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School of Social Sciences

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MA Political Economy (Research Route)
Choose from four pathways specialising in modern political economy research.

MA Political Economy (Research Route) / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

  • You want a course that draws on a long and highly distinguished tradition of political economy at The University of Manchester
  • You are interested in a unique, cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy
  • You would like to pursue your own particular interests in political economy through one of four distinct pathways

The MA in Political Economy programme at Manchester University 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 Manchester University. The programme is taught from members 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 the student a unique exposure to the full breadth of the field of political economy. The research route is an ESRC recognised 1 + 3 programme which offers training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods that prepare students for doctoral research.

Teaching and learning


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

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

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Course unit details

All students take a core module, 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. The student will also take at least one core module from their chosen pathway together with one other optional module 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. Students 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 programme. The remainder of the programme consists of a 12000-15000 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
Philosophy of Politics Research POLI70771 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Quantitative Methods SOST70511 15 Mandatory
The Political Economy of Global Business BMAN62012 15 Optional
Multinationals and Comparative Employment Systems BMAN70051 15 Optional
Analysing Companies BMAN72201 15 Optional
Development Microeconomics ECON60022 15 Optional
Microeconomic Theory ECON60101 15 Optional
Macroeconomic Theory ECON60111 15 Optional
Poverty, Inequality and Government Policy in Less Developed Countries ECON60212 15 Optional
Non-Market Valuation ECON60422 15 Optional
Political Economics ECON60492 15 Optional
Natural Resource Economics ECON60682 15 Optional
Economics of Environmental Policy ECON60781 15 Optional
Issues in Environmental Policy GEOG70911 15 Optional
Key Debates in Environmental Governance GEOG70921 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
Economic Development MGDI60711 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
Ethics PHIL60051 15 Optional
Politics, Economics and Environment POEC61002 15 Optional
Comparing Capitalisms in the Global Political Economy POLI60031 15 Optional
Archival Research POLI60251 5 Optional
European Political Economy POLI60292 15 Optional
Biography & Life History in the Social Sciences POLI60331 5 Optional
Interviewing Activists POLI70021 5 Optional
Critical Globalisation Studies POLI70282 15 Optional
Critical Approaches to International Political Economy POLI70311 15 Optional
Human Rights in World Politics POLI70492 15 Optional
Debating Justice POLI70612 15 Optional
Theories of Rights POLI70722 15 Optional
Democracy: Theory & Practice POLI70871 15 Optional
Critical Environmental Politics POLI70921 15 Optional
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN60111 15 Optional
Doing Interviews SOAN60201 5 Optional
Practising Participant Observation SOAN60892 5 Optional
Creative Methods SOCY60192 5 Optional
Foundational and advanced perspectives on qualitative research SOCY60231 10 Optional
Narrative Analysis SOCY70722 5 Optional
Understanding Big Data For Social Research SOST60512 5 Optional
Displaying 10 of 51 course units

Disability support

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