GCSE: Mathematics C/4

IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics or Maths Studies grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. 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.

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.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

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

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 27 January 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 - 2019/20

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 0

Year 2 - 2020/21

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 Political Analysis: Introduction to OLS 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 0

Year Abroad/Placement - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 GV834-6-FY Placement Year Compulsory 120

Year 3 - 2022/23

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 Domestic Environmental Politics Compulsory 15
05 One Autumn and One Spring Option from list Optional 30
06 GV711-6-FY Career Portfolio Compulsory 0
07 GV831-6-FY or GV832-6-FY Compulsory with Options 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 aims of the Placement Year are:
- To provide the student with the opportunity to apply their academic learning outcomes in a work-related context.
- To enable students to develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement.
- To provide students with the opportunity to analyse their practical work in a theoretical context.

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.
A101 An experience-based understanding of work roles.
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.
B101 A capacity to connect subject-specific theory to practice in a work environment.
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.
C101 The ability to communicate with a range of colleagues and clients in a working environment.
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.
D101 The capacity to work in a team within a work environment.
D102 Improved personal professional practice through a reflective approach within a work environment.
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.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: crt@essex.ac.uk.