MA International Relations at Sussex VS Essex

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SNSD_SNSD
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im making a decision between Sussex and Essex, can anyone suggest me which university is better for studying MA in IR and which one has more reputation for IR please. Thank you^^
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madamemerle
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From what I know (which isn't loads) Sussex has a marginally better IR reputation, generally, but Essex is a world leader for quantitative social science methods, and their Government dept is outstanding, so if you have any interest in those Essex might nudge out Sussex.

If you have any questions about Essex in general, I'm not a social scientist but I did my MA there and absolutely loved the university (best year of my university career so far) and would be happy to chat about it.
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Tcannon
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Sussex IR is well regarded for critical theory, IPE, development and governance. Reflected in publication in peer reviewed journals.
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SNSD_SNSD
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(Original post by madamemerle)
From what I know (which isn't loads) Sussex has a marginally better IR reputation, generally, but Essex is a world leader for quantitative social science methods, and their Government dept is outstanding, so if you have any interest in those Essex might nudge out Sussex.

If you have any questions about Essex in general, I'm not a social scientist but I did my MA there and absolutely loved the university (best year of my university career so far) and would be happy to chat about it.

Thank you so much, so can you tell me about facilities at Essex please. oh and by the way, can you suggest me where I can find further information about the reputation in IR of these two universities and the unique differences of lecturing so that I can compare them. And may I ask do you have any suggestion to me if I am interested in working in UN, what factor should be taken into my consideration to choose between these two. (I'm sorry for still asking you many specific questions )
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madamemerle
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(Original post by SNSD_SNSD)
Thank you so much, so can you tell me about facilities at Essex please. oh and by the way, can you suggest me where I can find further information about the reputation in IR of these two universities and the unique differences of lecturing so that I can compare them. And may I ask do you have any suggestion to me if I am interested in working in UN, what factor should be taken into my consideration to choose between these two. (I'm sorry for still asking you many specific questions )
I'm afraid I don't know about other places to get info. Perhaps there are scholarly associations for IR in the UK that would have information (within my disciplines, associations like the British Association for American Studies have a lot of info on their websites about postgraduate opportunities and departments etc).

About Essex's facilities:
Living-wise: The campus is fairly small, and mainly made up of a series of interlinked squares -you should be able to walk between any building in the linked squares without going outside, but in practice it's terribly disorienting once you're inside, as all corridors look the same - most of the campus was built in the sixties and the buildings are a tad tired looking, however the campus community is so lively that the somewhat drab squares tend to feel very welcoming, there are always SU events going on and people use the squares to meet and socialize. The SU at Essex is excellent and there are a number of really good bars, coffee shops and restaurants on campus (for a university) and there is a large night club, too. There's a good gym as well as the expected other sports facilities (tennis courts etc). Accommodation is good, especially the Towers for a good sense of community. Colchester is close by for shopping, pubs etc.
As a postgraduate, I'd consider living in Wivenhoe which is walkable to campus and is a gorgeous estuary village with a fab bookshop and a really nice feel (though quiet, so depends what you want).

The student body is very international, and also pretty diverse within the UK student population. There's an international food shop on campus, too.

Academic Facilities:
The library is decent, but the holdings aren't huge - it's a great place to work though and staff are very helpful, you can get a SCONUL card to use other libraries if you need to, and London is an hour away by train so London libraries are within reach. There's apparently a new student centre that was built after I finished, which looks lovely, and all departments (as far as I know) have a student lounge, which is a good place to get to know others in your department. My departments (I belonged to two) constantly had fantastic speakers coming for talks (weekly).

Essex is fairly small for a research uni, and fairly self contained, but I think one result of that is that postgrads are very much a part of the academic life of the university. As a Master's student, I participated in reading groups and presented at an international conference that was hosted by my departments. Faculty at Essex, in my experience, are among the most generous and supportive I've come across; there is an atmosphere of collaboration and nurturing and even as a Master's student you are treated as a kind of proto academic.

Basically, Essex is not especially well-off and its campus looks a bit the worse for wear, but its intellectual community is among the most supportive and exciting that I've been a part of.
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SNSD_SNSD
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(Original post by madamemerle)
I'm afraid I don't know about other places to get info. Perhaps there are scholarly associations for IR in the UK that would have information (within my disciplines, associations like the British Association for American Studies have a lot of info on their websites about postgraduate opportunities and departments etc).

