Our Political Economy degree at Newcastle provides you with a specialist social science understanding of political economy.

At Newcastle , we are committed to providing students with a truly global learning experience.  Students on this Political Economy BA degree have access to a range of exciting opportunities to travel and study abroad during their degree. 

We have one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK, with 5,000 international students from more than 150 different countries and 31% of our academic staff from overseas. Find out more about studying as an international student. 



As a University of Newcastle graduate, we provide you with the tools and skills to operate in an ever growing global environment.


Student Research Internships

Each year on this International Relations degree we offer up to 10 research internships to undergraduates in DETC. These are open on a competitive basis to all second year students. These are fully supported, paid internships that give students the opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with a member of academic staff in DETC on a research project.


Careers Events

In addition to the extensive careers support that Newcastle University offers all of its students, we offer bespoke employability and careers workshops to all students on our International Relations degree. These workshops run in each year of your programme and are tailored to support you with the information you need to plan should you wish to pursue employment or postgraduate study.


Professional development module

In the final year of your studies of our International Relations degree you will have the opportunity to take our Professional Development module. This module is based around a work placement and will help you bridge the gap between your academic studies and your future career.


Year Abroad

Even if you haven’t applied for our 4-Year Study Abroad International Relations degree you can transfer onto this track during your time at Newcastle (grades depending) and benefit from the increased confidence and different academic perspective gained by studying in a foreign country. We have exchange partners across Europe, as well as in Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Vietnam and Uruguay.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

BA Political Economy

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Single Honours





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 Years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Modules in the first year

In the first year of your degree you receive a thorough grounding in the study of political economy, with particular emphasis on the major approaches to the discipline and key ideas such as globalisation, markets, trade, wealth and power, technology, the monetary system, and development. Each of the modules you take in the first year is designed to introduce you to the theory and practice of political economy and to provide you with a foundation for more advanced, specialised study in the second and third years of your degree. 

Compulsory modules

  • Understanding Politics
  • Principles of Economics
  • Politics as a Vocation 1 and 2
  • Pathways to Political Research 1 and 2
  • Understanding Political Economy

Optional modules

You can choose one from:

  • Introduction to Political Theory
  • Understanding International Relations
  • Social Justice and Politics
  • International Relations of the Global South

Modules in the second year

The second year of your degree course further develops your understanding of the discipline and introduces new perspectives on political economy. It is designed to develop your knowledge and theoretical understanding of this dynamic and changing field. You will take one compulsory module, International Political Economy, which builds on what you have learnt in the first year by applying major theoretical perspectives to key practical problems in the international political economy, including trade, development, the financial crisis and environmental issues.

Optional modules

Your second year of study will also provide you with the opportunity to undertake more specialised study in areas of the subject that interest you. You will be able to choose five optional modules from the extensive list of modules that we offer. These modules will build on the knowledge and skills you have acquired thus far on your degree and allow you to tailor your studies in a way that best fits with your interests and future plans. 

  • Public Choice Theory
  • International Political Economy
  • Diplomatic History post 1945
  • British Politics
  • International Security
  • International Relations Theory
  • The Political Economy of Energy and Energy Security
  • International Politics & Security in Russia & Eurasia
  • Modern Political Thought
  • Analysing Political Worlds
  • Global Governance
  • International Relations of the Middle East
  • Feminist Political Ideas
  • Comparative Politics
  • Elections and Voting in Britain
  • America and the Middle East through Politics and Film
  • Public Policy Blunders and Bad Decision Making
  • Soviet Politics: Rise and Fall of a Superpower
  • War and Peace in Theory and Practice
  • Quantitative Political Analysis
  • Rebels and Revolutionaries: The Politics of Non-State Armed Groups
  • Controversies in Contemporary Democracies: Comparative Perspectives


Year Abroad option

If you have not applied for the four year, study abroad degree you can still apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world if you have achieved a grade of 2.1. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. 


Modules in the final year

In the final year of your degree you will take a compulsory module, Contemporary Political Economyand undertake an independent study project. Modules in the final year are advanced, research led modules taught by experts in the subject area.

There are two distinct independent study pathways of independent study in the final year:


Pathway one

On this pathway you will write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice. You will be guided and supported by a supervisor who is an expert in your area of interest. In addition to writing the dissertation you will be able to take three optional modules.


Pathway two

On the second pathway you take the module Problems in World Politics. This module is designed to allow students to apply the knowledge they have acquired on their degree to real world policy problems in politics. In addition to this independent study module you will be able to take four optional modules.

Optional modules

  • War-Torn States and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the South
  • Power in Britain
  • Contemporary US Foreign and Security Policy
  • Contemporary International Political Economy
  • Topics in British Politics
  • Democracy and Democratization in Contemporary Europe
  • The Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • Controversies in Contemporary Democracies
  • Left Parties and Protest Movements
  • Gender in World Politics
  • Critical Approaches to Security
  • Issues in US Domestic Politics
  • International Ethics
  • Professional Development
  • Global Capitalism and Migration
  • Law, Politics and the International System: Mediating Power beyond the State
  • Varieties of Capitalism and Welfare State Models
  • Parties, Voters and Elections
  • Russian Foreign Policy
  • Security in Europe: Actors, Crises and Threats
  • Strategy and Decision-Making
  • Conflict, Statehood and Sovereignty in World Politics
  • Populism in Contemporary Politics
  • Politics of Migrants, Refugees, and Diasporas in the Middle East
  • New Media, Social Media, and International Politics
  • Social Justice and Politics
  • Global Uprisings: Critique and Radical Politics
  • Contemporary Russian and East European Politics
  • Body Politics: Security, Economy, Violence
  • Understanding Brexit: Identity and Euroscepticism in Europe
  • The Political Economy of Russia
  • Environment, Politics and Society
  • Politics, Music and the Arts
  • The EU in a Globalised World
  • Politics in Russia
  • Globalisation, Capitalism and Welfare
  • Exploring the Mekong

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a US university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements,. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. 


USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Throughout your time on the Political Economy BA course, employability is a key area of focus. We help to make sure that you are employable through a range of department led and university wide initiatives which include:


Input from Professional Careers Advisers in your Curriculum

During the first year of your studies Careers Advisers from the University Careers Network team attend lectures in your course to support you with career planning from an early stage. The lectures will cover career planning, researching career and internship opportunities, developing the skills that graduate employers are looking for, and presenting yourself with impact to a potential employer.


Professional development module

You will have the unique opportunity to take advantage of a work placement as part of your final year by undertaking the Professional Development Module as part of your optional module choices.


Your Newcastle degree

Employers target Newcastle students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.