Taught course

International Political Economy

University of Sheffield · Department of Politics and International Relations

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a relevant social science, arts and humanities subject or other related subject.

We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

We can't begin to understand how political decisions are made without examining the economic context that shapes them, yet we also cannot grasp why the economy functions in the way it does without understanding the profoundly political decisions that determine who gets what, when, why and how.

This course will expand your understanding of contemporary capitalism by looking at how the global political economy is constituted, the ways in which it functions to benefit particular groups, countries and people, and how it is evolving.

You'll be taught by expert academics who are pushing the boundaries of international political economy. You will learn how to analyse the operation of contemporary capitalism, who wins and loses from it, and whether we can achieve more equal, just and sustainable societies. Throughout your studies you will address questions such as:

  • Who are the key actors in international political economy and how do they interact with our local, national and international political institutions to produce particular economic outcomes?
  • How do we generate decent living standards in a world of rapid technological change?
  • Why does the global economy seem to be producing ever-greater concentrations of wealth and poverty?
  • What explains the rapid development of the so-called ‘rising powers’ and is theirs a model that can be emulated?
  • Which level of analysis - the family, the village, the region, the nation, the global - should we examine when seeking to make sense of the global political economy?
  • Is it possible for our economies to keep growing in a world of looming environmental breakdown?
  • Will globalisation continue over the coming decades, or do current conflicts mean we are now entering an era of deglobalisation?
  • Whose theories and concepts can help us make better sense of a rapidly changing 21st Century context that appears to be replete with economic crises?

The MA International Political Economy degree attracts a hugely diverse student body. Some may have already studied politics and international relations previously, whereas others may have little academic experience in the subject but wish to better understand the evolution of the global political economy in an era marked by significant economic upheaval.

Students come from all sorts of different backgrounds, and this really is evident in the classroom. You will be encouraged to share your knowledge and experience, and the varied perspectives help to produce fruitful and lively discussions in seminars.

Information for international students

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

For more information about entry requirements for international students, please visit https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/international/applying/postgraduate-taught

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 114 222 1641