Introduction

Do you want to understand the sources of stability and change in the global economic order?

International Political Economy prepares you to understand the structures, hierarchies, and power dynamics that regulate finance and trade, drive globalisation and economic nationalisms, and impact the distribution of wealth and poverty across and within states, regions, and the world.

You will study production and the relationships with law, custom and government along with wealth distribution, preparing you for worldwide careers in development, foreign affairs and public and private sectors.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen
Subject marketing image
  • The programme in International Political Economy introduces students to the conceptual and theoretical terrain of IPE with a particular focus on dimensions of globalization that have re-shaped international flows of capital, goods, and labour.
  • Among the topics covered are neoliberalism, international trade, financialization, gender, poverty and inequality, development, post-development and the rise of economic nationalism.
  • The aim of the programme is to provide students with a rigorous academic grounding in the scholarly debates about key substantive issues and the relation between theory and policymaking, with a view to preparing graduates for further studies in IPE or as practitioners and policy-makers in the private and public sectors.

Available Programmes of Study

International Political Economy

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
International Political Economy: Theory and Themes (IR5007)

30 Credit Points

Introduces students to the key theories and themes in the disciplinary study of International Political Economy. Topics covered include global inequality and wealth distribution; financialization and crisis; precarization of work; global regulation of trade, labour, and money; gender, and the environment in the international political economy.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

One course from the following:

Theories and Concepts in International Relations (IR5001)

30 Credit Points

This course lays the foundations for, explores, and critically analyses the main theoretical paradigms and debates in International Relations, and engages with the complexity of debates on concepts in IR. The theoretical topics to be covered include debates on the international system, cooperation, world order, conflict, development, representation and identity. Students will also be introduced to some of the main debates in epistemology and methodology that apply to the discipline.

View detailed information about this course
Energy Politics (PI5025)

15 Credit Points

History and politics of energy since WW2. Nuclear Power politics – rise, fall and non-rise?. Renewable energy politics, rise and stagnation or triumph? EU politics of liberalisation and interventions such as the EU ETS. Environmental politics and oil; conserving nature and extracting oil Arguments about regulations on oil and gas, planning arguments, arguments about oil spills, protests (eg Brent Spar). The politics of natural gas. The case of ‘fracking’. The course will discuss how economics and politics interact. No prior technical or econometric knowledge is required for this course.

View detailed information about this course
Religion, Conflict and Security (PI5027)

30 Credit Points

Since the end of the Cold War the world has seen a resurgence of religious movements in the public sphere and, particularly since 9/11, religion has increasingly been viewed in policy debates as an issue of domestic and international security. In the ever increasingly globalized era, religious identifications criss-cross national boundaries and identities posing a dilemma for the established norms of the secular nation-state, political theory and actors. This course will examine some of the emerging theories associated with the rise of political religion, and the potential for conflict and peace that emerge. Utilizing diverse case studies ranging from religious Zionism, to political Islam to national Hindu movements the course will critique and employ contemporary theoretical frameworks to gain understanding of the current phenomena of religion in the international political domain.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to Energy Economics (BU5053)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces key techniques from economics and finance to allowing understanding of the basics of business decision making within the energy industries and the economic implications of key energy policies. We consider basic financial concepts such as: present value, the opportunity cost of capital and their role in business decision making in energy industries. We also consider key economic elements of markets and how the economic environment structures the way in which businesses make decisions and energy market outcomes.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011)

30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative sociological research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Dimensions of Globalization (SO5512)

30 Credit Points

This interdisciplinary course focuses on substantive dimensions of globalization by considering recent changes occurring in the economic, political, social, and cultural realms of society. These themes are analysed by considering recent empirical studies, which seek to clarify our theoretical understanding of globalization through advanced social scientific research. The substantive themes covered include global capitalism, the global division of labour, global governance, the changing role of the nation‐state, transnational social change, and cultural homogenization and heterogenization. Interconnections between these aspects of globalization are highlighted.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

One course from the following:

PI5502 Global Security Issues (30 credit points)
PI5518 International Energy Security (30 credit points)
PI5520 Terrorism & Counter Terrorism (30 credit points)
SL5513 Advanced Quantitative Analysis in Social Science (30 credit points)

Global Security Issues (PI5502)

30 Credit Points

'Global Security Issues' is an elective, second semester module for the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course
International Energy Security (PI5518)

30 Credit Points

Topics:

Oil and Security – how oil crises have occurred since 1973, with a focus on the energy demand and supply pressures and the political factors triggering the 1973 and 1979 oil crises. OPEC and IEA. The factors underpinning the oil crisis of 2008 and its relationships to world economic crisis. The role of China in oil politics.

Natural Gas, the EU and Russia. How conceptions of (natural gas) energy security are constructed and implemented in the EU and Russia –Nuclear Power and energy security;– eg Iran .

