Global Political Economy MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social science, humanities, or related discipline
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component
UK fees
£11,500 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

Students in a study area

This programme unites our academic commitment and expertise in helping understand and develop responses to the most pressing global political economy challenges facing humanity today.

In conjunction with a firm grounding in the key theories and concepts of global political economy, you will have the opportunity to analyse powerful global economic governance agencies like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, alongside the firms and sectors and markets that generate many of the global conflicts, instabilities, crises and challenges we face. In the first semester we tackle the key concepts and frameworks for political economy analysis. In semester 2 you will explore how sectors, markets and firms are linked to, for example, food and health insecurities, unemployment, job precarity, poverty, climate change and pollution.

The programme’s emphasis on real-world issues allows us to place special attention on how governance agendas and their impact are experienced, negotiated and responded to in everyday lives and to compare and assess how policymakers and communities seek change.

Research expertise

Our academic experts from around the world are generating responses to many of the key global challenges faced by humanity in areas of climate change, global health, water and food insecurities, the gendered dynamics of political economy, and the multiple crises of neoliberal capitalism.

This programme features research-led teaching in the dynamic field of global political economy and is enriched by the innovative research that occurs in the versatile Centre for Global Development.

Our research approach is most often grounded in the real-world experiences, conflicts, challenges and struggles of communities and classes living in the global North and South.

Read more about our research and expertise in the school.

School of Politics and International Studies

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Course details

This programme focuses on the development of advanced analytical skills in several key areas of global political economy research.

The compulsory modules studied will give you:

  • Critical thinking and insights from a range of cultures, disciplines and researchers.
  • Training in the uses and understandings/interpretations of data from business, international and scholarly databases (without statistical or modelling skills being required).
  • The practical application of critical insights in case studies and experiential learning-based teaching.
  • A mix of individual and team-based assessments for real-world stakeholders in international issues.
  • Grounding in issues, institutions, ideas, and key economic sectors.
  • Focus and knowledge of the Global South and North.
  • Access to an interdisciplinary teaching team with expertise in political economy, International Relations, Development, Anthropology, Public Health and Sociology.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Global Political Economy MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Theories and Concepts in Global Political Economy 30
Capitalism in Practice 30
Dissertation 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will also choose 60 credits from the modules below:

Module Name Credits
Engaging the Modern City: The Civic Researcher 30
Global Politics of Health 30
Africa in the Contemporary World 30
Conflict, Complex Emergencies and Global Governance 30
Gender, Globalisation and Development 30
Political Economy of Resources and Development 30
The Rise of China 30
The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 30
Insurgency 15
Popular Culture: World politics, Society and Culture 30
International Relations and the Environment 30
Terrorism 30
Climate Security 30
Global Justice 30
Diplomatic Practice 30
Global Governance 30
Ethics and Politics of Migration and Citizenship 30
Analysing Data in Political Science 30

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, seminars, online learning and workshops. Tutors also provide you with individual advice on written work and you should begin to develop expertise in improving your work through face-to-face discussion with your tutors, formative assessment and through detailed feedback. You’ll be expected to carry out a good deal of independent, detailed and considered study.

You will also benefit from the external seminar series running through the entire programme, with experts and practitioners working on a range of global challenges.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Each module is assessed separately, through assessments that range from long essays to projects and assignments, offering you the opportunity to work in your particular field of interest within each topic area. You will also carry out a dissertation in a research area of your choice.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or a non-UK equivalent in a social science, humanities, or other related discipline.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Thursday 29 June 2023

UK – Friday 18 August 2023

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Politics and International Studies

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UK: £11,500 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more about our scholarship opportunities.

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a wide range of professional skills on top of your subject knowledge. You’ll have an understanding of project design and management in a development context, as well as be able to analyse quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll be able to construct clear arguments, critically assess different options for action, analyse policy documents, write research reports and give presentations. You’ll also be trained to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

Our programme equips you for various career paths. Compatible careers include working in international development agencies, international organisations, governments, politics, NGOs, research organisations, policy-making, companies, sectoral/economic analysis, media, and academia.

Careers support

The School of Politics and International Studies has a dedicated Careers Consultant who is on-hand throughout the year to support and advise you in regards to your career. The School also arranges a number of guest speaker events where you are able to engage with prospective employers, and hear from leading figures in the field.

Find out more about how we support your career development

In addition to the School-specific careers support, you will also have access to the University’s award-winning Careers Centre. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one appointments, advice on starting your own business, careers events, mentoring schemes and support with your CV, applications and interviews.

Find out more about the Careers Centre