Introduction to Political Economy

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

First year module

Lecturer: Professor Peter Burnham 

Introduction to Political Economy enables students to become acquainted with the style of analysis and the subject matter of the classical political economists. Such work is set within the context of a general introduction to the discipline.

Semester 2 enables students to understand the challenge to classical political economy of neoclassical economics, while also studying twentieth century dissenters to neoclassical orthodoxy. This broadens the students knowledge of the language and concepts of political economy, set within the context of contemporary political and policy debates.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the scope and contested nature of the study of political economy.
  • Show awareness of how the study of political economy relates to the academic discipline of political science
  • Have an ability to engage with discussions and debates regarding the contemporary context of political economy


  • Term One: 1,500 words assessed essay (40%)
  • Term Two: Presentation (10%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (40%)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.