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Political Economy MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2017
Part time 2 years September 2017

Choose Kingston's Political Economy MA

This MA highlights issues of effective demand, social conflict and financial instability as features of modern capitalism. It covers neo-classical, post-Keynesian and Marxist theories, and applies them to contemporary issues of austerity policy, neo-liberalism, financialisation and globalisation. The course aims to provide a precise and professional knowledge of the procedures used to analyse current issues in political economy.

Key features

  • This course provides excellent preparation for a range of employment possibilities in government agencies, think-tanks, research institutes or in international agencies such as the International Labor Organization.
  • Lectures are supplemented by seminars, giving an opportunity for regular feedback and discussion.
  • The University's Economics department is actively engaged in research and publication on financial topics, and you will benefit from regular staff seminars and workshops.

What will you study?

You will acquire a rigorous and broad-based understanding of the discipline of political economy, as well as an ability to carry out research in this field. The course provides a comprehensive review of macroeconomics from a theoretical and policy perspective, and of capitalism from its emergence to contemporary globalisation, as well as the parallel developments in political economy.

You will explore present-day competing political economy paradigms, and pursue an advanced analysis of the processes of globalisation and financialisation of contemporary capitalism, using it as a basis for discussion of economic policy. Your dissertation will focus on an applied economic policy topic - you will work individually with a member of staff to choose a topic for your dissertation, research this topic and write up your conclusions.


Assessment will take a variety of forms, including class tests, essays, examinations, graded exercises, practical coursework, presentations, take-home tests, dissertation, literature review and economic reports.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • Each student completes a separate individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Students may propose a title of their own or choose one in agreement with a member of staff. The main purpose of the project is to enable students to demonstrate knowledge of how economic ideas can be applied in greater length and depth than is feasible in the context of a taught course. Upon completion of the individual research project each student will have designed and implemented a research project in applied or theoretical economics, normally including a critical literature survey and the evaluation of evidence (as appropriate to the project title). A workshop and supervisory meetings are provided to help students in their choice of title and to ensure progression of research.

    EC 7011 provides opportunities for students to develop academic and professional working skills. The module contributes to key professional working and employability skills e.g. working to deadlines; originality; writing coherently and analytically.

  • The module pursues an advanced analysis of the processes of globalisation and financialisation of contemporary capitalism and uses it as basis for discussion of economic policy.

    It will explore the dramatic changes and shifts in financial innovation, revisiting the economic developments that followed the disintegration of the Bretton Woods regime and analyzing their role in contemporary post-industrial capitalist societies. The module will also consider the character of economic and monetary policy in this new institutional landscape. It will discuss the implications of global finance for households, non-financial firms and sovereign governments. It will also deal with financial instability and set the basis for discussion and assessment of different forms of monetary policy and proposals for financial regulation.

    The historical evolution of globalisation will also be traced in relation to international trade and investment. Different approaches will be introduced to evaluate and interpret these economic trends. The organisation of work and production in the global economy and its impact on labour and employment will also be discussed. The contribution of global and corporate governance to the current level of global integration will be assessed in the context of international trade, foreign direct investment and development issues.

  • This module introduces students to macroeconomic theory and policy at an advanced level. The module first deals with the fundamental issues of demand, growth, unemployment and inflation in the context of classical and Keynesian approaches to understanding aggregate economic behaviour. The module then discusses selected issues in current economic policy and illustrates how different economic theories approach these issues, how economic models are applied to current problems and how different theories lend themselves to different policy conclusions. The topics covered will differ each semester but may well include issues such as unemployment, financial stability and the causes and effects of changes in income distribution.

  • This module introduces students to Political Economy at an advanced level. It is a core requirement for students in the MA Political Economy courses. This module first presents the major competing paradigms of Political Economy, such as neo-classical, Marxist, Keynesian/post-Keynesian, Austrian and Institutionalist Political Economy. These paradigms are compared with respect to their analyses of the production process and income distribution, the labour market and unemployment, effective demand and economic growth and the financial sector. The module then discusses models in the recent academic literature of Political Economy that integrate theories of effective demand and class conflict (post-Keynesian theory, French Regulation Theory, Social Structures of Accumulation, the Bhaduri-Marglin model), covering issues of demand formation, unemployment, capital accumulation, and income distribution. We thus highlight differences and similarities of various Political Economy approaches. Finally, the module will show how these models are applied in empirical research.


Optional modules

  • This module develops an historical and analytical narrative of the transformation of economic life from the rise of capitalism and the first and second industrial revolutions to the emergence of the present day globalised and financialised world; it also presents parallel developments in the history of economic ideas.  It gives students an opportunity to view the history of the last half millennium through the prism of industrial revolutions and economic crises and examines how, and how well, contemporaneous thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall and John Maynard Keynes dealt with these dramatic transformations in material life.

  • This module is intended for students who have a good mathematical background and wish to expand their knowledge of advanced economic modelling, data calibration, and model simulation. For this purpose, the module will first present a thorough analysis of handling large scale time series data using statistical software and calibrating this data in order to simulate stock flow consistent models. The module will continue with Kaleckian growth models and Post-Keynesian models of growth and debt cycles in continuous time, presenting the theory of bifurcation and their emergence in these models. The second part of the module will present the basics of system dynamics approach to economic modelling first and then focus on the Agent-Based Modelling of the economy, combining it with the Stock-Flow Consistent approach to build small/medium scale ABSFC models.

    On completion of the module, the students will have a deep understanding of various modelling practices in economics and their relevance in policy making, as well as an in-depth knowledge of data calibration and model simulation.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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