MA Political Economy (Standard Route) / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course description

The MA in Political Economy course at The University of Manchester offers a cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy.

The MA is housed in the Centre for the Study of Political Economy, which brings together the world-class research strengths in the field of political economy at the University.

The course is taught by members from across the Faculty of Humanities in the School of Social Sciences, the School of Environment and Development, and the Alliance Manchester Business School.

You will pursue your particular interests in political economy through one of our four pathways:

  • theoretical political economy;
  • political economy of society, space and environment;
  • political economy of finance, business and work; or
  • political economy of development.

Each pathway offers courses drawn from across the different disciplines in the schools, offering you exposure to the full breadth of the field of political economy.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time route.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory units and then select your optional units to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your course director.

Course unit details

All students studying the MA Political Economy course take a core unit, Theoretical Approaches to Political Economy, which provides a thorough grounding in both classical and contemporary theories of political economy and introduces the basic concepts of the discipline.

If you are studying on the standard route, you will also take at least two core units, and three optional units from your chosen pathway. You will also undertake research training units in Dissertation Research Design. Taught units comprise two thirds of the course. The remainder of the course consists of a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a substantial issue in political economy.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Theoretical Approaches to Political Economy POEC61011 30 Mandatory
Dissertation Research Design POLI60312 15 Mandatory
Dissertation POLI72000 60 Mandatory
The Political Economy of Global Business BMAN62012 15 Optional
Multinationals and Comparative Employment Systems BMAN70051 15 Optional
Analysing Companies BMAN72201 15 Optional
Microeconomic Theory ECON60101 15 Optional
Macroeconomic Analysis ECON60111 15 Optional
Public Economics ECON60202 15 Optional
Poverty, Inequality and Government Policy in Less Developed Countries ECON60212 15 Optional
Economics of Environmental Policy ECON60782 15 Optional
Issues in Environmental Policy GEOG70912 15 Optional
Key Debates in Environmental Governance GEOG70921 15 Optional
Political Ecologies GEOG70951 15 Optional
Industrial Competitiveness and Global Transformation MGDI60002 15 Optional
Global Political Economy MGDI60072 15 Optional
Work and Employment in the Global Economy MGDI60131 15 Optional
Poverty and Development MGDI60141 15 Optional
Globalisation, Trade and Development MGDI60271 15 Optional
Trade Theory and Development MGDI60291 15 Optional
The Politics and Governance of Development MGDI60391 15 Optional
Climate Change, Disasters and Responses MGDI60552 15 Optional
Political Economics for Development MGDI60611 15 Optional
Economic Development MGDI60711 15 Optional
Migration and Development MGDI60742 15 Optional
Environment, Climate Change and Development MGDI60801 15 Optional
Gender & Development MGDI70802 15 Optional
International Finance for Development MGDI72121 15 Optional
Contemporary Issues in Development Finance MGDI72162 15 Optional
Comparing Capitalisms in the Global Political Economy POLI60032 15 Optional
European Capitalisms: Crises, Transformations and Contestations POLI60292 15 Optional
Critical Globalisation Studies POLI70282 15 Optional
Critical Approaches to International Political Economy POLI70311 15 Optional
Debating Justice POLI70611 15 Optional
Theories of Rights POLI70722 15 Optional
Critical Environmental Politics POLI70921 15 Optional
The Politics of Global Climate Change POLI71141 15 Optional
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN60112 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 38 course units

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: