M.A. International Studies (Global Political Economy)

  • On Campus
  • 12 months
  • EUR14260 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English
Oxford Brookes University | Oxford, United Kingdom
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.

Description of International Studies (Global Political Economy)


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.

One of the key themes in contemporary international studies is the impact of globalisation. This course emphasises the globalisation of economic relations and the potential challenges it poses for states and the governance of the international system, and also allows students to explore other aspects of contemporary globalisation. The course also aims to provide a sound grounding in research methods in the social sciences.

Why Brookes?

  • A dynamic, supportive and rapidly growing community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised research in international studies and international relations

  • A reputation for excellence in teaching with ever stronger links between course content and the work of our research-active academic staff

  • A flexible and exciting range of postgraduate courses form within the dpeartment as well as interdisciplinary opportunities provided through collaboration with our colleagues in Business and Law

  • The opportunity to join interdisciplinary research groups comprising staff and students from across the university and attend a rich programme of research seminars with presentations from high profle external guest speakers

  • Excellent learning resources both at Brookes and through Oxford's Bodleian Library as well as online access to an extensive range of electronic journals in the field

  • Links with conservation organisations and NGOs internationally and closer to home including the United Nations, WWF and Oxfam.

Career prospects

The programme will appeal to students who have a broad interest in international affairs, and to those whose future work is likely to involve the public sphere in an international and global context. It is relevant to careers in media and general management, as well as in the Civil Service, intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations. It will also appeal to those wanting to progress to a research degree.

Knowledge of issues such as international development, global gender and employment and civil society would be extremely beneficial to any potential employee or volunteerHelen Saunders, Opportunity International

Professional advice

Staff working in the Oxford Brookes Careers and Employment Centre can help you to make the most of the transferable skills that employers are looking for. During your time here you will have the opportunity to attend student employability workshops, job fairs and employer presentations. In addition a dedicated workshop is held for all students on the taught postgraduate programme. This provides specific support and advice about the career opportunities afforded by studying International Studies.

Progression to PhD

Research is fundamental to the department and is reflected in our strong research profile. A significant number of students choose to pursue a career in academia and the programme is an excellent foundation for those wanting to proceed to do a PhD.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline as soon as possible
Tuition fee
  • EUR 14260 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 5950 Year (EEA)

UK/EU £4,840; International £11,600

Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 90 ECTS
Duration full-time 12 months
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time

Course Content

Course length

Full-time: MA: 12 months; PG Dip: 9 months; PG Cert: 9 months
Part-time: MA: 24 months; PG Dip: 18 months; PG Cert: 18 months

Students studying for the MA/PG Dip in International Studies (Globalisation) 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 provides a critical introduction to the practices and controversies of contemporary social analysis and their relevance to substantive research. Its overall aim is to identify and analyse the bases - and hence implications - of the methodological choices social scientists make. Particular attention is paid to meta-theoretical controversies that have surfaced in social science over recent years and decades. Rather than remaining deracinated, these points of controversy are rooted in concrete examples and substantive debates - with an emphasis on their implications for concrete research projects and relevance for the techniques of contemporary political analysis.

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 below (20 credits)*:

Production, Finance and Global Governance - Aims, firstly, to immerse students 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 - Aims to acquaint students with basic social science research methods so that they can understand how evidence is produced and critically appraise the research they 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 will critically evaluate 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 globalization 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 will examine 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 will be 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.

Independent study - allows you to undertake a programme of study of your own choosing that is then agreed with a member of staff.


MA students are required to complete a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic related to any aspect of international relations 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. This event brings together a guest speaker from outside the university, research students and all postgraduate students on the international studies courses.

Students taking the postgraduate certificate are required to complete 'International Relations in Theory and Practice', 'Global Political Economy' and one optional module from the list above.

*Note that the availability of these modules may vary from year to year.

English Language Requirements

IELTS take IELTS test
CAE score
193(Grade B)
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Requirements for International Studies (Global Political Economy)

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.

English language requirements

If English is not your main language then you will also need to show that your English is at a high enough level to succeed in your studies.

You will need

  • IELTS 6.0-7.0 (normally with 6.0 in reading and writing and a minimum of 5.5 in listening and speaking);
  • TOEFL ibt 78-95 overall (with 20 in reading, 19 in writing, 18 in listening and 21 in speaking),

For more information see your course details.

Please see our complete list of acceptable English language qualifications.

Work Experience for International Studies (Global Political Economy)

No work experience is required.

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