MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Global Political Economy

Entry year
Course code
Bristol Business School
Frenchay Campus
One year full-time; two years part-time
Full-time; part-time
Programme leader
Dr Susan Newman

Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants

Page last updated 3 August 2020


If you have a relevant degree or experience, you can hone your skills in economic development and research on this masters degree. Learning from practising professionals and experienced tutors, you'll develop a broad-based understanding of global issues and apply this to real-world challenges.

Why study MSc Global Political Economy?

Why are some countries rich and others poor? What determines the structure of the global economy? Who are the most powerful players? What is the future of globalisation?

The global economy is changing rapidly. Understanding these changes requires knowledge and insight from a range of disciplines including economics, politics and law.

Why study our course?

If you have relevant professional or voluntary experience, or a degree in international relations, politics, economics, business, sociology or law, this course will equip you with a unique interdisciplinary and applied approach to answering these crucial questions and more.

Starting from the origins of globalisation, you will examine the evolution of global production, distribution and trade. You will study the changing nature of global interaction between nations, businesses, labour and other interest groups. You will also learn about the role and influence of emerging economies, and gain an understanding of the different patterns and levels of economic development.

Real-world experience

Learning draws on the extensive experience of our cross-departmental teaching staff as well as guest speakers who come in to talk about current issues. You will apply this through examining case studies on the challenges and opportunities of the global economy. You can also access support finding relevant placements and internships that draw on the contacts and experience of our tutors.

Where it can take you

On graduation, you will have a solid understanding of the issues facing businesses, workers and nations in the global economy. You will have skills in policy analysis and development, preparing you for a wide range of rewarding careers in international organisations, government and non-government organisations (NGOs). These skills are also sought after by multinational enterprises, research organisations, charities, and industry associations.

You will also be prepared to continue studying to PhD level in fields such as economics, development economics, politics, the political economy, development studies and international relations.



The full Master's course comprises 180 credits divided into three 60 credits stages: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Master's. Students work incrementally through the three stages and must pass all modules at each stage in order to progress to the

You will study:

  • The Rise of the Global Economy
  • The World Trade Organisation and the Global Trading System
  • Emerging Markets
  • The Politics of Trade Negotiation

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Optional modules

  • The Sustainable Organisation: Vision into Practice
  • Sustainable Business
  • Econometrics
  • Economic Theory and Policy
  • Political Economy
  • The Berlin Republic
  • Development and Resistance in Latin America
  • Europe Reloaded
  • Global Governance
  • Climate Politics.

Plus optional level M modules from (the number depending on credit requirements): 

  • Contemporary Policy Analysis
  • Feminist and Gender Economics
  • Globalisation and the Law
  • International Financial Crime.


To achieve a Masters, 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 course takes an interdisciplinary approach, so you will be taught by tutors from different departments across the university. Our economics department is world-renowned for its pluralist research and teaching. Many of our tutors are leading scholars in their respective fields, with experience advising governments and conducting research for major institutions including The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

You will learn through a variety of activities, which include lectures, tutor-led and student-led group discussions, seminars, projects, case studies, and field trips to conferences.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

Studying full-time, this course takes one year to complete. If you study part-time, you will complete the same modules over two or three years.

Taught modules are delivered over the first two semesters with the dissertation forming the main element in the final term. If necessary, additional time will be given to complete the dissertation.


You will be assessed through a range of techniques including tutor assessment, 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.

And we will test your skills informally through class interaction during work on academic research, case studies, practical exercises and experiential exercises.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.



You can access help finding internships or work placements relating to your areas of interest. These may be in organisations such as the Overseas Development Institute, the Office for National Statistics or an international development organisation in the United Nations.


If you want to do field work or collect original data for your studies, your dissertation supervisor will assist you to do this.

Study facilities

In our new £55m Bristol Business School, you'll have access to cutting-edge learning spaces.

Designed with student input, the Business School offers learning spaces for individual and group study, interactive learning environments and conference rooms you can book. It's a space for students and businesses to come together, collaborate and form new partnerships.

In our specialist library, business librarians manage vast collections to support your research. Attend workshops to develop your information skills or use our Study Skills

You'll have access to books, trade press, academic journals, and industry databases including FAME, MINTEL, Marketline Advantage, Passport and WARC both on and off campus.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Network and learn

This course is open to students from a variety of backgrounds including social sciences, english, and journalism as well as physical sciences and engineering. The course is relevant to students with either qualitative or quantitative research interests.

Learn about the latest issues and network with industry at our programme of guest speakers and events in the faculty and university.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will have advanced skills in policy development and negotiation, preparing you for a wide range of rewarding careers in international organisations, government and NGOs.

You can also choose to continue your studies to PhD level in fields such as economics, development economics, politics, the political economy, development studies, and international studies.



Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.


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 support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

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.

For further information