Module code: POL3096

Module Overview

The module provides an opportunity for students to apply their understanding of key theories and debates in International Political Economy (IPE) to current developments and case studies. Students will be able to discuss and debate the role of the main IPE institutions. Current and future challenges to the status quo of IPE are discussed as well.

Module provider


Module Leader

KAEDING Malte (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 17

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The first part of the course introduces students to the main perspectives with a strong focus on theoretical approaches in IPE. The second part focuses on the historical development of the international political economy since the Industrial Revolution. The third part focuses upon contemporary issues and debates in the subject, grouped around the organising theme of development and 'globalisation'. The emphasis of the course is not upon the technical aspects of international economics or economic theory, but rather upon the political and institutional context in which they operate. Therefore an economics background is not required for this course, but advanced knowledge of the theoretical foundations of international politics strongly recommended.

It strongly emphasises the political, philosophical, and ethical aspects of IPE and is therefore more in-line with studies of Political Theory and Philosophy rather than Classical Economics.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION 20
Coursework COURSEWORK 20
Coursework OPEN BOOK EXAM 60

Alternative Assessment

Alternative assessment to the presentation is the individual submission of 800-word blog piece on the presentation

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

- Critical engagement with the relevant literature, e.g. to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key debates in IPE
- Demonstrate understanding of the need to apply theoretical arguments to the analysis of actual events and actions
- Demonstrate capacity to apply theoretical arguments to the analysis of contemporary developments in IPE.
- Identify appropriate and feasible area for analysis
- Identify and apply appropriate methodological approach
- Demonstration of excellent study, research and team-working skills

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

- Presentation
- Country briefing paper
- Open book exam

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback on their performance during lectures/seminars, and in one to one meetings during office hours. Additionally, students will receive brief feedback on their presentation and individual feedback on their on their country briefing paper by the module leader. They also receive written feedback on the presentations by peers. Feedback is module-specific but is also designed to be used for feed-forward to other aspects of the degree programme as well.

Module aims

  • To provide students with an advanced background in the competing international and comparative political economy approaches to the subject with a strong focus on their theoretical underpinnings
  • To deepen understanding of political economy issues and debates surrounding the contemporary world economy, with particular emphasis on the causes and implications of globalisation
  • To develop a critical perspective towards the role of the main IPE institutions
  • To develop critical debating and argumentation skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand and critically analyse complex issues in contemporary politics and political economy with reference to historical and theoretical backgrounds CKPT
002 Gain in-depth knowledge of a specific topic and current debates in Political Economy CKPT
003 Communicate and present ideas effectively, orally and in written format PT
004 Relate to different viewpoints on complex and contentious issues and form effective alliances and compromises PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The teaching strategy follows a specifically developed model of engagement with students. This includes a discursive teaching style in which seminars are fluid. Seminar setting will consciously not use any electronic support systems such Microsoft PowerPoint etc and instead focus on engaging students and on their active participation. Hence students will be expected to actively follow and contribute to discussions during classes based on the reading material and their anticipated knowledge of current affairs. In preparation of the class, short videos with original mini seminars on specific concepts are made available via the virtual learning environment. This allows for deeper discussions in-class. For post-class preparation brief seminars summaries are also made available via the virtual learning environment. Students use Microsoft Teams to communicate with classmates to cooperate presentation and exchange ideas on the trade agreement negotiation simulation. Students are constantly encouraged to formulate their own lines of enquiry, thus developing, and testing their skills in respect of making appropriate critical judgments in respect of both theory and empirics. Following initial weeks of theoretical discussions in seminars key actors in IPE will be discussed in a seminars, which is followed by a group presentation by students on a specific aspect of the actors¿ impact on a country case. The presentations are assessed, and they are accompanied by a student-led discussion on the topic. Students use their theoretical insights and the knowledge of the key institutions in IPE to research on a country briefing paper that builds the basis for the simulation exercise. The simulation is not assessed.

The learning and teaching methods include seminars, mini video lectures, independent study, presentations, prescribed reading, group discussions and a simulation exercise. Seminars are fluid and are held in a discursive style. The final class will be a simulation exercise for which students are allocated roles and have to provide an assessed briefing paper. Students will be expected to contribute actively during seminars, having prepared to contribute to discussions based on the reading material. They will engage in assessed presentations and are required to actively debate issues in a well-informed fashion.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL3096

Other information

Digital Capabilities

Students are encouraged to work together in groups, utilising collaborative tools available by the university (Microsoft Teams) or communication and social media resources available by private commercial providers (WhatsApp etc). As with all modules, students are expected to engage with online material and resources via SurreyLearn, and other digital platforms.


This module provides students with a further deepening of their training on key research and analytical skills. Further transferable skills strengthened are group presentation capabilities and the ability to critically evaluate and communicate findings.

Resourcefulness and Resilience

The various assessment methods in this module strengthen resourcefulness through project-based learning. Students will experience the challenge of engaging with a geographical and cultural area they are unfamiliar with and will have to support each other in their collaborative learning. The in-class quizzes strengthens psychological resilience and time management.


The module emphasises the critical assessment of contemporary economic models and approaches to development. Students actively engage with environmental consequences of economic development and challenges for catch-up economies to fulfill sustainability goals.

Global and Cultural Capabilities

The module is based on a global perspective with a focus on wider questions of responsibilities in economic and political development. Cultural sensitivities and different non-Western perspectives are highlighted in class discussions and through various guest lectures by experts from the geographical region discussed. Diverse experiences and views on development are encouraged and students are motivated to share experiences and knowledge from their own cultures and backgrounds and mutual respect.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Economics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.