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International Politics and Economics MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
Part time 2 years September 2020

Choose Kingston's International Politics and Economics MA

This course focuses on the key theories of global economics and international relations, and aims to develop the professional skills that many employers expect when hiring political and economic analysts. It will enable you to develop an advanced understanding of the close interaction between economics and politics on the world stage.

Key features

  • You will be fully supported in developing postgraduate academic skills and preparing your dissertation, which allows you to research an area of particular interest in greater depth.
  • Alongside your academic studies, you will gain skills in problem-solving and organisation; data collation, review and synopsis; communication (oral, written and electronic); time management; computing; and co-operation and teamwork.
  • You can take part in an active interchange of policy ideas with research-active staff and visiting speakers through seminars organised by the Political Economy Research Group.

What will you study?

You will gain a thorough grounding in the main issues and theories that shape relations in the international economic system. You will also take modules that outline the main institutions and factors that influence global economic and political governance. At the same time, significant attention is given to your career development skills. There is a strong emphasis on developing research and analytical writing skills. Your dissertation will allow you to develop an area of particular interest in greater depth.

Assessment

Coursework assignments, including essays and reports, plus dissertation.

Course structure

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

Compulsory modules

  • This module is a core module for those pursuing the MA in International Politics and Economics and the MSc Political Economy, Macro-economics and Finance. The module is a recommended option for the MA in International Relations and an elective for other masters courses.

    Globalisation has made the study of the global political economy and its challenges a vital area of research and debate. This module equips you to join in the renaissance of political-economic thought on the international plane. It concentrates on the themes of capitalism, imperialism and the state.

    The module outlines the nature of International Political Economy (IPE) as a distinctive field of study. You will encounter a range of approaches to studying broad theoretical and policy issues including the role of the state in society, labour and the labour process, the role of finance in the international system, the nature and origins of profit, inequality, theories of imperialism, capitalist crises, and economic growth and development.

    The module develops from classical approaches and debates to more contemporary perspectives on studying the global political economy. You will carry out a case study on such topics as: the impact of foreign investment or the policies of the International Monetary Fund on an underdeveloped country or region; the political economy aspects of a particular financial crisis; the political economy of a nation's economic development from an internal and global perspective. 

     
  • How is research conducted? What constitutes good research? How do you develop and carry out an independent piece of research?

    This module is an integral part of this masters course. You are trained in the use of research sources, such as libraries and archives. The module guides you through a range of research techniques and methods and enables you to analyse how to choose the most suitable for a particular research project.

    The module is designed to support other content-led teaching, especially the relevant core modules. In the first semester you are encouraged to apply skills to their course modules and evaluate what constitutes reliable, accurate and verifiable information. In the second semester you design a research proposal drawing on the lessons from the first semester. This will then form the foundation for you researching and writing a dissertation over the summer.

     

Option modules 1

  • 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 you 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 introduces you 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.

     
  • This module will approach problems of economic development in the context of the international economy. Developing countries, especially high growth emerging nations, have come to play an important part in global economy. Lower income countries also contribute to world economy as markets for industrial goods and suppliers of natural resources. The module will develop its main themes from a review of major theories of economic development, international trade and investment. It will focus on problems of economic development and the changing context of development under the influence of economic globalisation. Topics such as trade and development, the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on development and the significance of technology transfer will be prominent features of the module.

     

Option modules 2

  • This module will enable you to acquire a thorough understanding of the multifaceted character of politics by outlining key orthodox and critical paradigms in political theory as well as examining different normative frameworks within an evolving global politics. It combines the examination of theories and ideologies concerning the state with a historical and issue-based exploration of the interplay between different political actors including states, intergovernmental organisations, multinational corporations, NGOs and the civil society in the context of normative frameworks for global governance.

     
  • This module introduces you to the study of terrorism and political violence, and engages with the primary debates in the field. The first half of the module addresses definitional, epistemological and methodological issues raised by the study of political violence. The module will also outline the history of modern political violence and the evolution of the way it has been defined and studied. In this context, the module will explore the nature and evolution of various forms of contemporary political violence, including: wars; ‘new wars'; insurgency and counterinsurgency; irregular warfare; guerrilla warfare; state and non-state terrorism; and counter-terrorism. Throughout, focus will be given to a range of mainstream and critical approaches to the field, ensuring that you become aware of the rich variety of perspectives which can be adopted in relation to the subject. In the second half of the module, time will be given to examining a range of human rights issues and debates which arise in relation to political violence and terrorism.

     
  • This module is a core module for the MSc International Relations.  It can be taken as an option module by those studying in related masters fields.

    How do we understand the contemporary international system?  The module: 1) explains and critiques a number of the leading theories that have been put forward to explain how the international system operates; and 2) applies those theories to a series of case studies. This combination facilitates the exploration of international relations through the practical application of theoretical standpoints.

    In the first part of the module we explore the key ideas and philosophies underpinning the study of international relations (IR), including:

    -          traditional realist theories of interstate relations and great power politics;

    -          Marxist inspired theories of structural inequalities;

    -          contemporary pluralist theories focusing on the interaction of state and non-state actors.

    In the second part we apply the theories explore in Part 1 to a series of student led international relations case studies of major international issues, both historically and contemporary. The cases will be chosen by you with guidance from the module leader.

    As a bridge between Part 1 and Part 2 the students will explore a case study provided by the module leader to give you a framework for what is expected in the student led case studies.

     

Dissertation modules

  • Each student completes a separate individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff. You 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 you 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 you 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 you in their choice of title and to ensure progression of research.

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

     
  • The masters programme culminates in the dissertation, an extended project that allows you to engage in independent research, applying and developing the content of the taught modules to a topic of your choice.

    The dissertation is prepared for in Semester 2, and is then fully engaged in what is effectively a third semester.

    Your dissertation research is supported by supervision, with the primary emphasis on independent study.

     

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.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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