Climate Security

View detailed information about this course
Terrorism and Counter Terrorism (PI5520)

30 Credit Points

Salient, specific facets of historical and contemporary national, international and transnational terrorism and the problems and challenges these different kinds of terrorism pose for national and international counter-terrorism strategies will be scrutinised. The debates on the different causes for terrorism (for instance religion, ethnicity, and ideology) and the different theoretical approaches to explain and understand the roots of terrorism will be examined. Specific facets of terrorism like (female) suicide bombers, ‘lone wolfs’ and ‘home-grown terrorists’, as well as the national and international strategies to counter terrorism, will be critically reviewed.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Dissertation in International Political Economy (IR5905)

60 Credit Points

​The dissertation in IPE enables students to develop in-depth knowledge of a topic of interest. Under close supervision by an expert on the topic selected, students have an opportunity to frame, develop, research and write a substantive and original thesis on a topic of their choosing.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Dimensions of Globalization (SO5512)

30 Credit Points

This interdisciplinary course focuses on substantive dimensions of globalization by considering recent changes occurring in the economic, political, social, and cultural realms of society. These themes are analysed by considering recent empirical studies, which seek to clarify our theoretical understanding of globalization through advanced social scientific research. The substantive themes covered include global capitalism, the global division of labour, global governance, the changing role of the nation state, transnational social change, and cultural homogenization and heterogenization. Interconnections between these aspects of globalization are highlighted.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Candidates will select 30 credits from the following:

Global Security Issues (PI5502)

30 Credit Points

'Global Security Issues' is an elective, second semester module for the MSc Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies & International Law and Strategic Studies & Management degree programmes.

View detailed information about this course
International Energy Security (PI5518)

30 Credit Points

Topics:

Oil and Security – how oil crises have occurred since 1973, with a focus on the energy demand and supply pressures and the political factors triggering the 1973 and 1979 oil crises. OPEC and IEA. The factors underpinning the oil crisis of 2008 and its relationships to world economic crisis. The role of China in oil politics.

Natural Gas, the EU and Russia. How conceptions of (natural gas) energy security are constructed and implemented in the EU and Russia –Nuclear Power and energy security;– eg Iran .

Climate Security

View detailed information about this course
Terrorism and Counter - Terrorism (PI5520)

30 Credit Points

Salient, specific facets of historical and contemporary national, international and transnational terrorism and the problems and challenges these different kinds of terrorism pose for national and international counter-terrorism strategies will be scrutinised. The debates on the different causes for terrorism (for instance religion, ethnicity, and ideology) and the different theoretical approaches to explain and understand the roots of terrorism will be examined. Specific facets of terrorism like (female) suicide bombers, ‘lone wolfs’ and ‘home-grown terrorists’, as well as the national and international strategies to counter terrorism, will be critically reviewed.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Quantitative Analysis in Social Science (SL5513)

30 Credit Points

This course familiarises students with quantitative research techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It begins by covering the basic concepts underlying quantitative methods and the fundamental statistical techniques used for analysing relationships between two variables. The main part of the course focuses on multiple regression analysis, perhaps the most widely used technique in quantitative social science research. Students gain practical knowledge by undertaking two research reports to assess a substantive topic of their choosing.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Dissertation in International Political Economy (IR5905)

60 Credit Points

​The dissertation in IPE enables students to develop in-depth knowledge of a topic of interest. Under close supervision by an expert on the topic selected, students have an opportunity to frame, develop, research and write a substantive and original thesis on a topic of their choosing.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Candidates will select 30 credits from the following:

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
International Political Economy: Theories and Themes (IR5007)

30 Credit Points

Introduces students to the key theories and themes in the disciplinary study of International Political Economy. Topics covered include global inequality and wealth distribution; financialization and crisis; precarization of work; global regulation of trade, labour, and money; gender, and the environment in the international political economy.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Candidates will select 30 credits from the following:

Introduction to Energy Economics (BU5053)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces key techniques from economics and finance to allowing understanding of the basics of business decision making within the energy industries and the economic implications of key energy policies. We consider basic financial concepts such as: present value, the opportunity cost of capital and their role in business decision making in energy industries. We also consider key economic elements of markets and how the economic environment structures the way in which businesses make decisions and energy market outcomes.

View detailed information about this course
Theories and Concepts in International Relations (IR5001)

30 Credit Points

This course lays the foundations for, explores, and critically analyses the main theoretical paradigms and debates in International Relations, and engages with the complexity of debates on concepts in IR. The theoretical topics to be covered include debates on the international system, cooperation, world order, conflict, development, representation and identity. Students will also be introduced to some of the main debates in epistemology and methodology that apply to the discipline.

View detailed information about this course
Energy Politics (PI5025)

15 Credit Points

History and politics of energy since WW2. Nuclear Power politics – rise, fall and non-rise?. Renewable energy politics, rise and stagnation or triumph? EU politics of liberalisation and interventions such as the EU ETS. Environmental politics and oil; conserving nature and extracting oil Arguments about regulations on oil and gas, planning arguments, arguments about oil spills, protests (eg Brent Spar). The politics of natural gas. The case of ‘fracking’. The course will discuss how economics and politics interact. No prior technical or econometric knowledge is required for this course.

