MA Political Science - European Politics & Policy Pathway (Standard Route)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Critical Globalisation Studies

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI70282
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes




This course will provide a critical examination of the political economy of globalisation. Students will be introduced to the main debates on the impact of globalisation on world order and of the issues surrounding the historical emergence of a global economy. The course is organised so as to provide a background understanding of international political economy after the Second World War, the global turn towards the ‘free market’, and then to explore a series of major issues that provide windows onto the encompassing process of globalisation: production; money and finance; trade; governance; economic and climate crises; the politics of anti-globalisation and anti-austerity; and the more recent resurgence of reactionary forms of politics across the world. 

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding: Students will develop and have the opportunity to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of contemporary literatures and debates on the political economy of globalisation.

Intellectual skills: Students will critically engage with theoretically-driven interpretations of contemporary political, economic and social events, and will put these approaches to work in the original critical analysis of central dimensions of globalisation. They will develop an understanding of the basic concepts of the critique of globalisation; possess a knowledge of a range of different issues connected with globalisation and the emergence of a global economy; be able to offer critical analyses concerning issues related to globalisation; and will formulate their own opinions on the political-economic challenges brought about by globalisation. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities: Students will be encouraged to exercise and demonstrate their own independent critical judgement of literature, arguments, and events. The module will foster improved writing, debating, teamwork and presentation skills, as well as the capacity to summarise, criticise and mobilise complex ideas. 

Teaching and learning methods

Seminars are central to the learning experience at MA level and attendance is compulsory.  If you know in advance that circumstances beyond your control will prevent you from attending a seminar, you should contact the Course Unit Director (CUD) to explain your absence.  

On this course, we will meet together on a weekly basis in a two-hour seminar. Each seminar after week 1 will be divided into a workshop component followed by a lecture component. 

From week 2 of the course, the first 50 minutes of the seminar will comprise a workshop and discussion of student's responses to material introduced by the CUD the previous week, as well as students' responses to additional learning materials as directed in Blackboard. 

After a short comfort break, the second 50 minutes of the weekly seminar will comprise an introductory lecture by the CUD on the theme of the following week's workshop. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 25%
Written assignment (inc essay) 75%

1.      3,000 word assessed essay (75% of final mark)

2.      1000 word Weekly Engagement  (25% of final mark)

Recommended reading

O’Brien, R. & Williams, M. (2020) Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics, 6th Edition (London: Bloomsbury).  


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Perla Polanco Leal Unit coordinator
Greig Charnock Unit coordinator

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