International Politics and Economics MA

Why choose this course?

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.

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.

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

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Seminars organised by the Political Economy Research Group enable you actively exchange ideas with research-active staff and visiting speakers.
  • You will benefit from the involvement of Kingston staff in research projects for international think tanks and economic organisations.
  • At Kingston you will have access to the economics postgraduate community across the London universities, with opportunities to attend seminars and present work.

What you will 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.

Modules

Core modules

International Political Economy: Capitalism, Imperialism and the State

30 credits

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.

Research Skills and Dissertation/Project Proposal

30 credits

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: Economics (choose one)

Economic Change and Ideas

30 credits

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.

Political Economy: Effective Demand, Exploitation and Crisis

30 credits

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.

Development and International Economics

30 credits

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: Politics (choose one)

The Theory and Practice of International Relations

30 credits

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.

Terrorism, Political Violence and Human Rights

30 credits

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.

From State to Global Politics

30 credits

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.

Option modules: Dissertation (choose one)

Politics Dissertation

60 credits

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.

Economics Dissertation

60 credits

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 information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

Applicants should have:

  • a good undergraduate qualification in an appropriate subject;
  • other appropriate qualifications, such as a relevant postgraduate diploma; and/or
  • relevant professional experience.

We will also carefully consider entrants with non-standard qualifications and/or experience.

Prior learning - AP(E)L

Applicants with prior qualifications and learning may be exempt from appropriate parts of a course in accordance with the University's policy for the assessment of prior learning and prior experiential learning. Contact the faculty office for further information.

International

Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations. For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

10% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 184 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1616 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 82%
  • Practical: 10%
  • Exam: 8%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetables

Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible one month before the start of your course.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MA full time £8,190
  • MA part time £4,504

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MA full time £14,500
  • MA part time £7,975

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:


International Economics Scholarship 2020

International applicants to MA Development and International Economics, MA Financial Economics and MA International Politics and Economics are eligible to be considered for an ‘International Economics Excellence Scholarship' up to the value of £1,500. The scholarship is a merit-based award, recognising and rewarding applicants who achieved overall curricular and co-curricular excellence before joining Kingston University. International applicants (i.e. overseas fee-paying category applicants) who meet the entry requirements for the three courses above will automatically be eligible for this scholarship. Applicants for the scholarship will be selected based on their full application, including their written statement and references included in the application. There are up to 20 scholarships available for each course listed above. The scholarship will be paid as an adjustment to fees and will be adjusted in the last instalment of the fees paid.

For further information or to check your eligibility, please contact the Head of the Department of Economics, Dr Homagni Choudhury.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. the number of modules or credits in a year for part-time postgraduate courses, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21 (from September 2020 to December 2020). The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.