View detailed information about this course
Religion, Conflict and Security (PI5027)

30 Credit Points

Since the end of the Cold War the world has seen a resurgence of religious movements in the public sphere and, particularly since 9/11, religion has increasingly been viewed in policy debates as an issue of domestic and international security. In the ever increasingly globalized era, religious identifications criss-cross national boundaries and identities posing a dilemma for the established norms of the secular nation-state, political theory and actors. This course will examine some of the emerging theories associated with the rise of political religion, and the potential for conflict and peace that emerge. Utilizing diverse case studies ranging from religious Zionism, to political Islam to national Hindu movements the course will critique and employ contemporary theoretical frameworks to gain understanding of the current phenomena of religion in the international political domain.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011)

30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative social science research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Teaching will comprise lectures, student-led seminars, student-led class presentations and close and critical reading of texts.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars

Assessment Methods

By written exam, essay work, class presentation and project work as prescribed for each course and by submission of a dissertation.

Formative assessment comprises class presentations and student led seminars on which oral and written feedback will be provided

Summative assessment comprises discursive, reflective essays and a dissertation

Why Study International Political Economy?

  • You learn about moral philosophy in a contemporary discipline
  • You analyse tariff policies, political economies, social and political pressures and how these influence the political process
  • You learn about the impact of policies on the public and trade

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body in International Relations, Politics, Economics, Management, Business Studies, Law, Geography, History or cognate subject deemed appropriate by the School of Social Science.

Applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience appropriate to the field of study e.g. government officials, members of UK or other armed forces, officials of International Organizations and business executives. Also taken into careful consideration is the trajectory of results, an applicant without an overall 2.1 but with 2.1 results in their final two years of study may be admitted.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Careers

Careers relating to International Political Economy involve policymaking and research in organizations working in the fields of development, health, energy law and migration. Many graduates choose to do public advocacy, research and project management work for non-governmental organisations (NGOS), and regional and global institutions such as the European Union or the United Nations. Graduates also forge careers in international institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, international media, the armed forces, international risk management, and international corporations involved in trade and finance.


An MSc qualification in International Political Economy will be an important asset to you if you already hold an undergraduate degree in Business, Economics, International Relations or Politics, given the increasing demands for postgraduate qualifications in the job market. In addition, graduates from cognate disciplines can use this route to change their career path or improve their qualifications within the framework of an existing career.
Careers:
Development
Diplomacy
Civil Servant
Finance
Government
NGOs
IGOs

What our Alumni Say

Lea Windischbauer

Lea Windischbauer

Lea Windischbauer

Graduated 2018

"During my master's program, I had the opportunity to work with amazing peers and mentors. Their rich life and professional experience motivated me to "go an extra mile" with my career and create a network of friends for a lifetime."

Christian Ehiatue

Christian Ehiatue

Christian Ehiatue

Graduated 2020

"I had a wonderful experience studying International Political Economy at the University of Aberdeen. The lecturers are extremely helpful. And the learning environment was conducive to unlock my ability to understand and contribute to the current international debates whether on globalization, policies, trade, or the likes. It was awesome!"

Sofia Pesiou

Sofia Pesiou

Sofia Pesiou

Graduated 2017

“Overall, studying in University of Aberdeen was a unique experience. I had the chance to meet passionate lecturers with deep knowledge on their subjects who supported me at every step of the way. The resources were vast, the facilities were excellent and the outstanding library with the huge selection of books was an ideal place for studying”.

Inez Bhreagha Campbell

Inez Bhreagha Campbell

Inez Bhreagha Campbell

Graduated 2017

“The International Political Economy course is a great choice for someone new or needing a refresher to the subject area. It is interesting in that it is taught by a roster of instructors who promote meaningful dialogue and discussion on topics to engage learners and develop a holistic understanding of this interdisciplinary study. I recommend this course to anyone seeking to increase understanding in the intersectionality of politics, economics, and international relations."

Fadwa Kamal

Fadwa Kamal

Fadwa Kamal

Graduated 2019

The International Political Economy course allowed me to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the dichotomies that exist within political economics and their intersections with security, religion, and IR. My year at the University of Aberdeen had a positive impact on me. It did not only provide new horizons for my personal and professional development but, also a safe and friendly environment to discuss topics of common interest with students and lecturers with diverse backgrounds.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Ritu Vij

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

In addition to currently hosting the Arab-Trans International Research Project, the University of Aberdeen is the home of several research centres and institutes.



Centre for Sustainable Development

Centre of excellence committed to inter-sectoral & interdisciplinary working for equity, social justice & sustainable futures. A space at the University for staff, students, practitioners & the public to develop collaborative teaching & research.

Find out more

Centre For Global Security And Governance

The Centre for Global Security and Governance brings together academic experts, policy makers, and students to define, analyse, and propose remedies to the most pressing security and governance challenges the world faces in the 21st century.

Find out more

The Institute For Conflict, Transition And Peace Research

ICTPR at the University of Aberdeen brings together a diverse and interdisciplinary group of scholars and students to develop in-depth theoretical understandings of the concepts and practices of transitions in terms of conflict and peace.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX