Although this is a full-time degree programme, it is expected that students undertaking relevant work will be able to complete the programme if they have a first degree in a related subject.
This MA programme is aimed at graduates with a strong interest in the history of economic ideas and the application of economics to questions of public policy. It offers the opportunity to study in detail a range of ideas in self-guided fashion and to conduct a significant piece of independent research on a particular topic of the student’s choice.
Online seminars will cover topics on Adam Smith; David Ricardo; John Stuart Mill; Alfred Marshall; the marginalists and neoclassical economics; Karl Marx; Friedrich Hayek and the Austrians; J.M. Keynes; James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock and public choice theory; the Frankfurt School; behavioural economics; the environment and the debate on sustainability.
There will be a virtual seminar on research project preparation and there will also be an online session which will look at policy issues such as government spending, monetary policy and climate change through the lens of different schools of thought.
The programme is not primarily vocational in orientation, although possession of the award is likely to enhance the careers of school and FE teachers and policy advisors at local and national levels. It could also lead naturally on to further study and research at doctorate level. It is particularly envisaged that the programme will appeal to candidates of all ages who are attracted to the subject area for its intrinsic interest and wish to pursue a structured learning experience in a sympathetic environment.
Good Honours (2.1 or above) BA or BSc degree in an appropriate discipline and/or equivalent professional qualification or Prior Experiential Learning.
This programme is also open to candidates with initiative and a proven ability to operate as self-guided learners, corroborated where appropriate through an admissions interview.
The programme will start with a series of weekly webinars spread over one and a half terms (October – February). These webinars will cover all the major thinkers and schools of Political Economy, from Adam Smith to Karl Marx, from Friedrich Hayek to the Frankfurt School, among others. Each webinar is led by an expert topic under discussion, and the student is expected to do initial reading in advance and to participate actively in these sessions. You will also receive group and individual preparation as you work on your dissertation
Supervisors will be appointed with an interest in the student’s topic area, and the student will receive regular one-to-one online sessions with the supervisor as the dissertation progresses. This will include written feedback on drafts of the dissertation.
Assessment will be based on a project proposal, which will link to material covered in the seminar sessions. This proposal (c5000 words) will be weighted at 60 units, of which 10 units will be based on verbal presentation and response to questions. The dissertation (15,000 words) will be weighted at 120 units.
The programme is intended to give participants a clear understanding of different schools of thought in political economy and enable them to interrogate these schools’ strengths and weaknesses and to apply them to modern policy issues. It will also enable them to develop research and presentational skills, and the skills and the confidence required to conduct in-depth independent research. This should enable those who wish to do so to proceed to a doctoral programme.
The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.
Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and other ancillary charges. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.