original op here, plot twist: I've been admitted in ESS (economics and social sciences) Bocconi. Is Bocconi>Essex for a Master?
I am not sure for the master. Bocconi has a good master which would surely give you good training. On the other hand Essex has a new MPhil which should be tough enough. Generally speaking, masters in UK are not terrific and Bocconi's program has a reputation.
For the PhD I would choose Essex over Bocconi with no doubts.
So, it really depends on what you want to do with your life. My best suggestion is: never, NEVER ask for suggestions here in EJMR