Three students in discussion.

MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate

Global Political Economy

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Bristol Business School
Frenchay Campus
One year full-time; two years part-time
Full-time; part-time
Programme leader:
Dr Lotta Takala-Greenish
Key fact:
This uniquely-designed course brings together interdisciplinary strands of study, with modules taught by experts in their fields, and plenty of practical insight and skills development opportunities.

Page last updated 22 February 2017


Today's global economy is changing faster than ever. To be understood fully, it needs to be considered from a variety of different angles bringing together knowledge and insights from multiple schools of thought across economics, politics and law.

Why are rich countries rich and poor countries poor? How is the global economy structured? Who are the most powerful players, and can China continue to be the engine of growth?

Delving into these important questions and many others, our MSc in Global Political Economy takes a uniquely interdisciplinary approach, to broaden and deepen your skills in policy negotiation, and equip you for a wide range of careers in international organisations, government and NGOs.

A practical, real-world approach

Highly practical in nature, the Global Political Economy course places a strong emphasis on real world content, drawing on the extensive experience of our cross-department teaching staff. The economics department at UWE Bristol has become known as a leading centre for pluralist economics education, and many of our tutors advise governments and conduct research for major international institutions such as The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

We also bring in guest speakers to guide and support your learning, and you will have access to relevant events in and outside the Faculty and University, alongside focused employability support.

A wide-ranging appeal

The course is particularly suited to those who have studied international relations, politics, economics, business or law at undergraduate level. It is also suitable for those with relevant professional experience, who wish to deepen their understanding of the theories, ideas and concepts underpinning the global political economy.

Find out more about studying at Bristol Business School.



The Postgraduate Certificate is made up of 60 credits from the core and optional modules.

The Postgraduate Diploma is made up of 120 credits from the core and optional modules.

Core modules (15 credits each)

  • The Rise of the Global Economy - explores the origins of, and developments in, the global economy. Looking at the rise and impact of the great powers; the structure and pattern of wealth and poverty across the globe; and the economy's institutional structure, you will be equipped to critically engage with issues and trends in the global economy today.
  • The World Trade Organisation and the Global Trading System - explores the changing nature of the global trade system since WWII and the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its evolution. In particular, we will assess the role and influence of emerging economies in the WTO and analyse the future of the WTO and the global trading system.
  • The Rise of the BRICS in Global Trade - explores recent developments in the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa (BRICS), and the nature of their influence in the global economy. In particular, we will investigate the role of the BRICS in their respective regions; relations between the BRICS themselves; and their position in the global economy.
  • The Politics of Trade Negotiation - considers the complex multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations that have taken place since WWII.

Optional modules

The following are 15 credits each:

  • Contemporary Policy Analysis
  • Globalisation and the Law
  • International Financial Crime
  • Econometrics
  • Political Economy

The following are 30 credits each:

  • Economic Theory and Policy
  • Politics of Latin-American Underdevelopment
  • Europe in the World
  • Global Governance


To achieve a Masters, as well as 120 credits from the modules above, you must also complete a dissertation. This gives you the chance to research an area of the global political economy, in depth, which is of particular interest to you or of relevance to your career or company.

Please also note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The Global Political Economy course is delivered through a variety of teaching and learning activities, including lectures, tutor-led and student-led group discussions, seminars, projects, case studies, simulation games, and field trips to conferences. Teaching is based on research literature, professional experience and significant use of debate and discussion.

The programme is truly interdisciplinary and involves cross-department teaching staff, who are emerging and leading scholars in their respective fields. You will be taught by academics with a huge passion for their subject areas, and extensive expertise and knowledge of economies across the globe, including Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa. Many advise governments and conduct research for international institutions such as the World Bank, UNCTAD and the ILO.

For more detail, see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

The course takes one year to complete full time, starting in mid-September. Taught modules are delivered over two semesters (between September and April), with the dissertation forming the main element in the summer term. If necessary, additional time can be allowed for completing the dissertation.

Part-time students complete the same modules but over two or three years.


Assessment comprises formal tutor assessment, informal tutor assessment and informal peer review and feedback. We will test your knowledge, and intellectual, subject-specific and transferable skills, through a combination of exams, essays, case studies, presentations, projects and simulation games. We will also test your skills informally through class interaction during work on current academic research, case studies, practical exercises and experiential exercises.


Study facilities

You will benefit from our high quality study facilities. This includes our excellent library, which is particularly well equipped for serving the needs of students in the Business School. Resources include books, print and electronic journals, magazines, government publications, newspapers, market reports and videos.

There are flexible learning spaces for you to use in the Business School, with wireless internet access, sofas and areas for group working. The University is also investing in new facilities, including a £50m project to build the new Faculty of Business and Law building, which is scheduled to open in January 2017.

Find out more about our facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

This MSc in Global Political Economy provides you with the interdisciplinary analytical tools to tackle the big issues that economies and societies face in an increasingly integrated global economy. You will be equipped with skills and knowledge to go into a wide range of careers in international organisations, government and NGOs.

Successful students may also want to continue in their studies to PhD level, in fields such as economics, development economics, politics, the political economy, development studies, and international studies.

You will have access to career planning and employability support while studying with us (and for three years after you graduate) through the University careers service.


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee5750
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)479
International-Full Time-Award Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1042

Part time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)479

Supplementary fee information

For information about funding for postgraduate courses see our funding pages.


Entry requirements

You will need:

  • an honours degree of 2:2 or above in any subject or an equivalent professional qualification; or
  • an HND or an equivalent business professional award at Level 4 plus two years' relevant work experience; or
  • substantial relevant professional experience.

English Language Requirement

If English is not your first language, you will be required to meet the UK Border Agency and Universities minimum English Language requirements such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.

For further details please see our English Language requirements pages.

How to apply

Please apply online. Applications for the course may be submitted at any time of year and the deadline for applications is 1 September for study that same academic year.

Continuing support with English proficiency is available during the course free of charge. If English is not your first language, a pre-sessional course in English can help you to get the most from this course.

For further information

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