These are interesting times for international studies. Issues such as globalisation, environmental degradation, poverty and deprivation, international conflict, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the future of democracy - among many others - challenge us to understand trends taking place in modern society. International studies is essentially concerned with these issues. It enables you to increase your understanding of contemporary issues in a global context.
Dates reflect the university's timezone.
Tuition fee for the international students.)
European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.)
Students studying for the MA/PG Dip in International Studies (Global Political Economy) are required to complete the following three compulsory modules during Semester 1 (20 credits each):
International Relations in Theory and Practice provides an advanced investigation into theoretical approaches in the discipline of international relations, as well as an overview of contemporary debates. It aims to establish a clear understanding of the role and purpose of theory, and its relation to substantive issues in international relations.
Global Political Economy examines the emerging global political economy through the vantage point of competing theoretical perspectives and the evolution of these perspectives, resulting from theoretical debates and the progressive encounter with empirical developments. Different theories reveal different aspects and dimensions of the global political economy and they are used to present key historical developments and contemporary issues of the global political economic order.
Readings in Social Science - Social science is essentially contested, which has implications for research methods. Above all, methods of empirical investigation cannot be separated from assumptions about ontology (the nature of social reality) and epistemology (the nature and status of knowledge that we can have about this reality). Even those who assert that 'facts speak for themselves' do so from the point of view of particular ontological and epistemological assumptions. At the same time, amidst this uncertainty, social scientists have to get on with empirical investigations into concrete matters. Given the contested and contestable nature of social science, the aim of this module is not to provide a 'master solution' to this problem. The aim is rather to provide a meta-framework through which you can reflect on the merits and limitations of different forms of social analysis and methodology, and their relative adequacy in relation to different types of research questions.
In Semester 2 you take 'Production, Finance and Global Governance' and 'Research Methods in the Social Sciences' (20 credits each), plus you can choose any one of the options listed below (20 credits)*:
Production, Finance and Global Governance aims, firstly, to immerse you in detail, into state-of-the-art political economy research into the generative mechanisms of the contemporary world economy. From such a perspective, the world economy is understood as co-constituted by production and power broadly conceived, in the interrelated spheres of product markets, labour markets, financial markets and attendant organisations of governance. Secondly, the module considers the implications of the constitution of the world economy for socio-economic life in advanced capitalism, as well as in developing societies and the attendant implications for conflict and cooperation in key issue areas.
Research Methods in the Social Sciences acquaints you with basic social science research methods so that you can understand how evidence is produced and critically appraise the research you use. It includes discussion of research strategies and study design; research ethics; principles and methods of sampling; questionnaire design, interviewing and focus groups; principles of qualitative, documentary and survey analysis; comparative historical analysis; statistical analysis using SPSS; presenting findings and writing up research.
Global Governance, Civil Society and Social Movements investigates the institutions of global governance and the dynamics of civil society, understood as the space for interaction between institutions and non-state actors. It looks at the existing architecture of global governance and the competing theories and approaches to analysing these phenomena. It also asks questions about the accountability and legitimacy of the institutions and processes of global governance and evaluates the potential for improving global governance. Linked to this, the module critically evaluates the role of civil society as a democratising force in global governance.
Global Theory: From Kant to Hardt and Negri examines the conceptions of the world, its history and relations that inform the theories of Kant, Hegel, and Marx and relates these global theories to contemporary notions of globalisation maintained by contemporary theorists such as Held, and Hardt and Negri. The past is brought to bear upon the present to appraise the distinctness of contemporary theory and relevance of the past to the present.
Gender in a Global Context focuses on how processes of global social change affect gender relations locally, nationally and internationally. It examines the various ways in which social scientists have made sense of gender and gender inequalities, including current theory and research on men and masculinities. The changing relationships between states, markets and households is a key theme of this module.
Global Politics and the Environment critically investigates the way in which the tensions brought about by the global environmental crisis have been addressed globally, looking at institutional, conceptual, ideological, socio-cultural and political economic facets.
The Law and Politics of Transnational Organisations offers you an advanced interdisciplinary understanding of the principles and practices that inform transnational institutions. In particular, the module addresses the problems and prospects in the development of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. It provides you with the analytical skills and methodological knowledge to investigate new forms of global governance from an interdisciplinary perspective. The module enables you to gain knowledge and understanding on such topics as: institutional theories, organisational designs and structures, the relationship between governmental and non-governmental organisations, questions of responsibility, accountability and transparency, the means and methods of organisational activism, and public-private partnerships. It discusses contemporary issues such as UN reform, NGO effectiveness, and governmental outsourcing to private actors.
Independent study allows you to undertake a programme of study of your own choosing that is then agreed with a member of staff.
Dissertation - MA students are required to complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic related to any aspect of the global political economy as agreed with the dissertation module leader. Students are asked to work on their initial proposal during Semester 2. The main work on the dissertation will normally take place from June to early September.
The dissertation also involves a presentation at the annual Postgraduate Day which is held every summer.
Students taking the postgraduate certificate are required to complete 'International Relations in Theory and Practice', 'Global Political Economy' and 'Production, Finance and Global Governance'.
Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly, contents and module options may change from the details given above.
Students are normally required to have at least a second class honours degree from a university in the UK or an equivalent qualification from countries outside the UK. The degree should be in an appropriate discipline.
Admission to UK universities often requires that students have completed a recognized Bachelor's degree. International students should consider taking a Pre-Master to gain access to UK universities when:
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