Global Political Economy

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Apr 1, 2024
StudyQA ranking:2454 Duration:2 years

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The Master's programme in Global Political Economy aims to help students develop a critical understanding of the numerous theoretical approaches and practical issues as well as the wide spectrum of institutions, actors and processes in Global Political Economy. It should also enable the students to apply this knowledge in practice.
Our core courses are:
  • Introduction to Globalisation (MCC I)
  • International Economics (MCC II)
  • Governance of the World Market: Institutions, Instruments and Experiences (MCC III)
  • Theories of International Political Economy (MCC IV)
  • GPE Issues: Theories and Evidence (MCC V)
  • Advanced Writing Skills and Research Methods

Special optional courses are offered in the following fields:
  • Advanced theory of International Political Economy (MSOC 1)
  • Advanced International Economics (MSOC 2)
  • The Impact of Globalisation on National and Local Governments (MSOC 3)
  • European Integration (MSOC 4)
  • Global Environmental Politics (MSOC 5)
  • Migration and Global Labour Markets (MSOC 6)
  • The Politics of Development and North-South Relations (MSOC 7)
  • Gender and Globalisation (MSOC 8)
  • Issues of Global Governance (MSOC 9)
  • Cultural Aspects of Globalisation (MSOC 10)

Educational organisation

  • First semester: two core courses plus two optional courses
  • second semester: two core courses plus one optional course, eight-week internship
  • third semester: one core course, plus one method, two optional courses
  • fourth semester: Master's thesis, plus colloquium and viva voce

Study abroad unit(s)

The MA GPE provides many exchange possibilities. Erasmus scholarships are available for all students. Currently the department holds Erasmus contracts with Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (France), Université de Lausanne (Switzerland), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), University of Umeå (Sweden), University of Surrey (UK), University of Salamanca (Spain), University of Oviedo (Spain), Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), Yildiz Technical University (Turkey), Anadolu University (Turkey), and University of the Aegean (Greece).
DAAD scholarships are available for German students (Bildungsinländer) for Rutgers University Newark (USA) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India).
The student body is truly international: up to 70% of the students come countries other than Germany, from Albania to Vietnam.
Lecturers from partner universities (Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil, Rutgers University in the USA, Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India and University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa) offer seminars periodically.


An internship of at least eight weeks is to be completed during the summer breaks. Programme advisers will assist student in finding the appropriate internship.

Forms of assessment

Summaries, minutes, assignments, research papers, oral/audio-visual presentations, group projects, five months Master's thesis, oral thesis viva voce
9 ECTS per core course, 6 ECTS per optional courses, 30 ECTS Master's thesis module

Course objectives

The globalisation of economic, cultural, and political activities has been one of the central and controversial "mega" trends in societal development over the last decade. This vanishing of borders, which will likely continue for decades to come, presents a formidable challenge to traditional statist, national thinking. A critical understanding of the forms, causes, effects and avenues for governance of globalisation is needed. The requisite knowledge of the dynamics of the world economy, international institutions and transnational actors is offered by the Master's degree programme in "Global Political Economy".
The Master's programme prepares graduates for careers in areas directly affected by globalisation (e.g. international companies, organisations and NGOs), enables them to interpret social processes (e.g. in teaching or journalism) or to analyse transnational economic activities (e.g. in research, policy advice, financial analysis).
Many of our graduates are enrolled in a PhD programme.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English is necessary for participation in the programme. Non-native English speakers should present one of the following certificates: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, DAAD Sprachzeugnis or an equivalent certificate.
The score needed for admission is 90 points in TOEFL (IBT, internet-based), and 6.5 in IELTS, C1 in Common European Framework of Reference of Languages.
Applicants who have completed their first degree entirely in English are exempt from this requirement.

Academic requirements

Students with a Bachelor's degree in social sciences, political science, economics, law or a related field who have completed at least six semesters of full-time study and earned a minimum cumulative grade of "good" or "upper second-class honours"; or an equivalent to 2.5 on the German grading scale
At least one year in total of voluntary or paid practical social-political experience (e.g. in politics, in university politics, or in policy-oriented civil society organisations)

Enrolment fees

Mandatory registration fees allow students to use public transport free of charge and the university's refectories and cafeterias at reduced prices. For example, the registration fee for the summer semester of 2016 amounted to approx. 275 EUR.

Costs of living

In order to cover personal expenses while studying in Kassel, it is recommended that students budget around 750-900 EUR per month for accommodation, food, health insurance, books, and miscellaneous expenses.

Job opportunities

Students can apply for various part-time jobs or work as student assistants on campus. Please have a look at Some departments also provide positions as tutors or student assistants.

A few work-study scholarships are available for students from DAC-recipient countries. Students selected as scholarship holders will have the opportunity to work 40 hours per month in the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) and receive a grant of 750 EUR per month for up to twelve months.
International applicants who fulfil the MA GPE admission requirements can ask for a Letter of Preliminary Suitability to apply for a DAAD scholarship before coming to Germany. The DAAD/OSI scholarship is especially popular among GPE students.

Arrival support

An orientation week is regularly offered to international students. During information sessions, tours, excursions, events, and leisure-time activities, international students get to know their departments, courses, the campus, and life in Kassel or Witzenhausen and become acquainted with their lecturers and fellow students. Students get the chance to make new friends during the campus rally or at the get-together brunch. Senior student tutors will assist foreign students with any questions or problems they may encounter during their stay.

Services and support for international students

Orientation week at the main site in Kassel:
Support service at the campus site in Witzenhausen:
Contact for exchange students:
Welcome Centre:


International students enrolled at the University of Kassel can choose between staying at a student residence hall (Wohnheim) or private accommodation. There are about 1,000 rooms available in student residence halls in Kassel and Witzenhausen, administered by Studentenwerk Kassel. Please have a look at Rent for a room varies from 200-320 EUR per month depending on the location and facilities. Students can choose between a single apartment with en-suite facilities or a room in a flat shared with fellow students. Finding private accommodation in Kassel is usually not difficult. Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available. Vacancies are posted in the local press and on the Internet.
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