About Essex's facilities:
Living-wise: The campus is fairly small, and mainly made up of a series of interlinked squares -you should be able to walk between any building in the linked squares without going outside, but in practice it's terribly disorienting once you're inside, as all corridors look the same - most of the campus was built in the sixties and the buildings are a tad tired looking, however the campus community is so lively that the somewhat drab squares tend to feel very welcoming, there are always SU events going on and people use the squares to meet and socialize. The SU at Essex is excellent and there are a number of really good bars, coffee shops and restaurants on campus (for a university) and there is a large night club, too. There's a good gym as well as the expected other sports facilities (tennis courts etc). Accommodation is good, especially the Towers for a good sense of community. Colchester is close by for shopping, pubs etc.
As a postgraduate, I'd consider living in Wivenhoe which is walkable to campus and is a gorgeous estuary village with a fab bookshop and a really nice feel (though quiet, so depends what you want).

The student body is very international, and also pretty diverse within the UK student population. There's an international food shop on campus, too.

Academic Facilities:
The library is decent, but the holdings aren't huge - it's a great place to work though and staff are very helpful, you can get a SCONUL card to use other libraries if you need to, and London is an hour away by train so London libraries are within reach. There's apparently a new student centre that was built after I finished, which looks lovely, and all departments (as far as I know) have a student lounge, which is a good place to get to know others in your department. My departments (I belonged to two) constantly had fantastic speakers coming for talks (weekly).

Essex is fairly small for a research uni, and fairly self contained, but I think one result of that is that postgrads are very much a part of the academic life of the university. As a Master's student, I participated in reading groups and presented at an international conference that was hosted by my departments. Faculty at Essex, in my experience, are among the most generous and supportive I've come across; there is an atmosphere of collaboration and nurturing and even as a Master's student you are treated as a kind of proto academic.

Basically, Essex is not especially well-off and its campus looks a bit the worse for wear, but its intellectual community is among the most supportive and exciting that I've been a part of.
Thank you so much for your information, I will look further for info about Sussex to make a comparison between them. Thanks again^^
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SNSD_SNSD
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(Original post by Tcannon)
Sussex IR is well regarded for critical theory, IPE, development and governance. Reflected in publication in peer reviewed journals.
Thank you, can you suggest me where to find more info about this please.
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Tcannon
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(Original post by SNSD_SNSD)
Thank you, can you suggest me where to find more info about this please.
Faculty website and publication list of lecturers. Most list books, journal articles, editor positions, consulting work and membership in professional organisation on their individual website and CV. See research clusters, area of interests of faculty and grant acquired. You got to put in the due diligence yourself to find best fit if you invest in tuition and living costs. Nobody can do it for you.
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SNSD_SNSD
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(Original post by Tcannon)
Faculty website and publication list of lecturers. Most list books, journal articles, editor positions, consulting work and membership in professional organisation on their individual website and CV. See research clusters, area of interests of faculty and grant acquired. You got to put in the due diligence yourself to find best fit if you invest in tuition and living costs. Nobody can do it for you.
Thank you, and may I ask different issue which is about flooding situation and storms there please. I have checked the current flooding in UK, will it expand to Sussex and its surrounding area as well? What the climate usually is in this area and does this area normally face flooding? (I apologise asking this kind of information but I am international student so that I will prepare myself to be ready for this.) Thank you again^^
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Tcannon
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Academic Programme Managers tend to be good source of information for areas of interest, academic conferences, guest speaker series and student stats. But they will sell the MSc, so you need to take it with a pinch of salt.

I also recommend current students and focus on those with similar IR interests or your country of origin. You should get student ambassador's email info from Programme Managers. Their view tend to be a bit more objective and they will high light weaknesses.

The West Coast bears the brunt of the flooding. But it hits Berkshire and even surrey. Sussex is on the SE Coast. You should get more info on the BBC weather website and Environment Agency, it has a map with flooding threat on its website.
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returnmigrant
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Both these Unis are on a par with each other and I'd see the only difference is actually in the 'tone' of their Soc Sci Dept - Essex is more stats/quantitative orientated and Sussex does have a more 'applied' focus 'It isnt just the research for its own sake, its why & what you can do with it' etc.

Which actually points you to the Big Question. Which *Course* do you prefer? You are only going to be at this Uni for about 9 months plus research project, not a three year U/grad degree. Which one has the optional units etc that you prefer and which will support any potential PhD etc work better - ie. your personal research interests?

I speak from experience here. I got the Uni Dept for my MA wrong. They were quantitative obsessed and I had to battle that the entire time I was there. I could have done a PhD there but the whole atmosphere was wrong and there were no staff interested in my area. It took me years beyond this to find the right place to do research. It wasnt a wasted year (I did get a distinction) but I could have made my life a whole heap easier if I'd looked a bit deeper at the Dept first.
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