MA Political Economy (Research Route) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

The MA in Political Economy course at 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.

Each student will pursue their particular interests in political economy through one of four pathways:

  • Theoretical Political Economy;
  • Political Economy of Society, Space and Environment;
  • Political Economy of Finance, Business and Work;
  • Political Economy of Development.

Each pathway offers courses drawn from across the different disciplines in the schools, offering you unique exposure to the full breadth of the field of political economy. The research route is an ESRC recognised 1 + 3 course which offers training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods that prepares you for doctoral research.

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 take a core course unit in 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.

You will also take at least one core unit from your chosen pathway, together with one optional unit from that pathway. The research route provides a foundation in research skills for students intending to go on to undertake a PhD in the area of political economy, or seeking employment requiring advanced research skills in the public, private or voluntary sector.

You will complete compulsory core research training units in Quantitative Research Methods, Qualitative Research, Philosophy of Politics and 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
Research Design and Skills POLI60312 15 Mandatory
Philosophy of Politics Research POLI70771 15 Mandatory
Dissertation POLI72000 60 Mandatory
Qualitative Research Methods SOCS60230 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Quantitative Methods SOST70511 15 Mandatory
The Political Economy of Global Business BMAN62012 15 Optional
Poverty, Inequality and Government Policy in Less Developed Countries ECON60212 15 Optional
Economics of Environmental Policy ECON60782 15 Optional
Political Ecologies GEOG70952 15 Optional
Industrial Competitiveness and Global Transformation MGDI60002 15 Optional
Global Political Economy MGDI60072 15 Optional
Gender Inequality: Theory and Evidence MGDI60202 15 Optional
Climate, Environment and Development MGDI60552 15 Optional
Migration and Development MGDI60742 15 Optional
Gender & Development MGDI70802 15 Optional
Contemporary Issues in Development Finance MGDI72162 15 Optional
Ethics PHIL60051 15 Optional
Comparing Capitalisms in the Global Political Economy POLI60032 15 Optional
Governing in an Unjust World: Justice and International Relations POLI60182 15 Optional
Critical Globalisation Studies POLI70282 15 Optional
Theories of Rights POLI70722 15 Optional
Democracy: Theory & Practice POLI70872 15 Optional
Lies, damned lies and statistics: politics and data science POLI71212 15 Optional
Capitalism and Development in the Middle East POLI71312 15 Optional
Sociology of Consumption SOCY60552 15 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: Interdisciplinary Applications of the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL60312 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 27 course units

Disability support

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