International Political Economy

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

Modular value: 40 credits
Duration: All Year
Teaching: 2 hours per week

Lecturer: Professor Colin Thain

The main aims of this course are to introduce students to the core theoretical debates and empirical issue-areas and to develop your research and analytical skills in the study of International Political Economy (IPE).

The course is divided into three sections. In the first term it introduces students to the historical and theoretical foundations of IPE. The second section then looks at recent changes to the global order and how the subject is adapting. The second term turns to issues in IPE; including: poverty and inequality, gender and development, economic growth and environmental sustainability, intellectual property and food security.

By the end of the course, students should:

  • Be able to develop their understanding of theoretical debates and issues in IPE such that they can engage these questions independently.
  • Be able to build a theoretically informed and comprehensive understanding of the origins, structure, and politics of the contemporary global economy.
  • Have developed their research skills.


The course will be assessed by a combination of examination and coursework. The coursework will consist of two essays that count in total for 60% of the overall marks for the course. The examination will contribute the remaining 40%.

Lists of essays will be distributed separately. Students are able to select any of the essays, which relate to topics covered in the first term for their first essay, and any of the essays, which relate to topics covered in the second term for their second essay.

The word limit for essays is 3000 – 4000 words.

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.