MA International Political Economy

Department of Politics, Faculty of Social Sciences

Sheffield has reinvented the way politics is taught in UK universities. And our research has led to real change in the political system.

We're leading the debates on globalisation, governance, international development, international political economy and public engagement with politics.

Sheffield has always been a very respectable first choice for ambitious students. Now we're taking it to the next level.

About the course

This course examines the relationship between politics and economics to understand the nature and direction of global change.

The core module explores innovative new theories relating to debates on globalisation and issues such as the financial crisis. Through optional modules, you can study the economic and political restructuring of particular states and regions in detail.

We offer extensive training in research methods. For your dissertation, you'll research and develop a hypothesis of your own. The experience will equip you with valuable transferable skills.

IPE is one the department's biggest strengths. Leading academics teach on the course. And you’ll get the chance to work with the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI).

Core modules

  • Theories and Issues in International Political Economy
  • United States Hegemony

Optional modules

Choose two from a range including:

  • Advanced Political Analysis
  • Contemporary Global Security
  • Democratisation
  • The Politics of Development
  • Contemporary Ethnic Conflict
  • Europeanisation
  • Global Governance
  • Global Politics of the Environment and Climate Change


All taught modules (not the dissertation) are taught in seminars.


You'll be assessed continuously through essays.

To complete the MA successfully you must earn a total of 180 credits. Most core and optional modules count for 30 credits each. Your dissertation, produced over the summer after the taught element, counts for 60 credits.

For the module assessments and the dissertation, you'll need a mark of 50 per cent or above. If you don't complete the dissertation, achieving 120 credits in taught modules will get you a Graduate Diploma.

Apply now

Ailin Martinez Alvarez, postgraduate in the Department of Politics

"I would like to gain some work experience in the UK and the University has provided me with the tools to face the real world. My aim is to create awareness of human rights and show how we can contribute to a better world."

Ailin Martinez Alvarez, postgraduate in the Department of Politics

Key facts

Course duration

1 year full-time/2 years part-time

Entry requirements

For all our courses you'll need a 2:1 honours degree, plus references from previous tutors. If you have different qualifications, we'll look at your application on its individual merits.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, 6.5 in Writing, 5.5 in Listening and 5.5 in Speaking, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Our department

We work with the UK government Cabinet Office, central departments and House of Commons Select Committees. We also carry out research within Whitehall and Westminster. Our teaching is informed, policy-relevant and reflects current government debate. You’ll be part of a close-knit community of 200 postgraduate students. It’s a cosmopolitan community of students from around the world. The Politics Society runs regular activities and events. You may also get involved with our Canvas e-journal.


Graduates work in government, NGOs, the private sector, consultancies and think tanks. They're directors, private secretaries, managers, political advisers, barristers, parliamentary clerks, senior civil servants and administrators.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 1642