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Course content

Global Economy explores the history, shape and economic impact of contemporary globalisation, in a profoundly multinational, multilingual environment. The programme will enhance your understanding of the shape of the global economy and the institutions (formal and informal) that govern it. It is ideal for those who do not have a degree or background in economics or business but wish to explore the field.

Why this programme

  • Central to the programme’s curriculum is an understanding of how economic growth is (and is not) stimulated and sustained under conditions of intense global competition, and how institutions and infrastructure can play crucial roles in attracting appropriate economic activity.
  • You will consider the respective roles of national governments and supra-national bodies in the global economy and interrogate the ways in which economic and business systems have an impact on the lives of citizens in both developing and developed countries.
  • You will be encouraged to think about how your local economies fit into the broader global environment. The knowledge and skills gained could lead to enhanced trade capacity, improved economic understanding or decision- making by business or government, new products and services, or long-term capacity building, through the development of entrepreneurial skills.
  • Topics covered include the study of international trade, the relationships between education, innovation and investment, foreign direct investment, multinational companies, and the impact of Global Value Chains and Global Production Networks – and the associated corporate social responsibility and global citizenship programmes.
  • You may have the opportunity to spend up to three weeks in March at Kyoto University in Japan. You will attend specially organised classes, take part in study trips and site visits, and begin thinking about your dissertation. Places are limited and offered on a competitive basis.
  • The programme will equip you to return to your home country and make substantial contributions in a wide array of fields such as local and national policy development, corporate management and third sector or advocacy groups, including those working primarily in environmental, educational or citizenship arenas.

Programme structure

You will take three core and three optional courses and submit a dissertation. You will attend lectures, seminars and tutorials and take part in project and team work. You will also benefit from our programme of guest seminars.

Core courses

  • Business in the global economy
  • Research design
  • The globalised economy.

Optional courses may include 

  • Globalisation and labour
  • Globalisation and the nation state
  • Latin American development in the global economy
  • Technology transfer in a globalised world
  • The EU in international politics and development.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

By the end of the programme, you will gained a secure and critical grasp of the extent, causes and implications of a more fully integrated world economy, which equips you to play key leadership roles in corporate, non-governmental organisations or policy-driven environments. Career opportunities include positions in global economics, foreign trade, international NGOs and policy environments.


Visit the Global Economy (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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