M.A. International Studies (Global Political Economy)

Oxford Brookes University | Oxford, United Kingdom
One of the key themes in contemporary international studies is the impact of economic globalisation. The International Studies (Global Political Economy) masters course provides specialised training in the key theories and concepts of advanced international studies, and in particular applies these to the globalisation of economic relations, culminating in autonomous learning and independent study in the form of a dissertation.n 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 economic globalisation. The International Studies (Global Political Economy) masters course provides specialised training in the key theories and concepts of advanced international studies, and in particular applies these to the globalisation of economic relations, culminating in autonomous learning and independent study in the form of a dissertation.

Why choose this course?
  • Access to a dynamic, supportive and rapidly growing community of scholars undertaking internationally recognised research in international studies, and the opportunity to be part of a research-active group and attend a rich programme of research seminars with presentations from high-profile external guest speakers.
  • A reputation for excellence in teaching with strong links between course content and the work of our research-active academic staff.
  • Covers issues such as the globalisation of economic relations and the potential challenges it poses for states and the governance of the international system. Also provides a range of specialist modules that allow you to focus on particular areas of interest.
  • Links with International NGOs, many of whom are based in Oxford, such as Oxfam and Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID).
  • Excellent learning resources both at Brookes and through Oxford's Bodleian Library as well as the extensive use of e-learning facilities to complement your time in the classroom.
  • A five-day study trip to Brussels and The Hague gives students first-hand experience of how important international institutions, such as NATO and the EU, work. The cost of this is included in fees.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline as soon as possible
Tuition fee
  • Home / EU full-time on-campus fee: £5,980
  • Home / EU part-time on-campus fee: £3,050
  • International full-time on-campus fee: £13,620

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% each month.

For the most up-to-date information regarding fees please our website here:


Not specified
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 90 ECTS
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time

Course Content

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.

English Language Requirements

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 6.5 with 6.0 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Work Experience for International Studies (Global Political Economy)

No work experience is required.

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